To each breeder, his style.
Spanish goats still show genetic diversity within the breed. This means that your herd may look a little different than the other herd down the road. That's OK.
Your herd of Spanish goats may have a few other breeds thrown in there, too. That's OK, too. . . you're obviously interested in the Spanish genes within your herd.
What we're trying to accomplish here is the preservation of the old Spanish goat gene pool.
The only way that we can achieve this is by up-front and honest input from breeders. So you need to know what you have, and so do we. Here are the breed conformation guidelines for Spanish goats put forward by The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy:
Head Profile is usually straight or slightly convex. The ears are moderately long, and usually fall horizontally, but close to the head and alongside the face rather than out to the side. Long ears out to the side are more typcal of Nubian crosses, which is a common cross with these goats.
Horns These are usually long. On bucks they usually flare up, out laterally, and then twist at the tips. The large size and lateral twist are very typical.
Body Spanish goats are usually somewhat rangy and large-framed rather than compact and cobby. In selected lines the rangy frame is well-filled so that meat conformation is good on those lines.
Feet and Legs Usually the feet are strong with upright, strong pasterns. Legs are generally straight from front and rear view, with some tendancy toward low degrees of "cow hocks" in some animals.
Hair Coat Usually short; some have longer hair, especially on lower body and thighs. Some lines produce heavy cashmere coats.
Color All colors are acceptable. Some colors that occur in pure examples can resemble the colors in other breeds, but are no indication of crossbreeding unless accompanied by other conformational evidence of crossbreeding.
Evidence of Crossbreeding This varies with the type of goat introduced.
That's the best we have to go on so far. We'd really like to hear your feedback!
- Nubian cross Large horizontal or drooped ears straight out to side of head. Thick, heavy, but short horns.
- Boer cross Similar to Nubian.
- Angora cross Ears similar to Nubian crosses, excess hair.
- Alpine or other Swiss dairy crosses Shorter ears, usually upright rather than horizontal. Heavy, long horns with less twist than pure ones.
Help us find out what we have. Let us know what you see, what you find, and what traits you find are most common to Spanish goats. Help us find the Spanish goats in this country. We're looking for heritage genes. We seek animals that can survive well under severe conditions without a vet. We're looking for answers to questions not yet asked.
We love this breed, and intend to keep it here for years to come.
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