The domestic goat is a domesticated species of goat antelope often raised as livestock. It originated from the Capra aegagrus, a wild goat native to southwest Asia and parts of eastern Europe. They are among the cleanest animals and feed much more selectively than cows, sheep, pigs, swine, and even dogs. They are highly intelligent and inquisitive animals, and their inquisitive nature is exemplified by their constant desire to explore and investigate anything unfamiliar. Here, we will study its classification and importance in our surroundings.
Goats are one of the first animals that humans tamed and herded 9,000 years ago. Goats have a five-month gestation period (pregnancy). Within minutes of birth, baby goats (kids) can stand and take their first steps.
They are very picky eaters, contrary to popular belief. They have extremely sensitive lips, which they use to "mouth" things to find clean and tasty food. They frequently refuse to eat hay that has been walked on or lying loose for days. Goats are herd animals.
The zoological name of goats, also its scientific name, is given by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). The scientific name of the goat is Capra aegagrus hircus. The mountain goat is Oreamnos americanus.
Others include Boer goat (Capra aegagrus hircus), fainting goat (Capra aegagrus hircus), alpine goat (Capra aegagrus hircus), pygmy goat (Capra aegagrus hircus), west African dwarf goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) and angora goat (Capra aegagrus hircus).
The scientific classification of the goat is as follows.
Humans can benefit from goats both while they are alive and after they have passed away. First as a natural resource of milk, fibre, and manure, then as a source of meat and skin. Goats have more uses than cattle and are easier and less expensive to maintain. Goats are also used for transportation and packing.
India was the largest producer of goat milk in 2008, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (4 million metric tons). India kills 41% of the 124.4 million goats it produces annually. Goat meat accounts for 0.6 million metric tonnes or 8% of India's yearly meat output. In the Indian subcontinent and most of Asia, goats are raised primarily for dairy production in family and commercial settings.
It is possible to keep the goats in small enclosures or to give them the freedom to forage for food. The Salem black goats, during the day, are led to graze in fields and alongside roadways; at night, they are confined for safety.
The following are the uses of goats.
The meat of goat is consumed in many parts of the world. The flavour of goat kid meat is comparable to that of spring lamb meat; as a result, both goat and sheep meat are referred to as "mutton" in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and some other countries in Asia and on English-speaking Caribbean islands.
2% of the annual global milk production is obtained from goats. Some goats are raised solely for milk production. Since goat milk naturally contains smaller, emulsified fat globules, the cream does not float to the top as it does in raw cow milk but remains suspended in the liquid. Cheese, cream, ice cream, butter, yoghurt, cajeta, and other items are frequently made from goat milk through processing.
In France, goat cheese is referred to as fromage de chèvre, or "goat cheese". Rocamadour and Montrachet are a couple of variants. Since goats produce milk in which the yellow beta-carotene is changed into a colourless form of vitamin A, goat butter is white. Compared to cow's milk, goat milk also has less cholesterol.
Long, curly, glossy mohair that may reach lengths of 4 inches is produced by the Angora breed of goats. To generate mohair on a more manageable, smaller animal, angora crossbreeds like the nigora and pygora have been developed. Twice a year, the wool is shorn, with a yield of 4.5 kg (10 lb).
A prosperous industry of producing shawls from goat hair was in Kashmir (formerly known as Cashmere by the British). The wool became known as "cashmere" since these shawls were made in the higher Kashmir and Ladakh region. One of the most valuable natural fibres currently produced, Cashmere, is generated in large quantities by the cashmere goat. Cashmere is also exceptionally soft and fine. Cashmere is also known as "pashmina" in South Asia.
Humans have long removed undesirable plants with the assistance of goats. They have indeed been called "eating machines" or "biological control agents”. This approach of using goats to clear land is commonly called conservation grazing.
Some nations' militaries utilise goats to train combat medics since a goat's anatomy, clinical features and physiology are not all that distinct from that of humans.
Some of the earliest established animal breeds for which production records and breed standards have been kept are goat breeds, particularly dairy goats. Enhancing the production of fibre, meat, dairy products, or goatskin is typically the goal of selective breeding of goats. Although some breeds are regarded as dual or multi-purpose, most breeds are categorised according to their primary usage.
