There’s nothing sweeter than a tiny, newborn baby goat trying to clamber on your back and jump up at your legs to nibble the edge of your jacket (if it can reach). However, as the goat gets older, it can grow a surprisingly vast amount, and this naturally leaves many people wondering – just how big will my goat get? Well, there are countless different factors that influence this, and while some goat breeds barely make 40 pounds at maturity, others – especially commercial breeds – can be well over two hundred pounds by the time they stop growing.
So, how big will your goat get? We’ve outlined some of the key things you need to know about when goats stop growing as follows to help you learn a little more.
When Do Goats Stop Growing – What Controls It?
There are numerous different factors that control the rate at which goats grow, but generally speaking, most goats will stop growing at around three years of age. The fastest period of growth for most goats is usually at an early age; as such, most people will find that their goats are around one-third to a half of their mature size by the time they reach a year old. However, naturally, this isn’t set in stone.
How Big do Goats Get?
It’s a common question we get here at the farm. And it’s an important question to consider if you’re thinking about getting a goat since goats come in all shapes and sizes. Some breeds of goats can grow to be quite large, while others stay fairly small. So what determined how big your goat will grow? There are a few factors to consider, including breed, diet, and gender.
As far as breed goes, there is quite a bit of variation. Some of the larger breeds include the Boer goat, Alpine goat, and Pygmy goat. On the other hand, some of the smaller breeds include the Nigerian Dwarf goat and the LaMancha goat. Of course, there will always be outliers, but in general, these are the sizes you can expect from different breeds.
Diet is another important factor to consider. If a goat is well-fed and has access to plenty of nutritious food, they will tend to be larger than goats that are not as well-fed. This is especially true for growing kids (baby goats). A healthy diet will help them reach their full potential size.
Finally, gender also plays a role in size. Males (bucks) are typically larger than females (does), although there is some overlap between the two sexes. Bucks can range anywhere from 100-200 pounds, while does usually fall somewhere between 80-140 pounds. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule!
So as you can see, there are several factors that determine how big your goat will grow. If you’re curious about the size of a particular breed or want to know how large your own goat may grow, just consider these factors and you’ll have your answer.
What Factors Influence When a Goat Reaches its Full Size?
Since many factors influence a goat’s full size, you should consider all of these carefully when trying to determine how large your goat will end up. But, of course, there’s only so much that estimates will help!
Generally speaking, the four main factors influencing a goat’s size will include the following:
- Breed: while some breeds are bred to grow small, others are bred to end up much larger
- Nutrition: even between breeds, nutrition can significantly impact whether a goat reaches its full mature size or not. For example, a goat that doesn’t receive adequate colostrum at birth may never quite recover enough to reach its full size – although this naturally depends on its later nutrition, too. It’s worth considering that factors such as stress could also impact how much a goat eats, therefore negatively impacting its nutrition accordingly
- Genetics: even between animals of the same breed, genetics can significantly impact the final size. For example, my Boer goats are typically bred to be a little smaller in terms of mature size (meaning they require less feed to maintain their condition). However, other Boers can be around 20kg (around 44lb) heavier (which may allow for larger kid birth weights).
- Body condition: A fat goat will be substantially heavier than a goat that is in poor body condition. As such, the final mature size of your goat may vary based on the condition it is in at any particular time.
Average Size of Different Goat Breeds
There are countless different goat breeds, and we’d be here all day if we tried to list all of their mature weights. It is also worth noting that different countries may have different sizes. However, some of the most common goat breeds and their average mature weights are roughly as follows.
- Boers: 180 – 300 lbs
- Kikos: 125 – 200 lbs
- Saanens: 135 – 200 lbs
- Toggenburgs: 120 – 200 lbs
- Nubians: 135 – 200 lbs
- Golden Guernseys: 120 – 180 lbs
- La Mancha: 130 – 165 lbs
- Nigerian Dwarf: 40 to 70 lbs
- Pygmy: 50 – 90 lbs
Do All Goats Grow at the Same Rate?
Not all goats grow at the same rate. As we’ve already mentioned, younger goats will typically grow faster than older goats of the same bloodline. Meanwhile, different goat breeds have very different growth rates; for example, breeds such as the Boer (which are bred to grow fast and large) will have a much faster growth rate than goats such as pygmies. Moreover, there may also be differences based on hybrid vigor – the concept that outcrossing goats will allow them to grow more quickly, along with other potential benefits.
When Should You Expect Your Goat to Reach its Full Size?
Generally speaking, when given the right nutrition throughout their life, most goats will reach their full size at around three to four years old (although you may notice that horn growth could continue for slightly longer than this in horned breeds).
It’s often hard to judge questions such as “when do goats stop growing” since countless different factors can play into this. Nutrition, genetics, and even variation between individual breeds can all influence how your goat grows. Still, most goats will stop growing at roughly three years old; however, your goat will usually grow fastest while it is still under a year old in most cases, after which point it may have reached a large amount of its mature size already.