Myotonic Goat Examples ~ The Good and the Bad

This is a compilation of photos from many knowledgeable Myotonic goat breeders. Each photo is owned by the person who took the photo, so please do NOT use these photos on your own website, or social media without permission.

These photos are for educational purposes only. It’s important to keep in mind some of the abnormal body structures below are caused by vitamin or mineral deficiencies and a few may be corrected by proper feeding and management.

Correct Head (front profile)
doe head

Incorrect Head (front profile)
incorrect face1 incorrect face2

Correct Face (side profile)
Coming Soon!

Face Too Straight/Pointy Muzzle
incorrect head

Face Too Convex (Roman nose)

Correct Muscle Mass
buck good muscle

Poor Muscle Definition
poor muscle

Overly Conditioned (aka overweight)
Coming Soon!

Correct Legs (front view)
straight legs

Crooked Legs

Legs angle out to the sides instead of straight up and down when viewed from the front.


Correct Legs (side view)
correct legs

Posty Legs

Rear legs are too straight up and down when viewed from the side.


Leg Diagram (to help with pictures below)
leg diagram rff


Correct Hocks

Cow Hocked

Hocks are angled in and toes pointed out.


Correct Front Pasterns
correct front pasterns2

Down in Front Pasterns (aka Weak Pasterns)
down front pasterns

Correct Rear Pasterns


Down in Rear Pasterns (aka Weak Pasterns)
down rear pasterns


Correct Topline
straight topline


uneven back
This doe is too straight in the back legs as well as having the dip in her back.


Correct Ears -there are slight variations in Myotonic ears. Some have a slight ripple while others don’t, so I’ve included examples of both in bucks and does.
Another thing to keep in mind about ears is they can change quite a bit as a goat grows. A kid with slightly droopy ears will likely be an adult with very droopy ears, whereas a kid with very erect ears will usually be an adult with slightly erect ears. This has been my experience.
buck ears correct ears3

correct ears1 correct ears4

Ears Too Erect
ears too erect

Ears Too Small/Short
Small Ears

Ears Too Drooping

These ears are too wide in the middle and are hanging down.
These ears are too wide in the middle and are hanging down.


drooping ears
These ears droop and somewhat impede the goat’s vision.



Normal Scrotum
normal scrotum

Split Scrotum

Normal Udder (smaller, more tight to the body is also normal)
norm udder

Pendulous Udder

Normal Teats

Double Teats (4 teats)

Split Teats

It’s important to take into consideration a goat needs a good frame/structure to be able to produce and nurse kids each year as well as forage and for food. Please breed for the more important structure first before worrying about minor things such as coat color, pattern, horn type, eye color, etc.

PS: I’d love to be able to add these photos to this list:
-down in pasterns
-down in fetlocks
-anything else you might have a picture of that would be appropriate for this page.
Feel free to e-mail your photos for consideration to:

Top 5 Common Goat Myths

Here are the top 5 goats myths most people believe are true.

#1 Goats will eat anything, including tin cans.

Goats can actually be pretty picky about what they eat.  They turn their noses up at trampled or dirty hay that most livestock wouldn’t think twice about eating. It’s true that goats will often nibble or mouth at things that are new to them (horses will often do the same). I guess if they came across a tin can they might nibble at it and possibly eat the paper label, but they certainly aren’t going to eat the can itself.

An adult buck (non-castrated male)

#2 All goats stink.

It’s only the bucks (non-castrated male goats) who have an odor, and then it’s mostly during breeding season. For most areas, breeding season is in the fall. Does (females) and wethers (castrated males) generally have no noticeable odor at all. It’s for this reason a buck should never be sold as a pet.

#3 All goats with horns are males.

Both male AND female goats can have horns. A buck’s horns will grow much thicker and longer than a doe’s horns, so the goats with the HUGE horns are typically male. Most dairy goat breeders will do a procedure called “disbudding” to prevent the horns from growing on their goats, but they generally do this to both the males and females. Some goats are born “polled”, or naturally hornless, and can be male or female.

Polled female in front of a horned female.

#4 All goats with goatees are males.

Female goats can have a beard too!  Most of our does over 3 years old have a goatee.  Bucks will have a much thicker and longer goatee than the does.

#5 Goats are like lawnmowers and will cut your grass.

Anyone telling this myth has obviously NEVER owned a goat.  🙂 Goats are browsers like deer, not grazers like sheep. I tell people all the time that if they put a goat in the backyard it will eat all the bushes, ornamental plants and anything other than grass first.  Only once those are gone will it finely resign itself to eat the grass simply because there’s nothing tastier left.

So, now that you know these are myths, let’s start spreading some TRUTH about goats.  🙂

Polled doe with goatee