Excerpt: The Angora goat is considered one of the most useful of the domestic animals, and has been so held from remote times. ...Goats are among the oldest domestic animals, and have contributed their share to the subsistence of mankind as far back as historic evidences reach. ...Goats and their products are mentioned frequently in the Bible, and by Herodotus and Homer, and have maintained their popularity, especially among oriental nations, to this day.
The goat is a genus of quadrupeds, very closely allied to the sheep. It seems probable that the domestic goat is descended from the Persian pasang (Capra aegagrus), which is the most characteristic species of the wild goats. The types of domestic goats that have been developed under their long period of domestication are very numerous, but comparatively few are of economic value in America. Perhaps the Angora (Capra angorensis) is the best known in this country, although the interest in milch goats is increasing. The zoological origin of the Angora goat is not known. The prevailing opinion seems to be that the foundation stock is some derivative of Capra aegagrus, perhaps with crosses from the markhor (C. falconeri) or other wild Asian species. The goat has never been held in high esteem in America, but this condition may change.
Mention should be made of the Cashmere or Shawl goat of India, which is valued for its fine, silk-like under-wool, much prized in shawls. "Mountain goat" is mentioned under Sheep.
The Angora is raised primarily for its mohair and meat. The male goat is called a buck, the female a doe, the castrated male a wether, and the young a kid.
The Angora goat was formerly described as a small animal, but, owing to favorable conditions, its size has been greatly increased. It is smaller than the common goat, weighing sixty to one hundred pounds, although specimens are frequently found that weigh considerably more. Both males and females have horns and beards, but in rare instances an animal without horns may be seen. The horns of the male grow to a length of fifteen to twenty inches and turn upward and outward with a backward twist, while those of the female, which grow to a length of eight to ten inches, grow upward and point backward, with only a slight inclination to twist. The horns are grayish in color, never black. The body should be round, the back straight, with shoulders and hips of equal height. The chest should be broad; legs short and strong; head broad, with a wide muzzle and bright eyes;
ears either partially upright or distinctly pendent, and six to eight inches long. The fleece should be pure white, covering all parts of the body, as dense on the belly and neck as on the back and sides, and it should extend to the ears and the jaw. Many Angoras have mohair on the forehead, face and legs. The mohair should make an annual growth of not less than eight to ten inches, and weigh three to five pounds per fleece. It should hang in well-formed
Fig. 415. Angora goats.
ringlets from all parts of the body, and should be fine, soft, lustrous and strong. The fleece should be free from kemp. The fibers become coarser, thinner and straighter as the animal grows older. The best mohair grows on goats of the best blood; and among these, that on the kids, yearling wethers and does is superior in the order named.
The offensive odor from the bucks of the common goat is entirely absent in the Angora breed, except at the rutting season, and then it is notice able only in a slight degree. The odor in a fleece of mohair is milder than that in a fleece of wool.
The Angora goat derives its name from the vilayet of Angora, in Asia Minor. The city of Angora is the capital of the vilayet of Angora, and is located about two hundred miles south-by-southeast from Constantinople. The province is mountainous to a considerable extent and furrowed by deep valleys. The climate is extreme. Some writers have ventured to say that the Angora goat originated in this district over 2,400 years ago.
It is said that the pure Angora goat was nearly bred out in 1863. The reason for this was the extensive crossing with the common Kurd goat.
The first importation of Angora goats to America was made in 1849. During the administration of President Polk, says Colonel Richard Peters, the Sultan of Turkey requested that a suitable person be sent to that country to conduct some experiments in the culture of cotton. Dr. James B. Davis, of South Carolina, was delegated. On his return to the United States in 1849, the Sultan presented to him nine choice Angoras. These animals were imported as Cashmeres, and were so regarded until after they were purchased by Colonel Richard Peters in 1853. This importation was frequently exhibited at fairs, and always
attracted much attention. Colonel Peters is generally regarded as the real founder of the Angora goat industry in America.
There have been, from time to time, various other importations of Angoras from Turkey and South Africa. These are widely disseminated, and the blood of most of them has been beneficial to the industry in this country. The Civil war was disastrous in its effects on the industry, and the Angora goats in the southern and eastern sections of the country were practically exterminated. The western men who adopted the industry, and finally saved it, were William M. Landrum, C. P. Bailey and John S. Harris.
