We can thank the Spanish for introducing the first goats to New Mexico.
Don Juan de Oñate, the first colonial governor, brought about 1,000 of them to San Gabriel, where the Río Chama joins the Río Grande, according to William Dunmire, author of New Mexico’s Livestock Heritage. Goat herding was common in medieval Spain, and colonists wanted them for milk. The animals adapted well to Northern New Mexico’s arid terrain.
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