Golden Guernsey

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Golden Guernseys eat pumpkin

The Golden Guernsey is a rare breed of goat from the Bailiwick of Guernsey on the Channel Islands. They were first brought to Great Britain by Rudi Sweg in 1965 and a sub-breed has evolved known as the British Guernsey.[1]

Origin[edit]

The exact origin of these animals is uncertain but since goat bone have been found in dolmens (a type of Megalithic tomb) as old as 2000 B.C. on the islands, it is likely that the breed began to evolve into its current form about this time. The ancestors of the Golden Guernsey are believed to have been the Oberhasli and Syrian breeds. The first documented reference to the Golden Guernsey in its current form dates from 1826 when reference to a "golden goat" was printed in a guide book.

During the Second World War when Guernsey was occupied, Miriam Milbourne risked her life to save a small herd of Golden Guernsey goats by hiding them for several years.[2]

In 1965 the Golden Guernsey was exported to Great Britain and the English Golden Guernsey Club, later to become the Golden Guernsey Goat Society, was formed.[3]

Characteristics[edit]

As its name suggests, the goat is golden in color, with hues ranging from pale blond to deep bronze. They are smaller and more fine-boned than other British milking goats, and there is great variety in coat length. The males are usually horned, with very splendid horns, very few do not have horns. Example, from one herd, Rayton Herd,from around 200 Golden Guernsey kids born not one has been polled, hornless, male or female. Their personalities have been described as "very docile, very friendly".[4]

The goat is efficient milking livestock for its relatively small size, producing an average yield of 3.16 kilograms of milk per day; this is less than most Swiss goats, but the milk's high butterfat and protein content (3.72% and 2.81%, respectively) Maiden milkers are common, the term refers to nannies that come into milk with out being put into kid. The average for Rayton Herd, with 15 nanny's, is 4 - 5 pints a day, to put the amount in day to day terms. That is for a nanny kept on pasture with some supplementary feed.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Goat Breeds
  2. ^ "THE GOLDEN GUERNSEY". Guernsey Goat Society.
  3. ^ Breed History: On Guernsey, Channel Islands
  4. ^ [/15/goat_handler_feature.shtml Docile Golden Guernsey Goats, Live at the West Show]

External links[edit]