If you’re thinking of keeping goats in Texas, you’re in luck! Texas has a long-standing tradition of goat rearing. In fact, goats have become a staple in the farming and ranching industry in Texas. With its vast landscape and agriculture-friendly climate, it’s no wonder that the Lone Star state is home to a variety of goats.
So, what are the different types of goat breeds for milk in Texas? Generally, there are 13 different types of goat breeds for milk in Texas, including Boer goat, Nubian Goat, Spanish Goat, Alpine Goat, Saanen Goat, LaMancha Goat, Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Toggenburg Goat, and Oberhasli Goat.
Keep reading to explore the different kinds of goats that you can find in Texas and what makes them unique. You might also enjoy reading 7 Tips and Tricks on How to Increase Milk Production in Goats.
1- Boer Goats
Boer goats are one of the most popular breeds in Texas. They were originally bred in South Africa for their meat and are known for their high growth rate and good musculature.
In addition, Boer goats are hardy and easy to care for, with high disease resistance, making them perfect for first-time goat farmers. Boer goats have a distinctive white body with a reddish-brown head and outstanding size and growth rate (Source: Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Association)
Furthermore, Boer goats can adapt to different types of environments and climates, which is why they thrive in Texas. According to the Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Association, the Boer goat is mainly used to cross on the Angora, Spanish, and dairy goats to enhance meat production.
2- Spanish Goats
Another popular breed in Texas is the Spanish goat. Spanish goats were brought to North America by Spanish explorers in the 16th century.
Spanish goats are also known as brush goats because they are great at clearing brush and unwanted vegetation. Generally, Spanish goats are known for their hardiness and adaptability, as well as their ability to survive in harsh environments.
Moreover, Spanish goats come in different colors and patterns and are known for their excellent taste in meat. They are also docile and easy to maintain, making them a favorite among farmers.
3- Nigerian Dwarf Goats
If you are looking for a smaller breed, Nigerian Dwarf goats are an excellent choice. Goats were among the first domesticated animals because they were friendly and curious, making them great pets (Source: Atlanta-Fulton County Zoo)
According to the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Society of Australia (NDGSA), Nigerian Dwarf goats produce high-butterfat milk, and their easygoing manner makes them a popular choice for dairy farmers. They come in various colors and patterns and are easy to care for.
You might love reading Milk Like a Pro: Choosing the Top 5 Milking Machines for Nigerian Dwarf Goats.
4- Alpine Goats
Alpine goats are a breed of goat that originated in the Alps (Switzerland) and were brought to the United States from France (Source: Oklahoma State University)
Alpine goats are a popular dairy breed in Texas. They are generally known for their high milk production, making them a great choice for dairy farmers. Alpine goats are excellent milkers and typically have large, well-shaped udders with well-placed teats of desirable shape.
Furthermore, Alpine goats come in various colors and patterns, are hardy and adaptable, and can be used for meat and dairy.
5- Nubian Goats
Nubian goats were produced in England by crossing British goats with bucks of African and Indian origin, according to Oklahoma State University.
In addition, Nubian goats are one of the most recognizable breeds of goats worldwide because of their long, floppy ears. And they are usually black, brown, or white.
Also, Nubian goats are known for their high milk production and sweet-tasting milk. They are also great for meat production because of their muscular build. Nubian goats are perfect for homesteads and small farms because of their good temperaments.
6- Saanen Goats
The Saanen dairy goats are initially in Switzerland, in the Saanen Valley. Generally, Saanen goats are known to be heavy milk producers and typically yield 3 to 4 percent milk fat (Source: Oklahoma State University)
The Saanen goats are known for their hardiness and can adapt to various climates, making them well-suited for the hot summers and mild winters in much of the Lone Star State.
You can raise Saanen goats for either meat or milk production, with many farmers choosing to combine both. If you have a small-scale farm, Saanen goats will be perfect for you as they require minimal upkeep and are low maintenance.
