Bilberry

  • Coat:
    blonde
    Weight:
    male_50_75kg_female_35_60kg
    A wild breed of goat which was said to live on Bilberry Rock in Waterford City located in the south of the Republic of Ireland for several hundreds of years. The Bilberry are large goats with long and shaggy blonde coats and large horns. The males weigh around 50-75kg while the females weigh around 35-60kg. Their horns can be as long as 49 inches for the males which make their horns the longest among the other goat breeds. Most nannies give birth to one or two and start to breed as early as a year old. The kids follow their mother until they are six weeks old and usually live up to 8 years old.

    Unique to other goat breeds which can be found in Ireland or Great Britain, this breed was said to be related to other breeds of goats like Pashmina, Maltese or Cashmere. There is only one herd of this breed. People from Bilberry believe that the Bilberry goat was brought in by Huguenots from France over 300 years ago. This breed is actually close to extinction. In the year 2000, it only numbered 7 and in 2005, there were only 21. There were local volunteers who set up a charitable institution in 2000 called The Bilberry Goat Heritage Trust to help protect these goats from extinction.

    The Bilberry used to graze in a 14-acre land that used to be commonage. It was sold to a developer that will turn it into a residential area. This action would make the breed extinct and there were several appeals made publicly to protect the breeds from extinction. The Zoning authorities reduced the goats area to 12.5 acres instead of the original 14 acres. The Irish Wildlife Trust is aggressively building the campaign to protect the Bilberry because under the Wildlife Act 2000, the Bilberry is not actually a protected species and Bilberry Rock is not a Natural Heritage Area. In 2008, the herd numbers at 42 and is led by a nanny.

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