Nepal, most probably a well-known country for Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, but very few people know about livestock farming in Nepal. From the very begging of Nepalese history goat farming completely related to Nepal and its people’s life. This area mostly North India, Nepal, Tibetan, and Mongolian people are mostly dependent on livestock farming for a very long time. Here we will discuss the best goat breeds in Nepal for farming.
Naturally, Nepal is very rich in animal resources both in terms of diversity and its numbers. According to the Ministry of Livestock Development, Singhadurbar, Kathmandu (2018) there are about 7.50 million cattle including Yak and Chauri, 5.25 million buffaloes, about 1 million sheep, 11 million goats, and 1.35 million pigs. Comprising with the vast natural resources like 12% of natural pastures, 40% of forest and 28% of agriculture land is properly utilized by the huge number of livestock farming. These natural green resources is converting into high-value nutritive food like milk, meat, eggs, draught power, and fertilizer to support the agricultural production system
Goat farming is one of the ancient practices in Nepal widespread throughout the Central Himalaya and surrounding foothills. However, the majority of goat farming is subsistence type and it has been estimated that at present there is a deficit of 500-600 thousands heads of goat per year for meat purpose with an estimation of near around US$ 38 million spent every year excluding informal trade with India making this figure more vigorous according to Rajwar, N.B.(2013).
Best Goat Breeds In Nepal
The major goat population is concentrated in the mid-hills and terai regions of the country. Similarly Eastern part is dominant in goat production as compared to Western, Mid-western, and far western regions of Nepal. More than 50% of the goat is found across mid-hills and mountains of Nepal. Khari/Hill goat and their crosses with Jamunapari, Barbari, Ajmeri/Sirohi, and Boer are dominant goat breeds in the mid-hill region.
Terai goats are located across the Terai region and inner valleys that are the tropical and sub-tropical climate of the country and are meat-type animals. It is one of the best goat breeds in Nepal. They have been characterized at the phenotypic, chromosomal, and mitochondrial levels. They are heavily crossed with Indian breeds like Boer, Jamunapari, Barbari, Ajemeri/Sirohi, and Beetal. It is difficult to find a pure line of Terai goats which makes them at risk from the conservation point of view. This breed constitutes 27% of the total goat population of the country.
Body-color varies from pure white to pure black with mixed patches of different colors. Its compact body weighs around 30 kg with a body length of 60 cm and chest girth of 65 cm. Wither’s height is 58 cm. Bodyweight varies from 30-35 kg for males and 25-30 kg for females.
Khari goats are the principal goat breed of the country and are found across the hills and inner valleys in the country. They are prolific and good for meat purposes. They are hardy and well adapted to local environments. Khari is another best goat breed in Nepal, and they represent 56% of the total goat population in the country.
They are normal from the conservation point of view. Body-color varies from white to black. There are six sub-types within Khari (Hill) goats based on color namely Seti, Kali, Khairi, Ghorli, Singari, and Dhobini. Seti is pure white in color while Kali is pure black in color. Khairi is brown in color while Ghorli is brown mixed with white or another color. Singari is black in color with white stripes on the face.
Dhobini is ash in color and is bigger in size than the other five types. Its bodyweight around 30 kg with body length, chest girth, and withers height of 63 cm 65 cm, and 56 cm respectively. Crossbreeding of Khari goats with Boer bucks and also artificial insemination with frozen semen has been practicing in the hilly regions across the country through the initiation of leading private sector engagement.
3 Sinhal (Capra hircus)
Sinhal goats are located in high hills of the country and are good for meat and transportation as pack animals under transhumance systems with low input. They are large-sized hardy and well-adapted animals to local harsh conditions. They have been characterized at the phenotypic and mitochondrial levels. Sinhal is another best goat breed in Nepal and is the heaviest native goat breed representing 16% of the total goat population. The farmers are conserving them in situ but they need to be more focused with better management practices on breeding, feeding, housing, and health.
