Charming bronze study of a nanny goat with her kid curled in front of her. The bronze with wonderful deep brown patina and all over intricate surface detail, raised on integral stepped base and signed E Fremiet.
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 “nanny goat;” intact males are called “bucks” or “billies;” and juveniles of both sexes are called “kids”. Castrated males are called “wethers”. Goat meat from younger animals is called “kid” or cabrito (Spanish), while meat from older animals is known simply as “goat” or sometimes called chevon, or in some areas “mutton” (which more often refers to adult sheep meat).
A nanny goat is considered a small livestock animals, compared to bigger animals such as cattle, camels and horses, but larger than micro livestock such as poultry, rabbits, cavies, and bees. Each recognized breed of goats has specific weight ranges, which vary from over 140 kg (300 lb) for bucks of larger breeds such as the Boer, to 20 to 27 kg (45 to 60 lb) for smaller goat does. Within each breed, different strains or bloodlines may have different recognized sizes. At the bottom of the size range are miniature breeds such as the African Pygmy, which stand 41 to 58 cm (16 to 23 in) at the shoulder as adults.
Most goats naturally have two horns, of various shapes and sizes depending on the breed. Goats have horns unless they are “polled” (meaning, genetically hornless) or the horns have been removed, typically soon after birth. There have been incidents of polycerate goats (having as many as eight horns), although this is a genetic rarity thought to be inherited. The horns are most typically removed in commercial dairy goat herds, to reduce the injuries to humans and other goats. Unlike cattle, goats have not been successfully bred to be reliably polled, as the genes determining sex and those determining horns are closely linked. Breeding together two genetically polled goats results in a high number of intersex individuals among the offspring, which are typically sterile. Their horns are made of living bone surrounded by keratin and other proteins, and are used for defense, dominance, and territoriality.
Goats are ruminants. They have a four-chambered stomach consisting of the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum. As with other mammal ruminants, they are even-toed ungulates. The females have an udder consisting of two teats, in contrast to cattle, which have four teats. An exception to this is the Boer goat, which sometimes may have up to eight teats.
Goats have horizontal, slit-shaped pupils. Because goats’ irises are usually pale, their contrasting pupils are much more noticeable than in animals such as cattle, deer, most horses and many sheep, whose similarly horizontal pupils blend into a dark iris and sclera.
For more animal sculptures see our Animalier page – Animalier Sculptures
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