Angora goats are widely distributed throughout America. They are found in almost every state and territory in the Union, the largest numbers being in Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Oregon and Montana. They are found in large numbers in Cape Colony. The census report for April, 1904, gives the number in Cape Colony as 2,775,927. It is estimated that in 1894, there were over 1,230,000 Angoras in Asia Minor. [See page 409.]
Some strains of Angoras have fox-like ears, but those with the pendent ears are preferred. In this country, care must always be exercised to cull the off-colored kids from the flock. These may be the result of atavism, from a cross made on a common goat, either red or black. It is reported that different colors are found in the province of Angora among what were supposed to be pure-bred animals. Some Angoras have very little or no mohair on the forehead and legs, while others have a tuft on the forehead, and the legs are well covered down to the feet.
Goats of both sexes will sometimes breed when they are five or six months old, but from the fact that at this age they are but a month or two from weaning time, and are not fully grown, it is obvious that they should not be permitted to breed. They reach maturity when about sixteen or eighteen months old, and they should not be bred before this time. If bred earlier, the kids will not be so strong, nor so well developed. The goats are in their prime when two to six years old. Does should not be kept until they are very old, unless they produce kids of exceptional merit, for their mohair becomes coarser and less valuable as they mature. The average life of goats is about twelve years.
Bucks usually come in heat about the middle of July, and continue so about six months. Does do not usually come in heat until the latter part of August or the first of September. The period of gestation is 147 to 155 days. The kids should not come before the warm days of spring, or when vegetation begins to put out vigorously. The only objection to early kidding is the extra care required to preserve the life of the kids, for they are delicate for the first few days.
A buck should be in the best possible condition when put to service, and should be fed some grain during the breeding season. For the best results, about forty or fifty does should be allowed to a buck. The pure-bred Angora does not often drop more than one kid at a time, while the common goat nearly always drops two. The kidding season is the most important in the life of the goats. For several days after the kids are dropped, they naturally demand good care. After a few weeks they are able to care for themselves, and can follow the flock.
A few days before a doe is due to kid, she should be separated from the flock. Some breeders would put her alone in a pen, while others would put as many as twenty in one pen. If the facilities are at hand, a small pen for each doe is better, for the reason that the doe will own the kid sooner, and there will be less danger of injury. If kids are dropped on the range or in the pasture, they must be carried home and special care given to see that the does are made to own them, for many times they will refuse, especially if they have no milk.
There are in use two methods of handling the does and kids at kidding time, namely, the corral method and the staking method. Each of these methods has its advantages.
(1) The corral method may be used with any number of goats. When a large number of does are expected to kid, it is necessary to have one or two large corrals and several smaller ones. The does expected to kid, or those that have kidded, are put in the small corrals, and after a day' or so are removed to one of the larger ones. This procedure is repeated until all the does have kidded.
(2) The other, the Mexican or "staking method," is used largely in Texas and New Mexico. When a kid is born. it is taken to a convenient place to "stake" and the mother is coaxed to follow, and the kid is "staked" or "toggled" with a string about twelve inches long. This string is tied to one leg, being changed occasionally from one leg to another to avoid lameness. The string should have a swivel in it to prevent twisting. Kids are usually staked for a week to ten days.
Kids should not be weaned until they are about four months old. The buck kids, not intended for breeding purposes, should be castrated when about two weeks old. The earlier it is done, the better will be the meat and mohair.
No amount of cold will prove injurious to goats if they are kept dry. A shed of easy access is one of the essentials of goat-raising. Angoras are able to withstand both extreme heat and extreme cold if proper shelter and feed be provided. They require a large amount of fresh air and exercise.
The browsing habit of goats is an important factor in their feeding. In some sections, they secure browse all through the winter season, as in the Southwest, where there is an abundance of live-oak. Corn fodder, cowpea hay, clover hay, and alfalfa are all excellent coarse feeds. Oats, corn and bran are valuable winter rations. Goats require more salt than do sheep, owing to the more astringent character of their feed. A running stream in a pasture is valuable, but if it is not present, good, fresh water should be supplied.
Several devices for marking goats are in use, but the metal tag in the ear is probably best known. A practice which appears to give satisfaction is to tattoo the numbers into the ear, using indelible ink. It is found that the metal is some times pulled out by brush.
In Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and sometimes in California, shearing is done twice a year, usually in the months of March and April, and in September or October. The reason for this practice is that, owing to the warm climate, the fleece will often shed in the fall if not clipped. In other parts of the country, shearing is done but once a year, and that in the months of March, April and May. The shearing machines, largely employed among sheep-raisers, are coming into general use among goat-breeders.
Goats are not so gentle in the hands of the shearer as sheep, and many men, especially among beginners in the industry, desire to know how best to handle them during the operation of shearing. For this purpose, a simple combination trough and table (Fig. 416) was devised by F. W. Ludlow, of Lake Valley, New Mexico. This table. is first used in the shape of a trough. The goat is placed in it on its back and held down by means of a strap across its throat. While in this position all the underparts, sides and legs may be worked on. In machine shearing, it is a good practice to start at the brisket and shear all the belly as far back as possible; then shear the front legs and neck; then start at the hocks and shear up the hind-legs and along the sides to the point of beginning. After shearing one of the sides allowed by the trough, the goat is tied- "hog tied," to use a western expression-that is, all four feet are tied together. The sides of the trough are now dropped, forming a table on which to finish the operation. There is now free access from the tail to the head, and the goat remains helpless. The proper course is to leave all the fleece on the table until the goat is liberated, and then roll it up inside out.
Mr. Ludlow's description of this table is given herewith: "The table is simple in construction. It is about 22 inches high, 2 feet 10 inches long, and 21 inches wide. The top is composed of two 9-inch sides, which are hinged to the 3-inch centerpiece. On the lower side of these movable flaps is a narrow piece 8 inches long, which catches on the framework of the table when the sides are lifted and holds them stationary. When the sides are elevated, the top of the table forms a trough 3 inches wide at the bottom and possibly a foot wide at the top. Into this trough the goat to be shorn is thrown, feet up. A small strap, which hangs from the end of one of the sides, is run over the goat's neck and fastened to the other side. The goat's
head is hanging over the end of the table and the strap prevents it getting free. The belly and legs are then shorn. The legs of the goat are then tied together, the strap removed from the neck, and the sides of the table dropped, so that one has a plane surface on which to shear the rest of the animal. An untrained man can shear 100 goats a day with a shearing machine and such a table."
Few breeders wash their goats before shearing, and if the animal has been properly cared for during the winter and early spring, washing is not necessary. Breeders find it to their ad vantage to ship the mohair in as clean a condition as possible. Colored fleeces, tag locks, mohair that is clotted and that which is dirty, should be packed separately. As kid hair is usually the finest, it should be packed by itself; the doe hair and that from the wethers may be placed together. Fleeces should not be tied
Fig. 416. A shearing trough and table combined.
with twine, as parts of it are likely to adhere to the fleece, and can be removed only by great care and effort. Fleeces from Turkey and Cape Colony are not tied at all, but are simply rolled up inside out; this is the condition in which the mills desire to receive them.
The Angora goat is considered one of the most useful of the domestic animals, and has been so held from remote times. This usefulness is manifested in many ways.
The fleece, called "mohair," is used extensively in the manufacture of plushes. It is not generally known that practically all of the plushes used in railway passenger coaches and street cars are made of mohair. Besides these plushes, which are usually plain, large quantities of frieze and crush plushes are used in upholstering furniture. The designs for the frieze plushes are limited only by the ingenuity of man. The carriage robes, couch covers, sofa-pillow covers, and rugs are distinguished by their high pile and rich coloring. Most of the so-called astrachan now in use is made of mohair.
Besides plushes, which form the principal item, there may be mentioned dress goods of various designs, coats and coat-linings, table covers, knit mits, mittens and gloves, made from mohair.
In addition to the mohair, there grows on the Angora goat coarse, chalky white, stiff, straight hair, varying in length from half an inch to four inches, technically known as "kemp." It is generally thought that kemp is a relic of the common goat blood in the Angora, as it is a matter of history
that the Angora flocks of America, as well as those of Asia Minor and South Africa, have been largely increased by crossing does of common blood. It is objectionable.
