This goat was once often known as ‘the poor man’s cow’. However, in contrast to cows, it can survive in meagre conditions. This traditional breed of goat (Jämtgeten), is well adapted to the kind of extensive farming that was the norm in Jämtland and Härjedalen.
Jämtland goats are fine-boned with a narrow head. They are mainly white with black, grey or brown markings, often with a darker patch on the face, ears and legs. Both rams and goats usually have horns.
The goats that presently live at Jamtli are a mixture of a herd from Skåne Zoo and a herd that lived on a farm in Aspås in Northern Jämtland.
The Jämtget is slimmer and more slender-limbed than the Göinge goat for example, which is a more common breed in the south of Sweden.
Weight: 25-60 kg – Withers height: 70 cm
It also has a more slender head. Its modest feeding needs made the Jämtland goat an excellent dairy animal for crofts and farms. Goats eat less in proportion to their size than cows, so are cheaper to keep.
The goats are normally white or white with markings in brown, black or grey. Horned animals are most common, though polled specimens do exist. The Jämtland is one of three breeds of peasant goat, the others being the Lapp and the southern Swedish Göinge.
A pure native goat, the Jämtland is well suited to pasture. It has long been kept as a dairy goat, with a single animal able to provide 500 litres of milk a year.
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