Goats are delightful, versatile animals raised for their milk, meat, and fibre. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is home to different breeds. Although each breed is distinctive, all are friendly and curious.
This small goat originated in Angora (now Ankara), Turkey. The Angora has long, white, curly hair. They are sheared like sheep to obtain mohair. The fleece can weigh as much as 10 kilograms (22 pounds). Angora goats have horns and floppy ears and are very hardy.
Boer goats have a white body with a brown head and long, floppy ears. The breed is fairly new to Canada, as Boer goats were not bred here until the early 1990s. Their ancestors were originally from South Africa, where they were bred for their meat. Boer goats are excellent meat producers. In fact, they are the most popular goat meat breed in the world.
This is the most popular goat breed in North America. Nubians can be any colour or colour pattern, but you’ll recognize them by their long, drooping ears and Roman noses. They descend from the Anglo-Nubian, a cross between native English goats and lop-eared African and Indian breeds. The first three Nubians arrived in North America in 1909. Like the Jersey cow, the Nubian goat produces less milk than the average goat of another breed, but its milk has a higher average butterfat content.
The Toggenburg herd book was established in Switzerland in the 1600s. It is the oldest registered breed of any animal in the world. Toggenburgs were the first imported purebred goats to arrive in North America. They’ve remained popular since their arrival in 1893. Toggs, as they're sometimes affectionately called, are always some shade of brown with a white or light stripe down each side of the face. They also have white on their rumps on either side of the tail and on the insides of the legs. They are raised for their milk.