“Stubborn old goat!”
Have you ever heard that phrase? In my experience, goats can be pretty stubborn, but they can also be really useful too.
Now, you may remember, we gave you an article a few years back on some of the best milk and meat breeds of goats.
Well, I wanted to bring you an updated and detailed list of some of the best and most interesting goat breeds and their uses.
Hopefully, this will give you great insight as to what goats are and can be used for. Then maybe you’ll feel the need to add a “stubborn old goat” or two to your homestead.
Here is the list of goat breeds that you really need to know about:
Goat Breeds to Meet Your Needs:
Nubians are probably the top breed for goat’s milk. They produce plenty of it, and it is sweet and creamy too.
So if you like the idea of having a goat for milk, then you’ll want to consider this breed. Not to mention, there are so many things you can do with goat’s milk.
This is another breed of goat that produces quality milk. Their milk fat content is around 3-4%, and they produce high amounts of milk too.
But this breed prefers cooler climates with less sunlight. So if you choose to go with a Saanen, then you’ll need to make sure that they have plenty of shade.
The Alpine goats originated in the Alps, hence their name. Eventually, some of the best qualities in this breed of goat were contained in certain genetics, then shipped from France to the United States. Now we can all enjoy Alpine goats.
So this goat is a great milk breed of goat not only for the amount and quality of milk they produce, but also because of their build. Their udders and teats are uniformly placed on their bodies which makes milking a much easier task.
This breed of goat originated in Switzerland. It is now one of the top breeds of dairy goats in the United States.
But this breed not only produces a great supply of milk, they are actually known for their friendly demeanor. So you would certainly want the does for milk, but the bucks are great animals to have in your herd too because they will protect them while still being friendly and easier to handle.
When you see a LaMancha you’ll know it. They have ears that are often referred to as “gopher ears.” Obviously, they stand out when compared to other goat breeds.
But this breed is a great producer of milk. They are also known for being able to still produce even when conditions are hard. So this is definitely a sturdier breed of goat.
6. Golden Guernsey
These goats are an interesting breed. You actually cannot import them into the US because of certain laws in place. Yet, if you live outside of the US, then this could still be a great dairy breed choice.
But in the US, some breeders will find a quality milk goat and import the semen of a Golden Guernsey to try to create a similar “type” of a breed.
The Toggenburg breed of goat originated in Switzerland. It is smaller than most other breeds that originated in the Alps.
Though they are sturdier animals, they prefer colder temperatures and actually perform better in them. So if you live in a colder part of the world, then you might like this breed.
This breed is a mystery. No one really knows where they got their start, but they look a lot like other mountain breeds of goats from Switzerland.
However, they stick out because of their color patterns. They are usually black and white only. Like other breeds from Switzerland, they produce a good amount of milk.
This is a great breed of goat. They have many uses, which is why you will see them more than once on this list.
But they also have great demeanors as well. They are easier to handle, sturdy animals that have the ability to adapt to most climates.
These goats are very prominent in Punjab, Pakistan. People raise them because they have so many uses. They produce a lot of quality milk and can obviously handle warmer climates.
But they also are great to make leather out of as well. So if you would like to have a goat that you could make material such as fabric from, then this goat breed is for you.
This is another goat that is very prominent in Pakistan. It is hard to find one that is of the original breed, but when you do they come with a high price tag.
But you’ll know this breed when you see it because it has long, floppy ears. Plus, it is known for producing a lot of milk.
The full name for this goat is the Valais Black Neck goat. You’ll realize it is because their bodies are literally divided in half with color.
So the upper portion of their body (including the neck) is a gorgeous solid black. Then the rest of them is white. It truly is a gorgeous breed.
One of my goats is a Boer goat, which directly translated is ‘Farmer goat’. She is gorgeous and so sweet. Obviously, I am very fond of this breed because of the demeanor I have experienced first hand.
But this goat is also very bulky and thick. This is what makes them a quality meat goat. There is obviously plenty of meat provided per goat.
This breed of goat has a name that actually means flesh. It originated in New Zealand when a local bred a cross-breed goat with a local wild goat.
Then they were able to produce a goat that would give lots of meat and be a sturdy breed without requiring a lot of hands-on care from the owner.
