Other common names: Erzgebirgsziege
Traditionally bred and raised in the Saxony region of Germany, the Erzgebirge goat is currently a critically endangered breed badly in need of conservation (breeding females numbered less than 150 as of 2004). Reputed to be good milk producers, does are good mothers who kid with relative ease and tend to deliver single kids and occasionally twins.
Appearance / health:
Reddish-brown with black striping down its back and along its belly, legs and face mask, Erzgebirge are handsome, medium-sized goats. Bodies should be compact, with strong, sturdy legs and medium ears that are erect and leaf-shaped. Eyes should be bright and alert, while the back is level and straight from the neck to the haunch. Most goats are polled, but some may have horns.
Goats are sensitive animals that can suffer from various infectious and chronic diseases that are sometimes undetected until too late. Vaccinations, as well as de-worming and de-lousing applications must be conducted as needed. Milking goats should be checked regularly using prescribed mastitis tests for udder health. Milking areas should always be clean and the goat’s teats treated with teat dip after milking to prevent mastitis.
Goats must be inspected frequently to detect any signs of poor health, infections, or other ailments. Signs include cloudy or teary eyes, dull or fluffed up coat, droopy tail, hunched back, or poor appetite. A veterinarian should always be on call to address health concerns.
Behavior / temperament:
Goats are inherently curious, active, intelligent, and social. They are known to have the ability to overcome enclosures by unraveling the gate, climbing over the mesh, or pushing and ramming the fence down. Goats have good coordination and balance and can manage to climb low trees, ledges, and overhangs. Their curiosity leads them to constantly investigate items with their mouths; most items get chewed and swallowed. With a little patience, goats can be taught to carry or pull loads, respond to calls, and lead a herd. As social animals, they easily get along with other farm animals.
Housing / diet:
As herd animals, goats are best kept in pairs or groups. As grazers, they require an outdoor habitat that is securely fenced to prevent escape or foraging in restricted areas. The area should be large enough to allow the goat to roam. The recommended habitat per goat is 200 sq. ft. of yard or pasture plus a sheltered or indoor area of about 15 sq. ft. The sheltered area should be adequately built to keep the goats safe from rain and strong winds.
Keeping goats inside the house is not recommended because of the pet’s tendency to gnaw and chew on furniture and furnishings. Goats are also not known to adhere to toilet training.
The ideal food for domesticated goats is alfalfa hay and grass hay. This should be available daily in quantities of at least 3% of the goat’s body weight. Small quantities of feed grain and concentrates (often protein-enriched) like goat show or goat grain can also be given to add nutrition. Supplements are often used to address deficiencies inherent to local habitats.
Clean water is essential to a goat’s daily diet. It should always be available and provided where it cannot be soiled. Dirty and moldy water is hazardous to the goat’s health. Milking goats should be kept away from aromatic or strong-tasting foliage like garlic, onions, mint, and cabbage, which could taint the flavor of the milk.
I don't have goats, but where I live (in my vilage), my neighbor has five goats. And I can tell to anyone who hasn't tried goat milk yet, that must try it in future, because that milk is the best milk I ever tried. Not only because that is the healthiest milk, but because it is simple the best, very tasteful milk. His goats are Erzgebirge goats and this goats are polled, and have a reddish brown coat with black stripes on the face, back, and legs.
When I was younger, couple of times, i was helping him watching his goats while they were eating in nature. Goats eat plants like trees, shrubs, hay and grains, they have a special stomach to help them break down plant material. I can also say that they are very curious and intelligent. They are also very coordinated and widely known for their ability to climb and hold their balance in the most precarious places.
In future I might buy one or two goats, because I have lavandear in my garden, and I want to make goat milk soap with lavander odour..
From Ivano Oct 28 2015 10:53AM