The Indian Goat breeds predominantly consists of 19 well-known breeds. Most of them are used for meat and milk production.
The goat is a versatile animal. It is known as the ‘poor man’s cow’ in India and as ‘wet nurse’ of infants in Europe. Goats can be kept with little expense. Marginal or undulating lands, unsuitable for other types of livestock, may be used and any inexpensive shelter will suffice.
Goat milk is cheap, wholesome, easily digestible, and nutritious. It is recommended for use in dyspepsia, peptic ulcer, and pyloric stenosis. It is preferred to cow milk in liver dysfunction, jaundice, biliary disorders, acidosis, and insomnia.
Himalayan(Hilly Tract) Region
This region comprises Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
1. Himalayan breed: The goats of this breed are white-haired and sturdily built. The breed is also known as Chamba, Gaddi, and Kashmiri, after the localities where these goats are reared. They inhabit Kangra and Kulu valleys, Chamba, Sirmur and Simla in Himachal Pradesh, and parts of Jammu hills. Castrated bucks are used for transporting merchandise in the hilly tracts.
2. Pashmina: The goats of this breed are small dainty animals with quick movements. They are raised at elevations above 3,400 m in the Himalayas, Ladakh, and Lahaul and Spiti valleys. Pashmina produces the softest and the wannest animal fiber used for high-quality fabrics. The yield of this valuable downy hair varies from 75 to 150 g per goat.
3. Chegu: This breed is found in the mountainous range of Spiti. Yaksar and Kashmir. The goats of this breed yield pashmina, good meat, and a small quantity of milk.
This region comprises Punjab. Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh. In this region, there are a few important milch breeds.
1. Jamunapari: This breed is usually found in the Etawah district in Uttar Pradesh, and in the tracts lying between Jamuna and Chambal rivers. The goats of this breed are large-sized, tall and leggy, with convex face line, large folded pendulous ears and prominent Roman nose.
Jamunapari carries long and thick hair on their hind-quarters and possess a glossy coat. The horns ate short and flat. The length and height vary, respectively, from 127 to 137 cm and 91 to 102 cm in the buck, and from 116 to 127 cm and 76 to 86 cm in the doe.
The bodyweight of adult bucks and does varies from 65 to 86 kg and 45 to 61 kg respectively. The average daily milk yield is 2.25 to 2.7 kg. The milk yield in a lactation period of 250 days varies from 250 to 300 kg with 3.5 percent fat content.
The Jamunapari goats have been used for evolving the famous Anglo-Nubian breed of goats in England. According to the British Goat Society Yearbook (1940) the two Jamunapari bucks, viz. ‘Sedgemere Chancellor’ and ‘Bruchest cross’ (the first imported in 18% and the second in 1904), used for breeding have greatly influenced die building up of the Anglo-Nubian breed.
2. Beetal: This breed is mainly found in Punjab and has been evolved from Jamunapari breed. The color of the goats of this breed is red and tan, heavily spotted on white.
The length, height, and bodyweight of bucks range, respectively, from 127 to 132 cm, 91 to 99 cm and 65 to 86 kg, and of does from 107 to 122 cm, 76 to 83 cm and 45 to 61 kg. Does yield about 1 kg of milk daily, the maximum yield being 591 kg in a lactation period of 177 days. Bucks generally carry a beard.
3. Barbari: This breed has its origin from Berboa in the Somali Republic in East Africa. The goats are small, short-haired and erect-homed, and are popular in urban areas of Delhi, Aligarh, Etah, Etawah, Agra and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, and in Gurgaon, Kamal, Panipat, and Rohtak in Haryana. The color varies, with white, red, and tan spots being common.
The length of bucks and does ranges from 96 to 112 cm and 91 to 114 cm, respectively, and the height ranges from 66 to 76 cm and 61 to 71 cm respectively. The adult buck weighs 36 to 45 kg and the doe 27 to 36 kg.
They are usually stall-fed and yield 0.90 to 1.25 kg of milk (fat content, 5 percent) per day in a lactation period of 108 days. They are prolific breeders and usually kid twice in 12 to 15 months. The outstanding quality of this breed is its habit of stall-feeding, which makes it most suitable for cities and towns where grazing facilities are lacking.
This region comprises Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and northern parts of Maharashtra.
1. Marwari, Mehsana, and Zelwadi: These breeds are derived from Jamunapari breed. They are commonly found in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Different color combinations are met within these breeds. They yield 0.75 to 1.0 kg of milk per day.
2. Berari: This breed is found in Nagpur and Wardha districts of Maharashtra and Nimar district of Madhya Pradesh. The Berari is tall and dark-colored. The doe yields about 0.6 kg of milk per day.
3. Kathiawari: This Iveed is a native of Kutch, northern Gujarat, and Rajasthan. The goats have a black coat and reddish mark on the neck. The doe yields about 1.25 kg of milk per day.
The Southern region comprises parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. This region possesses distinct breeds, viz. Surti, Deccani, Osmanabadi, and Malabari.
1. Surti: This breed is probably derived from the small Arabian milking goats. Surti goats resemble Berari goats in broad details and possess white, short legs. Surti is popular in Bombay, Nasik, and Surat, and is known after the locality it inhabits. The does are good milk producers, yielding 2.25 kg per day.
2. Deccani and Osmanabadi: These have originated from a mixture of goats of the plains. They are black; mixtures of white and black or red are also found. The milk yield is 1.4 to 2.25 kg per day.
3. Malabari(Tellicherry): This breed is found in northern Kerala. The goats of this breed seem to possess Surti blood, being a mixture of two or more types of goats. Tellicherry goats have no uniform color. They yield 0.9 to 2.8 kg of milk per day.
This region comprises West Bengal, Assam, Tripura. Orissa and part of Bihar. Variations in climate and heavy rainfall arc not suitable for rearing high milk-yielding types of goats. The goats in this region manage to thrive on meager food.
1. Bengal: The goats of this breed are found in 3 colors, viz.black, brown, and while. Their legs are short, the body is deep. The meat is regarded as excellent. Bucks weigh 14 to 16 kg and nannies 9 to 14 kg. Nannies kid twice in a year; twins are common. The skin of the Bengal goat is of superior quality and is in great demand both in India and abroad in the foot-wear industry. The milk yield is low.
2. Assam hilly breed: This breed is similar to the hilly breeds seen in Kangra and Kulu valleys and in the Himalayan ranges of Uttar Pradesh, but have been described as a distinct type.
On account of the milk-producing qualities, Jamunapari, Beetal, and Barbari goats are in great demand. These breeds are maintained on different government farms for providing bucks of approved quality to the rural areas for improving the local varieties or the nondescripts.
Some exotic breeds, known for high genetic potentialities for milk, are being used for evolving new breeds of milch goats, suitable for different climatic conditions, and capable of yielding more milk.
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