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Let's Go Look for a Show Goat



  Meat Goats should be evaluated on type and market desirability. Type refers to frame size, skeletal correctness, capacity and general appearance. Remember we will have does bred just like our wethers at home that need to make mommas.  Market desirability related to how much finish the goat has in relation to its weight, size and age.

 Your goat should be rectangular in appearance from the side with a straight, level top line.  (acceptable to  have a gentle slop from hocks to pins) Length of rump, length of body and length of leg are important to market desirability. The overall body should be trim.  The legs should be straight and placed square under the body.  The front forearm  and hind legs should show evidence of muscling.

  From the front, your goat should show width between the front legs, with muscling in the forearm and shoulders. The chest and forearm of a goat are the best indicators of muscling in thin goats.

  From the rear, the hindquarter should be muscular, and showing good width down its top. Thay should have a deep, heavily muscled leg and rump, with the widest part of the leg being the stifle area. They should have a broad, thick top and loin that in naturally firm and hard handing.

General Appearance:

Stature: The term stature refers to the overall skeletal size and length of the goat.  They need to have an adequate length of cannon bone from knee to pastern and above average in overall length of body and general size.  The cannon bone length is a good indication of skeletal size. The goats height measured at the withers should be slightly more than at the hips, the bones should be of good size.

Head: The head should combine the beauty of eyes, nose, ears, and overall from with strength and refinement.  It should have balance of length, width and substance that insures an ability to consume large amounts of forage with ease.

Front End:  The front end is a combination of chest and shoulder features.  The goat should have wide chest floor and prominent brisket with a smooth blending of shoulder blades and sharp withers.  This insures room for the heart and lungs to do their work with ease and also is evidence of proper muscle and ligament strength.

Front Legs:  The goats front legs should be straight, perpendicular to the ground, sound in the knees and full at the point of the elbow.  The legs should move with the front feet pointing straight ahead.

Back:  A back that is straight, strong, wide, long and level is desired in goats.  This denotes a strong body build with good muscling and is indicative of strength to carry large quantities of feed.

Rump:  The goats rump should be long, wide and level from the stifle to stifle cleaning fleshed and have a slight slope from hips to pins.  The shape of the rump is important as it affects leg set. 

Hind Legs:  The goats rear legs should be wide apart and straight when viewed from the rear, with clean hocks and a good combination of bone refinement and strength.  Observed from the side, a plumb line originating at the pin bone would fall parallel to the leg bone from hock to pastern and touch the grounds behind the heel of the foot.  The resulting angles produced at the hock and stifle joint will be most ideal for easy walking a and a minimum of joint problems. 

Feet:  Meat goats need strong pasterns and strong, well-formed feet with tight toes, deep heel and level sole.  Such feet are highly resistant to injury or infection and easy to keep trimmed.  Goat with uneven toes and extremely weak pasterns should be culled. 

Muscle:  Meat characteristics can be visually determined  by examining the animal hindquarters, loin, shoulders and neck.

Hindquarters:  A long, deeply attached muscle, relatively thick at the thigh and stifle is desirable in meat goats.  Heavier muscling on the outside of the leg is acceptable.  Muscle over the thurl  and rump should be obvious. 

Loin:  The loin eye or ribeye  is typically the best indicator of meatiness in market goats.  It should be wide with a symmetrically oval shape on each side of the backbone.  This muscle should carry forward over the ribs or rack. 

Shoulders:  The goats muscling should increase from the withers to the point of the shoulder with the thickest muscle occurring immediately above the chest floor.  The circumference of the forearm is the second most important indicator of meatiness, so the forearm muscle should exhibit a prominent bulge and should tie- in deep into the knee.

Neck:  The juncture of the neck and shoulder should be free of excess tissue.  It should gently slope to indicate muscling.  Smoothness and quality are important in this area.  A long clean neck with muscling in balance to the remainder of the animal is desired.

Condition:  The term condition refers to the amount of finish or fat the animal is carrying.  Goats deposit fat internally before they do externally.  The ideal condition is a thin, but uniform, covering over the loin, rib and shoulder.  The external fat thickness over the loin at the 13th rib should be between .08 to .12 inches  or an average .1 inch. 

Acknowledgements:   Much of the information used for this criteria was taken from Texas Agricultural Extension Service publication B-5018.



Housing - Be the Teacher

  1. Poll
  2. Forehead
  3. Muzzle
  4. Ear
  5. Dewlap
  6. Point of Shoulder
  7. Brisket
  8. Point of Elbow
  9. Knee
  10. Hoof
  11. Dewclaw
  12. Sheath


13. Flank
14. Pastern
15. Hock
16. Stifle
17. Barrel
18. Pin Bone
19. Tail
20. Hip
21. Withers
22. Loin
23. Back