LaMancha goats are born with their unique small ears. In fact, that is the distinguishing feature of this breed. The breed has an excellent dairy temperament and is an all-around sturdy animal that can withstand a great deal of hardship and still produce.
The LaMancha dairy goat produces quality milk with high butterfat and protein over a long period of time. One of the advantages of the LaMancha breed is they can be milked for two years without being freshened.
LaMancha Goats South Africa
The LaMancha’s temperament is what makes it one of the best dairy goat breeds out there. These animals are easy to handle, and when well socialized, are capable of showing affection. Their docile and curious nature also makes them a good fit for people looking for a pet goat.
LaManchas also have a propensity towards curiosity and cleverness. Thanks to their intelligence, it is crucial that you have a fence that is strong and high enough to hold them.
History of The Ears
When first registered as a breed, there were four distinctly described types of ears cataloged as acceptable for Lamancha breed registry. These were two specific ‘gopher’ types; short and long, and two ‘elf’ types; regular Lamancha ears and Cookie ears. Short gopher ears were closest to the head, could have one fold (but no length), and gave a smooth appearance to the head.
After 1960, these were the only ear-type that a registered buck could have. Long gopher ears were small and round-tipped, between one-half inch and one inch long, and accordion-folded, such that when pulled out flat and released, they would fold right back. The elf types were a little longer, but still very small compared to other breeds.
Cookie ears, named by Mrs. Frey after the first goat born with such ears, were pointy-tipped and turned up and back toward the head; hugging closely to the head. Regular Lamancha ears were flat, stood out from the head, bent downward, and could be an inch or up to two inches long. Only Lamanchas with Swiss-type (long) ears were unregisterable.
Breeding LaMancha Goats
The breeding season of Lamancha goats is in autumn or winter. A Lamancha doe goes into heat for 1 to 2 days in every 21-day cycles. And this is the appropriate time for reproduction. After successful mating and fertilization, the does go through about 155 days gestation period.
The does require special care and management during this period. Lamancha goats are usually born as twins or triplets. Bucks also require special care for good health and better reproduction.
LaMancha Goats Hardiness
Although the LaMancha breed was perfected in the U.S., the breed likely does have Spanish ancestors. It is believed that the founding parents of today’s LaMancha goats were originally brought stateside by Spanish missionaries and were specifically chosen for their hardiness.
The hardiness of the LaManchas is still typical of the breed today. They are purported to maintain good milk production even in harsh conditions. They are also considered suitable for almost all climates. However, due to their short coats, they will require cold weather protection.
Although LaManchas do not have the same frostbite risks as floppy-eared goats like the Nubians, their lack of ear covering means they do need proper protection from the elements.