How to Raise LaMancha Goats

American Lamancha goat is not just your ordinary goat! It’s the only goat that’s “MADE” (bred) in the USA! But there is more that makes it special! It’s an awesome milker! Its a social and friendly nature makes it an adorable and easy-to-keep pet! Are you planning on keeping a dairy goat? Raising LaMancha goat will be your smooth drive into a High-way of High Milk Production and Goat Farming Wealth!

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To successfully raise your LaMancha goat,  and reap full benefits, you’ll have to focus on the following areas:

  1. Social Needs-They Love Company!
  2. Medical Care-To Keep them Healthy!
  3. The Right Food-For their Good Health and Productivity!
  4. Suitable Fencing and Shelter-For their Security, Good Health, and Comfort!
  5. Breeding Attention-For Control and Your Target Goals!

 For a deeper understanding, we shall discuss each of the above areas in more detail later in this article. Meanwhile, let’s know more about this unique US-bred goat with a social heart!

American LaMancha Goat-Its Origin

The breed’s origin is Oregon, with a long and winding history. However, it was until 1954 that American LaMancha was officially recognized.

Of all the goats of the world, it’s the ONLY USA BRED goat!

Benefits of Raising LaMancha Goat

The goat’s unique ears, the ability to produce large quantities of milk, friendly nature and intelligence make raising them fun and profitable to keep.

Here are all the benefits you’ll get by raising LaMancha Goat:

  • A very calm breed that is easy to care for compared to other goats
  • The most friendly goat breed that your family will adore as a pet
  • They are easy to train and make a good companion for other pets like dogs.
  • Known for very high milk production, and will supply you with 3 liters of milk daily!
  • Produces quality milk with high butterfat content (up to 4%) for up to 10 months!
  • It has a short breeding cycle and normally produces either twins or triplet kids! Best breed to quickly increase your dairy stock!
  • They can withstand tough weather conditions while almost maintaining high milk production.

Any disadvantage of raising LaMancha goat? Yes! One: They’re very intelligent especially when they want to escape! Therefore, if your fence is not properly constructed, they’ll employ smart escape tactics that other goat breeds can’t match!

Characteristics of LaMancha Goats

1. Physical Appearance:

They come in diverse colors with a straight face and short shiny hair. The most unique feature is their ears which have little cartilage in some, and completely non on others. The end of the ear has to be turned down or up

2. LaMancha Body Size:

Their body size varies based on sex. Does can weigh up to about 130 lbs (58.96 kg  )  with a height of about 28” (0.711 m).  The male, bucks,  can weigh more than 160 lbs (72.57 kg) with a height of about 30” (0.76 m) or above.

3. Milk Production:

LaMancha goat can produce a maximum of 3 Litres of milk per day with a Percentage butterfat content of about 3.2%-4%.

raising lamancha goats

A doe can produce milk for a period of 2 years before breeding. During each lactation period, it’ll produce approximately 2,100 pounds of milk.

4. Social Nature

LaMancha goat is very social in nature, quiet,  and very curious. Compared to other goats, they’re very easy to care for and can withstand diverse harsh weather conditions.

What’s The Cost of Owning LaMancha Goat?

When planning on purchasing and raising LaMancha goat, there are various options to consider. You can opt to purchase either pure-breeds LaMancha goats or mixed-breeds. Apart from pure-breeds, there are low-priced popular cross-breeds such as Nigerian Dwarf (Mini LaMancha)

Pure-bred high-quality LaMancha doe will cost between $350-$750. For a high-quality buck that will guarantee you good returns, the estimated cost ranges between $400 to $600.

You must however not purchase a buck in order to breed. You can order for high-quality semen at a cost of $150 to $ 250.  To ensure that you raise high-quality LaMancha, it’s recommended that you get in touch with reputable American Lamancha Breeders within your region.

You can get information on breeders through:

  1. The American LaMancha Breeders Association
  2. American Dairy Goat Association
  3. American Goat Society
  4. Dairy Goat Forums, Groups, and cooperatives

Raising LaMancha Goat-What You Need To Know

If there are dairy goats that are easy to train, they are LaMancha Goats! No wonder they make awesome companion animals and great pets! And yes, amazing milk producers!

As a passionate dairy goat farmer, here are key factors to consider when raising LaMancha Goat:

1. Their Social Needs-They Love Company!

You must have known that goats hate being alone! This applies to LaMancha goats. If you’re not keen on raising LaMancha goat just for your home milk consumption, don’t worry! Your goat will still be stressfree if you keep a friendly farm dog.

