Department of Education

Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics


Varietal range difference

Breeds commonly used in Australia can be divided into the following categories:

  • fibre production, including Angora and Cashmere;
  • milk production, including Anglo-Nubian, British Alpine, Toggenburg and Saanen;
  • meat production, including Condobolin and Boer-feral and Boer-Cashmere crosses;

Boer goats imported from South Africa are becoming increasingly popular for crossbreeding in Australia.

Physical characteristics

Size at the withers, dairy goats 790mm - 950mm; does 790mm - 930mm; bucks 900mm - 950mm; Angoras 500mm - 650mm (does 500mm - 550mm, bucks 600mm - 650mm)
Weight adult males 50kg - 100kg; adult females 50kg - 85kg
Age at adult size 18-24 months
Average life span 8-15 years
Weight at birth 1.5kg - 4kg
Gestation period 150 days, range 145 - 155
Number of offspring 1-3; twins are common, triplets rare; 150-180% kidding rates are not uncommon
Weaning age 3-6 months
Range of breeding ages sexual maturity is closely related to growth rate and size - average age for a buck is 6-7 months and for a doe 7-8 months; animals should not generally be bred until 15-18 months
Body temperature 39°C (+/- 0.5°C)
Heart rate 70-90 beats/minute
Respiration rate 12-30 breaths/minute
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