Black Goats of Texas
Most people in Texas, when they hear "goat" think of a Boer or a dairy breed like a Nubian or Alpine. When they hear "Spanish goat" they think a brush goat with a family tree that is impossible to trace, in other words, a mutt that has nothing on a meat breed like a Boer. That is a sad misconception, because there is such a thing as a purebred Spanish. They outperform Boer goats every time.
So, when I say "Spanish goat", what do I mean? Classically, Spanish are solid black goats, though there are some color variances depending on which purebred herd you look at. Their ears run horizontally and lay close to their faces. Their horns point outward to a large degree and spiral to the side, not back. Spanish are very powerful goats, with strong pasterns, deep bone, and a constitution that a Boer can only look at with envy. They are often taller then Boer, and look thinner and not as hefty, but they carry just as much meat. Not only that, but Spanish are able to take food much farther then a Boer, growing bigger in a shorter amount of time, and able to thrive on poor quality forage. For the parts of Texas that can only be called arid shrub land, a Spanish is perfect.
There have been scientific studies done between Boer, Kiko, and Spanish goats. There was not a single test for which Spanish did not meet or outperform a Boer. In some cases, the gap between the breeds was startling, such as lameness, worming, and kidding percentages. When it comes to reproduction, Spanish are 15% more efficient then Boer when put under equal circumstances. With lameness, only 39% of Spanish needed to be treated annually, while 71% of Boer did. If that isn't a gap worth considering I don't know what is. Also, with worming, 24% of Spanish had to be wormed annually, while 50% of Boer did. It should be obvious that Spanish are just plain better then Boer. They give more for less. That's what people call good business.
You can see more about this research at http://www.spanishgoats.org/research.htm.
I have a Boer/Spanish cross in my herd, and I can see the difference with just that 50% Spanish blood. I haven't had to do Sid's hooves or worm her for at least 16 months. Not only does that save me time, it saves me money. Wormers are expensive, and my time is valuable. Her kids grew faster then any of the others and had milk jaw (only the richest of milk will produce milk jaw in nursing kids-not to be confused with bottle jaw). She is large and wide. She can feeding the same amount of kids on the same amount of food, and she will still be fat and sleek when they are weaned. Even Saddles, my next nicest doe, a percentage Boer, needs a constant supply of alfalfa hay to remain in good condition while milking. Sid needs none of that fancy stuff, though she certainly does love to eat it.
Spanish is a breed. There are purebred herds, most of which are in Texas. There are people like me who want to see this breed recognized for what it is, a meat breed that has a bigger bang then Boer. Spanish is not a name for any goat for which has no other name. It is a breed, and a fantastic one at that.
Now, when you hear "Spanish goat", what are you going to think? I think of the black goats of Texas.
For more information on Spanish goats and Spanish breeders, go to the Spanish Goat Association at http://www.spanishgoats.org/index.htm.