The skins of the Angoras, if taken when the hair is about four inches long, make very handsome rugs. The hair retain its original luster, and may be used in the natural white, or dyed any color desired. Carriage-robes are frequently manufactured from the skins. The smaller skins of the does, wethers and kids find a use as robes for baby carriages, and are extremely attractive. The skins are also used in the manufacture of children's muffs, and as trimmings for coats and capes. The finest kid fleeces adorn the collar and border of some of the ladies' opera cloaks.
Goats are browsers by nature, and there is no vegetation they will eat in preference to leaves and twigs of bushes. The Angora has been used in many parts of the country for clearing land covered with brushwood. In localities where valuable land is completely over grown with brushwood, the goats are considered of more value for clearing it than for their mohair or meat.
The Angora is not primarily a milch goat, and is not often employed for that purpose. Information at hand shows that the quantity of milk given by an Angora doe is uncertain, and in exceptional cases only does it approach in quantity that produced by the established breeds of milch goats, such as the Toggenburg, Saanen, Maltese and Nubian.
The flesh of Angora goats is exceedingly nutritious and palatable. When properly fattened, they produce a meat so nearly like the best lamb that it takes an expert to detect the difference. A large number of Angoras are slaughtered annually in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. In Cape Colony, it is said that old does are slaughtered to furnish meat for farm hands, and young wethers are sold to butchers in the towns.
Kansas City is the leading goat market, over sixty thousand head having been sold in this one market in 1907.
There is very little complaint heard from breeders of Angora goats concerning the ravages of dogs. Bucks can be trained to fight dogs and thus be a protection to sheep. A few goats will stay with a flock of sheep, but if there are many of them they will be likely to separate.
As pets for children, Angora goats are popular. They are remarkably intelligent and are easily trained. They are often harnessed to carts.
The American Angora Goat Breeders' Association, organized in 1900, maintains the only record of pure-bred Angora goats in America. This organization has a membership of over five hundred breeders, representing nearly every state and territory in the Union. Over sixty-five thousand animals are recorded in the Angora Goat Record.
George Fayette Thompson, Angora Goat Raising and Milch Goats; William L. Black, A New Industry; C. P. Bailey, Practical Angora Goat Raising; Gustav A. Hoerle, The Angora Goat: Its Habits and Culture; John L. Hayes, The Angora Goat: Its Origin, Culture and Products; S. C. Cronwright Schreiner, The Angora Goat; George Edward Allen, Angora Goats, the Wealth of the Wilderness; C. P. Bailey, California Angoras; E. H. Jobson, Angora Goat Raising; George Fayette Thompson, Information concerning the Angora Goat, Bulletin No. 27, Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department of Agriculture; George Fayette Thompson, The Angora Goat, Farmers' Bulletin No. 137, United States Department of Agriculture. This article is largely adapted from the bulletins on Angora goats prepared by the late George Fayette Thompson. [See also page 411.]
The breeding of goats for the production of milk is a growing industry in some parts of America. In the development of the dairy type, numerous breeds and varieties of goats have been produced, adapted to meet different conditions.
According to the best authorities, the following general points and qualities are applicable to all types of milch goats. They must possess good forms, indicating constitutional strength and high productiveness. The head must be light (dry), eyes fresh and lively, horns (in all horned breeds) small, neck broad, breast wide, ribs well sprung, back long and straight, hips broad and strong, legs sinewy and straight. Healthy claws, a fine, thin skin and a well-developed, but not too pendent udder and good teeth are also necessary requisites.
Goats are among the oldest domestic animals, and have contributed their share to the subsistence of mankind as far back as historic evidences reach. Rutimeier discovered their remains among the ruined piles of the ancient lake-dwellers in Switzerland. Goats and their products are mentioned frequently in the Bible, and by Herodotus and Homer, and have maintained their popularity, especially among oriental nations, to this day.
The question of their origin is still in dispute. According to Julmy, a majority of zoologists maintain that the European goat is descended from the Persian pasang or Bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus), while others seem to trace it to the Alpine ibex (Capra ibex).
Whatever may have been their origin, they have exerted a strong influence on the economic welfare of the peoples among whom they have been found. Their growth in numbers, outside of America, has been noteworthy; and in this country their popularity may be said to be increasing. The following statistics indicate their popularity. G. F. Thompson states, in his "Information Concerning Common Goats," published in 1903, that there were 1,871,252 goats of all kinds kept on farms in the United States, as reported in the census for 1900, representing a total value of $3,266,080. Besides these, there were 78,353 goats reported for cities and villages, which would bring the total up to 1,949,605 head. He estimates the number of Angoras at 700,000, and the remainder, he says, "are all sorts of animals except recognized breeds of milch goats, of which there are so few as not to affect the total materially." This is indeed a small number, but it indicates the need as well as the possibilities of improvement.
