The goat breed that we have chosen for producing goats milk, to make cheese, is the Girgentana. This breed is characterised by their spiral shaped horns that can grow to an impressive 70 cm long in bucks. The Girgentana is a domesticated breed indigenous in the southern part of Sicily and roughly translates as the name of the region in the local Sicilian tongue. In the past, the Girgentana was seen numbering in the thousands in its homeland, but today the breed much more scarce.
By 1993, there were only an estimated 500 heads of Girgentana left in Agringento. By 2006, the breed made the endangered species list and by 2013 the registered populated summed up to 390 heads.
No one knows specifically where the Girgentana came from before they were domesticated in Sicily. The most commonly accepted theory on where the Girgentana came from is that it descended, at least partially, from a Central Asian goat-antelope known as the Capra Falconer. As for when and how they came to Sicily – it is suspected that Greek traders likely introduced them sometime around the 8th century BC.
One of the most common reasons to raise Girgentana Goats is that they produce a significant quantity of high quality milk when compared to other goat breeds. A single doe can produce up to 3 liters of milk in a single day. The quality of this milk is considered high because the ideal balance between fat-content (11%) and protein.
At Fattoria Valle Magica be are passionate about helping the conservation of this wonderful ancient breed and promoting the use of its milk.