Goat

There's a New Kid at Stone Zoo

Markhor kid 3; credit Dayle Sullivan-TaylorVisitors to Stone Zoo will notice a new furry face with the recent birth of a Markhor, an endangered Mountain Goat species.

The female kid, born on May 30, was walking within a half hour of birth and was observed nursing within 45 minutes of birth.  She made her public debut on June 6 and has already been demonstrating the incredible agility that is a hallmark of this species.

Markhor kid 2; credit Dayle Sullivan-Taylor
Markhor kid; credit Dayle Sullivan-TaylorPhoto Credit:  Dayle Sullivan-Taylor

“The experienced mother is very attentive and is doing everything she should be doing. These animals are skilled climbers suited to rough, rocky terrain, and it’s amazing to observe the agility in the kid at such a young age,” said Pete Costello, Assistant Curator of Stone Zoo.

Zoo New England participates in the Markhor Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This birth is the result of a recommended breeding.

Markhors are native to the Himalayan Mountains. Their range includes northern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and they typically live around or above the tree line. The largest of the wild Goat species, Markhor have broad hooves and striking spiral horns that can grow to three feet long in mature males. These endangered animals face a number of threats including hunting as well as competition for food. The long corkscrew-shaped horns that males develop as they mature are much sought after by trophy hunters. These animals are also competing against domestic livestock for food and water resources in their native habitat.

 


The Kids Are Alright at Hellabrunn Zoo Munich

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There has been a baby boom at Hellabrunn Zoo Munich…seriously, we aren’t ‘kidding’! Four Girgentana Goat kids were born there in the last two months!

According to staff, all new offspring born at the Zoo in 2016 are being given names that start with the letter ‘Q’ (babies born in 2015 all started with ‘P’).

Quirin was born February 18 to his mom, Orchidee. Male, Quax, and his sister, Quidana, were born February 22 to mom Mildred. The newest ‘kid’ was born March 9 to Penelope, and he has been named Quentino. The father of all the young is a four-year-old, known by the Zoo as “Mr. Montgomery”.

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4_Girgentanaziegen-Nachwuchs_Hellabrunn_2016_D. Greenwood (4)Photo Credits: Tierpark Hellabrunn/D. Greenwood

The Girgentana is a breed of domestic goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) indigenous to the province of Agrigento, in the southern part of the Mediterranean island of Sicily. The name of the breed derives from Girgenti, the name of Agrigento in local Sicilian language. There were in the past more than 30,000 head in the hills and coastal zone of the province. Today, however, this breed is in danger of disappearance. According to Hellabrunn Zoo Munich, there are only about 400 left.

The Girgentana Goat has characteristic horns, twisted into a spiral. It has a long beard and a primarily white coat with grey-brown hair around the head and throat. It is known for the production of high-quality milk.

The Girgentana is one of the eight autochthonous Italian goat breeds, for which a genealogical herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia (the Italian national association of sheep-breeders).

It was formerly numerous in the province of Agrigento, where there were more than 30,000 in the coastal area and the hilly hinterland. It has since fallen rapidly, to the point that measures for its protection may be needed. At the end of 1993 the population was estimated at 524. In 2007, the conservation status of the breed was listed as "Endangered" by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). At the end of 2013 the registered population was 390.

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Kids Play At Franklin Park Zoo

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There’s a new kid at Franklin Park Zoo… a Nigerian Dwarf Goat kid, that is.

The new kid was born February 16 inside the barn at Franklin Park Zoo’s Franklin Farm. Shortly after birth, the little female was standing, and within hours she was observed nursing. This is the second offspring for mom, Leia, and dad, Lucky.

The kid recently underwent a medical exam, and she appears bright, alert and active. The goat kid, who has been named Chewbacca, weighed about four pounds at birth.

“We are thrilled to share the news of this birth and we hope people will stop by during this school vacation week to see this adorable new addition,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.

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4_Senior Zookeeper Melissa Durham holds the kid during her exam on February 17, 2016Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo

 

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are noted for their wide range of color patterns, which include combinations of black, brown or gold mixed with white, as well as for their easy-going temperaments.

Adult males can reach a maximum size of 19–23.5 inches (48–60 cm), and females can grow to about 17–22.5 inches (43–57 cm).

These herbivorous miniature goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) are of West African descent. They have been domesticated as dairy goats and can be found all over the world. Highly adaptable, Nigerian Dwarf Goats can live in climates ranging from cold to hot and dry.

Despite their size, Nigerian Dwarf Goats are known for expressing a high quantity of milk. Their production ranges from 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day (one quart of milk weighs roughly 2 pounds), with an average doe producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. Their milk has a higher butterfat content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, making Nigerian Dwarf Goat milk excellent for cheese and soap making.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are gentle, friendly, and can easily be trained to walk on a leash. Their size and temperament enable them to be excellent "visitor" animals for nursing homes and hospitals.

Continue reading "Kids Play At Franklin Park Zoo" »


Meet the New Kids at the Maryland Zoo

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The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is happy to announce the birth of twin African Pygmy Goat kids.  The kids, one male and one female, were born, March 10th, to the Zoo’s African Pygmy Goat pair, ‘Lex’ and ‘Lois’.  

