Clicky thingy here to see Geep!
What the hell is a geep you ask? The answer you get will depend on who you ask. If you ask the good people in the article they will tell you it's a cross between a goat and a sheep. If you ask me I will tell you it's closely related to dropbears, yowies and honest politicians. How would I know? We run about 15000 of them on our properties, and by "them" I mean the supposed geeps. If it looks like a geep, talks like a geep, walks like a geep, then it's a damara. Or maybe a dorper damara cross. Or dorper merino cross. It gets blurry at times, but it's not a goat crossed with a sheep.
|Freshly mustered weaners.|
The damara breed originates from East Asia and Egypt circa 3000BC. They are a natural breed, meaning nature has done the selection, not humans. The first genetics were imported into Australia in 1996 from South Africa, a time when the wool industry continued to struggle. At first glance they do look similiar to goats. They have hair like a dog and some have bells like a goat on their throats. They are long rangey bodied animals, with a very strong herding instinct. Their defining feature though is their fat tail. They use their tail similiar to a camels hump, storing fat there which is then drawn upon during hard times.
|Baby Damara. No goats were shagged in the making of this.|
|Baby Goat. I repeat, a goat.|
We find the damara very well suited to the pastoral country. By all accounts they seem to walk further, graze a larger variety of feed and are much easier to muster. A few mustering pilots have commented they are doing them out of a job. One or two passes and they mob up and that's it. None of this endless griding chasing a mob of 300 spread out in 300 mobs of one. We have ewes and lambs in country the previous owner said was only his wether counrty, it wasn't strong enough for a merino ewe to grow a lamb and a coat of wool. I would describe our ewes down there as waddling.
So that's it in a nutshell. Not Geep. From all accounts I don't think a geep exists. I have seen the chimera, a hybrid of a lamb and a goat embreyo fused together in a lab by Dr Frankensteins apprentice. I have also heard of the rare occurance where they have mated, but produced stillborn offspring. And even rarer occassions where they offspring has survived, but is sterile. If anyone has any other stories I'd be interested to know. But considering Gabyon has around 4000 feral goats each year plus the sheep, and considering a billy goats tendancy to mount anything within range, be it animal, vegatable or mineral, I reckon the previous owners would have seen a few geep in the hundred odd years they ran the place. But try telling that to those who wrote the article.
Damara Association Website
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