The exotic goat breeds in India are classified into milk breeds and meat breeds. The exotic dairy breeds of the goat are Toggenburg, Saanen, French Alpine and Nubian. They are well known throughout the world on account of their high milk yield. The exotic meat breed is Boer. The Boer goat is being introduced in recent years to increase the meat in the local breeds. They are being tried in India for evolving, by crossbreeding, new breeds with more milk, or for improving the nondescripts. Their breed characteristics are briefly mentioned here.
Toggenburg: This is a hardy and productive breed. It originated in the Toggenburg Valley in north-eastern Switzerland. It is an important milch goat and is adaptable to a wide variety of climates. The head is of medium length and size.
The male usually has longer hair than the female, giving it a very rugged appearance. The skin of the doe is very soft and pliable. The udder is well attached and carried high. The breed is usually, but not always, hornless.
The Toggenburg doe should stand at least 68 cm at the withers and weigh 6S kg or more; bucks should stand 89 cm at withers and weigh more than 80 kg. The average milk production is 5.5 kg per day; the butterfat content of milk is 34 percent. A doe produced 2211 kg milk and 76 kg butter-fat in 10 months.
Saanen: This breed originated in the Saanen Valley of Switzerland. It is famous for its high production and persistence in yield. The goats of this breed are white or light cream. The face is straight or slightly dished, and the ears point upward and forward. The does are graceful.
The Saanen breed is normally hornless, but occasionally horns do appear. The does stand at least 76 cm in height at withers and weighs 65 kg. Bucks stand 89 cm at withers and weigh 95 kg or more. The average milk yield ranges from 2 to 5 kg per day during a lactation period of 8 to 10 months. The average butter-fat content of milk is 3-5 percent. They are reliable winter milkers.
Alpine: This breed originated in the Alps. It was probably derived from French, Swiss, and Rock Alpine breeds. Size and production, rather than color patterns, have been stressed in its development. No distinct color has been established.
The mature female stands 73 to 90 cm at the withers and normally docs not weigh less than 85 kg. French Alpine females are excellent milkers and have horns. The butter-fat content of milk is 3 to 4 percent. A pure-bred doe, during 10 months of lactation, produced 2316 kg milk and 66 kg butter-fat
Nubian: This breed originated in Nubia (north-eastern Africa), but is also found in Egypt and Ethiopia. It is a long-legged and hardy goat. In Britain, the native goats were small, short-legged, and long-haired with no fixed color.
Use of pedigreed males of Swiss breeds to improve the milk yield resulted in the almost total disappearance of the native type and development of the Anglo-Nubian breed. This is a cross between the Nubian of Egypt and the Jamunapari from India, with English parentage.
Anglo-Nubian is a big animal with fine skin and glossy coat, pendulous ears, and Roman nose. There is no fixed color. When horns appear they lie flat over the head. The milk yield is not as high as that of Swiss breeds, but the butter-fat percentage is decidedly higher. Anglo-Nubian is known as the Jersey cow. of the goat world.
The udder of the Nubian is capacious but pendulous; teats are large. Bucks weigh 65 to 80 kg and Does 50 to 60 kg. The peak milk production in a day is more than 6.5 kg. The breed average for the butter-fat content of milk is 4.5 percent. The breed record for Nubian females in California was 2,124 kg milk and 92 kg butter-fat in 305 days of lactation.
Angora: This breed originated in Turkey or Asia Minor. This is not a milch goat but produces valuable textile fiber commercially known as mohair. It was believed that this goat was originally indigenous to the Himalayas.
The soft, silky hair covers the whole body and most of the legs with close-matted ringlets. If not shorn in spring the fleece drops off naturally as summer approaches. The average weight of fleece is about 1-2 kg. A good specimen yields up to 6 kg. The Angora is small in size and its legs are much shorter. Homs are grey, spirally twisted, and inclined backward and outward. The tail is short and erect.
Boer goat: This breed originated in South Africa. Primarily used for meat production. Boer is known for its gentle behavior, easy birthing, and meaty characteristics.
The Boer goat weight of adult males reaches 350 lbs (160 kg) and females weigh around 250 lbs (110 kg). Also, the kidding is rate is at 200 percent.
The pure Boer kid reaches a weight of 36 kg (80lb) at 90 days. Crossbred with Jamunapari, Sirohi, and Osmanabadi to produce high meat yielding offsprings.
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