ESTIMATING GOAT AGE

The teeth can be used as an aid in determining the approximate age of a goat especially up to the age of four. Goats have eight incisors (cutting or biting teeth) on the lower front jaw. These are sharp and small in animals less than one year. They meet a hard pad (dental pad) in the upper jaw. At about one year, the center teeth will drop out and they are replaced by two permanent teeth.

Twenty-four molars (chewing or grinding teeth) are found in the back, six on each side of the upper and lower jaws. At about the age of two, two or more large front teeth appear, one on each side of the yearling teeth. The three or four year old has six permanent teeth, two more than the two year old. At four or five years of age, the animals have a complete set of eight permanent teeth in front. After this point, the age is judged by the amount of wear on the front teeth. As the animal ages, the teeth spread and drop out. It becomes difficult for her to eat properly, so care should be taken to make sure she eats sufficient amounts of food. Don’t forget that goats don’t have upper teeth in the front but they do have sharp ones in the rear!

FIRST YEAR KID

YEARLING

The 2 Front Teeth Are Lost At 12 Months And Replaced By Permanent Teeth

TWO YEAR OLD

The Teeth Next To The Middle Pair Is Replaced At 24 Month’s

THREE YEAR OLD

The Goat Has Now 6 Permanent Teeth With Only 1 Pair Kid Teeth Left

FOUR YEAR OLD

The Set Of 8 Front Teeth Is Complete

The age of the goat beyond 5 years must be roughly estimated by the amount of wear on the teeth. This rate varies on the diet and health care too can 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.

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