Have you ever seen an earless ruminant like LaMancha goat? This unique breed is prized for being a prolific milk producer.
But if you want to raise this dairy goat made in America, you must know the pros and cons of raising this earless breed.
So, to help you make the right decision, we will share with you the:
- Origin and history of the American Lamancha goats
- Their distinctive characteristics and the science behind their earless appearance
- And the cost and downsides of keeping LaMancha
So, before clicking the purchase button, learn more about this breed in this extensive guide.
LaMancha Goat Breed Overview
|Average Height:||Does: 28 in. (71 cm)|
|Bucks: 30 in. (76 cm)|
|Average Weight:||Does: 130 lb. (59 kg)|
|Bucks: 160 lb. (73 kg)|
|Colors:||White, cream, shades of brown, gray, or black with badger stripes, dairy markings, or pied|
|Temperament:||Friendly and calm|
What is a LaMancha Goat?
LaManchas are large dairy goats with an excellent reputation in the dairy industry, for its not just a prolific milk producer; it also offers high butterfat content.
This breed is also hardy and adaptable to any environment.
But what do LaMancha goats look like?
LaMancha Goat Breed Characteristics
This breed boasts short, glossy fur in various colors and patterns. They also have symmetrical spots with different colors on their heads and black stripes along their backs.
They’re tough and have good dairy conformation and strong legs. LaMancha bucks have beards, but females barely have one.
This breed features a straight head profile with an earless appearance. Some have wattles, while others don’t.
But how big do LaMancha goats get?
LaMancha Goats Size
This breed is smaller than typical dairy goats. But despite their size, they don’t disappoint in the milking department.
How much does a LaMancha goat weigh?
LaMancha does average weight is around 130 lb. (or 59 kg), while bucks weigh about 160 lb. (or 73 kg).
How tall are LaMancha goats?
Does can grow up to 28 in. (or 71 cm), while LaMancha bucks are 30 in. (or 76 cm) in height.
LaMancha Goat Colors
This breed comes in various colors, including white, cream, brown, gray, or black, with badger stripes, dairy markings, or pied patterns.
LaMancha Goat Ears
The breed’s main distinctive feature is its ears. LaMancha goats can have two kinds of ears; elf and gopher ears:
LaMancha Elf ears
LaMancha goats’ elf ears are 2” long, with wrinkles at the bottom and a tip that either points down or up.
This ear is a bit shorter, usually around 1” long or less, with little to no cartilage. It doesn’t look like an ear because it’s like folds of the skin around the ear’s opening with a tiny tip pointing up or down.
Gopher-eared LaMancha goats are the only accepted goats in the registry and for breeding because crossing elf ears can result in long-eared kids.
LaMancha Goat Origin
Despite the name LaMancha, no evidence points out that this breed is related to the goat from the La Mancha region in Spain. Therefore, the origin of the American LaMancha is uncertain.
But one thing is for sure; this breed was developed in the early 20th century in the United States, hence the name American LaMancha.
Since it was developed in the US, the purebreds and grade animals are registered in the American LaMancha section.
LaMancha Goat’s History
It’s believed that the local herds of LaMancha in California are descendants of goats brought by Spanish colonists during 1769–1833 from Mexico when they carried out missions in the State.
And in the 1920s, Phoebe Wilhelm kept a herd of 125 local “earless” goats in California. However, he used purebred Saanens to breed them due to the lack of suitable native bucks.
But thanks to the efforts of Eula Fay Frey, who developed the breed, LaMancha goats were brought into existence.
In 1937, Frey purchased a tiny dairy farm with two short-eared goats. The doe was relatively small but produced lots of milk.
She bred the son with a French Alpine-Nubian doe, which produced the adorable Peggy, who became the foundation of Frey’s new, unique breed development.
Mrs. Frey bred Peggy and her offspring selectively with different dairy breeds such as French Alpine, Nubian, Toggenburg, Oberhasli, and a Spanish breed Murcian.
To further develop the LaMancha breed, Frey purchased premium small-eared goats of comparable breeding and relocated her farm to Oregon.
She stopped breeding with foreign breeds after 1957 and only bred LaMancha to LaMancha.
She was the key contributor to the first registry’s foundation herd, which consisted of about 200 animals when founded in 1958.
The breed has since spread throughout the nation, being kept in 41 of the 50 states, including Alaska, and recognized in Canada and Panama.
