Goats are a much maligned animal, they are frequently given an image of a stupid smelly animal that eats tin cans. Goats are very intelligent, friendly loveable animals. They are fastidious in what they eat and drink, one "nanny berry" will ruin a whole bucket of water. A female goat is called a Doe and a male a Buck, young goats are called kids. Goats are related to deer, and, like deer, prefer browsing on shrubs, bushes and pine trees. They will also nibble on bark.
Milk goats come in many breeds the most common in America is the Nubian, recognized by their long drooping ears, and roman noses. The Saanen a large white goat is the most common goat throughout the world. They are milk producers likened to Holsteins of the cow world. Recently some colored Saanens have been promoted and are being called Sables. The French Alpine was brought to US in the 1920's. The color of Alpines vary from white to black and sometimes several colors and shades on the same animal. The Oberhasli are a rich red bay color with a black stripe down the face, ears, a black dorsal stripe, and black belly udder and legs below the knees. LaMancha is an American breed, they are very distinctive with a lack of ears. The Toggenburg is explained in depth below.
Other goat breeds include the small ones, Pygmy and the Nigerian Dwarf. The Tennessee fainting Goat is found only infrequently. Angora goats are a large part of fiber production in US. Meat goats are a relatively new comer to US, with many people starting to raise the Boer goat.
By clicking on the button below you can see our photo album of goats. You can also visit our other album pages for more pictures.
Some of the young goats we have had and have now.
Angora goats are a very old breed, there is much speculation on their origin. Some believe the original home was in the Himalayas, and from there they were brought to Persia. From Persia they were probably brought to Turkey where they grew and flourished and became an important trading commodity. The Turkish bred and improved the breed and guarded it carefully not allowing the prized breeders to leave the country.
The first Angora goats came to US in 1849 as a present to a Doctor from South Carolina. They made their way to Texas during the civil war and flourished in the dry scrub land. Texas is the Angora capital of US, producing the second largest amount of fiber in the world, with South Africa being first.
Angoras are small, less rambunctious, and survive in dry scrub land much better, compared with dairy goats. They will scoot under a fence rather then climb over.
Angora goats produce a luxury fiber called Mohair. The finest Mohair is from the first clip of a young kid, this fiber is delicate with a wonderful sheen, but will wear better then most of natures other fibers. Mohair is as strong as the synthetic nylons or orlons but is fire resistant, it accepts dyes to produce beautiful hues but resists stains and dirt, and has the added feature of retaining its original shape when made into clothing. Although many Santa wigs are made from Mohair, that is not the only wigs this fiber produces, its natural color acceptance along with the tough hairs that allow repeated combing make it a desirable fiber for wigs.
Toggenburgs are the smallest of the Swiss breeds of goats. They are the oldest known purebred animal with herd records dating to the 1600's. All Toggenburgs have the same distinctive markings, various shades of brown with white markings on their face, legs and belly. Toggenburgs are a smaller breed but they are champion milkers.
Goldenrod Farm has 3 registered Toggenburg Goats, Tuck, Lessa and Princess. They are all bred and will produce young in June or July. Most goats will produce twins or triplets, so we will be up to our arm pits in kids by summer.
Each goat will produce about 6 to 14 lbs of milk a day, the milk is very white due to the lack of beta carotene. Many people that cannot drink cows milk can drink goats milk, the butterfat in goats milk is in smaller particles to aid digestion. Goats milk is naturally homogenized, with very little cream rising to the top.
Pygmy goats are blocky, compact goats that are about 16-23 inches tall when full grown. The most common color of pygmies is a black/gray or salt & pepper called agouti.
We do not milk any Pygmies now, but they will produce about 600 to 750 lbs of milk in each lactation, this is about 1/3 of what a large goat will produce. The butter fat content will reach 6.5% in pygmy milk compared to 3-4.5% in larger goats. Pygmies frequently will produce triplets or quadruplets.
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