January 8, 2001
Mountain Goat Family Life
and their Kids
Mating season takes place in late November and early December. Billies will follow the nannies for up to a month and are so involved in finding the right nanny that they lose interest in food.
If two billies are interested in one nanny, the two will fight. The fighting isn't done head to head as you would expect, but head to side. They lunge at one another's sides or flanks with their horns.
Thick skin in this area protects the goats from serious damage. Some injuries have been recorded, however.
Kids can stand up and walk soon after birth and grow quickly. Although goats first taste of food comes from nursing, or drinking their mother's milk, they begin eating plants in just a few days. These plants become their entire diet after about one month.
Kids leave their mothers when they are about one year old. The first and second years of life are very difficult for a young goat. Field studies have shown a heavy loss of young during this time.
The deaths are due to falls, accidents, avalanches, predators, and sometimes, lack of food.