One of the first decisions about raising goats is which breed or breeds to raise. As a beginning goat producer, you need to identify specific breeds by name, appearance, and general characteristics. Note that the characteristics listed are what the breed is known for, but within each breed there is a great deal of individual variation. For instance, some individuals within a fast-growing breed will actually grow more slowly than some individuals of a slow-growing breed. Likewise, some individuals within a high milk-yielding breed will actually have lower milk yields than some individuals of a low milk-yielding breed. Therefore, it is very important to select stock by their individual merits and not simply by the breed.
The list of breeds below is not a complete list of breeds but are the major breeds found in the United States. For a more complete listing of goat breeds around the world go to: http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/goats/.
If you would like other information on genetics with goats, please visit the Goat Genetics page at: Goat Genetics