Its body color is variable from black, white, grey, mixed black and white color. Adult body weight is 35 kg. Body length is 69 cm recorded and heart girth is 78 cm on an average. Wither height is 59 cm. Body weight averages 35 kg for buck and 29 kg for doe.
Chyangra goats are mountain goats originating from Tibet reared in the trans-Himalayan region along with Bhyanglung type of sheep in high-mountain and the trans-Himalayan region above 2500 meter sea level (MSL). They have been being rearing in in place condition by farmers. They are suitable for meat, pack and are popular for high value as well as fine quality called Chyangra fiber known as Pashmina according to FAO.
Their population is declining and hence needs attention. They have been characterized at the phenotypic and mitochondrial levels. Chyangra fiber has high market potentials, as it has a unique blend and qualities, hence popular within and outside the country. Chyangra is one of the best goat breeds in Nepal. Chyangra’s population is estimated to be around 1% of the total goat population, though its population is increasing at an increasing rate.
Body-color varies from pure white to pure black with a mixed patch of different colors. Its compact body weighs around 30 kg with a body length of 62 cm, chest girth of 71 cm, and wither height is 62 cm. Bodyweight varies from 29 -32 kg for females and 35-40 kg for males.
Jamunapari, a breed of goat, originated from the Indian subcontinent. Its dual-purpose breed kept for both milk and meat. There’s an outsized variation in color but the standard Jamunapari is white with patches of tan on the neck and head. This goat breed is very related to the Bangladeshi goat breed (Jamunapari). Their heads tend to possess a highly convex nose, which provides them a parrot-like appearance.
They need long flat drooping ears which are around 25 cm long. Both sexes have horns. Its udder is round-shaped. They even have unusually long legs. The Jamunapari male can weigh up to 45-50 kg, while females can reach around 35-40 kg. The typical lactation yield per day has been found to be slightly but two kilograms.
The Barbari is a meat-type breed that is mainly found in the Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh, also as the Gujrat, Jhelum, and Sargodha districts in Punjab Province of India. They’re small in size having a coat color white creamy to golden with brown spots. Their meat conformation is taken into account good. Triple kidding and early maturity are common features of those goats.
7 Sirohi or Ajmeri
The Sirohi or Ajmeri is a meat-type breed that is found in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan. The breed also extends to Palanpur in Gujarat. Mature male weight around 50 kg but females’ weight only 25-30 kg. These are compendious, medium-sized animals. The coat color is preponderantly brown, with light or dark brown, but very few individuals are totally white. Ears are flat and leaf-like, medium-sized, and drooping ear length of 18.8cm. Both males and females have small horns which are curved upward and backward. The tail is medium in length and curved upward.
Boer goat breed, introduced in Nepal from Private Sector, improves the growth performance of local goats. Recently, projects funded by the World Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development which was implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture Development namely the Agriculture Food Security Project and Kisan Ka Lagi Unnat Bui Bijan Karyakram respectively in Nepal.
Saanen, the dairy goat, was originated in Switzerland, in the Saanen Valley. Saanen, heavy milk producers, produces on an average of 4 liters/day and usually yields 3-4 percent milk fat. It is medium to large in size and weighing about 65-70 kg with furrowed bone and plenty of vigor. Saanen is white or light cream in color, with white-fave. The hairs are short and fine, though a periphery over the spine and thighs is mostly present. Its ears are erect and alertness liked, pointing forward. The face is straight or dish-shaped. The goat breed is very sensitive to excessive sunlight and performs best in cooler conditions.
The Beetal, a breed, is used for meat and milk production, found in both Punjab of India and Pakistan (Pakistani goat breeds), the Beetal is typically black. The males have long twisting horns. The breed is analogous to the Jamunapari but smaller. The man weighs around 60 kg and the females are 35-40 kg. The coat is brief and lustrous. The face line is convex, with a typical Roman nose but not as prominent as in Jamunapari. Ears are long and flat, curled and drooping with an ear length of 24.8 cm. Its udder is not only large but also well developed.