List of breeds of goat and their characteristics
Goat farming business is not a new idea for farmers to generate income, it has been in existence for quite a long-time, goats are a great source of food, milk, and clothing. There are hundreds of breeds of goat available throughout the world, but not all these breeds are good for commercial meat production neither are they all good for dairy.
An in-depth understanding of the breeds of a goat is a good step to productive goat farming, different breeds of goat exhibit different characters which in most cases are unique to them, while some are found shared across the board.
In our today’s discussion of goat farming, we will take an in-depth look at the different breeds of goats, their characteristics, strength, weakness, use and how to manage them for optimal productivity.
We begin with the Boar goat breed;
Boar goats are large animals that can reach up to 300 to 350 pounds, they are one of the most popular meat goat breeds for their large size, boar goats are very hardy and resistant to diseases and they also grow very fast, they also have great reproduction quality, boar goats originated from South Africa in the early 1900’s hundreds by crossing indigenous breeds of goat.
Boar goats mature quickly; becoming slaughter ready within 90 days, the carcasses are large and muscular, leaving the boer to be considered by many to be the best meat breeds in the world, these goats are resilient and can thrive in hot arid areas, being generally easy to rear, the boars are a great option for beginner goat keepers.
Characteristics of Boer Goats
Considered the largest of the bresds of goat, mature does can weigh between 100 and 230 pounds and mature bucks can weigh between 200 to 340 pounds, millions of boar goats are raised across Southern Africa as well as in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, they are prized for their size, rapid weight gain, carcass quality, hardiness and docility facility.
Origin of Damascus Goat
The Damascus goat originated in the Middle East countries such as Syria and Lebanon, it was later imported into Cyprus by the British for breeding, targeted at improving its qualities. Damascus goat produces a high quality and high quantity of milk, and are easily recognizable by their large foreheads and long floppy ears.
Characteristics of Damascus Goats
The head of Damascus goat has a convex bridge, overly expressive eyes, large foreheads with hooves in front, long floppy ears that are curled upward towards the ground, and hind legs. Their face looks crumpled at maturity. They have a long-haired coat for protection against heat or ultraviolet rays.
The breed was described by Newsweek as high-quality milk and meat producer breed of goat. Damascus goats are esteemed for their high-quality milk and meat. They have hides which can be coveted for leather production in the industries, the Damascus goat is not as common as other species of goat. They eat less food especially when supplied with enough water, this is why they survive in almost all-region
A doe can produce 9 -11 pounds of milk each day, according to goat farming.in, lactation in Damascus goat last for over 200days, according to nextrefinance.com, the milk of Damascus goat digest easily which is one reason the milk is in high demand. A Damascus doe is capable of giving birth to four (4) kids at once.
At a tender age, the young Damascus goat looks the same with other breeds of goat, this way they don’t face difficulties in feeding and other practices. At maturity, they boost an average height of 7.5m to 8m and over 70kg weight. Damascus goat stands out among other breeds of goat because of these unique features.
Crossbreeding in Damascus goat
Damascus goats are known for crossbreeding, they are hybridized to produce different other breeds. The Anglo Nubian goat, Shami and other Indian goats are believed to be products of the crossbreeding between the Damascus goat and other breeds of goat.
Some addresses the Damascus goat as the monster goat, some with the view that, it’s beautiful, especially at a young age, some find it ugly, whichever your opinion is, the Damascus goat is wonderful for rearing because of its high-quality milk and meat production ability.
The hides of Damascus goats are mainly coveted for leather production.
The easily digestible milk of the Damascus goat is used in gourmet cheese markets.
The Soja goat originated from the Rajasthan State of India, it is mainly found in the Phalodi, Pipar and other major areas of the Rajasthan, Soja goats are also found in some other South Asian countries.
Characteristics of Soja Goats
They are very hardy, require less care, and therefore can survive in almost all climates, the Soja goat reproduce easily and therefore are a great breed for meat production.
With mostly white colour and spots (black), the Soja goats are considered one of the most beautiful of the goat breeds. Soja goats have long and flat dropping ears, they have a short tail and share great qualities with the Jamunapari goat breeds.
They are widely considered to be products of a cross-breeding involving the Jamunapari breeds of goats. Mature does have well-developed udder and weighs between 45kg to 65kg, mature bucks are bigger than the does and also weigh more.
