our lovely Goats
Our herd is comprised of LaMancha dairy goats, known for their mild mannered and sweet temperaments. Their milk is sweet and moderately creamy, making it perfect for drinking, culturing, and cheesemaking. They are also known for their ears - or lack thereof! They do not have upright earflaps like Saanens or Alpines, or droopy ones like Nubians. Their ears are more like humans - just a circle of cartilage. There's an interesting explanation for the distinctive ears that also relates to their hardiness.
The Spanish missionaries that landed on the west coast of the US in the 1500's brought short-eared goats, probably Murcianas, with them on their ocean voyages to provide milk and meat. Inbreeding from the limited bloodlines consolidated the very small ears in the population.
In the early 1900's, European dairy goats were being bred to these short-eared goats mostly in the western US. and the “American LaMancha” breed was registered. Despite being bred for many generaations to long eared goats, the small ears with no “flaps” remained dominant, giving these goats an unmistakeable identity.
LaMancha bloodlines, being relatively recently established, still show a lot of "hybrid vigor". They tolerate the temperature variations of New England very well, and are easy keepers. The many contributing gene pools lead to goats with sweet creamy milk of high production, medium body size, and a degree of variable coloration not seen in any other breed.
Our founding goats were bred by Linda and Paul Garwacki at Bitterblue Farm in Hampden MA. That's where we got our herd queen, whose registered name is Velveteen, but who we lovingly named our businees for, "Little White Goat". Our dear queen passed early in 2019, her memory is a blessing to us. Deuce, bred at Lucky Star in Port Angeles, WA. and Djali, bred at Lesniak Hill in Utica NY, are our herdsires.
Our goats graze on organically maintained pastures and get organic grain on the milkstand. The kids remain with their dams all season, with separate sleeping areas overnight so we milk in the morning then all the families are free to spend the days together doing what goats do best - wandering around looking for tasty browse, and then finding a sheltered spot to ruminate. We love the word ruminate - chewing cud - also meaning to let thoughts dance around for consideration from various points of view. we are sure the goats are doing both!