When is a Goat No Longer a Kid?

Have you ever wondered when a goat kid “ages up”? In many cases, understanding the goat’s growing process is relatively straightforward – and luckily, this is where our experts can help. After all, learning when a goat is no longer a kid can be difficult; there are a lot of conflicting thoughts out there!

For example, many people assume that a goat is only a kid while it’s small or still drinking milk. Other people assume that goats are kids until they are fully grown, and then some people assume that goat kids age up once they reach a year old or so. But what’s the right answer? While this isn’t an exact art, the answer might lie in your goats’ teeth instead.

When is a Goat No Longer a Kid?

When is a goat no longer a kid? The general consensus in most cases is that a goat kid will age up to a goatling at around a year of age. There are numerous different words and terms for this period in a goat’s life, be it doeling, buckling, goatling, or yearling. However, it is worth keeping in mind that this 12-month mark is generally the cut off for a goat to no longer be called a kid. In effect, at a year old, most goats will usually become much more mature; many breeders will consider beginning to breed their goat this year, and some well-grown goats may already have kids by now!

Of course, we should point out here that a goat’s age differs significantly from our own aging process; for example, while we tend to consider the “childhood” phase to be up to twelve years old (when the child becomes a teenager and likely enters puberty), this isn’t the case for goats. In fact, by the time a human child enters the next stage of their life, your goat is probably reaching the latter years of its life.

What Milestones Will my Goat Experience At The Kid Age? 

There are several milestones your goat will reach as it ages and becomes more mature. For example, at the age of around three to four months, most well-grown goat kids will hit puberty and may begin to express breeding behaviors.

Usually, this should be harmless, but it’s not impossible for a young male goat kid to impregnate his sisters, mother, or pen mates. Along the same line of thought, a very young doe kid can absolutely get pregnant once she hits puberty, even if rarely).

So, once you begin noticing that your goat kids are showing signs of puberty, keep them separate. It’s not worth the risk!

In addition to this, you will likely notice that your goat kid starts to look much more mature as it ages. A young goat kid will often be quite “clean cut” with small horns and a very sweet, innocent face. We all know the look! However, as your goat ages and begins to approach that 12-month mark, it may grow a beard, and its horns will probably get longer. This is a good sign your goat is growing out of the kid age and is beginning to mature.

How a Goat’s Teeth Show its Age 

Did you know that there’s another simple way to determine when a goat is no longer a kid by its teeth? Similarly to us, goat kids have milk (baby) teeth that they will lose as they age. So, if you notice that your goat is looking gappy, it may have lost one of its baby teeth!

This is actually an incredibly handful process for goatkeepers since the process of losing baby teeth in goats happens (relatively) on clockwork. Of course, you can’t judge this to the day exactly. However, goat kids tend to lose their teeth at a relatively consistent rate.

A goat’s milk teeth will usually persist for around the first twelve months of life. After twelve months, you may notice that your goat kid loses the two foremost teeth in its jaw, which adult teeth will then replace. This is why many people believe a goat kid to last until 12 months of age.

After this stage, your goat’s teeth will continue to mature. The next two teeth will likely be replaced around two years of age (on either side of the current adult teeth). Then, by three years of age, your goat will likely have six adult teeth, and they will then have just two small baby teeth left.

Interestingly, most goats will stop growing around three to four years of age, which is when most people consider them to be adults. However, they usually won’t get all of their adult teeth until about four years of age. After this point, you may notice that your goats’ teeth begin to wear down each year.

By the time your goat is around seven or eight years old, they may be considered “broken-mouthed.” This means that their teeth are becoming loose in the gums and worn away. A dry, rough diet may speed up this process.

What Happens When My Goat Kid Loses a Tooth? 

If your goat kid loses a tooth, it’s not normally a big deal. However, they may be a little “gappy” until the adult tooth grows, so it’s important to keep a close eye to ensure that they are still getting plenty to eat.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to understand questions such as “when is a goat no longer a kid” since there’s a lot of highly variable advice out there. Of course, in the grand scheme, this doesn’t matter all that much; if you consider a goat to be a kid until it starts going through puberty, for example, it won’t make much difference. However, it’s worth keeping today’s definitions in mind when selling goats or discussing healthcare procedures with your vet (for example) to ensure that there’s no confusion over your goat’s age.

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