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  • Writer's pictureBrowns' Family Farmstead

From Kid to Doe: Mastering Age-Based Goat Terminology

If you're new to the world of goats, understanding the age-based terminology can be a bit confusing. This guide will break down the different terms used to describe goats based on their age, helping you navigate the goat world with confidence. Whether you're a beginner goat owner or simply curious about these fascinating animals, this guide is a great place to start.


Table of Contents

Farmer Holding Baby Nigerian Dwarf Goat

Why It's Important To Know Age-Based Goat Terminology

If you own goats, or you are considering adding some to your farm, knowing the proper terminology is important. These terms will not only identify the gender of the goat, but also the age and in the case of males, if they can breed.


What Do You Call a Group of Goats?

Goats that live together in a group are called a herd. However, a less commonly used term is flock.


Herds often consist of one male and several female goats.


If you are not looking to breed your goats, there are still benefits associated with having wether in your herd.


Young Goat Terminology

Kid

Baby goats regardless of gender are called “kids” until they reach 6 months of age.


What is a Doeling Goat?

By 6 months of age, due to the development of testicles it will be apparent if the goat is male (testicles) or female (no testicles).


Female goats between the age of six months and 1 year are called doelings as they have not fully matured and are still considered to be juveniles.


What is a Buckling Goat?

By 6 months of age, due to the development of testicles it will be apparent if the goat is male (testicles) or female (no testicles).


Intact Male goats that are able to breed between the age of six months and 1 year are called buckling’s as they are still considered to be juveniles. Note that in the event your buckling has been castrated, he will be known as a wether instead.


What is a Yearling Goat?

Yearling refers to male and female goats alike between 1 and 2 years of age.


Adult Goat Terminology

What is a Doe Goat?

Doe’s are female goats that are more than 1 year old. This distinguishes them from the juvenile doeling and indicates maturity.


What is a Buck Goat?

Bucks are male goats that are more than 1 year old. This distinguishes them from the juvenile buckling and indicates maturity.


What is a Nanny Goat?

This term refers to a doe goat that has given birth and is caring for her young.


What is a Billy Goat?

This term is rather informal and non-descriptive. It simply refers to a male goat regardless of age or ability to breed.


Wether Terminology

Wether’s are male goats (regardless of age) that have been castrated. More information can be found in our in-depth guide What Is a Wether Goat? 7 Benefits to Raising Them.

Two Nigerian Dwarf Bucks and one buckling

What Is A Female Goat Called?

Depending on age female goats can be called a doeling, doe, nanny, yearling, or kid.


Final Thoughts

Understanding goat terminology by age is important for those buy, selling, breeding, or generally raising goats.


Each group defines the age, gender, or the ability to breed. These factors are exceedingly important, especially if you are looking to have the benefits of a male goat but are not looking to breed. This could be because you are content with the size of your herd, your goats may be related, or there could be complications with a doe carrying a healthy pregnancy to term.


Learn More

  • 100+ Best Old Lady Names for Your Female Goats: Expanding your herd is an exciting time! If you have prior experience with goats, then you already know they each have unique personalities and traits. This not only allowed us to tell them apart, but also enriched our experience with our herd by strengthening our connection.

  • Raising Goats Guide: A Comprehensive Resource for Beginners: Ready to embark on your goat-raising journey? This comprehensive guide is your go-to resource for all things goat-related. From housing and feeding to breeding and health care, we've got you covered!

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