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New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

(Incorporating the International Arapawa Goat Association)


Arapawa Goats – Description

Arapawa does
Females at Muriwai Valley Farm

The Arapawa Goat is a fascinating feral breed of dual-purpose goat which, like the Arapawa sheep and pigs, were found marooned on the offshore island of Arapawa in the Marlborough Sounds (New Zealand). It is a goat which has attracted in equal measure great controversy and great interest.

It is a small but attractive breed in which both sexes are horned and sport elegant goaty beards. The bucks or “billies” have flattened and wide-sweeping horns, whilst the horns of the does or “nannies” are shorter, rounder and curve backwards over the head. Black-striped facial markings are distinctive features in the breed which come in a range of colours from black and tan, through tan, fawn, cream and red in the ‘self’ or solid colours, as well as brown and white, and white with black markings. There is a propensity for shaggy leggings to be present, especially on the hind legs, including in the females, and the coat is generally short but quite fluffy even in warmer climates.

Coco and Maddie. Photo by Sharon Taylor.

The bucks are quite stocky but the nannies have a tendency to be quite slender and fine-boned. When allowed to browse on high-fibre forage they develop the round-bellied look of the Olde English goat and other old dual-purpose farm breeds.

As a breed to keep in a lifestyle context they have very appealing natures once tamed from their naturally ‘timid’ feral disposition. They form very strong bonds and attachments to their own family groups and to their keepers, and so can be very rewarding for children and animal-lovers to care for. They do need very good fencing, as they have the ability to squeeze through small spaces and to leap – which is akin to being like a cross between a cat and a deer! Like all goats they do require some kind of shelter to which they will loyally return, as they do not like to be out in very wet weather. As well as companion animals they make excellent weed-eaters as they will consume prodigious quantities of rough vegetation, and they can also be milked. They twin quite readily if well-fed.

Description supplied by Bev Trowbridge of Muriwai Valley Farm


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New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

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