Pulse - February 2021 - 16
" Here's Looking at You, Kid, "
and All the Other Goat Terms
Christopher A. Lee, DVM, MPH, DACVPM
n the late Middle Ages, with the absence of Netflix
or Disney+, what do you do in the evening? One
option included dazzling your comrades with your
knowledge of collective nouns. According to the Terms
of Venery, label a group of goats a flock or herd. However,
the lesser-used term " trip " exists. Internet searches can
yield some fun examples like an escargatoire of snails or a
kindle of kittens. Learning a few of these could help you
stand out when speaking among a shrewdness of apes.
This time in history also led to different terms based on age
and gender. Like man, woman, girl, boy, and infant, similar names
exist for our goat friends. You begin your life as a kid, or baby
goat, regardless of gender. If you want to distinguish between
male and female goats under a year of age, you use the terms
bucklings and doelings. Once they reach adulthood, like rabbits
and deer, we call them bucks and does. If between one and two
years of age, we term any goat a " yearling. " When you castrate
a buck, you remove not only their testicles, but also their name
and call them a " wether. " Honestly, within the realm of livestock,
this terminology is about as easy as it gets! The terminology for
swine, chicken, and asses becomes complicated.
There are other terms that you should know when venturing into the world of goats. When you and I are kidding around,
we're making jokes. When goats are kidding, they are delivering
babies. You might say, " My goat is close to kidding, " or " This will
be Zoey's first kidding. " Sometimes kidding results in a polled goat,
that is, a goat born who will never grow horns. Of course, most
goats will develop horns, meaning that you will most likely have
to disbud, or remove, their horns. Occasionally, after you have disbudded a goat, small pieces of the horns, or scurs, grow back. Since
this process isn't fun for anyone, you may think of breeding two
polled goats, in the hopes of making more polled goats. Unfortunately, this situation increases the risk of kidding hermaphrodites
and goats with male and female reproductive organs. Being sterile,
unable to reproduce, you do not want these goats.
While you and I may get stuck in a rut, bucks get " in rut. "
Neither is something you want to experience. When men want
to attract women, they may brag, show off, or find other ways to
make fools of themselves, but at least they don't self-enurinate. A
buck in rut will urinate on their own head, beard, face, and front
legs to make themselves more attractive to does. Ooh-la-la.
Non-pregnant does are termed " open. " When in " standing heat, "
the open does' hormones make them crazy enough for them to
stand still for the stinky, urine-soaked buck to breed with them.
Once pregnant, the doe is considered " settled. " Her duration of
pregnancy, or gestation, typically lasts 150 days. After this, kidding
occurs, and the cycle of life continues round.
While cows and horses
graze, goats portray a different feeding behavior, called
browsing. They prefer the
leaves from high-growing plants, like shrubs and
Thus, if you are in a rut
or just settled in, and browsing with kids, make sure if
you are talking to people
in or out of the goat world,
because the response you get might be vastly different. Congratulations, we have covered twenty standard goat terms and have listed
their definitions below for convenience.
Alphabetical List of Terms with Definitions
Browsing - (n.) herbivore feeding behavior preferring leaves or
soft shoots from high plants, such as bushes, shrubs, or trees.
Buck - (n.) an adult male goat
Buckling - (n.) a male goat under a year of age
Disbud - (v.) to remove horns
Doe - (n.) an adult, female goat
Doeling - (n.) a female goat under a year of age
Enurinate - (v.) to urinate intentionally on themselves,
done when in rut.
Gestation - (n.) the time between conception and birth,
Hermaphrodite - (n.) having male and female reproductive
Kid - (n.) any young goat under a year.
Kidding - (n.) the act of giving birth to a goat.
Open - (adj.) a female goat who is not pregnant.
Polled Goat - a goat naturally born without horns.
Rut - (n.) Mating season when a hormonal surge in bucks
occurs, and is ready to breed.
Scurs - (n.) horn remnants that regrow when disbudding
hasn't been complete.
Settled - (adj.) the state of a female goat being pregnant.
Standing heat - (n.) the estrus period when the female is
hormonally receptive to breeding.
Sterile - (adj.) being unable to reproduce.
Wether - (n.) a male castrated goat.
Yearling - (n.) any goat between 1-2 years of age. P
References, supplemental reading, and
podcasts available at www.MyVetZone.com
or search " vetzone " on Spotify.
Pulse - February 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - February 2021
Pulse - February 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Cover Feature Story
21 to watch in 2021
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - February 2021 - Pulse - February 2021
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - February 2021 - 1
Pulse - February 2021 - 2
Pulse - February 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - February 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - February 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - February 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - February 2021 - Pulsepoints
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Pulse - February 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover Feature Story
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Pulse - February 2021 - 21 to watch in 2021
Pulse - February 2021 - 15
Pulse - February 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - February 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - February 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - February 2021 - Angel Fund
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Pulse - February 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - February 2021 - The RVT
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Pulse - February 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
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Pulse - February 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - February 2021 - Resources
Pulse - February 2021 - Disease Table
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Pulse - February 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
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