Other common names: American Lamancha; La Mancha Goat
The LaMancha Goat was developed in the United States from a short eared breed of dairy and meat goat from Spain called the Murciana.
Beginning in the 1930's, Mrs. Eula Fay Frey of Oregon began a breeding program using short-eared Spanish Murciana does, and Nubian and French Alpine Goat bucks. Lamanchas first gained recognition as a distinct breed in the early 1950s, and the breed was registered formally on January 27, 1958 as "Lamancha or American Lamancha" goats.
Appearance / health:
The LaMancha is a medium-to-large-sized milking goat with short, fine, and glossy hair. The head is wide, long, and tapering, with a straight nose. The legs are straight, strong, and wide-set. The male has a full beard. The LaMancha comes in different colors.
What distinguish LaMancha Goats from other goats are its two types of earflaps: the elf ear, which is 2 inches in length, and the gopher ear, which is 1 inch in length with very little cartilage.
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.
The LaMancha is established in the milk production with high butterfat category, and known to be calm and gentle, resilient and productive, and having an excellent dairy temperament.
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.
easy handling, high butterfat, sweet personallities, high milk production, 4H children
escape artists, GOOD fencing, fully intact males, urinary calculi stones
little bitty ears, earless stock, tricolored, inquisitive goat, great mammas, strong parasite resistance
Joe was such an... interesting goat. He's a huge buck--came up to my hips, and stood well up on seven feet when he was on his back legs. He's very, very sweet. Loves people, loves kids, loves other animals. He used to let my friend's kids climb all over him. Unfortunately, he is a master escape artist. Since he's so big, fences don't even register as a problem for him. His owner eventually chained him to a tractor tire to prevent him from getting away if he did jump the fence, and again, he's so big he barely registers the tire. He is now quite strong from dragging it around all the time. If goat carts were more of a thing, he'd be right on that. At any rate, definitely a great goat, just... not so great on the whole "stay in the pen" deal..
From annamatopia Jun 27 2015 1:58PM
Strange Look, But Awesome Breed
The most striking feature of the LaMancha are the tiny “elf ears” they have. Depending on the goat they either look super cute, super weird, or like a terrifying herbivore version of a Velociraptor. Most of the time it’s all three, but they are sweet and intelligent animals for the most part. We started with a doe name Jacee. We bought her when she was about 6. She had the biggest eyes and a loving loyal streak to rival most dogs. She attached herself to my Mom and would follow on her heels when hiking or in the pen. She gave an average of 1 - 1 1/2 quarts of milk a day with a 4% butterfat content. The former owner had her horns removed as a kid, but we let all of her babies keep their horns since we housed them on acreage in the country; their horns are a vital part of their anatomy that lets them protect themselves from predators, but if you keep your goats strictly penned then removing the horns might be in their best interest so they do not harm each other.
Jacee gave us many kids that went on to be good pack goats or meat goats to sell. Other than a ringworm scare and a few short lived infections, Jacee was pretty healthy until her later years when her eyesight began to go. At the end of her time with us, Jacee couldn’t see much beyond vague shapes. Another milker, a Nubian called Nana, became her seeing eye buddy, sticking close and leading Jacee around obstacles and helped her find food.
If I had the space, land, and access to open hills I would probably get a LaMancha again. Although the lack of ears often led to irritation with flies and bugs, the LaManchas were generally healthy and easy to handle, and when a goat adores you, you have a loving friend for life. Their hooves should be checked regularly if you keep them penned most of the time, because moisture can seep into the hoof and cause hoof rot, and without regular traipsing over rock they are likely to grow longer than is good for hoof health..
From ShilohOhmes Mar 24 2015 2:25PM
Maddy the Escape Artist
I acquired my first goats in the fall of 2012. I purchased two beautiful Saanen does and learned how to milk. I loved them and soon bought several more goats, all Saanen crosses. A couple had a little LaMancha mixed in. These were my most mischievous goats, but at the time I attributed their antics to their young age.
Wanting to further expand my herd, I bought Maddy from a large dairy operation that was downsizing. Presumably she didn’t make the cut as a commercial milker. Curious to try a different breed, I was excited to bring home this new goat and her two newborn kids.
Her kids were adorable and she seemed sweet and gentle in her pen. But what I really was keen on was how nice her udder was! My other goats were all essentially backyard bred, so Maddy was my first well-bred milker. I anticipated gallons of milk flowing easily from this goat into my fridge and cheese-making equipment.
Nothing could have been further from reality.
Very quickly Maddy proved herself to be an incredible nuisance. Unaccustomed to being handled - I assume they must have machine milked her - she was not only nearly impossible to milk, just getting my hands on her proved to be quite a challenge some days. An amazing jumper and acrobat, she was constantly escaping from every pen or enclosure I put her in. Her kids were just as bad, and completely wild. I was very quickly at my wits end!
I have since learned that LaManchas have the reputation of being part monkey. Indeed, I sometimes found my Saanen-LaMancha mixes balancing on rails and fences like gymnasts. An admirable talent if you have strong infrastructure and no one living nearby, but when your neighbour a few hundred feet from the barn loves their garden more than anything… well, Maddy soon found herself for sale.
I also sold Maddy’s kids as I didn’t want to keep any of that bloodline in my barn. I simply didn’t have the fencing to safely manage such agile goats. I had enough trouble with my mixes!
Maddy’s kids were sold separately and each went to more appropriate homes. I am happy to report that they all settled in well to their new farms, although one had to be re-homed again for fencing jumping. She now lives in a field with a five foot wooden fence topped with a hot wire!
Looking back now with more experience, Maddy was actually quite a sweet goat. She had not had a great start to life, coming from a commercial operation, but even by the time I sold her she had friendlied up and become easier to handle. Had I had the fencing to contain her, she might have worked out well. I visit one of her now-adult daughters regularly, and she’s quite delightful.
All in all, this is a nice goat with good milking potential, but perhaps not the ideal breed for a novice goat herd. Maybe some day I’ll give the breed a second chance..
From HeleneMarie Jan 20 2015 7:47PM