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Spanish Goats: A Comprehensive Breed Profile 

spanish goats

Spanish goats are hardy ruminants prized for their milk and meat, but is it worth adding to your herd?

In this article, we’ll give you insights into Spanish goats’:

  • Origin and history over the decades and how they were preserved
  • Distinguishing characteristics and their disposition towards other goats and their humans
  • Lifespan and performance in the milk and meat department

Should you decide to get a Spanish goat, we’ll also give you some tips on how to raise these goats and keep them in shape.

To ensure you’ll make informed decisions, join us and discover the world of the Spanish goats.

Spanish Goat Breed Overview

Average Height: 20 inches
Average Weight: Does: 100 to 150 pounds
Bucks: 200 to 250 pounds
Colors: Black, white, fawn, grey, and brown
Temperament: Less tamed, unfriendly
Primary Purpose: Meat production


What Are Spanish Goats?

Spanish goats are native landrace in the United States. But as they spread throughout the world, it has been given different names like Virginia hill, scrub, brier, woods, and hills goats.

Because of its short udder and teats, the Spanish goat makes a great range animal and has the potential to reproduce out of season.

They are known for their unique gene pool that makes them hardy, efficient, and survive in any climate.

This goat breed belongs to a group that has had some selective pressures for qualities related to production.

Although the term is occasionally used informally to describe local or brush goats, it is technically incorrect. 

Despite being spread throughout the country, most of them are found in Texas.

Thanks to these dedicated Texas breeders, the breed was developed into the Spanish goats we know today.

Spanish Goats’ Characteristics

Aside from being great goats, Spanish goats also have good postures that goat growers love. 

Spanish Goat Size

So, how big do Spanish goats get?

They aren’t taller than other goats because they have compact body sizes. They could grow up to 20 inches tall and 20 inches in length.

How much does a Spanish goat weigh?

Although this breed is not tall, they can catch up to the size of big goats in terms of weight. Male Spanish goats can weigh 200 to 250 pounds, an average weight for the heaviest goats. Additionally, mature females can grow up to 100 to 150 pounds.

What Do Spanish Goats Look Like?

Adult Spanish goats typically have large and wide ears. It stands horizontally along with its face, which is hollow and fits its unique ears.

What Color Are Spanish Goats?

Spanish goats come in a variety of colors, especially when they are bred to other colors. Most of their colors have black, white, fawn, grey, and brown shades.

The length of their coat depends on themself or the dominant coat from their parents, so it’s either long or short.

Other than their coat, like other goats, they also have long horns that descend out and upward. And it grows more until they reach maturity.

Spanish Goat’s Origin and History

Spanish goats originally came from Spain. However, in the 1500s, the breed was brought to the United States by Spanish colonists, conquering the shores of Mexico and the Caribbean.

After that, they became popular in America. But sadly, this led to the extinction of their breed in Europe countries because of the crossbreeding and selection process.

As they roamed freely, their goats eventually became accustomed to the surroundings’ topography and climate. Some became ferocious, while others provided milk, meat, hair, and hide to homesteaders. 

Local strains emerged due to natural selection and geographic isolation due to difficult outdoor living. These kinds evolved to be perfectly adapted to the harsh environments in which they thrived. 

They were not regarded as a breed, though. Texan farmers began integrating imported Angora goats into their flocks of sheep in the late 1800s. Spanish goats used to be effective for cleaning pasture underbrush. 

Angora herds now serve this purpose. Family and coworkers continued raising a few Spanish for inexpensive meat in the interim.

In this regard, sheep and angoras were too important as fiber-producing animals. After then, angora production lost money in the 1960s. 

Meanwhile, Texan farmers recognized the potential for turning meat production into a successful industry. Markets were becoming more accessible during this period due to improved transportation. 

They came to understand that Spanish goats were perfect for the emerging market. They made the most of their wide range because they were tough and productive.