European statistics give far more satisfactory results. Germany had (in 1883), according to Dettweiler, 2,639,904 milch goats; Switzerland (in 1896) possessed 416,323 head (Stebler). Pegler, in his work (The Book of the Goat), gives the following figures: France, 1,794,837; Russia, 1,700,000; Austria, 979,104; Spain, 4,531,228; Italy, 1,690,478, and the grand total for continental Europe as 17,198,587 head. The Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture for 1906, in its statistical columns, gives the total number of goats for South American countries as 5,662,239 ; North and Central America, 6,296,192; Africa, 17,557,590; Asia, 40,557,402, while Australia (total Oceanica) is marked down to a total of only 114,865 head.
As has been said, little effort has been put forth to improve the common goat of America, and no important milking strains or families have been produced. It is only under the stimulus of recent importations of some of the best European types that interest in goats for milk production has sprung up. The first importation was that of W. A. Shafor, of Ohio, who brought over four Toggenburg goats in 1893. The next important importation was made by F. S. Peer, of Ithaca, New York, in the spring of 1904, when he brought over a large number of Toggenburg and White Saanen goats for individuals in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. In 1905, the United States Department of Agriculture became interested, and through G. F. Thompson imported sixty-eight maltese goats for experimentation in America. The results of this experiment were not satisfactory.
At the present time goats are distributed over a large part of the globe, but it is to be regretted that statistics furnish but very meager information in regard to their dissemination. Such statistics as are available indicate that they are found in larger or smaller numbers in nearly every inhabited land. In America they are widely scattered. An idea of their geographic distribution will be gained by reference to the statistics given above.
Following are brief notes on the most prominent breeds and types.
The Nubian milch goat is a long-legged goat, with generally a polled head, sunken nostrils, projecting lower jaw, long, hanging ears in most specimens, large, well-shaped udder and teats. The color is brown or black. The hair varies in length. It is native in Nubia, northern Egypt and Abyssinia. Huart du Plessis and Pegler recommend this breed very highly because of its large size and unsurpassed milking qualities, giving four to twelve quarts per day. However, it is very sensitive to cold and for that reason is not adapted for northern climates. Its ameliorative value, however, is not to be lost sight of in cross-breeding experiments, especially with southern varieties, as the New Mexican.
According to Thompson, this type is about two feet and six inches in height and will often weigh 100 pounds. It is usually hornless, and the predominating color is white, although there are many other colors, as red, brown and black. The ears are moderately long and horizontal. The body is low and stocky, It is said that the milking quality of the breed has been so perfectly developed that
Fig. 417. Milch goats, with udders too pendant. Owned by J. F. Zion, Phoenix, Arizona.
nearly every doe kid becomes a good milker. The udder is large and is carried low, and yields two to four quarts of milk daily. In Malta it is asserted that Maltese goats never do well when exported.
By this somewhat arbitrary name is distinguished the only real American breed of goats known. They are common in New Mexico, Texas and the Southwest, where large numbers of them are kept by the Spanish-speaking populace. They are not uniform in color and size, but have the reputation of being fairly good milkers.
B. H. Van Raub, of Van Raub, Texas, is the most prominent breeder of this type, and his efforts in improving and developing this variety are said to have given to the United States the first pure-blooded breed of milch goats of its own. Mr. Thompson indicates that these Spanish-Maltese represent several varieties.
The Toggenburg milch goats (Fig. 418) are one of the oldest and best known of the numerous breeds of milch goats in Switzerland. They are hardy and
hornless, and their slender bodies are covered with silky hair of a peculiar brown color that varies much in length. The males carry a heavy, coarse beard. The legs and ears are white, the latter of medium length and well carried. The breed is further distinguished by two white stripes on their heads, running parallel on each side of the face from the
Fig. 418. Toggenburg milch goat.
ears to the mouth, and also by two peculiar small cartilaginous appendages or "wattles" on the side of the neck, called zoetteli. These "wattles" are not peculiar to Toggenburgs, but are found in nearly all breeds of goats. They are very common in Maltese breeds. They are splendid milkers, yielding four to six quarts daily, and carry the well-developed udders rather high. They bear confinement well, a fact that should not be underestimated in considering this breed.
