I have been intrigued by goats ever since I set my eyes on Chagall’s paintings. Something about their bleating call, beady eyes, and curious nature makes them endearing. And their long faces topped with horns give them an almost sage quality. There are a number of breeds of goats that can be found all over the world, but what are the largest breeds of goats?
The largest breeds of goats weigh between 160 to over 300 pounds. Boer, Angora, Anglo Nubian, Kiko, Markhor, Jamunapuri, and Savanna goats are among the largest breeds of goats in the world. Each breed has its unique characteristics, color, size, and shape.
Goats have been raised for their milk, fur, and meat for hundreds of years. The colors of their coats, ears, and horns are what tell the different breeds apart.
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Eight Largest Breeds Of Goats
Goats weighing upward of 160 pounds are considered to be large breeds. They are raised to breed, for their meat, milk, or leather. Some people even keep these large goats as pets.
Most Boer goats have white bodies and either red or brown heads, although some are entirely white or brown. Their coats are short and glossy, and they have soft, drooping ears and small horns that curve back behind their head.
Boer goats were developed in South Africa and do well in warm climates. They can easily survive harsh conditions and are adaptable animals. In 1993, they were imported to the United States from Australia and New Zealand.
Boer goats grow very quickly. For this reason, they are bred for meat and milk.
Average weight – does weigh between 190 to 220 pounds, while bucks can weigh between 200 to 340 pounds.
Originally from New Zealand, Kiko goats are shorter than other goats that make the large breed of goats list. They are a strong, adaptable breed and can withstand harsher conditions.
Kiko goats have muscular bodies that are usually covered with white coats but are also found in other colors. Their coats are short to medium in length. They have ears that stand up erect on their heads. Their most distinctive feature is their horns which sweep backward.
Although they are considered domestic goats and make good pets, they are also raised for milk as well as meat because they grow quickly.
Average weight – does weigh between 100 to 160 pounds, while bucks weigh between 250 – 300 pounds.
Although originally from the Saanen Valley in Switzerland, Saanen goats have been in the United States since the early 1900s.
Sannen goats have erect ears and long horns. They have fine, and short-haired coats are either off-white or white.
They are happiest in cooler climates.
They are raised for their milk. They can produce one to three gallons of milk per day during their peak periods.
Average weight – does weigh on average 160 pounds, while bucks can weigh up to 290 pounds.
Kalahari Red Goats
Originally from South Africa, Kalahari Red coats, which are short and glossy, are brown and have a red tinge to them, hence the name Kalahari Red. They have long, floppy ears and their long horns curve down and behind their heads. Unlike most other breeds of goats, Kalahari Reds have loose folds of skin around their necks.
Kalahari Red goats grow quickly and are bred for their meat. They are considered to be low-maintenance animals because they are not easily susceptible to parasites and diseases.
Average weight – does weigh between 145 to 165 pounds, while bucks weigh between 230 to 250 pounds.
Another breed of goat from South Africa is the Savanna goat. It is believed that during the 1950s, these goats were left to run wild. Only the strongest survived; they had to face harsh climates and predators.
They are hardy animals with dark skins and white coats.
They are low maintenance and do best in a warm climate. They are raised for the milk that they produce.
Average weight – does weigh between 120 to 195 pounds, while bucks weigh between 200 to 250 pounds.
The national animal of Pakistan, Markhors, are wild goats that can also be found in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
They have thick coats that are brown or dark brown. Their most distinguishing feature is their thick, long horns that spiral upwards. They also have long beards that hang from their chins.
Average weight – does weigh about 170 pounds, while bucks weigh up to 270 pounds.
Originating from the French Alps, Alpine goats are agile and can easily navigate rugged terrain. They are adaptable and can now be found all over the world. They were first imported to the United States in the early 1920s.
They have medium to short coats in various colors.
Alpine goats are known to produce the best milk out of all other goat breeds.
Average weight – does weigh between 135 to 155 pounds, while bucks weigh between 175 to 220 pounds.
Rove goats were first bred in the south of France.
They have smooth, short-haired coats that are usually reddish-brown or black but can also be grey or white. Many Rove goats have markings under the eyes or nose. They have long ears that are typically lighter than their coats. Their horns are long, thick, and lyre-shaped.
Rove goats were initially bred for their meat. Nowadays, they are bred for milk. They are also kept to help with foliage control.
Average weight – does weigh about 130 pounds, while bucks weigh about 200 pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Largest Breed Of Goats?
With does weighing up to 220 pounds and bucks weighing up to 300 pounds, Boer goats, developed in South Africa, are the largest breed of goats.
Are There Giant Goats?
Boer goats are bigger and heavier than all other types of goats by 40 pounds. For this reason, they can be considered giant goats.
What Are The Tallest Goats?
Averaging between 81 and 94cm in height, Anglo-Nubian goats are the tallest of all goat breeds.
There is a variety of large breeds of goats. Their coat coloring, ears, and horns distinguish them from each other.
Most are adaptable, can survive in harsh climates, and are low maintenance. They are mainly bred for their meat and milk.