Some of the goats we saw at the fair seemed to have a sweet disposition but they sure were ugly. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so I’m sure there are lots of you out there that think these goats are adorable. I’m talking about the goats with no ears called LaMancha goats. It is a medium sized breed of milking goat noted for its apparent lack of ears. They are generally calm, quiet, and gentle. I imagine that’s what makes them a good choice as a 4-H animal project.
LaMancha goats were developed in the 1930’s by Eula F. Frey in Oregon. Frey cross bred some California short eared goats, believed to have Spanish blood, with some of her Swiss Nubian Bucks. The LaMancha is a sturdy goat, excellent for dairy as it can withstand hardship and still produce. They come in many different colors and have short, fine, glossy hair.
The LaMancha does have an auditory canal. There are two types of ears, the gopher and the elf ear. The gopher type ear is very small and appears to be shriveled. There is no fold. The elf type is about 2 inches long and is turned up or down and has cartilage that shapes the ear.
As I’ve discovered, these goats really do have ears. I’m learning a lot about livestock and that’s a good thing.