The Spanish goat is a breed that has been around for centuries. This particular breed of goat was first introduced to the United States in 1853, and it has since become one of the most popular dairy breeds. The Spanish Goat Association says this about their beloved goats: “The Spanish Goat is an all-purpose animal with many excellent qualities.” They are also known for being hardy, adaptable, easy keepers, and producing large quantities of high butterfat milk. Here are some additional facts about these amazing goats!
Spanish Goat: Breed Info, Characteristics, and Care
Before we dive in detail about the breed information, characteristics and how to care for a Spanish goat, let’s talk about the origin of the Spanish Goat as a breed.
Spain is one country which has been blessed with beautiful flocks of goats. It’s hard to believe that such an animal, which was always considered a low-value livestock, would be prized around the world for its milk production abilities. However, in Spain, these animals are valued most by dairy farmers.
Spain, like most other European countries, has a long tradition of goat husbandry. The origins of the Spanish Goat can be traced back to ancient times! This breed of dairy goat is believed to have evolved from the ‘ly criollo’ (native Iberian) goats which were already common across Spain and Portugal long before the first official records appeared in the 17 th century. The original Spanish Goats were very diverse at this time, with each herd more or less isolated from one another – until some farmers decided that they wanted to select their animals based on some predefined set of criteria. They initiated selective breeding programs, giving birth to some amazing improvements in milk production within just a few generations! Breeders also began crossbreeding these goats with other dairy breeds which were being imported from countries such as France, Italy, Germany, Holland and Switzerland.
Visual Appearance of a Spanish Goat
Spanish goats can be found in a wide variety of coat colors, including black, white and brown. Some may have spots on their coats, but the majority is either solid-colored or have some type of patterning. Also, they usually have short hair.
Another interesting fact about Spanish Goats is that both bucks and does have horns . Even though these animals are typically kept for dairy purposes instead of meat production (like sheep), it seems that the original Iberian Goats did not have horns. Over time, selective breeding and crossbreeding with other breeds of goats gave rise to the different types of goats we see today!
Characteristics of a Spanish Goat
The Spanish Goat is a small- to mid-sized breed. Does typically weigh between 80 and 150 pounds, while bucks tend to be larger at 100 to 145 lbs.
Let’s talk about how this breed of dairy goat gets the job done: They produce an average of 1 gallon of milk per day during their lactation cycle, which lasts 305 days on average. The butterfat content in the milk produced by these goats is very high – 5% or more! The overall quantity of milk production should increase as the doe ages, peaking around five years old.
Many would agree that it’s best for does to have one kid at a time, although some others will disagree with this statement because they think multiple births are beneficial when it comes to milk production. At the end of the day, it’s really up to you which breeding method you want to use for your Spanish Goats!
Spanish Goats are friendly and docile animals. They’re easy to handle but can be quite stubborn if they don’t have a firm hand providing guidance. These goats are well-suited for living in many different climates, even those that are temperate or mountainous, because they are very hardy creatures who are capable of tolerating harsh conditions.
Hardiness of a spanish goat
In some cases, Spanish Goats may be a bit difficult to handle due to their stubbornness. However, they are considered as one of the hardier breeds of dairy goat and can adapt easily to a number of climates.
Spanish goats make great pets! They’re very social animals who enjoy having company around… at least when it comes from other goats. Another good trait about these creatures is that they tend to have low disease rates – meaning fewer visits to the veterinarian.
In fact, most Spanish Goats will only need shots for diseases which are common among all goat breeds, such as enterotoxemia. If you want a small farm animal which requires little care but produces high quantities of milk on a daily basis, then you might want to consider adding some Spanish Goats to your family!
Breeding the Spanish Goat
The Spanish Goat is considered to be one of the easiest goats to breed. This is because their general breeding routine can be simplified into four main steps:
1. Mate Does with Bucks
Mating usually occurs during late fall or early winter, but if you’d like to make sure that does will get pregnant (which you probably do), then use a teaser buck in order to induce ovulation in the doe.
2. Wait for Signs of Pregnancy
Pregnancy in does lasts about 150 days on average, so monitor your animals closely by performing regular health checks if they’re producing milk already. Developing tumors are among some of the signs near term which indicate pregnancy. If you suspect one of your does are pregnant, have them checked for pregnancy by your local veterinarian.
