Goat farming(Capra aegagrus hircus) can be very suited to production alongside other livestock (such as sheep and cattle) on low-quality grazing land. Goats efficiently convert sub-quality grazing matter that is less desirable for other livestock into quality lean meat.
Goat Breeds in Zimbabwe originate from a number of countries within Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The popular breeds in Zimbabwe are either:
Indigenous (local breeds) e.g. Mashona and Matabele goats
Imported (exotic breeds) e.g. Boer, Kalahari Goats from South Africa, Saanen and Toggenburg from Europe.
The Mashona Goat
Characteristics of Mashona goat
It is a small-framed breed
Tolerant to local diseases
Found in the northern parts of the country
Mature weight is 30kg and 35 kg for females and males respectively
Color ranges from white, mixed to black.
Edible and saleable proportion after the dressing is 48% of the live body weight ( equivalent to 12-14.5 kg)
Sexual maturity is 7 months but has a relatively slow growth rate.
Goats are mainly kept for meat.
They have good potential for selection to increase productivity
This breed is found mostly in the Southern parts of the country.
It is a large framed animal
Mature weight can reach up to 50kg for males and between 35 –40kg for females
It is a dual-purpose breed (meat and milk production)
Has multiple colors ranging from white through brown, mixed to black
Can give birth to singles, twins, and triplets
Adapted to local conditions
The gestation period is between 145 to 154days
Can be mated for the first time at 18months of age
It originates from South Africa and is well adapted to the southern parts of the country where conditions are more or less the same as the northern parts of South Africa.
This is a large framed breed, with a white body and a brown neck and head.
Adult females can grow up to 60kg and males up to 70kg.
It is kept mainly for meat production.
Very stocky body, well-muscled, strong bones.
Ears are pendulous and horns are prominent.
Very prolific breed, kidding rate of 1.5 (3 times in 2 years) 50% twins, and 7 % triplets.
Originated from Switzerland or France.
Large size, white color with black spots on the nose, ears, and udder.
The hair coat is short, ears are erect and forward and upward.
The face is straight, slightly dished
Hermaphroditism occurs associated with polledness therefore it is advisable to use bucks that are horned.
Good body conformation
May serve a dual function.
The udder is well developed and milk production has been recorded to 1-3 kg/day.
Under extensive production, supplementary feeding is required.
Mean daily milk is 1.2 –1.8 kg, with an average milk yield (Av. MY) over 160-kg/lactation period of 120 days. Butterfat (BF) content is about 5.6%.
Valuable for milk, meat, and skin but has been promoted for its milk potential.
Tanaka C. Chaza
A young Agricultural Literacy & Advocate Specialist at farmhut in Zimbabwe. I am into promoting Agriculture and Agribusinesses through AI and blockchain technology.