2. Medical Care- To Keep them Healthy!

Parasites love all animals including LaMancha goat! Have a reliable veterinarian with experience in goats to periodically deworm your LaMancha goats. The earlier this is done, the safer and healthier your goat will be.

LaMancha may have miniature ears but their hooves will be overgrown when not trimmed. Your veterinarian will know when trimming is necessary. You can as well be trained to implement this accordingly.

Poor Lamancha’s ears cartilages offer very little protection against rain or dusty wind! Because of this, they need special and periodic attention. Any sign of ear infection ought to be addressed timely and accordingly by your veterinarian.

3. The Right Food/Feeds- For their Good Health and Productivity!

When raising LaMancha goat, the feeds or food you offer them will impact on both their health and milk production.

To keep them healthy, active, and productive, take note of the following:

3.1 Freedom to Forage!

Allowing your LaMancha to freely browse on tree leaves, shrubs or farm weeds is good for their health. Foraging gives them the freedom to feed while exercising through movement. This ensures they are protected from any possible health issues.

LaMancha goat will need both grass and hay. Allow them to graze for about 8 hours each day. A mixture of grass and clover on your farm will be very suitable for them just like with other goat breeds. It’s important to ensure that the grazing field is free from plants that are poisonous to goats.

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If you’re not sure of the safety of plants within your farm, contact a professional to assess and advise before allowing your LaMancha goat to freely graze. Don’t act on ignorance.

Rotational grazing between at least two fields is highly recommended in order to reduce risks linked to parasites.

3.2 Provide Adequate Clean Water!

When they are producing milk, LaMancha can consume up to 10 liters of water each day. It’s therefore, important that adequate water is always available. This will keep them both healthy and productive.

3.3 Offer Them Alfalfa Hay For More Milk!

To ensure your LaMancha goat remains healthy and more productive, consider offering them alfalfa hay. Its high calcium content is good for high milk production and when they’re kidding. When you cannot afford the high costs of alfalfa hay, consider a suitable alternative: alfalfa pellets.

3.4 Offer Them Essential Mineral Supplements!

Other factors kept constant, you’ll need goat supplements to keep your LaMancha healthy. In instances where they receive high-quality food then just a little quantity will be fine for them.

LaMancha goat can get and enjoy minerals from fruit or vegetable wastes from your kitchen.

Caution: DO NOT offer your goat supplements meant for Sheep. Only consider supplements meant for either goats or cows.

This is because both goats and cows need copper supplements. Sheep supplements have no copper as it’s toxic to sheep.

4. Suitable Fencing and Shelter-For their Security, Good Health, and Comfort!

LaMancha goats, like other goats, can easily jump over short fences. They are also naturally curious and intelligent goats. Being smart, a poorly done fence will surely not fool their intelligence! That’s why you should think carefully during your fence construction.

Suitable fencing will ensure your LaMancha goats remain safe within your farm, and easy to manage. Proper fencing will also keep potential predators like foxes or wolves away.

A fence of about 5 ft will ensure that your goats don’t jump over to wander away from your farm. It’s important to ensure that your fence structure is strong enough to withstand the goat’s constant leaning and rubbing habits.

Take note that when your LaMancha goat detects greener pastures out of your farm, they’ll tend to exert more pressure on your fence. They may resort to chewing the fence or rubbing their bodies on them.

Therefore, proper cementing of posts on the ground is highly recommended. A distance of 8 ft between posts will be adequate. For the chewing tendency, consider a special wire fence suitable for goats.

Goats fence wires with about 4” opening spaces will deter them from sticking their heads out. These are also strong enough to withstand your LaMachan’s leaning pressure.

To effectively deter any possible jumping attempts, a single electric fence above your fence is highly recommended. It will also enhance your farm’s security by ensuring that other animals, including predators, don’t enter your farm.

5. Safe and Comfortable Shelter

Protecting your LaMancha goat from harsh weather conditions is very necessary. They’ve to be well protected from rain, or cold weather conditions such as during winter.

Your choice of shelter location is critical. For security reasons, do not construct your goat’s shelter very close to the fence. When your LaMancha goat manages to climb over its shelter roof, they’ll rejoice! Their next happy jump may be over the fence!

Shelter location should be in a place that is well-drained and free from water during the rainy seasons. For that reason, consider a  higher ground.

To ensure that your LaMancha goat remains comfortable,  a dry dirt floor is most recommended. A wooden floor may not be suitable because it will get which may cause your goat to slip and injure its leg.

6. Breeding Attention-For Control and Your Target Goals!

As mentioned, your Lamancha goat will provide you with milk for 2 years. You’ll then have to consider breeding them again at the right time.

Or perhaps, if you’ve just bought a mature LaMancha, this will be your next big plan.

