Nubian Goat


ORDER: Artiodactyla

FAMILY: Bovidae

GENUS: Capra

SPECIES: hircus

DESCRIPTION:
A large, distinctive looking goat with long, drooping ears which bend forward toward the lower jaw. The nose is Roman and the forehead prominent. The tail turns upward. The females have no beards. Both bucks and does are usually hornless. Nubians have short hair which may be almost any color, including spotted.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
The strain originated in the Nile valley.

DIET:
Goats are known for their ability to prosper on poor pasture. They are vegetarians that prefer browse to pasture. To reach high branches they stand on their hind legs.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
The normal issue is two kids after a gestation period of 21-22 weeks. Goats are sexually mature as early as 6 months old. The normal life span is 8 to 12 years.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
They are agile climbers due in part to the hair which grows between their hooves and gives them traction on smooth surfaces.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
Goats were domesticated by man before 7500 B.C. They have developed into animals that do well in areas where cows and sheep could not survive. Nubians were introduced into England in the 1860's, but did not thrive and were crossed with English stock. Anglo-Nubians retain most of their Nubian characteristics and were first imported into the U.S. in the 1900's. They are not prolific milk producers (6 and 1/2 quarts per day), but their milk is exceptionally rich (5.2% butterfat) and is used in many parts of the world in place of cow's milk. The Nubian doe is often called "the Jersey of the milk goats."

OUR ANIMALS:
We have 4 males and 1 female in the Children's Zoo.

STATUS IN WILD:
Not endangered. Maintained only in the domesticated state.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Nowak, Ronald and Paradisio, John. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World, 4th Ed, Vol. II. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  2. Animal information sheet from the San Francisco Zoo.
  3. Internet: goatweb.com; okstate.edu/breeds/goats; centralpets.com EC:8/93; CL:07;09

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