The Soja goats are good breeders, non-seasonal breeders and therefore are capable of breeding any time of the year. The Soja goat mostly gives birth to a single kid, or two, but hardly produce three or more in a single breeding period.
Rearing of Soja Goats
The Soja goat performs well in an intensive system of goat farming. They are very active and appreciate moderate climatic condition; though will still survive otherwise. They eat a variety of food, goats generally are herbivores
They are mainly reared for meat production and so serve meat purpose; they grow heavy in body size and therefore good for commercial farming as their price is always high in both local and urban markets.
The Sahelian goat breed is characterized by a short fine coat which varies in color and sometimes could appear spotted. They have shot eyes with medium to large body size, the eyes are horizontally placed, mature Sahelian goat’s horn drops downwards.
They are unique and can survive in desert areas, they possess strong legs that are vital for long-distance trekking (They are known for their tracking ability) The weight of a mature goat is 25 – 30 kg. This breed of goats is mostly reared for meat.
One of the hardiest and resilient breeds, Spanish goats are known for their ability to withstand and even thrive under adverse conditions. Despite their small size, their independence makes them a favourite among meat producers. However, because this breed has not been thoroughly domesticated, they can be difficult to capture and place in an enclosure.
Characteristics of Fainting Goats
The fainting goat aka the myotonic goats are also good for meat production, They are an American breed of meat goats, they are known for their unusual reaction when under distress, They are characterized by myotonia congenita, this is a hereditary condition that causes it to stiffen on distress, freezing for a couple of second and fainting.
This reaction developed from a genetic disorder, fainting goats are smaller-sized meat goat breed weighing around 175 pounds. The fainting goat has a wide body and a broad back and shoulder due to muscle density. They have large, prominent protruded eyes. The head is medium length with straight and convex face. The neck is muscle dense and round.
Characteristics of Kalahari Goats
Kalahari aka the red Kalahari goat is similar in size and appearance to the boer goat except for the colouration, it is a very beautiful breed that was originated from South Africa, the breed is very hardy and they can breed and withstand hot temperatures, and dry weather condition, the meat of the red Kalahari is more tender than other breeds.
Kiko means ‘meat’ in Maori, the Kiko breed of goats are known for the meat producing ability. The kids mature quickly, even without supplemental inputs. They gain weight at a fast rate as they grow. The Kiko goat requires little or no care to perform at an optimal level.
They can easily be trained and teachable and therefore are good for beginners’ goat farmers, this breed thrives when they are left to forage independently. Like the Spanish goats, this does not make them easily domesticated. One of the added benefits of Kiko goats is their ability to improve pasture conditions by eliminating weeds (agriculture academy). Kiko breed can survive under harsh condition making them good for multiple season farming.
Characteristics of Verata Goats
The Verata is another meat goat breed from Spain, the breed is very strong and durable, and they can survive in almost all climates, a mature goat can reach around or up to 70 kilograms body weight, by the way, this breed is also considered as one of the best meat goat breeds in the world, this breed of goat originally developed from Spain but today, it is available throughout the world and raised as good meat, the Verata goat breed these require less care and they can thrive in almost all climates.
Characteristics of Rangeland Goats
Rangeland is another very popular meat goat breed from Australia, this breed is tall wide and has short hair. Rangeland goats are very hardy, they can reproduce and live happily in dry areas. The breed requires less care and also do well in hot weather.
Rangelands are sometimes crossed with the boar goat to produce quality kids, the kid is not only good for meat production, but also very good and used for milk production, it can therefore be called a dual-purpose animal. Mature males can reach up to 175 pounds life body weight, they are also sometimes crossed with the boar goats for creating larger sized meat goats.
Black Bengal Goats
Black Bengal goat is considered as the best meat goat breed in terms of meat quality and taste according to IAEA, as the name suggests the breed is actually from Bangladesh but is also found in West Bengal Bihar and Orissa of India native, Black Bengal goat is of excellent quality and fetch high prices both in local and international markets, the size of this goat is relatively smaller and it’s very easy to care for them.
