There are many different goat breeds around the world. They are fun to watch, but they can be bullies if humans get too close to them unless they are raised as close family pets rather than farm animals. It is easy to think that a goat is a goat, but there are many different types of goats that deserve recognition as their own unique breed. Some are great milk producers, while others are popular for their meat. Still, others are better known as pets. Here is a rundown of popular goat breeds.
Boer goats commonly have white bodies and distinctive brown heads. Some Boer goats can be completely brown or white or paint, which means large spots of a different color are on their bodies.
Their name is derived from their red coat and the Kalahari Desert. They have adapted to resist their harsh environment, having their red coats as a means of protection against sunlight and naturally built to resist diseases.
The white Savanna goat breed was developed from indigenous goats of South Africa. One of the advantages of these white goats was the fact that the white color is dominant over most other colors.
The British Alpine is a high producer of quality goats’ milk, and the breed can be found in many goat dairies as an acceptable milker. These goats are capable of extended lactations, sometimes even lasting close to two years.
The Saanen is the most productive milk goat of Switzerland, which has the most productive milking goats in the world. Average milk yield is 838kg in a lactation of 264 days. The milk has a minimum of 3.2% fat and 2.7% protein.
The Angora or Ankara is a Turkish breed of domesticated goat. It produces the lustrous fibre known as mohair. Its in many countries of the world. The Angora is a moderately small goat, standing about 50–55 cm at the withers.
Factors That Make Goat Breeds Valuable
Many factors go into the value of a goat. For you to understand what a good deal looks like you will need to know what factors make a goat more valuable than another. Here are some factors that you will need to look at to determine how valuable a goat is:
- Registration – A registered animal is more valuable than an unregistered, or grade, animal many times since registration can help prove age, genealogy, and breed. Having a registered animal means that extra work and funds were put in so that the goat could have an accurate set of papers. It can also qualify goats for certain shows that grade goats have no chance of going to.
- Age – Age is a huge factor in the value of a goat. Weanling goats often sell for less than adults of breeding age. This is because more time and funds have been put into the older goat. It also makes it possible for you to see the return on your investment sooner when you buy an adult goat, since they can produce kids sooner than a weanling goat.
- Breed – Some breeds are more expensive than others. This can be caused by market demand, the average number of kids they have a year, the versatility of the breed, the rarity of the breed, and more.
- Gender – Another factor influencing the price of a goat is its gender. A herd buck that will greatly influence the quality of the kids your does produce will cost a lot more than a wether since the wether cannot produce any offspring. Does can also be expensive, since they are one of the most important parts of a goat herd and can make huge contributions to the quality of a goat herd.
- Health – The health of a goat will greatly determine its value. When goats are healthy with a shiny coat and bright eyes that look more attractive to potential buyers. Sick goats are also a hazard to introduce to a healthy goat herd, since they can pass on illnesses with the healthy herd.
Goat Breeds Characteristics
One of the first decisions about raising goats is which breed to raise. As a beginning goat producer you need to identify specific breeds by name, appearance, and general characteristics. Note that the characteristics are what the breed is known for, but within each breed there is a great deal of individual variation.
For instance, some individuals within a fast-growing breed will actually grow more slowly than some individuals of a slow-growing breed. Therefore, it is very important to select stock by their individual merits and not simply by the breed.
Choosing The Right Goat Breeds
Selecting the right goat breed for the environment is a key element in achieving sustainable production. This relates not only to the genetic ability to produce food of the desired type, quality, and quantity (milk, meat, hair) under the prevailing conditions, but most importantly as to whether or not the animal can flourish within the natural environment without undue reliance on excessive inputs or intrusive management.
This includes the ability of a particular breed to survive the climatic conditions within which it is farmed, as well as the potential environmental stresses associated with the local terrain, seasonal fluctuations in feed supply and water, the inherent disease risk factors and the predators which may share its environment.