GOATS IN INDIA- Basics & Distribution
Goats are even-toed, hoofed animals. They are cud-chewed animals with a four compartment stomach. They have hollow horns that are directed upward, backward and outward. Male Goats have beards and they are extremely agile animals with a very good sense of balance. Domesticated Goats frequently engage in jumping and climbing games with their herd-mates.
Goats live in groups called herds. A male goat is referred to as either BUCK or a BILLY Goat. A female Goat is called ADOE or NANNY. Baby Goats are referred as KIDs. Most breeds of goats give birth to a single kid, but twins or even triplets are common in some breeds. A kid can stand on its own within minutes of birth, and can move with the herd within a few days .
Goats are adopted to living in rough, dry, mountainous types of habitats where other livestock or crops cannot be grown. Just about any kind of plant material will serve as forage for Goats. They will eat grass as well as broadleaf plants called forbes. Other food sources are the leaves, twigs and stems of woody plants commonly called browse. Depending upon the climate, Goats will eat bitter desert plants and lichens. It is this ability to utilize any kind of plant material for food that makes Goats so useful in controlling unwanted vegetation.
Goats can be pastured with sheep and cattle because each species prefers different plants. While Goats eat grass, Goats prefer brush, tree leaves and rough browse plants. Cattle and sheep prefers grass. It has been proved that when properly rotated, Goats can actually improve the palatability of plants for many species of wild life such as deer.
There are nearly 102 breeds of goats in the world, of which 20 breeds are in India.
According to the purpose, following are the important breeds in India.
Milk and Meat (dual purpose) – Osmanabadi, Barberi, Jamnapari, Sangamneri, Mehasa & Zalwadi, Beetal , Ajmeri & Kachhi .
Meat – Assam, Kali Bengali, Brown Bengali and Marwari.
Wool – Angora, Gaddhi and Pashmina .
Around the world, the Goats raised as dairy Goats include the Alpine, LaMancha, Nubian, Oberhasli, Toggenburg and Saanen breeds. The main breeds of Goats raised for Meat production in Texas are the Spanish and the Boer Goats. Some Goats are raised not for meat or milk but for their hair. There are two kinds of goats raised for their hair, the Angora goat and the Cashmere Goat. While all Goats have hair, the hair from these two breeds are soft, warm, luxurious and sought after.