Goat Breeds

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 

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

Matabele Goat

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

Boer Goat

Boer Goat

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.

Saanen Goat

Saanen Goat

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.
Breeding & Genetics
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