Capra aegagrus hircus
Blithfield Hall (Bagot’s Estate), in Staffordshire retains a herd of these goats and a herd in Cumbria still live a ‘wild or feral existance’, whilst small herds are kept by enthusiasts in paddocks at various locations around the country.
Threat Level / wild status:
Vulnerable: The Rare Breeds Survival Trust ranks this breed of goat as endangered, with only about 150 females remaining. The Bagot Goat does not exist as a truly wild animal.
The Bagot is one of Britain’s rarest breeds. After more than 600 years of genetic isolation, the Bagot goat is a distinct breed of great historical significance.
The Bagot is a small to medium sized goat. It has large curved horns which sweep backwards with very little lateral twist. The head and forequarters are predominantly black and the hindquarters are predominantly white. Many animals have black patches on the hindquarters and a white blaze on the face. The breed has remained unchanged for centuries and unlike other breeds, has not been selectively bred for meat, milk or wool production.
The Bagot is very hardy, able to withstand the extremes of the British weather rarely seeking shelter. The Bagot is believed to be Britain’s oldest breed of goat with a documented ancestry. Goat’s normal natural habitat is in mountainous regions. The Bagot is the UK’s only primitive goat breed to have developed in the English lowlands, where it has adapted to the challenges of this environment.
Feeding and habits:
Bagot goats do well grazing pasture and do a good job of clearing scrub. They will eat all types of vegetables.
Breeding and Life Expectancy:
Lifespan: 15 - 18 years.
Bagot Goats, like other goats normally have one and occasionally two kids. Nannies look after their kids very well and need little interference from their keepers.
More Interesting Facts:
How old is this Ancient Breed?
The Bagot Goat is believed to be Britain’s oldest breed of goat with a documented ancestry. The first recorded account of the breed appears in historical documents from 1389 although it will have existed long before that.
Where did they come from and why are they called Bagot Goats?
It is thought that they may have been brought back from the Crusades in the Middle Ages and that the King made a gift of them to Sir John Bagot, in thanks for his service. He was a Knight of the Realm who gave loyal service to the Crown. He owned vast estates and kept the goats, living a semi-wild existence in Bagot’s Park, part of his Staffordshire Estate.