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BRITISH GOAT SOCIETY

Goat Breeds

 
Anglo Nubian Golden & British Guernsey Angora Bagot
British Alpine Saanen Boer Harness
British Saanen British  Cashmere Pygmy
British Toggenburg Toggenburg
English

BAGOT

This ancient native breed is known to have existed continuously since the 1380's. The name is derived from the Bagot family, of Blithfield Hall, Staffordshire, who owned the earliest known herd which roamed wild in Bagots Park, three miles from the Hall.

Its origin is the subject of discussion and research, which may be followed in the publications of the Bagot Goat Breed Society, affiliated to the BGS. 

The Bagot is medium sized, with long hair, and horned and has a nervous character. The striking colour pattern which breeders aim for is entirely black from nose to shoulder, entirely white behind the shoulder line, however this pattern currently does not always bred true. 

Bagot numbers have fluctuated for a variety of reasons but the breed is now secure as herds exist in many locations, and numbers are increasing, even though it is not a productive breed, except possibly for meat. Purchasers of Bagot stock should ensure that it is pure-bred. At one time a grading up programme was operated to increase numbers and decrease inbreeding. Bagot males were used on any female goat and progeny were backcrossed. With hindsight this programme produced unfortunate results. 

The Bagot Goat Breed Society has all the pedigrees of registered animals on computer, so that pure breeding may be ascertained.

For more details contact:
Libby Henson,
libby@grassroots.co.uk

Web-site: www.bagotgoats.co.uk

HARNESS

Ever since the goat was domesticated it has been used as a beast of burden. In the Roman times children used to mimic their elders and raced each other in miniature chariots. Even now in some countries they are being used to carry loads, small children, wood for burning, their uses never end. From Victorian times until the start of World War 2 in England, the goat and its chaise was a popular sight around the seaside towns especially on the South and East Coasts. Used for the half penny ride and also as a photographers tool, unfortunately the goat and the donkey were much abused.

The Harness Goat Society was formed in 1986 to encourage the use of a working goat, pack or driven and to make sure no cruelty was involved. 

All breeds of goat of either sex can be trained, but the Society recommends a disbudded or polled castrated male as being the most suitable.

More information and pictures on the HGS website: www.harnessgoats.co.uk

 

Further information from the secretary:

Mrs Angela Rickerby, Meadow Court Farm, Alfrick, Worcester, WR6 5HY 
Tel: 01886 832294
email: harnessgoatsociety.uk@virgin.net

 
PYGMY

Pygmy goats are miniatures, genetically dwarfed; they are kept mainly for enjoyment, interest and companionship.

The Pygmy Goat Club has set breed standards regarding size and type, and organises show classes for Pygmy goats. It has its own registration and pedigree system aimed at improvement by selective breeding. Basically the adult Pygmy has a maximum height at the withers of approximately 56 cm for males, less for females, short legs and cobby bodies that give an impression of perpetual pregnancy. They can be any colour except completely white, with white Swiss markings on the face not allowed. 

They are generally quiet and docile, but there is some variation, as one would expect with goats. 

Housing requirements are less demanding than for the dairy breeds, since the goats are so much smaller. Kids are reared on the dams, so milking is only rarely necessary. Castrated males (wethers) make ideal pets, but entire males should not be kept unless separate accommodation can be provided for them. The goats like company, so keeping single Pygmies should be avoided. 

Pygmies need a high proportion of dietary fibre on a daily basis (80% by weight of the diet is a guide), hay being the main feature; they also need small amounts of low protein goat mix twice a day. They graze and browse well, but tethering Pygmies should be avoided.  

The Pygmy Goat Club publishes an excellent booklet “Pygmy Goats” that describes in detail all aspects of housing, feeding, breeding and general welfare of these goats. It is recommended that this booklet is purchased and read before deciding to go ahead with keeping Pygmies. The P.G.C. has a website: http://www.pygmygoatclub.org where further details can be obtained about the Club. There is also a network of P.G.C. Regional Advisers.

The Secretary of the Pygmy Goat Club is:

Mrs. M. Thompson,
Solomons Farm,
Latchley,
Gunnislake,
Cornwall
PL10 9AX

Tel: 01822 834474

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