Spanish Goat Breed’s Temperament

The Spanish goat is less tamed than other meat breeds like the Boer and the Kiko. As a result, goatherds that own them would tell you that they are difficult to handle.

Being fairly flighty, Spanish goats can be difficult to catch for upkeeping. However, over time, you can train them well.

What’s good about this breed is that they tolerate well, even in difficult weather conditions, and can forage in local plants.

They are also productive, especially in producing milk for the amazing growth of their kids.

Other than that, because of their healthy and physically active body, internal parasites can’t defeat them. So they will likely survive any situation.

What Are Spanish Goats Used For?

Now let’s discuss the main purpose of Spanish goats and how they can benefit you.

Spanish goats would surely grow healthy and productive if given proper feeding and caring.

The growers can highly benefit from this kind of breed because they are dual purpose. First is meat, and the other is milk production.

Spanish Goats’ Meat Production

Are Spanish goats good for meat? Yes, this breed can produce good meat.

Many Spanish goat populations are located in Texas, where the breed has established a production niche. 

But even in Texas, crossbreeding of Spanish goats for meat production is widespread, particularly with the South African Boer meat strain. 

Although this cross has exceptional hybrid vigor, the conservation of pure Spanish goats is threatened by widespread crossbreeding. 

Due to the expansion of the goat meat market and the growing breed’s productivity traits, there has been an increase in interest in this breed.

Spanish Goats’ Milk Production

Are Spanish goats good for milk?

Aside from being a great meat producer, Spanish goats can also be impressive mothers for their kids. They can produce sufficient milk for their kids to grow healthy and strong.

If you’re lucky enough, you can also benefit from the milk they produce.

Spanish Goat Breed’s Population and Reproduction

In the previous year’s count in 2021, there was an estimated 500,000 Spanish goats worldwide.

However, we cannot say this population is pure because of crossbreeding.

How long are Spanish goats pregnant?

For mature Spanish does or nannies, the gestation period would last up to 155 days after fertility.

If these days were completed, their babies could be born healthy and normal unless they have bad health conditions.

How many babies do Spanish goats have?

Mammals like goats are most unlikely to have just one kid. They could have multiple kids—it’s either a twin, triplet, or even quadruplets.

However, it depends on the capability and health of the doe to hold her babies. So, it’s always important to properly feed and care for them to help them bear their kid well.

Spanish Goat Breed’s Lifespan

How long do Spanish goats live? Their lifespan ranges from 5 to 7 years. When taken care of properly, they may live longer than that.

Spanish goats are crossed frequently with other goats to strengthen their progeny’s durability. 

Spanish Goat’s Predators

This meat goat breed has similar predators to other goats, like canine species, including foxes, wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs.

In addition, humans who slaughter goats for their meat and other resources pose a threat to them.

How Much Do Spanish Goats Cost?

Nowadays, Spanish goat meats are highly demanded in the market. So, the average cost of this breed is around $300 to $350 each. But females were usually more expensive than males.

The advantage of keeping these goats is that they can resist parasitic infestations. So, they rarely deworm and have lower medical fees. 

They belong to the most affordable, convenient, and easy-to-care goat breeds.

Spanish Goat Pros and Cons

To help you weigh in if this goat breed is suitable for you, here’s a summary of its pros and cons:


  • Great meat producer, especially for commercial purposes
  • They are good foragers and can eat even local plants or grass
  • Reproduce well
  • Great mothers to their kids by producing enough milk
  • Active, strong, parasitic tolerance, and survivor in extreme weather conditions


  • Sometimes flighty and lightweight if not properly fed
  • Need more care by giving proper supplements, clean water, and proper diet to be more productive
  • They might be hard to handle, especially for beginners
  • Does not produce as much milk as other dairy goat breeds

Caring for Spanish Goats as Pets

Compared to other breeds, they are rather simple to care for and are suitable for homesteading.

Should you decide to raise Spanish goats after weighing the pros and cons, here are some tips on how to raise them.

