My first dairy animal was a Lamancha goat named Holly. I had been looking online for a goat in milk, and she was being offered for sale with one of her kids. Goats are very social animals, and I knew I needed to get two goats so they wouldn’t be lonely. This pair seemed like a great way to get started raising goats. We went to meet her, and we were offered a taste of her milk. SOLD!
Lamancha goat milk is amazing. It is so creamy and sweet, and doesn’t have even a hint of that “goatiness” that most people dread about goat milk. Lamanchas are like the Jersey cow of the goat world, with higher butterfat and better flavor. In fact, we have had many people taste our milk (including those with previous “bad experiences” with goat milk) and most say that they would have thought it was cow’s milk, only it’s better.
The origins of the Lamancha breed are uncertain, but their distinguishing feature, their tiny ears, has been mentioned in records as far back as ancient Persia. Short-eared goats were first exhibited at the World’s Fair in 1904, and they were from La Mancha, Spain. Spanish missionaries brought short-eared goats with them when they colonized California, and it is speculated that the American Lamancha descended from these goats.
Once we got Holly and her son, Oliver, we knew that Lamanchas are the goats for us. We decided to get a few more so that we could breed them and continue to have a steady supply of milk. One week in April of 2013, we brought home Delta, Latte, and Dusk, all from different breeders. All three of them are registered with the American Dairy Goat Association, so I will be able to register their offspring and track their lineage.
The goats are so much fun. They are quite intelligent, and each one has their own personality. They really like attention, and will all come to me for petting whenever I go into their area. I love to watch them interact with each other, sometimes affectionately nuzzling or taking a nap together, other times battling over a pan of feed or a spot in the sunshine. And I’m so excited to see the goat babies they will have in the spring!