Goats exist in the wild in some places but domesticated goats are common in most of Scarterra. Like most beasts on the mortal plane, goats are susceptible to manifesting elemental traits from their environment and their parents. Airy goats tend to be lanky and have white fur or very light colors. Airy goats are leaner and faster than other goats. They are also better able to withstand cold temperatures and are the most sure footed. Most wild goats are airy. Relatively few goat herders considered airy traits valuable in domesticated goats unless the goat herders live in the highlands in which case airy goats are usually cross bred with another elemental variety. Earthy goats are bigger and a bit mentally calmer, but slower than other goats. They usually have dark brown or black fur, though some sandier variants are known. They are less likely to be stubborn with their owner/herder but earthy goats are less able to handle predators or obstacles without help than other goats. Fiery goats are easily recognizable by their reddish or orangish fur. They are ornery and more likely to headbutt or kick their handlers than other goats. On the plus side, they require less food and water to stay alive than other goats and are better able to fend for themselves against predators or other natural hazards. Watery goats have a bluish or greenish fur. They are the smartest and most curious goats and are uncannily good at escaping leashes and enclosures. They also tend to require a lot of water to stay healthy but they are very good dairy goats. Like with most livestock, you breed the best and eat the rest. Local conditions and preferences vary but most goat herders believe earthy/watery hybrids are the most valuable goats in most circumstances and they will try to use these goats for breeding stock whereas the other varieties are considered expendable.
Genetics and Reproduction
Goat gestation is between 150 and 180 days. Twin births are the norm but single and triplet births are not rare. Female goats can reliably produce healthy offspring starting at one year till about age six. Female goats can bear young as young as three months or as old as ten but there are often complications to both mother and kid.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Goats are herbivores. Goats favor grass but wild goats will eat moss or other plants when grass is not available and domesticated goats will eat almost anything they can reach, often to their detriment. Goats are commonly allowed to graze and forage freely but they are veritable garabage disposals. Goats can eat table scraps and weeds and other plants farmers want to get rid of. Goats also like to eat grains and hay.
Reproduction on both does and bucks. Having kids takes a toll on females and the aggressive mating instincts and instinctual behavior of males during the rutting season takes its toll on them which is why castrated males or "wethers" tends to outlive them both by a wide margin. Females life span maxes out around twelve years under ideal circumstances but their useful economic life is usually about eight years. Males are so single-minded during the rutting season they will forgo food and will beat themselves or other males down.
Goats have been domesticated early in the Second Age if not before and are widespread throughout Scarterra. Goats can be found on every major landmass. Goats are extremely common in Penarchia and East Colassia and are moderately common elsewhere.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Goat milk and cheese is consumed on the dinner plates of peasants and princes alike around all of Scarterra. Compared to the cost of keeping them, goats are far more efficient milk producers than cows. In West Colassia and Umera, goats are kept pretty much simply for their milk, and goat meat is considered a peasant food as the meat of goats is considered a byproduct of the process. In Penarchia and East Colassia, goats are considered a major staple and peasants and princes alike often eat goat meat. Goats can be used as pack animals too. Goats are not always the best pack animal in Scarterra but sometimes people have to make due with what they have and not what they wish they had. A pack goat can realistically tote 25% of his or her weight. The most reliable pack goats are more often than not castrated males (wethers).
Geographic Origin and Distribution
"I find the keeping of goats as livestock somewhat distasteful, but you cannot be a satyr in East Colassia without developing a thick skin against this sort of thing." -Basim, Confederate satyr and apothecary and reagents dealerWild goats are fairly common in West Colassia and Penarchia. They are present in small numbers in East Colassia. Domestic goats can be found almost everywhere. Goats are considered the main staple livestock in East Colassia and Penarchia. Elsewhere they are fairly common but less popular than pigs and cows.
Goats are roughly as intelligent as dogs. Earthy goats are considered the dimmest and watery goats are considered the smartest.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Goats have amazing peripheral vision relative to humans, over 320 degrees meaning they are hard to surprise though they only have true binocular vision at about 60 degrees for jumping and climbing over obstacles in front of them. Goats hear at a wider range of frequency than humans but have less accurate echolocation and they have have to point their moveable ears at a sound to locate it. Goat sense of smell is acute but they are generally less prone to sniffing than other animals such as dogs.
SourcesI pulled a lot of facts about real world goats' sensory data from this article, pack goats from this article and goat lifespans from this article.
10-13 years (does), 8-11 years (bucks), 13-16 years (wethers)