The White Appenzeller goat may be regarded as a white variety of the Toggenburg breed, and is native in the Toggenburg valley in Switzerland. Like the latter, it is large, hardy and productive.
The White Saanen goat (Fig. 419) is another very popular Swiss breed. It is generally hornless and of large size. It is a good milker, and has been exported extensively from Switzerland for ameliorative purposes.
The Black-necked Valaisan goat is a very pretty and attractive variety covered with long, silky hair, black on the head, neck, breast and front legs, and snow-white on the entire middle and rear parts of the body. It is a fairly good milker, has a splendid constitution, but does not thrive under continuous confinement.
Milch goats are very prolific, much more. so than Angoras or sheep. They usually drop twins and often triplets, and as their period of gestation is only about five months, they increase very rapidly, because they will breed shortly after kidding, and yearling does are fit for reproduction. Bucks should be chosen carefully; only those descended from good milking dams should be used, and then only when they are of good form and constitutional vigor. Because of their repulsive smell, bucks should be kept entirely separate, and as far away from the does as possible.
Milk from rutting does should not be used for domestic purposes. Observance of this rule will effectually prevent the complaints that goat's milk has a bad taste. Breeding should be so managed that does will kid three times within two years, and if several animals are kept, their lactation periods may be easily arranged so as to provide a steady and even supply of milk for their owners. The lactation period is about five or six months in the milking families.
Cleanliness is absolutely necessary when goats are confined in stables. These animals are sensitive to cold and damp and therefore should be kept in warm but light stables, with always dry bedding. They like variety in their feed, and this peculiarity should not be overlooked. They should be given clean, sweet hay, and the good vegetable trimmings from the kitchen. A handful of oats or a little bran is a very good addition to the ration, especially during the period of heavy lactation. They must have salt regularly, and as much clean water as they will drink. In the winter they should have provided for them occasionally, if possible, some hazel-brush, birch, maple, box-elder, or similar twigs. They like to nibble such things and will pay for the trouble. Willow, oak, or any other bitter or acid barks should not be used for this purpose, because they impart unpleasant tastes to the milk. In the summer a good pasture having a variety of forage and fresh water is a splendid place for them. If these directions are observed, goats will give good wholesome milk plentifully. If the milk has an uncommon flavor, the cause is usually in the feed, unless the animals are sick.
If pasturage is not available, then they should be let out into a clean yard daily, for they must have exercise, as in their natural environments they like to romp and play. Fences must be tight, otherwise
Fig. 419. White Saanen goat.
the goats will get out even in places where it would seem almost impossible for them to crawl. All braces should be on the outside, and no boards should be allowed to lean against the fence, other wise the goats will climb over. Breechy goats should be provided with so-called "puzzles" or frames.
Kids should be separated from their mothers and fed from a nursing-bottle, because their mother's teats are usually too large for them. They should be weaned gradually, and, when they are accustomed to eat well, they will readily take care of them selves, as long as they have plenty before them to eat. Young bucks that are not needed as reproducers should be castrated early and butchered when a few months old. Their meat is then even more of a delicacy than lamb.
Contrary to common opinion, goats have decided virtues and capabilities that will eventually gain for them a prominent place in the estimation of the people, especially among the working classes in the suburbs of large cities, and it is not at all improbable that they may win favor even with the rich.
The principal value of the milch goat is its eminent milk-producing quality. While it has thus far been of relative unimportance in this country for its milk, this is not true in many other lands. In Switzerland, milch goats are commonly called the "poor man's cows," and well they may, as they take the place of cows not only because of their cheapness and the comparatively low cost of their keep, but also because they enable poor persons to enjoy the advantages usually derived by the better situated classes from their cattle, under conditions absolutely prohibitive to the successful maintenance of milch cows. In that mountainous land, three or four well-kept milch goats of good breeding are commonly rated equal in milk-producing qualities to an average cow, and six to eight goats may be kept on the quantity of feed required for one cow. It should also be borne in mind that two or three goats properly managed will provide a steady supply of milk the year round, while the single cow does not. Goats also are not nearly so susceptible to the diseases that have proved to be such dangerous enemies to mankind, from the fact that they can be transmitted by cow's milk. It is generally held that goat's milk is much more wholesome than cow's milk. Goat's milk may be used fresh or cooked, just as cow's milk, and is recommended as preferable for infants and invalids by the best medical authorities. Milch goats are most productive at four to eight years of age, and may live to be twelve or more years old.