Temperament of the LaMancha Goat Breed
This breed is among the best dairy goat breeds out there because of its docile temperament.
They’re friendly, easy to manage, and can show love and affection, making them ideal for goat owners looking for pet goats.
However, LaMancha goats tend to be curious and clever.
While it’s fun having intelligent animals in your backyard or farm, you need to build strong and high fences to keep them in one area and prevent them from escaping.
LaMancha Goat Breed’s Habitat
American LaMancha goats typically live on farms. Since they’re easy to deal with, docile and friendly, they’re perfect for newbie farmers or small farms.
But it’s worth noting that even though they’re adaptable to various weather conditions, they need shelter and protection from wetness and cold, like barns or protective structures.
Uses of LaMancha Goat Breed
LaMancha goats are mainly bred for milk production. In this section, we’ll dive into why this breed is prized as a milk producer.
LaMancha Goat Milk Production
As said earlier, LaMancha has a good reputation in the dairy goat department due to its prolific milking capabilities.
They have large udder and long tits, so you can easily milk them. They’re also tall enough, so you can place a bucket under them.
Are LaMancha goats good milkers?
LaManchas are good milkers; their milk is high in butterfat and protein. It contains 3.1% protein and 3.9% butterfat. So you can use it for different cheese recipes.
Their milk is sweet and rich yet not too heavy. In fact, it’s easy to digest.
How much milk does a LaMancha goat produce?
The LaMancha goat’s average daily milk production is 3 liters or 0.79 gallons over a 10-month lactation period.
But it can vary depending on the goat, the time of the year, and the type and quality of food you provide to your ruminants.
How long do LaMancha goats produce milk?
LaMancha can produce milk for two years without having to “refreshen” or get pregnant again.
Therefore, they can start giving you milk after giving birth in Spring, and you don’t need to breed it again that fall.
LaMancha Goat Breed’s Population and Reproduction
The estimated population of LaMancha goats in 2013 was 50,000, which included 11,518 new registrations.
But in Canada, there were just 224 recorded by FAO in 2020. This is a significant drop in population from 3,650 in 1990.
LaManchas have a short breeding cycle, but the good news is they’re ready for breeding during their second fall when they’re fully-grown adults.
But even if they’re sexually mature in just a few months, most goat experts suggest waiting until does, and bucks are at least one year old.
This ensures they’re fully mature and well-developed before mating and ready to handle pregnancy and birth.
How Often Do Lamancha Goats Come in Heat?
These goats go into heat every 21 days for a day or two during the fall season or around September to December.
The signs that they’re in heat include:
- Swollen rear end
- Discharge or mucus
- Unusual bleating
- Greater interest in bucks
How Long Are Lamancha Goats Pregnant?
LaMancha goat’s gestation period lasts around 155 days. So, the does need special care and management during this critical period.
They typically give birth to one to three babies each pregnancy, and young kids weigh around 5 to 9 pounds.
Lifespan of LaMancha Goats
How long do LaMancha goats live? Unlike most goat breeds which average 10 to 15 years, LaManchas can only live up to 7 to 10 years.
But with the right diet and proper care, you can help your LaMancha live longer.
LaMancha Goat’s Predators
American LaMancha goats enjoy foraging but are prone to several predators despite their large size.
They can fall victim to wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, and other larger predators. Furthermore, their young kids are easy targets for large raptors like eagles.
Thus, you need to set up high, secure fencing for these large goats so they can’t jump over and escape and be safe from predators simultaneously.
We suggest checking your goat and pasture regularly. But if you can’t watch over them, you may need the help of guardian animals like dogs, llamas, and donkeys.
Is LaMancha Goat Breed Hardy?
One of LaMancha goats’ selling points is their hardiness. This breed can adapt well to any environment and climate.
That’s why they’re ideal for dairy farms all over the country. They’re low-maintenance and easy to handle, so they’re ideal for beginners.
How Much Do LaMancha Goats Cost?
If you wish to purchase a LaMancha goat to add to your herd, you’ll probably ask yourself, “how much do LaMancha goats cost?”
The price ranges from as low as $150 to $1500 depending on the availability, parentage quality, demand for the breed, and the breeder.
The goat’s age, color, markings, bloodline, and sex can also influence LaMancha’s cost.
