“Don’t eat me, I’m the tiniest Billy Goat, wait for the second Billy Goat who is much bigger.”
Remember the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff that cross over the bridge and run into a troll (a fictional story, by the way). The story does not go into detail about which species of goat each bigger goat was and if you think there is a species of “Billy” goats you would be mistaken. Billy refers to the name of male goats also called bucks. But if this story were more factual and included goat breeds increasing in size, which goat would be the largest? Let’s take a look at the 10 largest goats in the world!
10. Angora Goats 180-220lbs
Angora goats are fiber goats (raised for their hair, mohair for the Angora) and can supply 12 inches of mohair a year. Mohair was originally from Turkey and used in textiles, outerwear and yarn. These goats have long white/ivory hair and look somewhat like Old English Sheepdogs. They have horns that come out from the side of their heads that twist a bit vs being straight. Male Angora goats can grow to be 180-220lbs.
9. Ibex 180-220lbs
Ibex are a kind of wild goat (vs domesticated goat) that lives in Europe, Asia and Africa. They live in the high altitudes of the mountains and are surefooted goats. Different goat species can often be differentiated by the size and shape of their horns. Ibex have large horns that come straight out from the top of their head and seem to part to the side. The male goats live together and the female goats form a separate herd. The European ibex are the middle-sized ibex averaging 180-220lbs with Siberian ibex being larger and the Nubian ibex which is smaller.
8. Alpine Goats 180-220lbs
Alpine goats are originally from the Swiss alps but are now domesticated goats raised for their milk. In the US, goat milk is used for consumption purposes (to drink), but more commonly in goat cheese. The average goat can produce 3-5 quarts of milk a day and people that have cow milk allergies are sometimes fine with goat’s milk. Alpine goats are around 180-220 lbs.
7. Savanna Goats 200-250lbs
Savanna goats are an all-white goat that has shorter horns and are domesticated goats originally from South Africa. They are now domestic goats that are bred for their meat. People use goat meat similar to beef because it has fewer calories and is lower in fat and is higher in protein and iron. These goats range in size from 200-250lbs.
6. Kalahari Goats 230-250lbs
These goats are sometimes called Kalahari red goats due to their red coloration. They have horns that come out from the top of their head but curve down close the head vs sticking up. These goats are also originally from South Africa but are now domesticated and are easy to care for due to their resistance to disease and parasites. They are bred as meat goats and can grow to be 230-250lbs.
5. Mountain Goat 180-260lbs
Mountain Goats are not domesticated goats, they are the wild goats that live in the mountains of the Northwest U.S. and large parts of British Columbia. You would recognize photos of these goats with their white coats, horns that stick straight up and the males have a white beard. They are known to be amazing climbers and can scale seemingly impossible ice-covered cliffs. Their hoofs are specially shaped to secure a strong foothold and they are also skilled jumpers, being able to jump more than 5 feet in the air. Mountain goats can weigh between 180-260lbs.
4. Markhor 170-270lbs
Markhors are considered the largest of the wild goat species weighing between 170-270lbs. Their most distinguishing feature is their large spiral horns! These are thicker, rigid horns that can grow to be 5 feet long. They are found in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, being the national animal of Pakistan. Their coloration is brown to dark brown and have long beards that cover the front half of their bodies.
3. Saanen Goats 160-290lbs
Saanen goats are known for their milk production, being able to produce 1-3 gallons/day during their peak periods. These white goats are the largest of the Switzerland goats and can reach weights of 290lbs. They are a domestic goat which has been in the US since the early 1900s.
2. Kiko Goats 250-300lbs
You wouldn’t want to call these goats short and fat because they are all muscle. Kiko goats are shorter than some of the goats on our list, with heights not more than 30”, but they pack a lot into that smaller size. They are a domestic goat from New Zealand and can weigh between 250-300lbs.
1. Boer Goats 300+lbs
Boer Goats are the largest goat breed and are recognized by their white body and redhead. They have smaller horns that come out from the top of their head but curve towards the contour of their body. These large goats are bred for meat. They have at least one thing in common with humans, the average size of their babies at birth is 8lbs, similar to human babies! However, not many humans reach the 300lb mark as adults!
The World’s Largest Goat Ever: Mostyn Moorcock
The Guinness World Record for Largest Goat goes to a goat named Mostyn Moorcock that was owned by Pat Robinson of Hereford & Worcester, UK. It wasn’t a Boer Goat but a British Saanen and was 44 inches tall at the shoulder and 66 inches long. He only lived to be 4 years old, with the normal life span being closer to 15 years, but he reached an astonishing 400lbs! This was back in 1977 and he still holds the record today!
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