How long do goats live? Domestic goats will live anywhere from 8-14 years. This will vary depending on breed, genetics, health, disease, illness, accidents, and sheer luck. Many other variables are challenging to pinpoint and control.
The single most important factor that will determine how long your goat lives is the diet you feed.
This article will address a goat's life span, life cycle, and contributing factors that help maintain quality of life and longevity.
The oldest goat on record was named McGinty, who lived in Hampshire, UK and reached 22 years and 5 months old. She was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records and clearly had great genes, as her granddaughter Daisy lived to be 19 years old.
How Long Do Goats Live?
No matter the breed of goat, the lifespan is about the same except in a few small circumstances.
Angora goats live for an average of 10 years and Pygmy goats live for an average of 10 to 15 years years, which is a bit different from other domesticated goat breeds, which will live for 8 to 14 years on average and be more productive during their life for longer.
Angora goats have a slightly lower lifespan average because they are amongst the most delicate of domesticated animals.
Female Goat (Doe) Lifespan & Breeding Considerations
Female goats outlive males — the same as with humans and with most other species.
While birthing complications can turn deadly if your herd is not managed correctly, pregnancy and breeding do not limit or constrain a doe's lifespan tremendously. This is an incorrect assumption that some people have. And while we do not know the exact reasons why, there are interesting studies coming out all the time.
How Long Can Does Be Used For Breeding?
This is a personal matter with many considerations and the answer will vary depending on your herd and your choices. For many people, they may opt to stop around age 10.
Does that have complications or do not possess mothering instincts should not be bred as you lessen the survival chances of the offspring.
Does who have trouble regaining a good body condition and struggle with health issues like teeth loss or a heavy parasite load postpartum should not be bred.
If your doe struggles with maintaining a milk supply to feed her offspring, she should not continue to be bred for her health and theirs.
Does will naturally decrease milk production as they age, but they should at least have enough to feed their babies, even multiples. If you milk your herd, you may want to hold back if you see issues.
You will shorten the lifespan of your breeding doe if she is mistreated.
See this study on the breeding preferences of goat keepers for more information.
Male Goat Lifespan, How Long Do Bucks Live?
The typical lifespan of bucks tends to range between 8 to 10 years.
Intact male goats (bucks) experience relatively shorter lifespans, primarily due to the taxing nature of the breeding season. Every year in the fall, bucks enter a phase known as rut, marked by an intense focus on breeding activities.
Their singular fixation on procreation may lead to decreased food consumption, affecting their overall health. Additionally, the presence of other bucks can provoke territorial disputes, further contributing to the physical and emotional stress experienced by these animals.
A single mature buck can successfully breed 50 does in a single breeding season for a good 6-8 years. After that, his fertility will start to wane and you will notice less does are successfully impregnanted. They may even become sterile. You will notice their scrotum size will change.
How Long Do Wethers Live?
Goats who are wethered can easily live 15-18 years.
Wethers are castrated male goats, and they may have the longest lifespan of all because they have zero stress on their bodies. Wethers are kept as pets or as companions for bucks who may be separated from their does when necessary.
That is why wethers can easily live into the edges of the average lifespan for goats and sometimes beyond. They may become ancient and require constant care and hand-feeding.
If you have goats or you’re considering adding goats to your homestead, the lifespan of goats is an essential consideration, as age, lifespan, and the breeding span of your goats will influence how you manage your herd.
Goats are wonderful animals full of personality. For many people who keep them, they are companions and pets, just like dogs. Goats are also very useful, providing humans with goat milk, meat, and other benefits like fiber and leather. Humanity domesticated them for a reason and we have lived alongside them for many thousands of years in a symbiotic relationship.
Goats need the proper diet of forage and hay, as well as the correct goat loose mineral supplementation. They need parasite management and a responsible goat keeper who will intervene with a veterinarian when required.
More About Goats
Learn about the benefits of getting goats on your homestead. What are goats good for anyway? It's more than just milk and meat.
And learn about the benefits of goat milk.
As well as all about goat meat, which continues to gain popularity in North America.