6.1. LaMancha Goat’s  Breeding Cycle

When you focus on raising Lamancha goats specifically for milk, you can have milk all the time because they go into heat all the time!

Well, not that they go into heat weekly! Their breeding cycle is very short which allows you to control their breeding rates accordingly.

Remember, Lamancha doe goat can get into heat when about  5 months old. Breeding at this age may expose it to kidding risks. It’s, therefore, recommended that you only breed them when they weigh about 80 pounds or after their 8th month birthday!

6.2. Getting Into Heat During the Fall

During the fall, LaMancha goats, like other goats,  will go into heat every 18 or 21 days. This period lasts for about 1 to 2 days.  This may probably be  within the  months of September, October, and November

During this time, it’s advisable that only a  selected high-quality breed of buck is kept together with the “does” for breeding purposes. For successful breeding, one buck ought not to serve more than 10 Does.

Take note! Irregular inbreeding may easily occur if “does” and bucks are kept together. This may compromise the quality and value of your stock.

To ensure you control breeding and the quality of your stock, consider keeping the bucks and does separately.

After successful breeding during the fall, your  Doe will deliver after about 155 days which is their gestation period.

 Depending on the exact breeding month during the fall, the delivery of new kids may be either towards the end of February, March or April.

 LaMancha goats usually give birth to either twin kids or triplets. That’s how fast your new stock of LaMancha generation can grow faster than you ever imagined!

6.3. Knowing When LaMancha Goat Come Into Heat.

It’s important that you know when your LaMancha goat comes into heat. This is because it’s the signs that will prompt you to either bring a buck for breeding or perform artificial insemination.

These are the main signs to observe when your LaMancha goat gets into heat and ready for breeding:

  1. Constant tail wagging
  2. Unusual bleating
  3. Being attracted to the buck (if available)
  4. Mucous discharge
  5. Its rear end will look swollen

6.4 Raising LaMancha Goat-Breeding Option!

When raising LaMancha goat, it’s important that your breeding decision is strategic.

Some of the reasons that should guide  your breeding decisions include:

  1. Breeding your Lamancha goat for milk production after giving birth (Kidding)
  2. To ensure it mates only once so that your milk doesn’t taste bad as a result of frequent mating
  3. You to be sure that the breeding is successful so that you can provide all nutritional care that is necessary during her pregnancy
  4. Your plan is to have your Lamancha goats to be bred at the same time to ensure an adequate supply of milk to sell and to support kids whose mothers may have problems

The above can only be achieved if your approach to breeding is well controlled and managed.  You can achieve this by:

Option 1: Having High-Quality Buck

 Consider keeping a buck separate from your Does in order to avoid unplanned breeding.

You’ll only allow the buck to access the doe during your planned breeding period. Since the Bucks’ services are only needed for limited days each ear, it may be costly

Option 2: Schedule “Dates”

You can arrange for a Buck to be brought to your does from those who keep quality-bucks for breeding. When your breeding needs are limited, this will be a cheaper option to consider.

Since LaMancha doe goats get into heat for just 1-2 days, the timing must be perfect for breeding success.

The Buck must be available at the right moment, and in the right state for a “fruitful date” with your doe! This can be a challenge at times.

Option 3: Consider Artificial Insemination

You can be trained or get the services of a qualified veterinary person to accomplish this.

You’ll almost be certain that breeding is done at the right time when your LaMancha doe gets into heat.

Through this method, you’ll be able to effectively and cheaply control your breeding requirements and schedules.

With high-quality semen, your LaMancha goat kid will be free from possible risks of inbreeding.

Note: It’s important that you undergo the necessary training to effectively care for bred does as well as the LaMancha goat kids. Always ensure that you consult your veterinary doctor accordingly for the necessary checkups or vaccinations.

Important Tips on Handling, and Raising LaMancha Goat.

  • Always be gentle when handling your LaMancha goat so that they don’t get nervous or startled
  • When approaching LaMancha goat, be very calm and patient
  • Ensure you get a suitable neck collar for easier handling of your goat
  • Whenever your goat is resisting movement, get someone’s assistance as rough pulling may cause injuries. Pregnant should be handled with more care
  • Undertake all relevant courses on goat keeping so that you’re well informed.
  • Get in touch with those experienced in raising LaMancha goats to learn from them.

Important Links On Goat Keeping

Meshack Sewe

Meshack, is a tech-savvy Creative Copywriter, Poet, a Blogger, and a proud owner of few locally bred cows and goats. He first trained in Agricultural Engineering & later in Business Information Technology (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology). He has served both as Program Officer and Program Manager with two NGOs focusing on Agricultural & Humanitarian Programs targeting local communities.

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