Domestic Goat Kid – Capra Aegagrus Hircus
The goat is a member of the family Bovidae and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species, and have been used for their milk, meat, hair, and skins over much of the world. In 2011, there were more than 924 million live goats around the globe, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Female goats are referred to as “does” or “nannies”, intact males as “bucks”, “billies”, or “rams” and their offspring are “kids”. Castrated males are “wethers”. Goat meat from younger animals is called “kid” or cabrito (Spanish), and from older animals is simply known as “goat” or sometimes called chevon (French), or in some areas “mutton” (which more often refers to adult sheep meat).
The Modern English word goat comes from Old English gāt “she-goat, goat in general”, which in turn derives from Proto-Germanic *gaitaz (cf. Dutch/Icelandic geit, German Geiß, and Gothic gaits), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰaidos meaning “young goat” (cf. Latinhaedus “kid”), itself perhaps from a root meaning “jump” (assuming that Old Church Slavonic zajęcǐ “hare”, Sanskrit jihīte “he moves” are related). To refer to the male, Old English used bucca (giving modern buck) until ousted by hegote, hegoote in the late 12th century. Nanny goat (females) originated in the 18th century and billy goat (for males) in the 19th.
Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. The most recent genetic analysis confirms the archaeological evidence that the wild Bezoar ibex of the Zagros Mountains are the likely origin of almost all domestic goats today.
Neolithic farmers began to herd wild goats for easy access to milk and meat, primarily, as well as for their dung, which was used as fuel, and their bones, hair, and sinew for clothing, building, and tools. The earliest remnants of domesticated goats dating 10,000 years before present are found in Ganj Dareh in Iran. Goat remains have been found at archaeological sites in Jericho, Choga Mami Djeitun and Çayönü, dating the domestication of goats in Western Asia at between 8000 and 9000 years ago.
Studies of DNA evidence suggests 10,000 years BP as the domestication date.
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