San Clemente Island Goats at PsiKeep

I started breeding San Clemente Island goats in 2003 when I purchased a buckling (buck kid) and a doeling (doe kid) from Mardi Rivetti down in Valencia California. I was in Los Angeles when the San Clemente goat rescue was taking place. It seemed a lot of people got very upset when they found out the Navy was using the goats as target practice. The goats were regarded as vermin. Back then you could purchase the does through the rescue program but the government would not sell you a buck. Fortunately there were pregnant does that were rescued and some of those does had buck kids. The goats that are descended from that rescue were from those rare bucklings that slipped through the governments hands.

Life does prevail against all odds.

I was a renter back then and I had no place for a goat but when I moved to northern California I saw the necessity of getting some goats to help clear the brush. The San Clemente Island goat is a beautiful goat. The does look like antelope and the bucks look like a small musk ox from the side and water buffalo from straight on. But using goats to clean out the forest on a small parcel, 9 acres can be disastrous. Goats are browsers. They eat a little of everything until there is nothing left. Like all of us they start by first eating what they like best. Manzanita is at the top of the preference list. I do not know how they do it. The bark of a manzanita is as slippery as a waxed floor but a goat can strip the bark from a manzanita tree in a few minutes. They can kill a tree if they girdle it completely. Goats confined to a small area will strip the vegetation down to nothing destroying the forest of the future.

Posted on February 17, 2013, in Psi Keep Center for the Arts, San Clemente Goats and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I love the story telling feel of your blog. I enjoyed reading about how you rescued your goats and how you are trying to put them to good use to clear your property. I look forward to following your blog site!


  2. Oh these goats are beautiful! Thanks for including photos. I had no idea that the Navy was using goats as target practice in San Clemente. Glad there was a rescue program set up and now some of them get to live in beautiful Lake County, and get to help be stewards of the land (eradicating invasive species). I had no idea goats loved Manzanitas. I hope one day to have some goats as part of a sustainable farm system. I’ll know to keep my beloved plants far away from them.


  3. beautiful animals. #cs5711 What a lot of work. How many animals do you have now? Do you sell them? Do you use the milk? Other than animal rescue, Is there another reason you are raising the goats? Is there a plan to repopulate the Island from which they came?
    Pat Delaplane


  4. blackcloudbrew

    I”m with the others here. Your site has a great story telling feel to it. I like the story of the ravens as well but the info here on goats is quite interesting. I had no idea about these particular goats. I will keep following this site. Well done so far. #cs5711


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