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How many generations or years would it take to create a ridable goat? What about sheep or rams, etc?

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    $\begingroup$ You have probably already been told, but repetita juvant: science based tag cannot be used alone. That apart, some context is missing here. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 25 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ The large-ish (such as the musk ox Ovibox moschatus) and small-ish (such as sheep and goats) lineages of the Caprinae family diverged some 20 million years ago, in the early Miocene. No better estimation is possible, unless somebody actually puts in the work and actually trieds to do it. I am not sure why you would believe that it would be possible to estimate the necessary time span without actually doing the experiment. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Nov 25 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ P.S. Humans have been selectively breeding dogs for some 15,000 years, and the largest dogs are still nowhere near large enough to serve as mounts. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Nov 25 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP - Are you sure? $\endgroup$ Nov 25 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ Do breeders have access to DNA-sequencing technologies or not? And if they do, how much knowledge about the animals' genomes do they have? $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Nov 25 at 17:48
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Goats can carry men today!

From my personal experience with goats, they can weigh up to 300 pounds, and carry about a third of their weight. So, they could carry a 100 pound man.

I wouldn't want to ride a goat. They're noisy, rude, and they are not really bred for carrying people, so you'd need a very good harness to distribute the weight well.

You'd need to find larger goat breeds, and selectively breed them with the best pack goats to get a better weight ratios, but within five or so generations you should be able to get some improvements.

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Well, since no one tried it, this question does not have an exact answer. So let's guesstimate!

As of now, the goats in our world does not fit for riding. This means we need to introduce all kinds of changes to the goats' bodies - wider backs, stronger skeleton and muscles.

For this guesstimate, we'll assume no gene-editing - just picking the fittest male & female in hope that their offspring will be even more fit for human riding.

According to the wiki, goats reach puberty between three and 15 months of age. So let's say a new generation each year.

If I understand this article correctly, it took humans about 1,500 years to ride horses - but their bodies were already adjusted to that. On the other hand, they didn't know anything about evolution and their knowledge about selective breeding was far from ours.

So my guesstimate is that if people know what they are doing, this journey will take about 2,000-3,000 years. If they don't know, it'll be much longer. If they use CRISPR and other advanced gene-editing techniques, probably much faster.

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  • $\begingroup$ One could use knowledge of genetics to speed up selective breeding without resorting to genetic modifications. If we know which genes and alleles we need to reach the desired effect, we can test all animals for these genes and use them for breeding. We repeat this selection until we have a population that reliably has needed genes. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Nov 25 at 18:07

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