For example, Sirocco Ridge Farm’s purebred American LaMancha doelings range from $299 (1 to 4 weeks old) to $349 (4 weeks – 3 months old).
On the other hand, their bucklings cost $299 for 1 to 4 weeks old kids and $399 for those aged 4 weeks to 3 months old.
Where can you get a LaMancha goat if you can’t find one locally?
American LaMancha Breeders Association provides a list of registered LaMancha breeders, so you may visit their site to get their contact details.
Purebreed LaMancha breeders also register their goats in American Dairy Goat Association, but if you haven’t found one still, check out various LaMancha goat groups on Facebook.
You may find some listings for LaMancha goat kids for sale in March, April, and May.
Caring for LaMancha Goats as Pets and Dairy Goats
American LaMancha mini ear design makes it vulnerable to infection. So, you must clean their ears regularly to keep infections at bay.
Besides that, here are other tips on raising your goats in the healthiest and safest way possible.
If you provided a rich diet for goats, you’d get more milk, and the tastier the milk will become.
So, it’s best to supply them with high-quality goat pellets and supplement them with minerals if you want more milk.
LaMancha goats enjoy browsing for weeds, herbs, shrubs, and tree leaves. But owners provide hay to supplement their ruminants with enough nutrients.
You may also feed your goats with alfalfa which can be supplemented with minerals.
The ideal diet for ruminants like goats is 7% dietary crude protein and 50% dietary fiber.
Despite being hardy, LaMancha goats also need protection from harsh weather conditions. A simple three-sided shelter can already do the job.
But you can also utilize repurposed facilities like old dog houses, spacious pens, calf hutches, or greenhouse barns as their home.
They also prefer having a little access to the full sun while resting. So, it’d be better if you can give them that favor.
Since LaMancha goats are excellent escape artists, your fences should be at least five feet tall or taller. Don’t forget to check every side of the fence to ensure there are no holes or gaps where goats can escape.
Most goat owners use woven wire as a fence because it withstands pushing, climbing, and rowdiness.
Just like other ruminants, goats may also worm issues. So we recommend deworming your bird with different kinds of dewormers and giving it at different intervals, so the worm doesn’t get accustomed to anything.
But how will you know if your LaMancha goats need deworming?
Once a week, check the lower eyelid of the goat and look inside the eye.
If their skin isn’t pale and the skin is red, then the worm load is safe. But if their skin is pale and losing its redness, the worm load is increasing, and it’s time to deworm.
You also need to get LaMancha goat’s hooves, and nails trimmed every couple of months to keep them in shape and their feet in good condition.
If you have no experience in hoof trimming, it’s best to let the experts do the job to avoid injuries.
LaMancha Goat Pros and Cons
To sum it up, here are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing LaMancha goats.
- Prolific milk producer
- Early sexual maturity
- Don’t need to be refreshed within two years
- Milk produced is high in butterfat and protein
- Lacks protective flap(ears)
- Prone to infection
- Good escape artists
- Shorter lifespan
Frequently Asked Questions About LaMancha Goats
Why don’t LaMancha goats have ears?
The pina-reducing gene is dominant in LaMancha goats.
So, breeding two goats with such genes can result in a kid with a very tiny visible gopher ear type.
But if only one of the goats has that gene, the offspring will have a slightly longer residual pinna or elf ears.
What is the purpose of the LaMancha goat?
Lamanchas dairy goats can produce large amounts of nutritious milk with high butterfat and protein content.
But other people use them as pet goats or show goats, depending on their temperament and quality.
What is a unique characteristic of LaMancha goats?
Their distinctive feature is their very short ear pinnae that look almost earless.
They also have a short, glossy coat with different color and pattern variations.
What do LaMancha goats eat?
Like other goats, American LaManchas are browsers, so they love to browse for leaves, weeds, shrubs, grass, and other vegetation.
But those in zoos are usually fed with nutritionally balanced pellets, while most farmers supplement their free-ranging goats with hay.
Final Thoughts About LaMancha Goats: Is It The Right Breed For You?
LaMancha goat breed is the only breed made in America, and since it’s a prolific milk producer, it’s definitely worthy of the recognition it receives.
However, this earless breed lacks a protective flap, so they’re prone to ear infections. Furthermore, they have shorter lifespans.
But if you want a dairy goat breed that can provide your family with lots of milk high in butterfat and protein and is hardy and docile, this is one of the best goats for homesteading and farming you can have!