Goats are an essential part of livestock farming systems and are raised for meat, milk, fiber, and skins. So goat breeds are another important topic for goat farming in Pakistan. The relative importance of each of these products varies from region to region and is largely determined by ecological and economic factors. Current prices for goats’ meat are encouraging because goats become mature quickly and have a short growth period as compared to cattle for milk and buffalo for meat farming.
Farmers can bring products to market very quickly and improve their cash flow. Therefore, herd and flock sizes of the goats are increasing rapidly due to their quicker return and profitable business. As a profitable business choosing the right breed is more important among the best goat breeds in Pakistan. Goat farming is as easy a pig farming. The rearing of goats has greater advantages over other livestock. These advantages include shorter gestation length, multiple births, adaptability to different environments, feeding on a variety of plant species, low water requirements, small size, and early maturity.
A goat is a poor man’s cow due to its ability to provide meat, milk, skins, and fiber for the farmer. There are many reasons why goat farming is more suitable than cattle for smallholders. The goat is cheaper to buy and replace, and easier to rear than the cattle. Goat farming is a very popular, unique, and incredible business model in Pakistan. It requires comparatively less labor and management and it integrates (mixed farming) well with both crops and other livestock production.
Pakistan is home to about 72 million goat population and there is a vast diversity of goat population in the country. The goat population has the highest growth rate in Pakistan mainly due to demand for sacrificial purposes and more preference for goat meat in some parts of the country (Punjab, AJK, and Sindh). The highest goat population is found in Punjab followed by Sindh and Balochistan. There are 6.8 million farmers that are involved in goat farming in Pakistan. It is said that goat meat is popular in Pakistan as Tuna fish meat in Japan.
Goat in the world mainly exists and survives on rangelands, however, in Pakistan, 62% population is either stall-fed or grazing on marginal land. Goats are kept primarily for meat production. Some goat breeds such as Beetal, Daira Din Panah (DDP), Nachi, and Kamori are known as milch breeds. These are breeds whose meat is also most liked in their respective areas, especially Beetal and Kamori. Therefore, these breeds are known as dual purpose. Teddy is a small size breed, which has gained wide distribution and popularity over the last 30 years because of its prolificacy and faster growth rate.
Goat Breeds in Pakistan
Ingenious breeds Pakistan including Azad Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan have 36 breeds of goat which are listed. Here we describe the first 15 best goat breeds in Pakistan for commercial goat farming business.
The phenotypic description, habitat, and morphological characteristics of these breeds are given below.
1. Beetal: Beetal goats are found in almost all the irrigated areas of Punjab including districts Jhelum, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Jhang, Multan, Sahiwal, and Okara. Body color is golden brown or red-spotted with white or black patches. The body is compact and well-developed. This is why we rank this breed in the first place as goat breeds in Pakistan for farming commercially.
The head is massive and broad, the nose roman, and the ears are long, broad, and pendulous. Spiraled horns are long in males and shorter in females. They have long stout legs. The udder is well-developed. Adult males and females weigh 46 and 37 kg, respectively. Milk yield is 290 liters per lactation of 130 days. Beetal males are reared especially as sacrificial animals for slaughter on Eid-ul-Azha.
2 Daira Din Panah: Districts Muzaffargarh and Multan in Punjab are the home tract of this breed. They are named after Dera Din Panah, a town in Muzaffargarh district. This breed has been farming for a long time in Pakistan, people think this breed is a lucky breed among the best goat breeds in Pakistan. These goats are black and hairy with a large well-developed body, large head with a Roman nose, and long broad ears.
Horns are thick and long with two to three spiraled curves. The udder is well developed and the milk yield is 245 liters in a 135-day lactation. Adult males and females weigh 45 and 40 kg, respectively. These goats are reared for milk, meat, and hair production.
3 Nachi: These goats are found in Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh, and Layyah districts in Punjab province. They have a dancing gait, hence the name Nachi. Nachi Goats are usually black but sometimes they are black and white spotted.
They have a compact body, medium head with a Roman nose, small and thin horns, and medium ears. Milk yield is 110 liters in a 100-day lactation. Adult males and females weigh 33 and 28 kg, respectively. Nachi goats are reared for meat and milk.
4 Teddy: This breed is said to have been imported from Bangladesh. Its present home tract comprises the Districts of Sargodha, Gujrat, Jhelum, and Rawalpindi in Punjab and the adjoining areas of Azad Kashmir. Teddy goats are creamy white, brown, black, or patched with these colors. They have a compact body, small and droopy ears, and a slightly prominent nose. Both horned and polled specimens are found.
Horns may have spiraled. Hindquarters are muscular. Milk yield is 65 liters in a 130-day lactation. Adult males and females weigh 30 and 23 kg, respectively. Teddy goats are reared for meat. Early maturity and high prolificacy are important features of this breed.
5 Potohari: This breed is found in the Potohar area of Punjab & adjoining parts of Kotli & Mirpur districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. This is a small-size breed having major utility as meat type and dressing percentage is 45-55%. Its body color is black, grey, or white. The birth weight of the male was 2.0 kg and the female was 1.8 kg and the adult weight of the male was 28 kg and the female 22 kg. Milk production is 110 liters in 150 days of lactation length.
