Mission and Purpose
The Spanish Goat Registry (SGR) is dedicated to safeguarding and preserving the traditional, range-based Spanish Goat developed in the United States as a sustainable and genetically diverse breed. The SGR accomplishes this through partnership with the wide array of Spanish Goat breeders, including foundation bloodline herds, commercial meat goat producers, conservation herds, and hobbyists. Spanish Goat breeders who choose to partner with SGR agree to the “Procedures” by submitting the annual fee.
Procedures include 1) participation in an annual count of mature Spanish goats, and 2) that breeders will permanently identify pure Spanish goats with an ear tag, tattoo, or microchip, when leaving the premises, and 3) guarantee in writing as “Spanish” all pure Spanish bred goats that are sold or otherwise leave their farm/ranch, excluding animals sold for the purpose of slaughter or cull. This written statement is given to both the buyer and SGR. 5) Below the agreements are listed as they relate to Breed Standards, Verification, Semen Collection and Embryo Transfers and individual and herd registration and certification. 4) SGR offers Spanish Goat Breeders the opportunity to supply DNA samples for the purpose of registration of their Spanish goats, and to receive a certificate indicating that the goat's DNA is on file with UC Davis (digital copy of VGL) and the DNA Registration Certificate is on file with SGR. 6) SGR is the legal owner of the VGL and therefore it cannot be used within another registry database. Breeders agree not to share VGL copies with other registries 7) SGR offers Spanish Goat Breeders the opportunity to DNA Sample 5 females and 1 male for the purpose of receiving an SGR Certified Spanish Goat Breeder Certificate. 8) SGR offers the breeder an integral DNA Sampled registration database that is the original start up for verifying and tracking the Spanish goat breed. 8) SGR ensures that each sample has been rigorously verified before being entered into our UC Davis sample database - thereby giving the breeder, buyer and seller the confidence that is needed to ensure the integrity of each goat being sold as a DNA Registered pure Spanish goat.
SGR and Breeder Agreements
The Spanish Goat is a local landrace breed and has variations between foundation sources. Foundation goats and bloodlines have been established through investigation and evaluation of herd history and external type. Each foundation bloodline has provided a basic description of their bloodline’s most common characteristics. Many factors influence the genetic diversity and adaptability of the Spanish Goat including the foundation bloodlines and their specific characteristics, the management practices of the breeders, the climate regions the goats are raised in, and the variations that result from blending the foundation bloodlines. As a result it is not feasible to establish a prescriptive breed standard for the Spanish Goat, so the SGR relies on a descriptive approach. Useful descriptors include size and set of ears, horns, facial profile, weight, height, color, and degree of cashmere development in winter. Important traits also include adaptability, range utility, fertility, longevity, and temperament, although these are more difficult to measure and describe.
In general the goats have straight to slightly convex facial profiles. The ears are medium-sized and are usually carried horizontally forward along-side the head. This is in contrast to crosses with Swiss dairy goats in which the ears are smaller and more upright, or with Boer and Nubian in which the ears are usually larger and carried straight out perpendicular to the head. Horns are usually large and long. In bucks the horns usually twist. Horns lacking twist can reveal Swiss dairy breeding, smaller horns can reveal Boer, Nubian, or Angora influences. Colors vary widely, and no specific color indicates crossbreeding. Haircoats are usually short, but many grow profuse cashmere in the winter. Size varies widely depending on bloodline as well as management and feeding. In low- to moderate-input systems does are generally from 70 up to 125 pounds, and bucks from 90 to 175 pounds. Grain feeding operations may produce females that are over 150 pounds and males that can reach up to 350 pounds. Several breeders note that over this weight the goats become less adapted to the environment.
When selecting for the best Spanish goats genetics it is important to ensure a proper bite, 2 clean teats, two symmetrical and low hanging testis with no more than 1/2" split (no split is preferred but years of breeding in some herds this has not been selected against). Forward facing ears that hold a horizontal stance and horns that twist to each side. The feet should be examined to display a solid base on all four free of any leaning, extended or curled under hoof growth. The lines of the back and bottom belly should be parallel and the tail of the goat should sit tight on its hind end. The flesh of the interior eye should be a strong pink color and the gait and muscle structure of the goat should be considered athletic. Forage raised goats will be leaner than grain fed goats, however, they should present a solid body condition.
Spanish Goat Verification
AI & Embryo Transfer
Verification of the goat's pure breeding is essential to safeguarding the Spanish goat breed. The Spanish Goat Registry takes great care in the verification of the goat's breeding before accepting the DNA Sample and including the genetics in the database at the UC Davis Veterinary Lab. Being able to track the genetics from one Verified Spanish Breeder to the next is a crucial step in the process. Using ear tag identification and a standard bill of sale that includes the needed information on the goat is also vital to the success of the verification process and SGR DNA Registration.
SGR breeders may choose to collect semen and/or produce embryo transfers. These are powerful tools, and can be used for effective breed conservation but can also be detrimental to the breed’s genetic diversity. Breeders who choose to collect semen or flush females for embryo transfer are required to register their straws and embryos for DNA Registration of offspring before the embryos or straws are sold or implanted/inseminated; otherwise offspring will not be registered. Disclosure must be made at time of sale that embryos or semen have been collected on the goat(s) being sold. Any producer attempting to register offspring from either embryo transfer or artificial insemination without prior certification will be removed from the SGR Registry and all goats bred by this particular breeder will not be registered.
Herd-Based and Individual Goat Registration
Purebred breeding of Spanish Goats is essential to the breed’s future. The Spanish Goat developed over centuries under extensive range conditions, resulting in an adaptable and sustainable goat. Newer herds are often managed on smaller tracts of land but still under forage/pasture based systems, which continues to select goats for adaptation to range conditions, and ensures sustainability and adaptability. These conditions are important to the character and ability of Spanish Goats, and breeders operating under these conditions are vital to the breed’s future.
SGR expects the traditional forage/pasture based breeders to continue in that management style. These breeders do not need to register individual goats because the herd as a whole validates the identity of the goats. Breeders with smaller herds are more likely to pursue registration and validation of individual goats, and this is also desirable for the future of the breed. Both herd-based and individual-based approaches serve the breed well.
SGR Certified Spanish Goat Breeders are those breeders who have submitted 5 female and 1 male DNA samples for SGR Registration. This small sampling of a Spanish goat herd is sufficient to substantiate the herd genetics. The breeder also agrees to provide ear tags and bill of sale on all goats being sold for the purpose of seed stock production.
The SGR DNA Registrations have three categories: Bronze: the dam and sire are not registered, and Silver: the sire is a DNA Gold Registered Spanish Goat (the dam is not registered), and Gold: Dam and Sire are DNA Registered. This designation supports the breeders who use multiple sires on large herds of females. The offspring can be DNA Registered and the sire verified through the DNA database at UC Davis Veterinary Lab. This offspring is SGR DNA Registered Silver.
DNA Registration Requires information for individual goat’s breeder, seller, bloodline(s), microchip/scrapie ear tag/tattoo, date of birth, color description, and dam/sire if known. This information is submitted along with DNA (hair) Samples, fees, and a full side view photo (digital is acceptable). After receiving the registration kit from SGR, the owner sends the DNA samples to SGR. The breeder/owner goes through SGR, who enters data with UC Davis Veterinary Lab. The results of such testing remain the property of SGR, with breeders receiving a copy along with the SGR Registration certificate.
SGR Certified breeders gain recognition as caretakers for their work in conserving this traditional breed. Their goats are recognized as part of this important and historic breed resource. Breeders gain from the programs and promotions of the SGR, which are unavailable to breeders not participating in the SGR.