Home > Livestock > Types of Goats: The 15 Best Goat Breeds for Your Farm

Types of Goats: The 15 Best Goat Breeds for Your Farm


Updated on

While there are plenty of animals you should consider adding to your farm, we would argue that there’s nothing quite like owning a goat or a herd of goats, of course.

That’s because they are very hardy, they offer you plenty of milk to go with your morning croissant and better yet, their meat is considered to be one of the most delicious in the world.

But the problem that a lot of people face off against after they decide to get themselves a goat or two is what breed they should opt for.

Best Goat Breeds for your Farm
Photo by Jorge Salvador / unsplash.com

The reason as to why this is such a conundrum for a lot of people is because there are well over 200 different goat breeds for you to pick from.

So choosing the perfect one for you is not going to be an easy job. You will need to look into the best goat breeds based on your personal preferences, budget and of course, based on their accessibility around your area.

But for today we decided to make the job a bit easier for you by taking you on a joyride through the top 15 best goat breeds you can get for your farm. So, let’s not waste anymore time and instead just hop right into our first pick of the day:

15. The Nubian Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Nubian Goat

The Nubian goat breed will forever be known as one of the best choices you could make if you are primarily looking for a good dairy producer.

On top of that though, Nubian goats are known for being very docile and easy to take care of, while also being very hardy and calm around strangers.

Their meat is also quite delicious but that’s not the main reason as to why they are so popular these days.

Instead, the main reason as to why most people go for Nubian goats is their high quality milk production.

They are capable of producing around one to one and a half gallons of sweet butterfat milk on a daily basis, which in itself makes the breed one of the most capable choices around.

Nubian goats are also known for their unique floppy ears, making them some of the goofiest and friendliest looking goats you could get your hands on.

14. The Cashmere Goat

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere is the downy undercoat that any and all goats produce. In order to get this fabric, you will need to brush the goat down as opposed to shearing it, which makes it a lot harder and more tedious to harvest.

We should mention here though that Cashmere goats are not a specific breed by any means, instead that is pretty much just a title that is given to a goat that can produce cashmere on a commercial scale.

So, if you want to get your hands on a Cashmere goat you will need to contact your local breeder and ask them for the goats that were raised specifically for their cashmere production.

Do keep in mind however that if you want to start a cashmere farm you will need to invest heavily into the goats because you will need as many as four high-quality cashmere goats to produce enough cashmere for a single sweater.

13. The Angora Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Angora Goat

Angora Goats are known for producing mohair, which in turn is used for sweaters, scarves and pretty much any other garments around.

The one thing we should mention here is that when raising an Angora goat, you will need to make sure that they are well defended against the climate because they can easily get sick if they are not protected at all times.

This is because Angora goats are known for having longer hair, which may help them against the cold, but if it snows a lot or if the cold rain hits them full force, then they will easily get hypothermia and die.

Even so, if you are looking for a good producer of mohair, you can’t go wrong with the Angora goat breed.

12. The Nigerian Dwarf Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Nigerian Dwarf Goat

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is by far one of the most universally acclaimed goat breeds your money could get you.

They are pretty much perfect for most any farms out there, as even though they are on the smaller end, being only around 2 feet tall and weighing in at 75lbs each, they still pull their weight exceptionally thanks to their high-quality milk production.

Not only that but the Nigerian Dwarf Goat also makes for one of the sweetest and most lovable breeds you could get. So, if you’re afraid that breeding bucks will be a bit too difficult for you, you can always just start off with Nigerian Dwarf goats and ease your way through the process.

They are so friendly in fact that for the most part, Nigerian Dwarf goats are even recommended as pets for young children.

11. The Damascus Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Damascus Goat

The Damascus goat, or the Aleppo, as many of the locals prefer to call it, is a native breed of Syria that has made its way around the globe thanks to its increasing popularity.