Characteristics of Black Bengal Goats
It has mainly black coat colour. It is found in brown white and grey coat colours but the black coat colour is most common, the skin of this breed is famous for meat production, this breed has the extremely low ability to produce milk, the male goat has 25 to 30 kilograms of weight and female has 20 to 25 kilograms of weight, they reach maturity level earlier and deliver minimum of two, three kids in each birth. They are good for rearing.
The French alpine is a breed of goat that originated in the Alps, the goats of the alpine breed were brought to the united states from France.
Characteristics of French Alpine Goats
The French alpine is a larger and more rangy goat and more variable in size than other swiss breeds, mature females should stand not less than 30 inches at the withers and should weigh not less than 135 pounds, males should stand from 34 to 40 inches at the withers and should weigh not less than 170 pounds, French alpine females are excellent Milkers and usually have large well-shaped udder, with well-placed teats of desirable shape.
They are mostly medium to large-sized goats. They don’t have set colours or markings and they are quite common. You can buy different types of Alpines, but you must know what to look for. You also need to know how to properly take care of them to be able to manage them.
Alpine Goat Milk
The Alpine goat milk is packed full of protein but has more sugar than most goat milk. Their milk is healthier than other goat’s milk since it has such low levels of fat content. It is a popular choice for milk, ice-cream, cheese, and soap. This breed is one of the top goat dairy producers in the world, putting it above other dairy breeds.
The goats can be milked about six weeks after puberty, although the optimal weight for the best dairy production is about 135 pounds.
Alpines will continue to produce high- quality milk if they receive proper nutrition, reproductive management, and disease control. Farmers must also keep in mind that proper milking procedures are essential. Alpines can produce some of the best goat’s milk in the world.
This breed is mainly used for meat production, it is found in districts of Punjab (Rajasthan) and some other close areas.
Characteristics of Barbari Goats
This breed is medium height animal having a compact body, it is short, the male Barbari has 38 to 40 kilograms of weight and female Barbari has 23 to 25 kilograms of weight, the length of male Barbari is approximately 65 centimetres and that a female is approximately 75 centimetres, it has a wide range of coat colour, but the one with white colour having small light brown colour patches is most common, both male and female Barbari goat has a large thick beard, the average milk yield per day is 1.5 to 2.0 kilograms per day.
It is found in Punjab and Haryana state, but it is mostly found in Gurdaspur, Amrisa and Farisper districts of Punjab, the beetle goat is raised both for meat and dairy purpose.
Characteristics of Beetle Goats
Beetle goats have long legs, long and pendulous ears, short and thin tail, and have backwards curved horns, the adult buck has 50 to 60 kilograms weight and adult doe has 35 to 40 kilograms weight, the body length of male beetle is approximately 86 centimeters and that of a female beetle is approximately 71 centimetres, the average milk yield per day is 2.0 to 2.25 kilograms and yields per lactation period varies from 150 to 190 kilograms.
The Jakhrana goat also spelt Jakrana, this is a dairy goat breed which is primarily raised for milk production, it is an important dairy goat breed of the seminary tract of the Rajasthan India.
Characteristics of Jakhrana Goats
They are a medium to a large-sized animal with a compact body, it is quite similar to the beetle goat in appearance, but the Jakhrana goats are longer, their coat colour is black with white spots on the ears and muzzle.
Their face is straight with the raised forehead, they have short and lustrous hair on their coat, average body height of the adult buck is 84 centimetres and 77 centimetres for the does, the bucks are on an average weight of about 55 kilograms and average body weight of the does is about 45 kilograms.
This breed of goat is a very beautiful dairy goat breed which originated from India.
Characteristics of Janumnapari Goats
The body of this goat is comparatively longer in size than other goats, they are of white, black, yellow, brown or various mixed coloured, long sized legs with long hair in the thigh and back legs, they love to graze in the open field.
The tail of Jaumnapari goat is short and typically curved upward, with very long sized veneers which are curved downwards, this breed has a pair of small-sized horns which are curved to backwards, they produce one baby goat per year, female Jaumnapari goat gives about 2-3liter milk daily, an adult male goat weights about 80 to 90 kilograms and an adult female goat weights about 40 to 60 kilograms.
La Mancha Goats
The La Mancha goat originated in Oregon by Mrs Zulafray, they are short-eared goats type found not only in La Mancha but throughout Spain.
