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goat health & husbandry information

Teeth, Life Expectancy &
How to estimate a goat's age

Goat Teeth:

Goats have no upper front teeth; their upper front mouth is one big gum

Goats do have lower front teeth.

In the back on their mouth they do have both upper and lower teeth. These molars are very strong.

Goats are born with teeth. They do start out with baby teeth and will loose these as their adult teeth come in.


Average Goat Life span:

Does = 11-12 years average age, but... usually the death in does is kidding related.  Does that are "retired" from breeding around age 10 live longer... up to 16-18 years. I just recently found a doe who was 24; she was retired from kidding at age 10.

Wethers = 11-16 years average age

Bucks = 8-10 average age - bucks usually live shorter lives than does and wethers due to the stresses of going into rut each year; this really takes a lot our of them.


Most goats do not reach their full size until they are about three years of age. (They keep growing for about three years)

You can estimate a goat's age by looking at their 8 lower front teeth. Goats have no upper front teeth (unlike our logo), they have just one big gum on top in the front. This is not an exact way to tell their age. Various factors such as diet and health care will influence the growth of teeth. Also, be aware that every goat is different. One goat's teeth may grow, fall out, and/or show wear, at slightly different ages than the teeth of another goat.


First year
All teeth are small and sharp.

Second year

The goat looses the two middle front teeth when he is around 12 months old, and they are replaced by larger, permanent teeth.

Third year

The teeth next to the middle pair are replaced by permanent teeth when the goat is about 24 months old.

Fourth year

The goat now has six permanent teeth, with only one pair of kid teeth remaining.

Fifth year

The set of 8 front teeth is complete.

Over five years old
The age of the goat beyond 5 years must be roughly estimated by the amount of wear on the teeth. This rate is variable; diet and health care have a large effect on this. Goats on rough, coarse diets and rough pasture will grind their teeth away faster than a goat on a softer diet or better quality ration.

The teeth will spread, loosen and finally drop out as the goat ages.

Note: the only goat we have had loose a tooth to old age was 9 at the time.  We have also had goats be older and not loose any teeth.

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The information on this web site is provided as an examples of how we do things here at Fias Co Farm. It is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders and/or the veterinary community. We are not veterinarians or doctors, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary and/or medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your vet and/or doctor. We present the information and products on this site without guarantees, and we disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information and/or products. The extra-label use of any medicine in a food producing animal is illegal without a prescription from a veterinarian.

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