Other common names: Guérnesiais; Golden Gessenay
The Golden Guernsey goat is a rare breed which originated on the island of Guernsey on the Channel Islands. They were first brought to Great Britain in 1965 and a sub-breed has evolved known as the British Guernsey.
According to the Golden Guernsey Goat Society, "The origin of the Golden Guernsey is unknown, though research on DNA by the University of Cordoba has concluded that the goat is indigenous to Guernsey." The first documented reference to the Golden Guernsey in its current form dates from 1826 when reference to a "golden goat" was printed in a guide book. In 1965 the Golden Guernsey was exported to Great Britain and the English Golden Guernsey Club, later to become the Golden Guernsey Goat Society, was formed. The American Guernsey Goat is a golden colored goat created by crossing US dairy goats with Golden Guernsey (GG) semen.
Appearance / health:
The Golden Guernsey Goat is golden in color, with hues ranging from pale blond to deep bronze. They are smaller and more fine-boned than other British milking goats, and there is great variety in coat length. The males are sometimes horned but the vast majority are not.
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:
Golden Guernsey Goats are generally docile and friendly. 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.
excellent milkers, beautiful Golden Guernsey, exquisitely beautiful animal, rich milk, healthy fats
The Great Golden Guernsey Goat
From the day Emma, my beautiful Golden Guernsey, arrived on my smallholding with her two kids, I was hooked! Admittedly she proved to be a bit of a stubborn sulker when she couldn't get her way, but apart from that she was not only an excellent milker and mother, but great company too.
The rich golden-brown of this breed of goat is very attractive (for a goat!) and when I starting keeping a number of Golden Guernsey's in the garden of my town house, people would often wander up the drive or peep over the fence to see them - which says as much about their charm as about the nosiness of my neighbours!
My Golden Guernsey's, though prone to occasionally kicking at their milking buckets in mid-flow, were excellent milkers and I regularly got almost 2 kilos a day, often more. They do seem to dry up rather early, meaning you need to get them in kid every year, but that is no bad thing as the meat of these goats is very tasty (far superior to lamb or beef in my opinion), and the boy goats put on a fairly decent bit of meat quickly. Of course, if you cross them with a Boer goat I am sure this yield could be improved.
The milk is exceptional - without any unpleasant 'goaty' odour. My fussy children never batted an eye-lid when given it, and my wife only went off it briefly when she accidentally put milk still warm from the udder on her Weetabix. The fat content of the milk is good for making cheese too.
I did have some problems with the Golden Guernseys - mostly birth defects in the form of misshapen kids or difficult pregnancies. In fact that was what eventually put my goat keeping on hold as Emma sadly had to be put down due to a complicated birth which neither she nor her unborn kids survived.
On the whole, I was always delighted with my goats. They all had really individual characters, were easy to get 'in kid', milked well, tasted great, were easy to keep and were very tolerant of my younger children ("That bit of a goat is NOT for touching!" was a regular refrain in my garden). On the downside, the breed seems somewhat prone to birthing issues, though I seem to have had some particularly bad luck with mine..
From Phin Hall Jan 19 2013 7:32PM