The Spanish goat is one of the ancient breed of goat. It is a dual purpose breed of domestic goat, valued for both meat and milk production. It is also called the brush goat or scrub goat. The Spanish goat originally came from Spain via Mexico to the United States. It was brought form Spain to the Caribbean Islands at the beginning in the 1500s, and from there to the areas that would become the United States and Mexico. These foundation stocks were an undifferentiated Mediterranean type of goat that was common in Spain at the time but no longer exists. This adds genetic and historic importance to the Spanish goat breeds that evolved in the New World. Today the Spanish goat is a meat and brush-clearing type goat breed widely found in the United States.
The breed is often referred to as “wood” in the Southeast and elsewhere, “brush” or “briar” (North Carolina, South Carolina), “hill” (Virginia), and “scrub” (midwest Pennsylvania) goats. Different types of goats flourished in the Americas, and were valued as a ready source of milk, meat and hides. And the Spanish goat was the only goat breed known across the southern United States and in most other parts of the Americas for over 300 years. Spanish goat was kept mainly for the purpose of clearing brush and other undesirable plant species from pasture land. They are also good as meat goats, but the Boer goats have overtaken Spanish goats for meat in the 1980s. Today the numbers of purebred Spanish goat is threatened, due to the amount of crossbreeding. And the breed is listed on the ALBC (American Livestock Breeds Conservancy) watch list. Read more information about this goat breed below.
Spanish Goat Characteristics
The Spanish goat is a beautiful breed of goat. It is a landrace and varies in appearance. Both bucks and does are usually horned, and the bucks may have large and twisted horns. They have large ears and their ears are held horizontally and forward next to the head. Though the ears may be long like those of Nubian goats, the ear carriage is distinct, and the straight or concave face is quite different from that of the Nubian breed. The Spanish goat has a wide color variation, and they can be found in any color that is found in goats. Body weight of the adult goat vary from 23 to 90 kg. Photo from Wikipedia.
Spanish goats are multi-purpose animals. But they are now used mainly for meat production. But they are also good for brush-clearing purpose.
The Spanish goat is a very hardy and active animal. It can thrive in different and difficult environments. The breed has the ability to breed out of season, and it is an excellent range animal because of it’s small udder and teats. As the Spanish goats are very hardy, they are able to survive and thrive under adverse agroclimatic conditions, with only limited management inputs. Pure Spanish goats have been crossbred with imported goat breeds for cashmere and meat production. Most crossbred goats show a “superb hybrid vigor”. They are very good meat goat breed with good meat qualities. They have shown excellent hardiness and have shown themselves to be a low-input goat compared to other meat goat breeds. Review full breed profile of the Spanish goat in the following table.
Spanish Goat | Breed Profile
|Other Name||Also called the brush goat or scrub goat.|
|Breed Purpose||Meat & Milk|
|Buck||23 to 90 kg|
|Doe||23 to 90 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Good for Stall Fed||Not Sure|
|Country/Place of Origin||Spain|