British Primitive Goats
The British Primitive Goat encompasses what has previously been known as known as the Old English/Scottish/Welsh/Irish, British Landrace or Old British Goat.
The breed descends from the goats introduced by the first farmers in the Neolithic period. It was this little, hairy all-weather goat that was moved aroundthe periphery of Europe by the Celts, Vikings and Saxons. it sustained the people of the bronze and iron ages alongside a few cattle and sheep.
Kept as a multi-purpose animal by subsistence farmers, and having to find most of its living in a harsh climate, these early imports soon developed into a hardy all-weather breed that reared its kids, gave some milk, and then went on to be invaluable for its meat, skins, hair and tallow.
It commended itself as being hardy and self sufficient on marginal land, almost predator proof, uncomplaining when neglected, versatile and able to convert nutritionally poor herbage into a meagre return for its owners.
Our British Primitive Goats are now one of our rarer breeds. Here we use the as part of our Conservation Grazing, and for scrub clearance.
- Uses: Meat and Conservational grazing
- Management: British Primitive Goats are found mostly on hilly mountain areas of the UK.
- Origin: Feral Goats Capra hircus are not native to Britain. They were brought here in Neolithic times (about 5000 BP) as domestic stock, derived from the Bezoar Capra aegagrus, a native of the Middle East (Lever, 1985; Yalden, 1999)
- Class: Relatively small, have ears which stand upright, horns in both sexes, and lack the toggles found on the face of modern dairy goats. Coats are long, coarse and shaggy
- Colour: Colour varies from pure white, light grey and mostly dark brown to a speckled light grey with white patches.
- Parentage: Old English/Scottish/Welsh/Irish, British Landrace and Old British Goat.
- Breed Club: The British Primitive and Feral Goat Research Group www.britishferalgoat.org.uk