- Breeds in Zimbabwe originate from a number of countries from within Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The goats 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.
Characteristics of Mashona goat
- It is a small framed breed
- It is highly prolific
- 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 dressing is 48% of the live body weight ( equivalent to 12-14.5 kg)
- Sexual maturity is 7 months but 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 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
- 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 female 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.
- Hair coat is short, ears are erect and forward and upward.
- Face is straight, slightly dished
- Hermaphroditism occurs associated with polledness therefore it is advisable to use bucks which are horned.
- Good body conformation
- BF is 3.5 %.
- 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 average milk yield (Av. MY) over 160-kg/lactation period of 120 days. Butter fat (BF) content is about 5.6%.
- Valuable for milk, meat and skin but has been promoted for its milk potential.
*NB. The mature weights and both slaughter weight and grades depend on the nutrition and environment to which the goats are exposed.
Author: Kampiyau Daniel Provincial Livestock Specialist Department of Livestock Production and Development Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Zimbabwe
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