Unlike most other game animals, goats are very hard to distinguish
between gender. The below guide is only a general rule, we saw
many billies and nannies which had various characteristics of
the other sex. Only visual identification of the Vulva or Scrotum
was absolutely accurate. But there are some general guidelines
to help you identify the sexes:
Basically, male goats (billies) have thicker horns with large
bases, they taper gradually to a point and generally sweep back
in a more uniformed arc. If you see a goat where the bases seem
to touch, this is typically a billy. Nannies have more slender
horns however they are oftentimes very long - sometimes much
longer then billy horns. They tend to flare out when looking
straight on and from the profile they seem to hook near the end.
Nannies urinate in a squatting position while an adult billy
urinates by stretching. However, we were fooled once by a nice
billy goat which squatted to defecate. From a distance it looked
like he was urinating. Many people look for a stained rump which
often indicates a billy. While this may be the rule in some places,
all the goats here were filthy from dust baths and we found this
trait unreliable when tying to identify gender.
Generally, a billy goat is much
larger than a female. Also, billies tend to be loners and are
rarely seen with kids. If you spot what you think is a billy,
and there is a kid tagging close by, it is best not to shoot
as it is probably a nanny. Also, billies tend to grow hair sooner
than nannies and they have a more pronounced hump.
of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.