The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is one of the few to test whether the mother-child bond in animals lasts after the first period of dependence ends.
It found that goats, at least, remember their family ties long-term.
"They still react more to the calls of the kid from a previous year than to the calls of familiar kids born to other females a year after weaning," said researcher Elodie Briefer from Queen Mary, University of London.
"That means they have a long-term memory of the calls of their kids," Briefer was quoted as saying by LiveScience.Com.
Plenty of mammal mamas are known to recognise their babies during the post-birth and nursing periods, but it's tough to follow pairs of animals over time to see whether those bonds last.
A few researchers have followed mother-baby pairs of some seal species, finding that both moms and pups remember each other's voices for years after weaning.
Tamarin monkeys recognise their relatives even after four years of separation.
While goats can probably also use markings and scent to recognise each other, there is plenty of evidence that their voices are also important.
Baby goats seem to pick up distinctive "accents" from their herd mates, past research has found.
To find out if this voice recognition persists, Briefer and her colleagues recorded the calls of the five-week-old kids of nine pygmy goat moms at a farm in Nottinghamshire in the UK.
Between seven and 13 months after these babies weaned and were separated from their mothers, the researchers played the bleats back to the moms in their pens, recording whether and how long the mother goats looked toward the sound or bleated back.
They found that mama goats responded more strongly to their own babies' cries than to the recorded cries of babies of other mothers living in the same pen. (MORE)