In addition to natural, traditional mating, artificial insemination has gained popularity among goat breeders, as it allows easy access to a wide variety of bloodlines. Twins are the usual result, with single and triplet births also common.
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.
In equatorial regions, goats are able to breed at any time of the year.
Successful breeding in these regions depends more on available forage than on day length.
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. 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.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.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.However, this separation is rarely possible in extensively managed, open-range herds.