The LaMancha Goat is a dairy goat breed which was developed in Oregon by crossing Swiss and Nubian bucks with Californian short-eared goats from a Spanish lineage.
The Nubian or Anglo-Nubian Goat was developed in England by crossing native British milking goats (Old English Milch and Zariby) with Nubian breeds supposedly from the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, Egypt, Russia, or India. Their warm climate heritage accounts for their longer breeding season than other dairy goats.
Appearance / health:
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. Angoras are prone to parasite attacks due to their dense hair.
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.
LaMancha Nubian Cross, one of the Friendliest Milk Crosses
We obtained her from a friend who had a small milking herd. She was a twin and surplus. As a result she was bottle reared and that seems to be the true secret to a friendly and affectionate goat. The more they can bond with you the better. She was reared as a milker and to provide meat from surplus male kids.
Like sheep goats are herd animals and should not be kept by themselves... indeed, if kept out of a herd goats will often become sick and will pine. But they can be kept in mixed herds with sheep.
They have a reputation for nibbling on and eating anything, which is well deserved. As soon as you got within tongue distance you were licked all over and your clothes were being nibbled and she could not be allowed anywhere near the clothes line. Like many goats, she did butt... but not aggressively. However, bear this in mind if you have children, particularly small ones.
As for milking, the teats are quite large and the milking process is no hardship. If you have not reared goats for meat before, the Nubian cross is good as it provides a sweet flesh. Slightly stronger in flavour than lamb, but not much so. As an all-round animal for a smallholder or someone with a large garden then goats are ideal and from my experience the LaMancha Nubian cross is one of the best. Just get your goat early and hand-rear and you will have a friend for life..
From DLlE Aug 31 2012 7:36AM