3. Fainting Goat
A fainting goat is not one a lot of people would think of as a meat breed, but it is. These little goats are very funny.
So you probably guessed from the name that when this type of goat feels startled, they will actually grow very stiff and fall over for a few seconds. It doesn’t harm them. It is just funny to watch. Which means you’d have entertainment along with a quality meat goat.
Spanish goats were once the go-to meat goat until Boer goats came on the scene. Though you can still raise them for quality meat, they have a different purpose now.
So not only do these goats provide meat, but they are mainly used now to clear out brush. You could have a two for one deal if you choose this breed.
Nubians are mainly recognized as a dairy goat. Yet, they are larger animals that could also produce a lot of quality meat for you too.
So if you’d like to have one breed of goat but use it multiple ways, then a Nubian could be your opportunity to do just that.
Verata is another breed of goat that you could raise one type of goat and have multiple uses for it. They are a heartier breed that can adapt to many climates.
But they are also known for having a sweet or docile demeanor. This makes raising them a little easier than other breeds.
7. Black Bengal
Black Bengal goats are absolutely gorgeous. They are usually a solid black color with adorable floppy ears. They aren’t as common on the Western side of the world.
But you can locate them around India. However, don’t let the name fool you. Though they are usually this dark, silky black color, you can find them where they are a solid white or gray color too.
This is a goat breed that is usually located in Arabia. They are a stockier breed which makes them great for a quality meat breed.
But what makes this breed so great is that though they are similar to the Syrian Mountain goat, they are actually a dwarf breed which makes them easier for some people to raise.
This is another breed that has already been mentioned in the milk section of this article. This breed is usually found in Pakistan.
Though they are a great milk breed, they are also raised for quality meat too. So if you could locate a breeder for this type of goat, then you could have another dual-purpose breed on your hands.
This breed was also mentioned in the milk section. It is known for its black neck since its body literally looks like it is divided in half by color.
Though this breed produces quality milk, it is a larger goat that also could provide a lot of meat as well.
This is an interesting yet really gorgeous breed of goat. It is mostly found in Pakistan and India. It is a smaller and more compact breed.
But it, too, is a dual purpose breed that produces a lot of milk and a good quality meat too. Again, if you can locate a breeder if you live outside of this area, then it might be a good breed of goat for you.
This breed of goat is absolutely adorable. It looks like a giant stuffed animal. It is actually named for where it originated which is a place in Turkey.
But they produce a quality fiber that many people like to make clothing and other items from. So if you would like to produce your own yarn, then this could be a great breed for that.
This breed of goat is another one that is too cute for words. It too looks like a life-sized version of a stuffed animal.
However, this breed is smaller than the Angora breed because it is a cross between an Angora and a Pygmy goat.
This is actually a broad spectrum for goats. Any goat that produces cashmere wool is considered a cashmere goat.
So you obviously would have to do some research, but if you are someone that loves cashmere, then know you can actually raise it yourself.
This breed of goat is one that is smaller, adorable, and dual purpose. You can tell by looking at it, you can use its fur for fiber.
But it is a cross breed between a Mohair goat and a Nigerian dwarf. This means you can also milk this goat too.
1. Nigerian Dwarf
I raise Nigerian Dwarf goats myself, and I absolutely love them. They have a friendly demeanor, most of the time.
Plus, they don’t require a ton of space, and they produce quality milk too. So if you need a smaller dairy goat, then this could be it.
Pygmy goats are another miniature breed. I raise those too. They are technically considered a meat breed of goat because of their stocky build.
But they also make wonderful pets too. They are compact and don’t require as much space either.
Lots of times people will take miniature breeds and cross them. This makes sweet, cute, compact goats that can be a dual purpose animal.
So if you don’t have a lot of room, then you might want to consider a mini-cross. Just know that these goats usually can’t be shown or be registered because they are a mix.
This goat is a cross between a pygmy and a Nubian. Therefore, this makes it a miniature dairy goat that could potentially provide meat too.
So if you are someone that needs a compact dual purpose breed, then you’ll want to check into this type of goat for sure.
Well, you now have over 30 different breeds of goats that can be used for many different purposes.