Charlie the Golden Guernsey Goat.
Rare Goat Breeds
Goats were first domesticated in the Middle East. Goats are descended from the Bezoar wild goat. Their ancestors lived in rocky upland areas so they are more susceptible to problems such as respiratory complaints and footrot. This is why native breeds who have evolved to adapt to the UK climate are less susceptible to these health problems. With resistance to antibiotics increasing and footrot a severe problem, hardy native breeds could have an important part to play in the future. Goats have now spread to all parts of the world and have been bred for many different purposes, for their wool, meat and milk.
Golden Guernsey Goat
The breed is adaptable to free range grazing and has an affectionate nature making it a good household goat. The first reference to Golden Guernsey goats is in an island Guide Book of 1826. In 1965, one hundred and eight goats were brought to the British mainland. These were the ancestors of the Golden Guernsey in Britain. The breed was nearly wiped out in the Second World War when most livestock on Guernsey was slaughtered during the German occupation. Miss Miriam Milbourne was able to hide a small group of goats allowing the breed to survive. Golden Guernsey's can be all shades of gold. It has a moderate milk yield, but are an efficient producers when its lower food intake is considered. Milk usually has a high butterfat and protein content and so is good for making yoghurt and cheese. This breed is on the minority watchlist of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.