The optimum potential of goat as one of the main sources of milk and meat has not been fully tapped in the Philippines. The goat is popularly known as the poor man’s cow because children and old folks who can not afford cow’s milk prefer drinking goat’s milk. Aside from being cheap, goat’s milk is more digestible compared to cow’s milk.
The goat is a clean animal and its male odor is only present during the breeding season. Female goat does not smell. Contrary to myth, goats do not I eat trash. They do, however, lick the labels of tin cans to taste the glue on the label’s back.
Goat raising is undertaken commonly by small farmers or backyard raisers. A farmer raises an average of one to two head goats. Only a handful of commercial-scale goat farms can be found in the country. As of 1998, goat population is estimated to be 3,083,262 compared to the 1988 population of 2,120,110 that shows an average annual increase 4.54 percent.
In a study conducted by a government agency, it was found out that goats are multi-purpose ruminants producing 58.4% milk, 35.6% meat, 4.3% hide, and 1.7% fiber. According to them, these small ruminants can provide the answer to improve nutritional requirements of the predominantly rural farm families scattered allover the archipelago.
There are many breeds of goat worldwide but the available breeds in the Philippines are as follows:
- Anglo Nubians – basically a tropical breed that was successfully adapted in the western countries. Its distinguishing features include drooping and pendulous ears, and a brown hair or a combination of brown and black. It has a long body that usually weighs 70-90 kilograms at mature age and produces 1-21iters of milk daily.
- Boer – a meat type breed with distinct white body color and usually black or reddish brown from rear legs to the head. The goat weighs an average of 90 kilograms at mature age.
- Saanen – originated from Switzerland, is a pure white to off-white in color. It holds the distinction as the highest milk producer (1.8 liters daily), that weighs an average of 70 kilograms.
- Toggenburg – also from Switzerland, have distinct white markings on the face, legs and tail and an erect ears like the Saanen. Milk production averages 1.5 liters daily.
- Alpine – also of European breed has a color that ranges from off-white to red, to black. An alert breed of medium to large size, it weighs 70 kilograms at mature age. It posses an upright ears and a straight face, the breed produces 1.5 liters of milk daily.
- Native – the breed are small, stocky and low-set. Colors range from red, white or black or a combination of these colors. Milk production is just enough for its kids. It weighs 20 to 30 kilograms at mature age.
II. SELECTION CRITERIA
- Does should be purchased from a locality or area with similar climatic conditions
- Native or graded does should not be less than 25 kilograms
- Udder should be palpated for size, detection of lumps, and other abnormalities
- Teats should be uniform at length and large enough for easy milking
- It must have a good appetite, possessing alert eyes, and well formed pupils
- Do not buy breeders from markets
- One year old breeder or buck that have successfully mated once is desirable
- Acquired buck should be accompanied by pedigree records
- It must have a good producing line based from farm records
- Buck must come from doe with high twinning rate
- Buck must be active and ready to breed in-heat doe
- Replace buck, preferably, every three years
Next read – Management