Cabra del Guadarrama
The Guadarrama goat is named after the area where the majority of the animals are found, in the Community of Madrid, and is also known as the Guadarrameña, Del Moncayo or the Central Spanish goat. The European Union, Spain and the Community of Madrid consider the breed at risk of extinction, and pay subsidies for its protection. It has a straight profile and a large head with a wide muzzle and a rounded forehead, covered in abundant tufts of fur. The neck is long and lean in females and short and stocky in males. The females have horns that curve backwards while in the males they are open and pointed. The fleece is long and the color can vary (black, brown, striped), with dark tones predominating.
The Guadarrama goat can be used for both meat and milk, though it has a clear inclination towards milk production. For this reason the kids are quickly separated from their mothers and sold as suckling kids. The breed is very hardy and well suited to rocky terrain that would be hard for other animals to navigate, and can easily tolerate the cold and rainy climate that characterizes the Guadarrama area. Over 250 liters of milk are produced per lactation, on average. Meat production is mostly linked to the sale of kids weighing around 8 to 10 kilos, whose tender, flavorful meat is greatly appreciated. The milk is primarily used for cheeses like the prized Queso de Fresnedillas de la Oliva. The birth rate is around 160 to 170 kids per 100 births, which take place in spring and fall.
The goats are often taken up into the mountains for summer grazing, to the Sierra de Ayllón o Sierra de Malagón en Ávila, while in the winter they return to the pastures in the province of Madrid. The goats can also be raised without seasonal migration or with an itinerant grazing system, involving small movements throughout the year. In both cases, the herd pastures during the day and is enclosed at night. More intensive farming methods, with mechanical milking, are starting to be used as well. Often, however, there is a type of mixed method in which the animals spend the night indoors, where they receive supplementary hay when necessary. These are mostly family farms, with between 100 and 300 goats. The Guadarrama goat is at risk of extinction because the number of animals is falling dramatically. The first steps towards saving the Guadarrama goat were taken in 1995, when an association of farmers of the breed was set up.