Capra hircus Alpine Goat

Family

  • Bovidae

Lifespan

  • 15-18 years

  • 20+ years not uncommon

Size

                Height

·         Males: 34-40 inches at the shoulder

·         Females: At least 30 inches at the shoulder

                Weight

·         Males: At least 170 pounds

·         Females: At least 135 pounds

Origin

  • Bred in the European Alps mountain range, especially France

Habitat

  • Mountainous grasslands, shrub lands, and plateaus

Diet

  • Wild: Grasses, herbs, lichens, and other plant matter

  • Zoo: Mazuri goat chow and hay

Reproduction

Females reach sexual maturity between 3 and 15 months of age depending on breed.  Females (called a doe) come into heat once every 21 days for 2-48 hours.  The female will vigorously flap her tail, stand near a male if present, and become more vocal.  Gestation lasts about 150 days (about 4 ½ months).  Twins are typically born, single and triple births being the next common.  Multiple births exceeding 3 kids have occurred, but are less common.

Special adaptationsAlpine Goat

  • Goats have horizontal slit pupils which increase their peripheral depth perception

  • Alpines have excellent balance, which aid them in climbing along their rocky native lands

  • Goats are able to climb nearly vertical cliff faces

  • Alpines are one of the hardiest and easily adaptable breeds, making them a favorite amongst goat breeders

Facts/info

  • Goats are thought to be one of the first animals domesticated by man

  • Fossil remains of goats have been carbon dated to between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago

  • Goats are one of the most common farm animals

  • The alpine breed are excellent milk-producing goats

  • Their playful nature can be seen as Bandit and Buttons, our 2 Alpine goats, chase each other around their yard and butt heads – a common form of play and dominance displayed in goats

  • The Alpine breed has no determined color and can be found in white, bay, brown, fawn, red, saffron, and caramel.

  • Males typically have a pronounced beard as well as a patch of raised hair along their neck

  • Goats are highly curious and easily trainable

  • Males and females of this breed can produce horns

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not Evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • As a breed of domestic animal, the alpine goat is not threatened in the wild

Sources

  1.  CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Alpine Goats