The REAL Life Expectancy Of Your Goat

Aside from the ever-popular adventure of bee-keeping, more and more folks are deciding to own their own herd of goats for self-sustainable milk production. The question is: How long do goats live?

How Long Do Goats Live? Goat Longevity Explaine
Goat Longevity Depends on quite a few factors.

The truth is, there are quick answers and a more general, detailed answer, as you will see as you read further down.

The Quick Answer

As a general rule, the quick answer is that the life expectancy of a goat is between fifteen to eighteen years of age. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

Some goats do live longer and some shorter. However, for a quick answer, 15-18 years is the general rule of thumb. Naturally, there are many factors that can both improve or reduce this number.

The cutest baby goat in the world.

These include factors related to stress, nutrition, and habitat. These do not include grow-lights, which only promote plant longevity.

Goats are useful for human beings both while they live and when they pass. While they live, they are useful for fiber, manure, and as a provider of milk.

When they die, they can be made into hide and meat. In some countries, goats rather than cattle are provided to impoverished groups of people.

Regardless of what the lifespan of your particular goat breed is, I know for a fact that goats are still much easier to breed and care for than cows or horses! This comes from real, first-hand experience!

Here I’ve put together everything I know from farming goats for the past couple of decades. Hope this helps you decide whether or not goat herding is for you!

How Long Do Goats Live? It Really Depends

The reason is that goat herds are cheaper and easier to manage compared to cattle. Goats can also be used for packing and driving purposes. Spoons are also made from the goat’s horns. Plus, their horns are symbolic in some cultures for well-being and abundance.

Depending on the culture and region, animal use and care do vary. This is also known as “husbandry.” Depending on whether you use your goats for meat or for milk, the housing will vary. For example, domestic goats that wandered on grazing areas or hills were generally kept in a herd.

A goatherd would tend to them to make sure none try to escape. Some goat breeds in North America and Europe are for the purpose of producing milk.

Excess breeds from the dairy farm can then be used for meat if needed. It is generally thought that older buck meat should not be consumed by human beings.

How Long Do Goats Live? The Breed Says It All


It is important to know the lifespan of a particular breed of goat if you plan on adding these to your farmstead, land, or even your yard if your community allows it. Bringing home a baby goat just because it is the most adorable animal you have ever seen in your life without realizing the level of care it needs is not the best idea, to say the least.

Your goat’s lifespan will generally depend on what breed it is. Each breed has its own lifespan norm. Unlike plants, a grow light, just won’t help your goat. A healthy doe generally can live up to twelve years. Goats bred after the age of ten may suffer from death related to pregnancy. Females that retire earlier than ten years of age will tend to live longer.

How Long Do Goats Live? The Honest Answer


Toggenburg goats are curious and friendly. They can be kept as both a dairy supplier or as a pet. The lifespan of a Togg is between eight to twelve years of age.

Saanen goats are a great breed for producing massive amounts of milk. You will need to increase protein in their diet because of this. Well-nourished Saanen goats can live up to fifteen years of age.

Pygora goats are a breed of fiber. They have been derived from breeding a combination of purebred pygmy goats and white angora goats. Pygoras can easily live up to fifteen years of age if they are in perfect health.

How Long Do Goats Live? Smaller Homesteads Mean Smaller Goats


Pygmy goats are a breed popular for smaller homesteads. These goats live up to around twelve years of age.

Oberhasli goats are a handy, small breed that makes pasture cleanup a breeze. These goats live for between eight to twelve years of age.

Nubian goats are known to be a vocal goat breed. They live up to around eighteen years of age so you might want to get yourself some noise-cancellation earplugs.

Nigerian dwarf goats can be found on smaller dairy farmsteads. This breed is superior when it comes to producing high-quality milk. Nigerians live up to around fifteen years and it is no wonder many farm owners select this dwarf breed of goat.

Fainting or Myotonic goats are not as fragile as they seem and can live up to fifteen years.

Decade-Long La-Mancha Goats

La-Mancha goats are a breed kept in dairy farms but only live up to around a decade.

Kiko goats are a large, hardy breed for meat. This breed is resistant to parasites and disease and can live up to twelve years of age.

Boer goats are also disease-resistant and have a life span of up to twelve years and even up to twenty years of age.

Angora goats live for more than a decade with good care. Some like to live into their teens, which gives you tons of mohair.

Alpine goats are weather-tolerant and hardy. These have a life expectancy of more than twelve years.

Wethers live up to sixteen years of age and usually more than their bucks. Usually, their male counterparts live up to just a decade.

How Long Do Goats Live? Hoof Trimming Boosts Longevity


Keeping your goat strong will involve hoof trimming and care. Doing this will allow your goats to walk around without hoof inflammation or pain. Your vet can do this for you, and teach you how to do it if you are up for the job.
Your goat’s lifespan has everything to do with its breeding stock. No matter what goat breed to select, having both a healthy buck and a healthy doe makes a great foundation. Remember, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Thus, compromised or weak health will produce similar offspring, to a greater or lesser degree. Remember, bad health can mean a shorter lifespan so try to keep your goats in great shape at all times.



How Long Do Goats Live? Routine Maintenance Matters


Routine maintenance including health checkups and vaccinations is necessary. If you plan to enter your goats in a show, sell their kids or breed them for milk or meat, vaccines are essential. Internal parasites can be alleviated by herbal preventatives.

For your goats to enjoy a long, healthy life, you will need to provide the appropriate requirements for care. The right amount of food and the quality is important Daily forage is required by goats, as these are ruminant animals.
You can let your goats graze among wild plants, tender branches, leaves, rough weeds, or on a pasture. Many goats prefer grazing on familiar pastures.

A Good Home For Your Goat

Housing will also affect their longevity. Goats are not able to tolerate wet seasons the way sheep and cattle do. Providing animals with shelter is generally important.
What you probably did not know is that for goats it is highly imperative. Even a run-in three-sided shelter will be more than enough if you don’t have a barn.
If your goat is a new mom, she can bond with the kids without the other herd members interrupting. Provide your goats with a shelter to help prolong their lifespan.
Being a herd animal, goats are rarely happy being alone. Many times, a solitary goat tries to find a herd or escape. It is generally preferable to own at least three goats at a time.

Quarantine Your Goats

Your herd’s immunity will be determined by how you introduce your newer goats into the herd. Often, the practice of putting your goats in quarantine is not practiced. It is best to keep a new addition to your herd separately housed for about a month.
This lets you know if there are parasite or disease issues you need to take care of. Remember, even the healthiest looking goat can carry a disease you were not aware of.



So there you have it, everything you ever wanted to know about the lifespan of your particular breed of goat.


For those of you who have decided to keep more than one type of goat breed, a good rule of thumb would be to find the healthiest among each breed and mate a male plus a female from the same breed.


The result will be a goat farm envied for miles around, for sure! Did this article help you? Don’t forget to like and subscribe. What is your own experience with keeping goats? Be sure to leave your honest opinion about goat keeping in the comments below.

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I am a homesteading enthusiast, a published writer, and director at FROMSCRATCHMAG. My experience in areas such as brand management, graphic design, and photography are valuable additions to our writing team. When I am not writing or publishing anything, I am out gardening in my small farm or cooking. I am also an herbalist, an experience I use to spread the word about sustainable living.

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