Quite often, farmers, as well as just people living in private homes, plant goats. This choice is quite obvious – it is truly universal animals. On the one hand, they are unpretentious – they eat almost everything, they easily tolerate heat and cold. On the other hand, they allow to get high-quality milk, pure wool and very tasty tender meat. It is quite clear that many owners are very interested in how many years home goats live. Let’s try to consider this issue as detailed as possible.
The average life of ordinary goats
For a start, it is worth noting that the average lifespan of goats is from 12 to 15 years. Their wild counterparts, this figure is much less – no more than 10 years. But do not think that all goats live just that much. After all, there are many nuances that affect the average life expectancy, both in a positive direction and in a negative one.
So it is not at all superfluous to study all these factors.
What can reduce life expectancy
To determine how many years goats live at home, you need to know first of all about the negative factors.
One of the most common reasons why a goat’s lifespan is reduced is high humidity. Yes, these animals are better adapted to the dry climate, so high humidity can lead to diseases that will shorten the lives of your animals by several years.
On the whole, goats tolerate frosts quite easily, but still, those who are forced to live at low temperatures also show worse life expectancy than those who live far from the harsh climate of our country.
Finally, a very important factor is proper nutrition. The lack of minerals and trace elements often lead to the fact that in some farms animals do not manage to keep longer than 5-8 years.
Fortunately, this indicator can be significantly increased if you treat the goats with the utmost care, take care of them seriously.
How to increase the life of goats
Experienced farmers know how many years the dairy goat has lived, and they are trying in every way to increase this figure. There are several reliable ways to do this.
In the first place – the provision of suitable living conditions. A goat should be able to take shelter in winter from cold and wind in a cozy, well-insulated barn. This is a really important factor that some newbies seriously underestimate.
It is also very important to have an idea about proper feeding. This is especially important for goats, which are actively used to produce offspring and milk. Both of these factors greatly wear out the body of the animal, pump out a large amount of salts and minerals. And to get them together with the usual straw and grass is almost impossible. That is why experienced farmers are very serious about the preparation of an optimal diet for animals, trying to diversify it with special additives that contain the necessary substances.
The breed also has a certain influence. It has long been observed that pedigreed goats with good care live noticeably longer than their usual outbred relatives.
If you are seriously engaged in breeding goats, and you do this for a considerable time, it is very important to regularly update blood. The easiest way to do this is by purchasing a breeding goat from a farm you have not dealt with before. This will avoid inbreeding, leading to the weakening of animals, increased susceptibility to disease and, accordingly, early death. If possible, this should be done more often – at least once every 5-7 years. That is, when the main goat inseminator grows old, it needs to be changed to a young one.
Until what age do goats give milk
But knowing how many years on average goats live, one should not think that all this time they will give milk and produce healthy goatlings. In fact, it is not. After all, a woman can live 80–90 years with people, especially if she observes a healthy lifestyle, but she can give birth to children at best until the age of 50.
Exactly the same pattern is observed in goats. At best, they can produce healthy offspring up to 6-7 years. Accordingly, they give milk to the same age. Of course, many goats can lamb themselves at a more mature age. But the number of kids is reduced, as well as weight, as well as viability. Such young babies often get sick, delivering unnecessary trouble to the owners. Milk old goats also bring less.
On average, milk yield increases from the first birth to 5 years. Then up to about 7 years they remain at the same level. After that, begin to fall. However, these periods can easily move a year or two depending on the breed and conditions of detention.
The reason is quite simple – at the age of 7 years, the teeth in goats deteriorate significantly. Partially grinding away, partially falling out, they can no longer grind hard food qualitatively. As a result, half-chewed grass and hay gets into the stomach. This food is worse digested, the body receives less nutrients. This leads to the expected result.
How to determine the age of a goat
However, it is not enough for an experienced farmer to know how long live dairy goats live. He should also be able to determine the approximate age by appearance. For example, if a bargain is offered by people with whom he has not yet dealt. A beginner may well be sold an eight-year-old goat, having given off as a three-year-old, in the prime of his life.
First of all, an experienced goat will pay attention to the teeth – we remember the proverb about the gift horse. But the goat is not a gift, but a purchase, so it’s necessary to pay attention to the condition of the oral cavity.
At about four years, the dairy incisors completely replace the primary ones. They are located on the lower jaw in front. It is possible to distinguish dairy from indigenous ones in form – the first ones are narrower and smaller. If some of the incisors are still dairy, it means that the goat is less than four years old – it has not yet entered its prime and is quite suitable for purchase. If all the incisors are already indigenous, then she is exactly four years or more.
Gradually, the indigenous incisors begin to wear out, turn yellow. Gaps appear between them, and the dentition itself becomes uneven. Especially noticeable this becomes years to seven. If there are no such defects, then the age of the goat is from 4 to 7 years. It cannot be called a good investment, but still it will definitely serve a couple of years, bringing kids and milk.
The defects listed above indicate that the goat is already 7 years old and more – it is not worth buying one, except for meat.
When is it better to score a goat
Most often goats and goats are allowed for meat at the age of 7-8 years. Specifically, you need to look at the yield – it is desirable to keep a table, indicating how much milk this or that animal has given. When they begin to slowly but steadily decline, it means it’s time to kill the animal. After all, the goat still consumes the same amount of feed as before, and there is less benefit from it. So, it’s time to replace it with a younger goat.
Our article has come to an end. From it you learned about how many years the goats live, as well as the reasons that increase and decrease the allotted age. But at the same time, we found out how to determine the age of a goat and when it is best to let it go for meat.