7- LaMancha Goats
LaMancha goats are loyal dairy goats that can produce quality milk with high butterfat and protein over a long period. The LaMancha goats have a straight face, with the ears being the distinct breed characteristic.
The LaMancha goat originates in Oregon, USA, from short-eared goats found in LaMancha and throughout Spain (Source: Oklahoma State University)
8- Toggenburg Goats
The Toggenburg goats are Swiss dairy goats from the Toggenburg Valley of Switzerland at Obertoggenburg. They are also known to be the oldest known dairy goat breed.
More importantly, Toggenburg goats perform best in cooler conditions and are known for their excellent udder development, high milk production, and an average fat test of 3.7 percent, according to experts from Oklahoma State University.
Toggenburg goats generally are medium-sized and look sturdy, vigorous, and alert. Toggenburg goats are typically slightly smaller than Alpine goats, with the does weighting at least 120lb (about 55kg)
9- Oberhasli Goats
Oberhasli goats originated in the Canton of Berne, Switzerland, and although they are relatively rare in the U.S., they remain highly desired for their abundant milk production (Source: Atlanta-Fulton County Zoo)
According to the Western North Carolina Nature Center, Oberhasli goats are known for their gentle disposition and are excellent milk producers, with a record of 4665 lbs. of milk yielded in one year.
The Oberhasli coat is typically light tan to deep reddish brown with black points but can also be black due to recessive genes. In general, Oberhasli goats live about ten years, with sexual maturity reached at 3 to 12 months. They are also medium-sized and alert in appearance.
10- Angora Goat
The Angora goat developed in the district of Angora in Asia Minor. The Angora goats date back to early biblical history, 1571 and 1451 B.C. (Source: Oklahoma State University)
The Angora goat is a small animal compared to sheep, typical goats, or milk goats. The most valuable aspect of the Angora goat, compared to other goats, is the value of the clipped mohair.
The average goat in the U.S. shears around 5.3 pounds of mohair per shearing and is typically sheared twice a year. In addition, Angora goats are known to be browsing animals, which has made them very adaptable to certain agriculture sections.
11- Cashmere Goats
The word cashmere derives from the name of the Himalayan state of Kashmir and describes the fine, soft-handling down undercoat produced by goats in that area.
In the U.S., most breeds of short-haired goats, including the Spanish, Boer, and dairy breeds, produce cashmere in varying amounts.
Recently, the U.S. has been growing a cashmere-producing industry by breeding selected cashmere goats to our short-haired goats.
12- Myotonic Goats (Tennessee Fainting Goats)
Myotonic goats are called Wooden Leg goats, “stiff leg,” or Tennessee fainting goats, among the few indigenous to the U.S. (Source: Oklahoma State University)
Most Texas herds tend to be larger, probably because of their selective breeding for the meat market. Some ranchers even renamed Myotonic goats Tennessee Meat Goats.
13- Pygmy Goats
The Pygmy Goats, or Cameroon Dwarf Goats, are mostly restricted to West African countries, according to Oklahoma State University.
Pygmy goats are also a small breed and are often kept as pets because they have a playful and friendly nature, which makes them great for children.
Also, Pygmy goats are hardy and can adapt to different climates, making them a perfect choice for backyard pets.
What to read next:
- 5 Key Benefits of Using Electric Goat Milkers.
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- Technology and Goats: Can Goats be Milked by Machine?
There you have it – the different types of goats you can find in Texas. Whether you’re looking for a hardy meat breed like the Boer, a reliable brush cleaner like the Spanish, or a high milk producer like the Alpine, there’s a goat breed for your needs.
And if you want a cute and friendly pet goat, you can’t go wrong with the Pygmy. I believe that no matter what breed you choose, goats have become an integral part of the agriculture industry and off-the-grid living in Texas thanks to their hardiness, adaptability, and versatility.
Each breed has its unique characteristics, and it’s essential to choose one that suits your needs and lifestyle. With proper care and attention, goats can bring joy and productivity to your farm or backyard.