But what makes it so special? Well, it is considered to be one of the best alternative breeds to go for if you want something similar to the Nubian that is raised for both milk and meat at the same time.

The Damascus breed is known as one of the best dual-purpose breeds of the Middle East, and for good reason too.

It is one of the most productive dairy breeds around, but thanks to its relatively large size, it has alto been used a lot for meat production.

You can tell if you’re dealing with a Damascus goat if the goat has a reddish-brown coat of long hair as well as twisted horns at the top of its head.

The horns are present in both the male Damascus as well as the females, and they are also quite sought after as trophies on the market due to how beautiful they are.

10. The Beetal Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Beetal Goat
Photo by Marsmux / Wikipedia.org

Beetal Goats are especially popular around India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, but as of late it has also made its way into a lot of European and American farms too.

If you want to get your hands on a pure bred goat though you will need to pay an extra buck or two, simply because there are very few ways to actually export it properly from Punjab.

The breed standard is as follows, with the goats having a short and lustrous coat and a rather convex face.

The ears are also worth noting here as the Beetal goat has a very unique pair of long, droopy ears that curl up more and more the lower they fall.

But regardless of its unique look, what really matters here is the fact that the Beetal goat is one of the best sources of meat and milk your money could get you.

So, if you do happen to like the look of the Beetal goat and you happen to find a true bred goat around you, you might as well get it.

9. The Saanen Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Saanen Goat

Interestingly enough, depending on where you’re coming from, you may already know all about the Saanen goat and why it’s so great. But at the same time, you may know nothing about the breed.

This is because in the places where it is popular, most everybody knows that the Saanen goat breed is one of the best breeds in the world for milk.

They are literally hailed as the best goats you could get, but the problem is that not every breeder out there has a Saanen goat in the first place.

This is because the goat is native to Switzerland, and sadly it doesn’t get anywhere near as much exposure as it should probably get. But don’t mistake that for low quality because the Saanen goat is anything but subpar.

8. The Black Bengal Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Black Bengal Goat

The Bengal goat is known as one of the smallest goat breeds out there that can still provide you with a lot of high-quality milk as well as meat.

It is one of the most popular goat breeds in Bangladesh and Northeastern India and it is known for having a very unique black coat that is made up of short hair.

The coat may sometimes be brown, white and gray, depending on the variety you go for, but by far the most popular coat color will always be black.

It is a bearded breed that is known for weighing in at around 40 to 44lbs, but do keep in mind that that’s only for the bucks. The does will only weigh in at 35 to 40lbs at max.

While they are nowhere near as heavy as a lot of the other breeds out there, the quality of the product as well as the kidding capacity more than make up for the loss in quantity.

7. The Tennessee Woodenleg Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Tennessee Woodenleg Goat

Also commonly referred to as the Stiff-Leg goats, these are the famous animals that you always see in YouTube videos completely shutting down as soon as you jumpscare them.

This is known as myotonia, a neuromuscular condition which causes the relaxation of the muscle to be impaired, essentially forcing the muscle to be completely stiff.

This is why you will often times see videos of people scaring their goats and them turning completely catatonic.

The reason behind this is quite sad, but it is believed that they were genetically impaired in order to make it so that the other goats could make it out alive as they offer themselves as bait to the predators.

Regardless, the Tennessee Woodenleg is one of the very few breeds that was actually produced in the US. It was originally used for meat, although a lot of people also use it for its milk production.

There has also been an influx of people using the breed as pets, mostly because of how friendly they are and how easy they are to train.

They are medium-sized goats that carry a short to medium-sized coat over their bodies. They are known for being exceptional mothers, being capable of giving birth as many as three different times in a two-year span.

6. The Savanna Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Savanna Goat
Photo by Zimbabwe Young Farmer’s Network / Wikipedia.org

Also commonly referred to as the white Boer, this breed was first developed in South Africa and it almost immediately caught on thanks to its beautiful white colored coat.