Provide Enclosure or Fence

Spanish goats need fences and shelter against snow, rain, high heat, and wind like other animals, despite being hardy.

So, your fence must be sturdy to withstand any damage the goats may do. And because this species can jump so high, the wall should be at least 4 to 5 feet.

Additionally, it should be secure enough so no one can push it down. 

These goats would try anything to escape a confined space, especially if the food on the other side attracts them. 

To keep them as safe as possible, secure the fence firmly in the ground and space the posts no more than 8 feet apart.

When building your fence, you can use woven wire, welded wire, or cattle panels as the material of your choice. 

To stop them from bending or jumping over the fence, you can run a line of electric wire through the enclosure. The house must, however, be capable of keeping the goat within and predators outside.

Give them Company

Whether you raise Spanish goats for pet or income purposes, it’s always important to have a company. Why?

They need someone to play with them to relieve their stress, and they won’t feel lonely. If you raise them for commercial purposes, they definitely need a partner to reproduce.

Proper Bedding

The bedding for your pet should be soft when it walks or lays down and capable of absorbing pee and excrement. 

Because they are less dusty and far more comfortable than wood pellets, use wood shavings or wheat straws.

Enough Lighting

These animals favor well-lit environments. The pens should have openings, like windows, to provide adequate lighting and ventilation.

Maintain Regular Check-up from the Vet

It’s always important to consult your vet regularly to ensure they are healthy and help them recover if there are health issues.

Proper Diet for Spanish Goats

Even though these goats can endure poor pastures, you should give them high-quality goat food and access to clean, fresh water. 

Because Spanish goats produce less milk than other goat breeds, they don’t need as much water while lactating. 

However, they do require sufficient feeds and nutrients for the infants. To avoid pregnancy toxemia, don’t overfeed Spanish goats when they are pregnant.

Since they’re herbivores, they will happily eat weeds, bark, shrubs, and herbs. To reach leaves, they could also climb trees. 

Providing them with independence will enable them to search for grass while getting exercise.

If you don’t have access to enough grazing land, feed your goats with high-quality alfalfa hay and high-quality milk instead.

This hay is a good source of calcium, which goats need, especially during pregnancy and lactation.

You can add minerals to the feeds as a supplement if the grass is too expensive.

And you can also give supplements for them like the one for cows with copper because it’s safe for them. Do not give a sheep’s supplement because it can intoxicate them.

If you have many supplies of veggies and fruits, it would be a great treat for them while socializing with them.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spanish Goats

What is unique about Spanish goats?

Their unique ability is that they can breed even if it’s not their season yet. And they are hardy because they can tolerate extreme weather, like hot temperatures.

You only need to provide sufficient clean water to keep them hydrated.

What type of breed is a Spanish goat?

They are part of a landrace breed. Though they are not part of the tallest goat breed, they are one of the best goats for meat production. And it’s been their purpose for over many decades.

How often do Spanish goats breed?

They can breed all year round. So, they can produce kids three times within two years.

And they can complete their reproduction cycle within 12 to 36 hours and their estrous cycle between 18 to 24 days.

Do female Spanish goats have horns?

Yes, just like the male goats, the females also have horns. The only difference is the size of the horns and their position.

For example, their male goats usually have large twisted horns, while females do not.

How long are Spanish goats pregnant?

These great Spanish goats’ gestation period is 155 days after fertilization. So they may breed again before the year ends.

Is the Spanish goat breed hardy?

Yes, they are hardy and can survive and thrive in harsh conditions.

For cashmere and meat production, purebred Spanish goats have been crossed with imported goat breeds.

Spanish Goats: Final Thoughts

Spanish goats are suitable for meat production and breeding because they can breed all year round. They can also survive extreme weather conditions and are excellent mothers to kids.

They’re also low maintenance and come in various beautiful colors.

However, although they can produce milk, it may not be enough to support your family’s dairy needs and establish a small business.

If you wish to raise a goat with prolific milk-producing capabilities and a docile temperament, check out this unique earless breed below.

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