A high-level goat breed
The province of Malaga can boast of having one of the most important Spanish indigenous breed of goats in the world: the Malaga goat. This variety has many attributes. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most valued in the country for its milk production and the quality of Malaga’s suckling goat. This breed has very good fertility rates throughout the year, with an average of almost two goats per birth. The Malaga suckling goat is the first Spanish goat meat and fresh meat in Andalusia to enjoy a mark of quality certified. It is an animal of a month old, with a live weight of between 8 and 10 kilos and carcass weight between 4 and 6 kilos. Their mothers are specimens of pure the Malaga breed, whether registered in the Breed Genealogical Book or certified by the Spanish Association of Breeders of the Goat of Malaga (Cabrama). As its name indicates, this goat must meet the condition of having been fed exclusively with breast milk.
The Certified mark of Malaga Suckling goat implies compliance with a comprehensive specification at all the processes from production to its final destination. Thus, it is intended to ensure that it’s a completely trustworthy product of optimum quality. After the animal leaves the livestock, the entire transformation process is closely monitored, ensuring product traceability. The consumption of Malaga Suckling goat is increasing in the province of Malaga and beyond. In fact, there is a wide range of traditional recipes in very different towns. Some of the most common examples are Paletilla asada (roast shoulder), Chivo a la Pastoril and recipes for baked or stewed suckling goat. Some companies have encouraged the consumption and marketing of carcass and chopped goat flesh to meet the taste of each consumer. Additionally, they have also launched processed products, such as Malaga suckling goat liver pate in Muscatel wine.
Currently, the total livestock census of Malaga goats is approximately 300,000 heads, although it is difficult to say, since there are unregistered animals distributed throughout the country. They are particularly concentrated in the south of the Iberian Peninsula and especially in the province of Malaga, with a livestock census of approximately 200,000 animals. Within the province it is abundant in areas such as the Vega de Antequera, the Valle del Guadalhorce, Valle del Guadalteba, Axarquía, the Sierra de las Nieves and the Sierra Norte de Malaga, among others.
This goat breed is born, in fact, from crossbreeding two ancient types of goats. On the one hand, one from the Pyrenees, which entered from the north of the Iberian Peninsula, and on the other a Maltese that came from Africa. That crossbreed found an ideal place for mating in the province of Malaga. From ta historical point of view, the Malaga goat breed is one of the most influential over the different Spanish goat populations and one of the most widely spread throughout the national geography.
Málaga Suckling Goat meat, as it comes from a young animal exclusively fed on goat milk has got a pale pink colour and an extremely tender, juicy and a soft flavour. From a nutritional standpoint, it is very light, with about 2.5% of intramuscular fat that is very easy to digest. Over 35% of that fat part is oleic acid which is a healthy component.
Only within the province of Malaga there are more than 1,500 goat farms (this is the highest concentration of goats in Europe). This abundance makes it one of the most relevant production sectors in our rural areas, helping the rural population stay inland. In addition, the Malaga goat has an important environmental role, since it is generates landscape and allows the use of marginal areas and crop residues.