While its coat alone will fetch you a nice price on the market though, it isn’t the only financial reason as to why you should invest in a Savanna goat.

In fact, you should know that the Savanna breed is known as one of the big three most popular meat breeds in Africa and most of the world, with the other notable breeds being the Boer and the Kalahari goats.

The Savanna breed is known for its unique look, as it has short white hair as well as black skin, horns and a very full udder.

They reach the peak of cuteness during winter though as that’s when they develop an extra layer of fluffiness to counter the cold.

They are medium-sized goats that will get you a lot of money in a short period of time, as they mature quite quickly and their meat is very sought-after these days.

5. The Pygmy Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Pygmy Goat

This is one of the best dual-purpose breeds your money could get you. While it is more capable of being a dairy producer, mostly due to its small stature, it can still provide you with more than enough meat too.

When it comes to its milk production though, it is capable of matching the likes of the Nubian goat breed, although the taste will definitely differ between the two.

That’s because the milk of the Pygmy goat has a total of 4.5% to 11% butterfat, which in itself makes it perfect for butter and cheese but less preferred for daily consumption.

Even though it’s nowhere near the largest breed out there, it still makes for a great meat goat that you can have around your farm.

4. The Alpine Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Alpine Goat

The Alpine breed is one of the most productive goat breeds for homesteaders out there. They are especially hardy creatures that can withstand most climates, especially cold ones since they originate from Switzerland.

They are great for milk production, being capable of producing as much milk as the Saanen goat breed which is no simple feat. The milk is known for having a higher butterfat content though so keep that in mind.

They are especially docile creatures that can produce around 1 to 2 gallons of milk per day, but do keep in mind that they are not the best when it comes to meat production.

3. The Kiko Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Kiko Goat

The Kiko breed is by far one of the most popular goat breeds to have ever sprung out of New Zealand. Kiko Goats are also known for being some of the best mothers around and their kids are famous for maturing very quickly.

While they are nowhere near as heavy as some of the other meat options on this list, the quality of the product more than makes up for it.

Kiko Goats also don’t need all that many supplements to go around too, which makes them perfect for those looking for a friendly and easy to raise goat.

2. The Kalahari Red Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Kalahari Red Goat

Interestingly enough, it is believed that the main reason as to why the Kalahari Red goat was produced in the first place is to be a direct contender for the Boer goats on the market.

It was specifically designed to be a tougher and more robust version of the Boer goats, and, while we can’t say whether they achieved their goals or not, we can still safely say that they produced one of the best goat breeds in the world.

The Kalahari goats are known for having a red colored coat as well as pigments all across their bodies. The heavy coat as well as the long ears make them very cold-resistant so if you live in a colder climate you should invest in a Kalahari Red goat.

They can give birth every eight months or so too, making them proficient mothers and they are very good at it too. Their large bodies as well as their high-quality meat makes them some of the best meat goats you could possibly get.

1. The Boer Goat

The 15 Best Goat Breeds – Boer Goat

Taking up our number one spot we have the Boer goats, and honestly is anyone even surprised at this point?

The Boer breed is commonly referred to as the best goat breed for meat around. While other breeds such as the Kalahari Red Goat do try to rival it, they hold no candle to the original Boer Goat.

That’s because the quality of the meat alone is above anything else you will ever taste. This does raise the price up by quite a lot, but it isn’t for no reason either as the Boer goat is more than worthy enough of every cent.


Types of Goats
Photo by Chris Robert / unsplash.com

So, that’s about it for the best goat breeds you could add to your farmhouse.

While there are definitely more than a handful of other breeds you could get, we personally believe that these are the best options you have on the market.

Avatar photo
About Leah Shelton

Involved in the “green” arena for over 20 years, Leah has worn many hats due to her diverse experience and knowledge in the field. In addition to writing for Agronomag, she’s also a sustainability consultant with a unique perspective on eco-friendly farming practices. Learn more about Agronomag's Editorial Process.

Leave a Comment