Breed Profile: Chèvre des Fossés

Weed Eating Goats Regain Favor in France

Breed Profile: Chèvre des Fossés
Breed: chèvre des Fossés (ditch goat) or chèvre des Talus (bank goat) or chèvre commune de l’Ouest (landrace goat of western France). Origin: The chèvre des Fossés is local to Brittany, Normandy, and Pays de la Loire in northwest France. Earlier origins are unknown. The breed’s characteristics suggest descendence from cold-weather goats that accompanied the migration of early settlers across northern Europe 5,000 years ago. History: In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, poor rural families kept these small multi-purpose goats for milk, meat, and skin, as well as for managing local paths, banks, and ditches. They were known as the “poor man’s cow.” A family owned one or two females, which they tethered at the side of thoroughfares to browse the bushes by day. Goat-kids would accompany their dams free-range. Children would peg out the does on the way to school, or the grandmother would position them on a different patch

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