Goat Lifespan: How Long Do Goats Live?

Written by August Buck
Updated: October 21, 2022
© iStock.com/aurorat
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If you have ever been to a farm, you’ve no doubt seen a goat living its best life. But how long do goats live, and what is the life cycle like for these talkative and adorable farmyard pets? If you have ever wanted to learn more about a goat’s lifespan, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we will go over what life is like for the average goat, from birth to old age. We will also compare the life cycles of different species of goats, as well as some of the oldest goats on record! Let’s get started answering the question, “how long do goats live?”.

how long do goats live?
If you have ever been to a farm, you’ve no doubt seen a goat living its best life.

©iStock.com/VeraOsco

How Long Do Goats Live?

Goats live an average of 8-14 years, depending on breed. Diet, living conditions, and other factors also affect the lifespan of the average goat. However, many breeds and species of goat are living longer and longer lives as they are adopted into good and loving homes.

For example, the oldest goat ever reached 22 years and 5 months old! Her name was McGinty, and she lived in the Hampshire, UK. McGinty has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records and had good genes! Her granddaughter Daisy reached 19 years of age.

One of the main issues facing goats both in captivity and in the wild is their access to food and adequate nutrients. Minerals are a very important part of a goat’s diet. They will require selenium, copper, iron, and more in order to live a long life.

Female goats live longer than male goats on average, though does are more likely to experience complications when giving birth. This is why it is very important to watch over your female goats if you plan on breeding them. 

how long do goats live?
Goats live an average of 7-14 years, depending on breed.

©iStock.com/aurorat

The Average Goat Life Cycle

No matter the breed, goats go through a very similar life cycle. If you have a pet goat and properly take care of it, you should expect your goat to live at least seven years, if not longer! Here is what life is like for goats at any stage.

Newborn Goats

It takes roughly four to six months for a mother goat to give birth to a baby goat. Usually they only have one at a time, but some goats can have two babies at once. Unlike many other animal species that are completely helpless from the moment they are born, goats are different. 

Newborn goats are capable of walking and running immediately after being born. This is likely due to their instincts and natural defense mechanisms built into their genes. A baby goat and mother will be helpless in the wild if they can’t walk immediately!

Baby goats will still remain with their mother, even though they have the uses of all of their senses and limbs. They will rely on her for protection as well as nutrition and meals from her milk. 

Young Goats, or Kids

how long do goats live?
Newborn goats are capable of walking and running immediately after being born.

©iStock.com/flySnow

Young goats no longer need their mother’s milk at roughly 2 to 4 months of age. They will transition to eat grass and other plant matter, along with any other goat feed found on the farm.

 Young goats are playful, curious, and they can be a handful, much like puppies or kittens. They are not considered adults for some time, as a goat is sexually mature after a year and a half to two years of age. 

Adult Goats

Once a goats has sexually matured, it is considered an adult. This usually happens after 2 years of age, and adult goats are still just as curious as their younger selves. Adult goats usually don’t give birth to more than one offspring per year. 

While your female goats can be bred for much of her life span, it is ideal to stop breeding her once she reaches 8 to 10 years of age. She will have a better quality of life, as it will be harder and harder for her to give birth as she gets older. 

How long do goats live?
Adult goats usually don’t give birth to more than one offspring per year.

©Andrea Kraus-Wirth/Shutterstock.com

Goat Lifespans Across Different Breeds

Curious how goat life spans differ across different breeds of goats? While the average farm goat can live a decent amount of time, this may not be the case for all breeds. Let’s take a look at different varieties of goats now! 

Domesticated Goat

The average farm goat can live roughly 10 to 15 years, depending on breeding, quality of care, and overall exposure. Many domesticated goats face issues with overheating and other weather factors, given that they are often kept outside.

You can increase the life of your pet goat by feeding them a well-rounded diet, making sure they have shelter during extreme temperature fluctuations, and by adequately grooming their hooves, teeth, and fur. 

Mountain or Alpine Goat

Alpine goats can live an average of 10 years, with 12 to 15 being the maximum. These goats are well known for climbing rocks in the mountains and generally enjoying the cold. They are excellent goats for dairy production.

Pygmy Goat

How long do goats live?
American Pygmy Goat kid likes to play and rest.

©jctabb/Shutterstock.com

Another popular domesticated goat breed is the pygmy goat, and these pint-sized guys tend to live an average of 10 years. However, with proper care, they can live as long as 12 years on average. If you’ve ever seen a farm with many small goats, they are likely pygmy goats!

Angora Goat

Angora goats are well known for their wool and are often used in textile manufacturing. Depending on their level of care, most goats of this breed live an average of 10 years. They often have excellent care, as this improves the quality of their wool. 

Pygora Goat

Often considered the best of both worlds, the pygora goat is a combination of the pygmy goat and the Angora goats. Despite crossbreeding, this goat has a very long life span. It often leaves an average of 10 to 20 years, depending on the quality of care.

This goat is both compact and covered in soft and valuable wool. It is a wonderful addition to any farm or household as well. Just make sure to take care of it and tend to its grooming needs often!


The Featured Image

Best farm animals
Goats are versatile animals that can provide, milk, meat, and weed control.
© iStock.com/aurorat

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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