Goats at Our Long Island Zoo

Long Island Goats

The goat is a mammal that is related to the sheep. There are various breeds of goats that are native to the United States, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as certain countries such as the United Kingdom, Turkey, India, China and Switzerland.

They are known to have horns, various lengths of hair and distinct pairs of ears. Male goats, known as bucks or billys, usually have a beard. Female goats are known as does or nannies, and baby goats are known as kids. Both male and female goats have horns but most of the time, the horns are removed to prevent accidents.

Goats are herbivores. They enjoy eating leaves, fruit and the bark of small trees. When those are unavailable, they will eat any nearby plants. (Contrary to what many people believe, goats do not eat tin cans.) They seem to continually chew their food, but what they are chewing is food that is regurgitated or partially digested, known as cud.

Unlike sheep, goats can adapt to a feral or wild environment, even if it has been domesticated. In the wild, there can be up to 500 goats in one herd. The lifespan of a goat ranges from 12 to 22 years. Wild goats include the ibex and markhor.