Characteristics of La Mancha Goats
They have an excellent dairy temperament and is an all-around sturdy animal that can withstand a great deal of hardship and still produce, this breed has established itself in milk production with high butterfat.
The La Mancha goat face is straight with, the ears being the distinctive breed characteristic, there are two types of La Mancha ears in which no type of ear has an advantage over the other.
The Anglo-Nubian goat breed originated in England as a cross between the old English Milch goat and the Zeruby, and Nubian bucks were imported from India, Russia and Egypt, they have been exported to most countries from England, and in the United States are referred to as simply Nubians.
Characteristics of Nubian Goats
The typical Nubian goat is large and carries more flesh than another dairy. The Nubian breed standard specifies the large size, markings can be any colour, the ears are long pendulous and the nose is roman, the Nubian temperament is sociable, outgoing and vocal because of its elongated ears and sleek body, the Nubian has occasionally nicknamed the lop-eared goat or greyhound goat.
The Osmanabadi goat is an Indian goat breed which is native to the Latter Tuljapur and Yuga Taluks of Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, the name of this breed derives from its place of origin Osmanapad.
Characteristics of Osmanabadi goats
Osmanabadi goats are medium to large sized breed of goat, their coat colour varies but in most cases the coat colour of Osmanabadi goat is black, although brown white or spotted colours are also found, they have long legs with beautiful appearance.
They have medium to long ear, most of the bucks are horned, about 90 per cent and does maybe horned or pulled, the does have small udder with small teats, on an average, adult Osmanabadi buck weight about 36 kilograms and does about 30 kilograms.
The Sirohi goat is an Indian breed which is native to the Sirohi district of Rajasthan, Sirohi goat is a medium-sized animal, it has predominantly brown colored coat with dark or light brown patches on occasion.
Characteristics of Sirohi goats
The colour of a Sirohi goat vary, few goats may be completely white, the body is covered with fairly dense soft and coarse hair, the hair grows at the rate of about two centimeters per year, Sirohi goats have medium-sized flat dropping ears much like a leaf and most of the goats are wattled, both Sirohi buck and dough have small horns which are curved upward within backward.
Their tail is curved upward and medium in length, their legs are long and very strong, the udder of Sirohi goats is small and round with small teats placed laterally, Sirohi bucks are much heavier than the does and the average body weight of an adult buck is up to 50 kilograms and the doe is up to 30 kilograms.
The Toggenburg goat is a Swiss dairy goat from Toggenburg valley of Switzerland, they are credited as being the oldest known dairy goat breed.
Characteristics of Toggenburg Goats
This breed is medium-sized, study vigorous and alert in appearance, slightly smaller than the other Alpine breeds, the does weigh at least 120 pounds/55 kilograms, the hair is short or medium in length, soft fine and lying flat, its colour is solid varying from light form to dark chocolate with no preference for any shade.
African Dwarf Goats
This breed of goat is mostly found in forest areas, especially in Nigeria. It is characterized by its small body size and short legs which allow them to move easily through the thick vegetation of the forest and slightly deserted areas.
This breed has varying coloration ranging from black or gray to white and sometimes multicoloured, a mature African Dwarf goat is 40 or 50 cm in height, and weighs from 18 to 20kg. This breed is hardy and is known to be very resistant to trypanosome.
The last on our list is the Pygmy goat breed.
This breed of goat is known for its small size, they are chubby with its adult weighing around 35kg to 39kg. This breed boasts a life span of over 10 years when properly cared for and managed, they are known to be smart and responds fast during distress.
They are good as a pet in most cases. They can easily adapt to different climate conditions and are not easily affected by diseases.
Important note about the breeds of goat
Goats have different qualities which make them unique, with each having its strength and weakness, some are milk producers while others are meat producers, very few bears these two distinct features, a farmer should consider the breed and what purpose they serve before setting out for stocking his goat farm.
Goat generally enjoins quality care and monitoring, disease affected ones should be separated and treated distinctly to avoid the spread of such diseases, though naturally, the goat can withstand diseases, they are not naturally immune against infections. The choice of the breed to keep should be made based on the strength of such breed and what purpose they are to serve the farmer.
We hope you have learned a lot about the different breeds of goats, this list will continuously be updated, so be sure to check it from time to time.
Lets us know your thought about the different breeds in the comment box below, we love to hear from you.