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Photo Credits: Jeffrey F. Bill / Maryland Zoo

“We are so excited to have kids in the Farmyard again,” stated Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager at The Maryland Zoo. “The two new babies have been behind the scenes with Lois since their birth, giving them time to bond. Luckily she’s an experienced mother and is taking very good care of her kids.”

 The twins, named ‘Chloe’ and ‘Clark’, currently weigh 9 and 10 pounds respectively. “They are busy exploring their environment, napping and playing with their mother,” continued Ricciardone. “As always, our staff will continue to monitor them closely to ensure that they are doing well.”

Zoo visitors can now see Lois and her kids in the Zoo’s Farmyard area next to the sheep.  “Because they are pygmy goats, they are quite small and they do seek shady cool places to hang out sometimes,” concluded Ricciardone.  “They are becoming very active and will be jumping all over the place. I think everyone will really enjoy watching them grow!”

Pygmy Goats originated in the Cameroon Valley of West Africa. They were imported into the United States from European zoos in the 1950s, for use in zoos and as research animals. They were eventually acquired by private breeders and quickly gained popularity as pets and exhibition animals due to their good-natured personalities. Females can reach a maximum weight of about 75 lbs (34 kg), and males can grow up to 86 lbs (39 kg). Wither height ranges from 16 to 23 inches (41 to 58 cm). Their color and pattern of their coats can vary significantly.


Kidding Around at Beardsley Zoo

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Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo has recently experienced a Nigerian Dwarf Goat baby boom! Six goat babies were born: three on Friday, October 10th and three on Sunday, October 12th

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NigerianDwarfGoat_Beardsley_4Photo Credits: Shannon Calvert

‘Peaches’, who is four and a half years old, gave birth to one male and two female kids. ‘Cupcake’, also four and a half years old, gave birth to one female and two male kids. ‘Rodney’, at two and a half years old, is the proud father of all six. The ‘kids’ are all healthy, happy and welcome additions to the goat yard. This is the third set of kids for both moms.

"These kids are high energy and were bouncing around the farmyard within hours of their birth. Visitors coming this month will enjoy seeing them play and jump around having fun," explained Gregg Dancho, Beardsley Zoo Director.

The yet-to-be-named kids will begin to nibble on hay and grains later this week and spend the next few months nursing.

Visitors can enjoy a visit to the Farmyard, at the zoo, to see the newest arrivals.

Continue reading "Kidding Around at Beardsley Zoo" »


Meet the New Kids

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Here's the first sign of spring in Northern Ireland's Belfast Zoo farmyard: two African Pygmy Goats have been born!

The kids were born to mothers Snowdrop and Hannah. The smaller female kid has been named Aziza, which means ‘precious’ in Swahili and the larger male kid is called Adunbi, which means ‘pleasant’ in Nigerian.

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Zoo Curator Alyn Cairns says, “Aziza and Adunbi are a wonderful addition to the herd of African pygmy goats and to the zoo farmyard. The kids already have distinct personalities.  Aziza is always happy and very friendly to keepers and the other goats.  Adunbi, however, has a much bolder personality. He is extremely mischievous, a bit of a trouble maker and he likes to climb on top of things, including the other goats!”

African Pygmy Goats originate from West Africa and when fully grown they only measure up to 2 feet (60 cm) in length!


Meet Frankie, Taronga Zoo's Playful Kid

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These little goats just keep coming! Born Friday 9th August, Frankie is the new female kid at Taronga Zoo in Australia. Frankie needed some extra care from keepers after her mom, BJ, was not able to feed her. With the help of bottle-feedings, Frankie is healthy and kicking.  Just like her dad, Gucci, she has a very playful personality and has won the hearts of staff and visitors. Taronga Zoo's goats are part of an interactive exhibit called Backyard to Bush, which includes a farm area.

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Photo credits: Taronga Zoo


Kids Will Be Kids: Little Pygmy Goats Play at Five Sisters Zoo

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Two Pygmy Goat kids are outside enjoying the warm weather at Five Sisters Zoo in the UK! And more are on the way: another female goat, Molly, is heavily pregnant, with zookeepers expecting her to give birth any day now. Pygmy Goats, often kept as pets as well as for their milk,  are a breed of domestic goat originating from wild goats of West Africa.

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Photo credits: Five Sisters Zoo


Beardsley Zoo Welcomes Two New Kids

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On April 22nd, after a five month gestation, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo's female Nigerian Dwarf Goat Cupcake gave birth to two female kids. The birth came less than two months shy of their father Rodney's first birthday in June. The zoo is reporting that the young, who have yet to be named, are healthy and happy as they explore the zoo's goat yard. "Mom and kids are doing quite well and are a favorite with visitors already," said zoo director Gregg Dancho. "Cupcake is very protective of them and likes to hide them in the exhibit, so visitors may have to look hard to see them," he continued.

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Photo credits: Shannon Calvert taken at Beardsley Zoo

The offspring will continue to nurse from their mother for the next few months, though they will begin to nibble on their adult diet of hay and grains in the next week or so. Visitors to the zoo will be excited to hear that the zoo's goat yard is expecting another special delivery; Cupcake's sister Peaches is expecting kids as well.

Nigerian Dwarf Goat's are miniature dairy goats that grow to be around 75 pounds and less than two feet tall. They posses a range of coat colors including black, brown and white, and can have various patterns of these colors. Young males are fully fertile at just seven weeks of age, while females are able to be bred at eight months.