A History of the Old English Goat

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The History of the Breed

Painting (late 1800s/early 1900s) by E Hunt showing Old English GoatsOnce the typical cottagers’ goat in the 19th century, the Old English became less common as incomes rose and fewer people needed a house goat.

Goats were imported and it became fashionable to breed bigger, higher-yielding types. A Stud Goat Scheme, which made males of these ‘improved’ breeds available, hastened the demise of the native domestic goat. It’s possible that there are no non-feral goats in the country which have no Swiss or Nubian ancestry at all. Interest in the traditional goats was revived in the 1920s (see Emerald) and again in the 1970s.Emerald, newspaper report in 1920s

Today there are fewer than 50 registered Old English Goat keepers in the UK with just over 100 registered goats. Re-domesticated feral goats are recognised as part of the breed.


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