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A man herding goats in Tunisia

A goatherd or goatherder is a person who herds goats as a vocational activity. It is similar to a shepherd who herds sheep. Goatherds are most commonly found in regions where goat populations are significant; for instance, in Africa and South Asia. Goats are typically bred as dairy or meat animals, with some breeds being shorn for wool (see Goats in agriculture).[citation needed]

Companies using goats to control and eradicate leafy spurge, knapweed, and other toxic weeds have sprouted across the American West.[1]

Goatherds in fiction[edit]

Fictional goatherds include Peter from Johanna Spyri's Heidi, and the song "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music. Enid Blyton's novel The Secret of Killimooin, set in the fictional but probably eastern European country of Baronia, features a blind goatherd called Beowald, so in tune with his environment that he can roam the mountains using his other senses, apparently unhindered by his lack of sight. The Link who appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was also a goatherd.


  1. ^ "American Pastoral". Brown Alumni Monthly. Sep–Oct 2012.