Goats of the Jamnapari (or Jamunapari) breed are native to the Indian subcontinent. The Yamuna River is referred to as ‘Jamna’. It is of the progenitors of the American Nubian breed. Male goats range from 65 to 80 kg in weight, while females from 45 to 60 kg.
Every day, these goats produce 2 to 2.5 kilograms of milk. Most Jamunapari goats are found in Uttar Pradesh.
Kerala's Malabari regions are home to the Malabari goats. This goat, raised for meat, is also known as a Tailcherchery goat. It nevertheless also produces milk. The average male weighs 41.20 kg, and females weigh 30.68 kg. In addition to weighing less and having smaller ears and feet, Malabari goats have bigger testicles than Beetal goats.
Barbari goats can be found in Pakistan's Punjab region and the provinces of Sindh and India's Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. The name Berbera, which refers to a Somalian coastal city on the Indian Ocean, was given to the Barbari goat. The dry and semi-arid regions of the northwest are home to this breed. It has little horns and short ears. The coat of this breed is short and typically brownish red with white markings. Solid coloured coats are also found.
Both milk and meat are obtained from this breed of goat. This breed is suited for the climate in India. Barbary goats can adjust to the cold. The ability of this goat to produce is not also dependent on external elements like temperature, humidity, or rainfall.
It is raised mostly in the Indian state of Punjab. This goat is raised for both milk and meat, even in Pakistan. Lahori goat is another name for this animal. It is a healthy, large-bodied milking goat. The ears are droopy, flat, and long curled. These goats' skins are also used. Shoes, purses, and gloves are manufactured with this goat skin.
A male goat of this breed can weigh between 50 and 70 kilograms. The female goat, however, can weigh up to 40 kg. This goat may produce up to 2 kg of milk each day.
Tamil Nadu and Kerala are home to these goats. In addition to having a high birth rate, it is raised for milk and meat production. It can endure any weather condition.
They are medium-sized goats. These goats are mostly white in colour. However, black and brown coloured coats are also available in this breed. During the 6-month lactation period, a typical healthy female goat of this breed produces 65 to 70 kilograms of milk.
These goats have a 90-day weight increase capacity of 20–25 kg, and they effortlessly produce up to two litres of milk.
Many more breeds of goats are there in India, such as Sihori Goat, Black Bengal goat, Abaza goat, Alpine goat, etc.
In various parts of the world, goats are utilised for obtaining milk, cheese, meat, fur, and skins. Goat cheese is frequently made with goat milk. Young male goats are called bucks or billies, while female goats are called does or nannies. Many goat breed varieties are categorised according to their primary usage. Some of the popular breeds in India include Jamnapari, Malabar, Beetal, Tellicherry, etc.
1. What is goat husbandry?
The area of agriculture that deals with raising animals for meat, milk, fibre, or other commodities is known as animal husbandry. It covers routine maintenance, selective breeding, and animal rearing. As a subset of animal husbandry, goat farming entails the rearing and breeding of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus). Goats are primarily raised for their meat, milk, fibre, and skins.
2. Give one major difference between goat milk and cow milk.
The primary distinction between goat and cow milk is that it is healthier because it doesn't include casein, which is necessary for lactose intolerants because casein can exacerbate the immune system. Given the size of fat globules, goat milk may also be simpler to digest than cow's milk. Goat milk contains more protein, calcium, minerals and good fats. It has more vitamin A, calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and niacin than cow's milk does.
3. Describe the digestive system of a goat.
Adult goats are herbivorous ruminants. The mouth, oesophagus, four stomach compartments, small intestine, cecum, and large intestine are all present in their digestive tracts, similar to those of cattle, sheep, deer, elk, bison, and giraffes. These creatures ruminate or chew the cud. They, unlike us, have four-compartments in their stomachs. Their stomachs are specifically designed to digest roughage (food high in fibre) such as grass, hay, and silage. The goat's stomach is divided into four chambers: the rumen, the honeycombed reticulum, the omasum, the abomasum, or the true stomach. As the animal grows, the size of the four chambers changes. The abomasum shrinks proportionally.