Spanish goats are known by many names in different parts of the United States, due to their long regional history scattered across North America, and their distinctive characteristics.
They are often called brush goats or scrub goats, wood goats, briar goats, and hill goats. As these names imply, these goats are hardy creatures that thrive in tough environments, foraging independently on difficult terrain.
They are frequently crossbred with other goats to impart vigor and toughness in their offspring. However, this extensive crossbreeding has led to reduced numbers of pure Spanish goats, and today the species is on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy watch list.
Spanish Goat Origin
Spanish Goat Uses
Before widespread refrigeration in the 1950s, small goats were preferred for meat, because most households didn’t have the means to preserve excess meat and keep it fresh. The small udders help the does forage on rough terrain and navigate briar patches. In short, these goats are ideal low-maintenance animals which require little care or human intervention when feeding or kidding.
Today, many breeders prefer these goats meat because, although they are small in size and don’t give as much milk as other breeds, their versatility and ease of care make them a reliable producer year after year. As one blogger puts it, “dead goats make no sales”. Some breeders love their year-round, high fat milk, but it can take a little effort to sufficiently tame a Spanish doe for consistent milking.
They are also very popular for brush-clearing and improving pasture for grazing animals, or simply to improve the landscape.
Spanish Goat Characteristics
Raising Spanish Goats
Breeding Spanish Goats
While a doe can come into heat as early as 5 months old, it is better to wait until she is at least 8 months old or 80 pounds to prevent kidding problems. When she is coming into heat, she will generally show signs with signature behaviors, such as:
When breeding Spanish goats, there are a few factors to consider:
The first Spanish goats arrived in the US in the early 1540s. They can be used for both meat and dairy production. Spanish goats are agile creatures that can easily adapt to almost any climate. They can weigh anywhere from 50 pounds to 200 pounds.
Raising Spanish goats: Pros & cons
Spanish goats care: Top tips
- Like most goats, Spanish goats need companionship so that they don’t get lonely.
- Spanish goats need to be dewormed frequently. Take them to a vet that has experience in dealing with this breed.
- Spanish goats are exceptional climbers. You want to create a structure that’s tall and strong enough to keep your goat contained.
- This breed can handle their own in pretty much any weather condition. They only need shelter for really harsh weather.
Spanish goats for sale: Where can I buy Spanish goats in the USA?
Here are a couple of places where you can buy a certified Spanish goat.
- Neely-Sawyer Spanish Goat Ranch
- The SGA has a list of places that sells Spanish goats in almost every state.
Spanish goat associations: What are the major Spanish goat associations in the USA?
Black Spanish Goats | Rugged Meat Producers
- Spanish goat FAQs
What type of goat is a Spanish goat?
Spanish goats are both dairy and meat goats. They’re considered to be medium-sized compared to other breeds.
How much do Spanish goats cost?
Purebred yearling does average $300 to $350, but because of the rarity of purebred stock crossbreeds may cost less.
How big do Spanish goats usually get?
Although they can reach up to 250 pounds, they average closer to 150 to 200 pounds.