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Hi I'm Leslie

I'm a full-time farmer in Western Wisconsin where I raise meat goats and sheep on pasture using regenerative and rotational grazing practices.

I created this website because
I had so many people reaching out, both locally and beyond, wanting to know more about how I was raising and marketing goats.

I also recognized that it IS so hard to find information in this space. I wanted to share what I've learned along the way and reduce your time searching the depths of the internet.

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Goat Terminology

If you’re just getting started with raising goats, it’s important to have a basic understanding of goat terminology.

In this blog post, we’ll cover some key terms that you should know, including the scientific name for goats and terminology related to breeding, genders, and age.

The scientific name for goat

The scientific name for the domesticated goat is Capra aegargus hircus. 

The taxonomic classification of the goat is as follows:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mamalia
  • Order: Bovidae
  • Genus: Capra
  • Species: Aegagrus
  • Species: Hircus

Reference: Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations (2015).


A group of goats

  • A group of goats is called a herd.
  • Due to the nature of goats being prey animals, they are meant to live in herds. Within the group of goats, the herd, there will be a hierarchy amongst the goats.

Breeding goats

Breeding goats are livestock that stay on a farm or ranch longterm and are used for the purpose of breeding to produce more goats. Typically, a farm will have many female breeding goats compared to just a few male breeding goats


Female goats

  • A female goat is called a doe. 
  • A nanny goat is a slang term for a female goat. However, the preferred terminology for a female goat is a doe.
  • A young female goat is called a doeling goat. 
  • Goat dam is the term used to describe the female goat parent when referencing the genetic lineage of a goat.

Male goats

  • An intact male goat is called a buck
  • A Billie or billy goat is a slang term for an intact male goat. However, the preferred terminology for a male goat is a buck.
  • A young male goat that is castrated is called a buckling goat.
  • Goat sire is the term used to describe the male goat parent when referencing the genetic lineage of a goat.
  • A wether goat is a castrated, or neutered, male goat. It can sometimes be called a wethered goat.

Young goats

  • Young goats are known as yearling goats. They are one to two years of age typically.
  • Doelings are young female goats up to a year of age.
  • Bucklings are young male intact goats up to a year of age.

Baby goats

  • Baby goats are called kids. This term is used when they are under a year of age.
  • Often gender may be associated with baby goats, using the terms buckling for male baby goats and doeling for female baby goats.

Market goats

Market goats are those selected and raised for the purpose of selling as a meat animals. Typically they are under a year of age and can be wethers, males or females. 


Common FAQs about goat terminology

What is the name of a female goat?

A female goat is called a doe if it is an adult. A young female goat under a year of age is called a doeling.

What is a doeling goat?

A doeling goat is a baby goat that is a female.

What is a wether goat?

The definition of a wether goat is a castrated male goat. These goats cannot breed female goats.

What is a male goat called?

A male goat is called a buck.

Is a goat a ram?

No, a goat is not a ram. A ram is the term for an adult male sheep.

What is a Billy goat?

A billy goat is the slang term for an adult male goat.

What is a buckling goat?

A buckling goat is a male, intact baby goat.

What are baby goats called?

Baby goats are called kids. Male baby goats are called bucklings, while female baby goats are called doelings.

What are a group of goats called?

A group of goats is called a herd.

What is a mature female goat called?

A mature female goat is called a doe

What is a young male goat called?

A young male goat is called a buckling if it is under a year of age and intact. If it is castrated is is called a wether goat.

What is a neutered goat called?

A neutered goat is called a wether or a wethered goat.

Do female goats have horns?

Yes, female goats have horns.

Do female goats have beards?

Yes, while not all female goats have beards, it is very common for them to have beards.

What is a dam raised goat?

A dam raised goat is a young animal that is raised by its mother instead of being bottle-fed and raised separately from its mother. 

What is a goat dam?

A goat dam is the female parent of a specific goat.

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