3. Separate the Doe from the Buck
This is to ensure that does are not bred too closely together, which may cause unhealthy or unwanted physical conditions. If you want to breed Spanish Goats again after their first pregnancy, then wait for them to have a kid before re-mating with bucks at least sixty days afterwards.
4. Take Care of Kids
Make sure that kids are fed enough milk and given proper nutrition so they grow big and strong! They will be ready for milking about two months after birth… but it’s best if you teach them this skill early on since they should be introduced to the process starting at four weeks old. It’ll make life easier for both you and the kids!
Mature Size of the Spanish Goat
Most Adult Females in this breed typically measure around 43 inches tall at the shoulder, while Adult Males may reach heights of 48 inches at their shoulders. Weight measurements for both genders fall within the range of 80 to 150 pounds.
Size of a Spanish goat kid
Mature Size of Spanish kids at birth usually falls within the range of 14-18 inches in height and weigh around 3 to 6 lbs. Although this breed is generally slow to mature, kids will be ready for milking between 1.5 to 2 months old, provided they get proper nutrition and are taught how to produce milk.
Housing and Fencing needs for Spanish goat
To house a typical Spanish Goat, you only need around 3 square feet for Females and 4 square feet for Males. They can be housed in both outdoor and indoor conditions. As long as they’re provided with protection from the elements and predators (such as coyotes and wolves), then they can actually even do well on open range pastures!
Housing Requirements of Spanish Goat Kids
Although kids may stay with their mothers at all times until weaning, housing requirements depend on what climate they live in. For cool climates such as those found in the northern United States, provide them with at least 1 square foot each… but make sure to provide more if their living area is drafty or poorly insulated.
Feeding a Spanish Goat
Spanish Goats are really easy to feed since they can survive merely on browse (leaves, twigs and stems of woody plants), pasture grasses and their favorite fruits! So remember these words: “if it’s green, let them eat it”!
Health Issues of Spanish Goats
When well maintained and cared for, Spanish Goats are typically healthy animals. However, they may also be affected by a few health issues such as lice infestation, pinkeye and pneumonia. Hormonal imbalances during the late fall due to low calcium intake might affect their milk production and cause mastitis (the inflammation of mammary glands), so consult with your veterinarian if you notice that your does aren’t giving as much milk as before.
Also, because Spanish Goats need access to water at all times just like any other goat, it’s better if you provide them with fresh rations every day as opposed to feeding them coarsely chopped hay or old pastures which can harbor microorganisms.
Speaking of pastures , there are tons of tips and tricks about how you can enhance their browsing and grazing habits… however, just be sure that they’re in a safe and healthy environment. Otherwise, they may pick up parasites such as lice or ticks that will affect their coat and become unhealthy!
How often do Spanish goats have babies?
Although Spanish Goats are generally seasonal breeders, you can still get them pregnant by mating with mature bucks at least three or four times a year. This will depend largely on the type of climate where they live in, but if their living environment is relatively warm and moist, then you can expect them to have two kidding sessions each year… while those living in cold climates may only be able to give birth once a year!
How much does a Spanish goat cost?
You can expect to purchase a mature Spanish goat for around $250. However, you also need to keep in mind that they tend to be seasonal breeders… so if you want baby goats you’ll have to pay extra for their maintenance fees!
Purchasing your first Spanish goat might not be easy, however it’s definitely worth the time and effort since these animals are very hardy and adaptable once domesticated!
What is unique about Spanish goats?
Aside from their friendly and docile nature, Spanish Goats are also known for their productive milk yield which is higher than any other breed. However, if you want them to produce more milk, it’s important that you purchase them as kids so they can be taught how to properly ‘milk out’!
Are Spanish goats hard to raise?
Although raising Spanish Goats might not be easy at times (especially when dealing with predators), they’re extremely gentle animals who are really fun to take care of! Their main issue is that they’re very finicky eaters since they only like the best quality leaves and plants… but aside from this single hiccup, they make great pets and livestock providers!
Spanish goats are very gentle and make great pets if properly raised. They require a lot of attention when it comes to their feeding habits, but other than this one issue they’re very easy to take care of and can survive in various climates!