Lamancha goats are popular diary goat breeds, best known for their adaptability to various environment and circumstances. It is believed that they entered Mexico for the first of time with the Spaniards, and then in later years were imported into the United States. They are primary milk producers, and their milk contains a lot of butterfats and necessary nutrition. They are of two kinds―one with elf ears and the other with gopher ears, of which the latter species is the preferred one. These goats also make good pets because of their wonderful temperament. They are also exhibited in show rings for recreational purposes.
- A lamancha goat's size is about 28 - 30 inches with the highest point in the back between their shoulders. The males (also known as bucks) weigh about 150 pounds, and the females (known as does) weigh about 130 pounds.
- They are diurnal in nature, and graze on small shrubs, trees, fresh vegetables, and herbs.
- The most special characteristic of this domestic goat is its ears. The ears are usually wrinkled folds of skin near the head. The elf ear is about 2 inches in length, and while the gopher ears are shorter, not even exceeding 1 inch. The gopher ears do not have much cartilage either. In both these varieties of goats, the ears turn either up or down at the tips.
- This goat breed has a straight face, and the body is covered with a fine and glossy fur coat.
- They have an excellent herding instinct, and can withstand a great deal of hardships (like rough topographical factors and tough climatic conditions). Lamancha goats are not solitary natured, and prefer to be in groups.
- The breeding season is in the fall/winters. The animal goes into heat 1 - 2 days every 21 days. This is the apt time for reproduction. The gestation period for a lamancha doe is about 155 days. Lamanchas are usually born as twins or triplets.
- When the young are born, the kids have 6 lower incisors. 4 weeks after their birth, they have a complete set of milk teeth, comprising 24 molars and 6 lower incisors. Their upper jaw doesn't contain milk teeth, but has bony plates to rub against the lower jaw. As soon as they are born, they tend to follow the mother around, as all animals do. 10 months after birth, they become independent and walk on their own. A young one takes about 6 months to attain sexual maturity.
- On an average, lamanchas can produce about 2,000 pounds of milk with 3.9 percent of butterfats and 3.1 percent of proteins. A healthy lamancha doe, on an average, gives 3 liters of milk per day, over a 10 month lactation period. They are indispensable diary goats, as they can be milked for a continuous period of 2 years without the need for re breeding.
Lamancha goats, with their moderate temperament and easy adaptability, are quite dependable diary goat breeds. Their milk contains higher vitamins, proteins and minerals, and lower cholesterol than a cow's milk. An interesting fact is that the fat content of the milk is much more than that of Swiss bred goats. Also, the milk of this goat species is easily digestible. Raising goats of this breed is not difficult, as they are very cooperative and calm tempered. However, they are vulnerable when it comes to predators like foxes, fogs, cougars, and eagles. Considering this particular breed, raising goats as pets can be absolute fun, because of their inquisitive and lovable nature.