Both Australia and the American Southwest were being settled by a tremendous influx of immigrants from Europe. These peoples brought with them as much as they could from the “old country” and this included the domestic goat, known for its durability during long sea voyages, and as a provider of milk and meat.
Over the years in Australia, farms failed and many goats escaped, resulting in flocks of wild, or feral, goats in the vast interior “Outback”.
In America, especially in the Texas “outback”, huge tracts of arid lands were dedicated to running what is called a “Spanish” goats because nothing else would thrive.
In neither environment were these goats tame. They ran wild most of the year and were rounded up annually to harvest the young animals for the meat market.
It was the Australians who first noticed that natural selection had produced a hardy, robust and wily animal, some of which had a luxurious, downy undercoat as protection from the weather. In the late 1970’s, the Aussies began selecting those fiber bearing animals and selectively breeding them in an effort to establish a new industry.