The average hair production is 0.45 to 0.75 kg per year. This breed has a head & ears of medium size, hairy growth on the chin, udder not well-developed. Ninety percent produce single birth and only 10% twin births.
6 Barbari: This breed is found in parts of the Hyderabad, Dadu, Larkana, Khairpur, Nawabshah, and Jacobabad districts of Sindh. A strain of this breed is also found in the Jhang, Sargodha, Faisalabad, and Lahore districts of Punjab. Body color is usually white, brown, or spotted.
It has a compact body, a small head with a long narrow snout, and small, straight, and erect deer-like ears which is a distinctive feature of this breed. Horns are small and pointed. Polled animals are also seen. Milk yield is 100 liters in a 110-day lactation. Adult males and females weigh 23 and 20 kg, respectively. Barbari goats are predominantly a meat breed, however, they look like deer, and they are also reared as a fancy breed.
7 Bari: This breed is found in Hyderabad, Dadu, Larkana, Khairpur, Nawabshah, and Jacobabad districts of Sindh and some parts of Punjab. It is generally white in color but grayish and spotted specimens are also found. It is a small-sized breed resembling deer in shape and size. The ears are small and erect resembling those of a deer. The body coat is covered with short hair. Milk yield is 0.8 to 1.0 liter/day. Adult males and females weigh 29 and 24 kg, respectively. They are reared for milk and meat.
8 Bugi Toori: This breed is found in parts of districts Hyderabad, Badin, and Mirpurkhas. They are white-colored hairy animals. They have a medium head with spirally twisted horns rising in an upright position and drooping medium ears. While walking, their neck and face are held upward. Adult males and females weigh 30 and 25 kg, respectively. These goats are reared for meat and hair.
9 Bujri Bujri: These goats are found in the districts of Thatta and Badin in Sindh province. They are usually white-colored animals. The body is covered with long hair. The face is medium-sized and the bridge of the nose is slightly bulged and convex. Small, slender-shaped horns are present in both males and females. Adult males and females weigh 45 and 35.5 kg, respectively. These goats are reared for meat and hair.
10 Chappar: This breed originates from the south-western mountain ranges of Sindh and the adjoining hilly parts of Balochistan, hence the name Chappar meaning mountainous. The area comprises Karachi, Thatta, Dadu, and Larkana Districts in Sindh and Lasbela district in Balochistan. Chappar Goats are all black or white or spotted with black and white and they are hairy.
The head is small with an evident forelock. Ears are small to medium. Both males and females are horned and the horns have blunt ends. Males and females are both horned. Milk yield is 90 liters in a 120-day lactation. Adult males and females weigh 26 and 22 kg, respectively. Chappar goats are raised for meat and hair production.
11 Jattan: This breed is named after the camel-raising tribes of Jats in Sindh. Jattan goats are found in the irrigated areas of Mirpurkhas district bordering Thar desert. Their color is fawn, red or black. This is a large-sized breed with long legs. The medium drooping ears are white and splashed with fawn, red, or black. Males have a black ring around the base of the neck. Males and females are both horned. Milk yield is 225 liters in a 130-day lactation. Adult males and females weigh 50 and 42 kg, respectively. Jattan goats are raised mainly for milk.
12 Kacchan: This breed is found in Hyderabad and parts of Badin districts. They have generally black or brown bodies with white marking around cheeks and ears and around the base of ears. This is a large-sized breed. Ears are folded at the base and open at the middle and appear like those of a cow. Legs are long and are covered with hair above the hocks. Milk yield is 1.5 to 3.0 liter/day. Adult males and females weigh 78 and 50 kg, respectively. They are raised for milk and meat.
13 Kamori: Although Kamori goats are popular all over Sindh, they are considered a breed of the irrigated tract. True to type specimens are found near Hala and Saeedabad extending to parts of Nawabshah district. Kamori is dark brown with light brown or black patches of varying sizes. They are large and compact animals.
The head is also large, nose Roman and ears long, wide and drooping. Males and females are both horned. Milk yield is 210 liters in a 115-day lactation. Adult males and females weigh 50 and 44 kg, respectively. Kamori goats are primarily raised for milk.
14 Kurri: This breed is found in Kandhkot, Jacobabad, south of Sukkur and Nawabshah, and the eastern side of Kashmir. They are generally black or brown. This is a medium-sized breed. Ears are small and conical and turned. The average length of ears is 5 to 6 cm. Because of short conical ears, it is called Kurri. Milk yield is 1.0 liter/day. Adult males and females weigh 50 and 35 kg, respectively. They are raised for milk and meat.
15 Lohri: This breed is found in the Kacha area of river Indus on both sides of the river in some parts of district Dadu, Larkana, Khairpur, and Sukkur. They are generally off white, rusty with black legs up to knees and below hocks also found in black or brownish color. Black specimens are also found in some flocks. This is a large-sized breed. Ears are 50 cm long and ribbon-like. The backside of the body is covered with long hair. Milk yield is 0.75 liters/day. Adult males and females weigh 58 and 45 kg, respectively.