Dr. Kohlschmidt's experiments on the milk-yield of goats, conducted with twenty-four animals in Saxony, demonstrated an average yearly quantity or 725.7 liters per head. The highest yield ascertained by him was 1,077.5 liters ; the lowest, 612.37 liters; the average per cent of butter-fat obtained was 3.43 per cent (maximum 4.41 per cent). Huart du Plessis cites the example of a pure-bred Nubian goat giving an average of 4.5 liters per day, with 8.5 per cent butter-fat. This author estimates the capacity of a good milch goat at two liters per day for 270 days each year. Professor Anderegg says that there are four breeds of Swiss goats capable of a daily yield of four litres per head. Stebler states, on the authority of a Swiss farmer, that the total yearly expense for keeping a common goat,
exclusive of summer pasturage, is a trifle over $2 in American money, against a yearly income of above $5, or a profit of over $3 per year on an investment of about $7.
Butter may be made from goat's milk, but, owing to the irregular size of the fat globules, the cream is very slow to rise. The milk should be carefully and very slowly heated on the back of a stove until a wrinkled scum forms, and then be removed to the pantry for further rising. The longer time it takes to heat, the more cream is secured. In churning, coloring must be added, or else the product will be as white as lard, owing to the whiteness of the milk. Perfect cleanliness and special care are necessary or the butter will develop a bitter taste.
Goat's milk makes most excellent cheese, as all who have ever been treated to "tome de chevre" or "Geisskaes" in Europe will admit. The milk of goats is an ingredient that enters largely into the manufacture of very expensive kinds of cheese, as the famous Roquefort, Mont d'Or, Levroux, Sassenage and others. Goat cheese has the disadvantage that it will usually not keep well unless extra care and pains are taken in its manufacture and cure. For ordinary use, however, the process is as simple as that employed in the making of any common home-made curd cheese.
As their name indicates, milch goats are not intended as meat-producers. The flesh of older animals, therefore, is of minor quality, although capable of great improvement by proper fattening. The flesh of well-fattened older goats may be rendered very toothsome by smoking and drying. Kid meat is esteemed as a popular delicacy in Europe and elsewhere.
The skins of milch goats are important articles of commerce, furnishing, as they do, the raw material for the finest leather (kid, morocco, saffian, and the like). At present, most of the hides used for this purpose are imported. This may very readily be made an important source of income wherever goats are kept in numbers. It is a means of profit that has been underestimated in this country.
In November, 1903, The American Milk Goat Record Association was organized to care for the interests of milch goats in America, and to promote the importation of good types. A registry is maintained, entrance being based on milk-production and satisfactory ancestry and individual qualities.
Prof. Anderegg, Die Schweizer Ziegen, Bern (1887); Fr. Dettweiler, Die Bedeutung der Ziegen zucht, etc., Bremen (1892); Huart Du Plessis, La Chevre, Paris, 4me edition; Felix Hilpert, Anleitung zur Ziegenzucht und Ziegenhaltung, Berlin (1901); Bryan Hook, Milch Goats and Their Management, London (1896); N. Julmy, Les races de Chevres de la Suisse, Bern (1900); Dr. Kohlschmidt, Untersuchungen ueber die Milchergiebigkeit des
im oestl, Erzgebirge verbreiteten Ziegenschlages in Landw. Jahrbuecher Bd. XXVI; S. Holmes Pegler, The Book of the Goat, London (1886); Dr. F. G. Stebler, Ziegenweiden und Ziegenhaltung in Alp und Weidewirtschaft, Berlin (19'03); G. F. Thomp son, Angora Goat Raising and Milch Goats, Chicago (1903); G. F. Thompson, Information Concerning Common Goats, Circular No. 42, Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department of Agriculture (1903); G. F. Thompson, Information Concerning the Milch Goats, Bulletin No. 68, Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department of Agriculture (1905).