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Indigenous breeds of goat in Nigeria and their key characteristics

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Nigeria has varieties of breeds of goats that are special and peculiar in their diverse ways. I will explain their features, classification, uses and habitat below. 

Sahelian Goats 

Sahelian goats originated from West Africa.

sahelian

They thrive more in the desert and semi-desert environment. They give birth mainly at the age of 18 months and can give birth to one or two kids at a time. Their average lactation period is between five and six months. They are mostly affected by high humidity and are distributed mainly in the northern part of Nigeria. It has other names like Cheèvre bariolée, Gorane, Nioro, Niafounké, Sahélienne.

Classification

Sahelian goats fall under the Savanna group of goats.

Features/Characteristics of Sahelian Goats

  1. Thin appearance
  2. Narrow-body
  3. Shallow chest
  4. Sloping short croup 
  5. Long spindly legs
  6. Udder, as well as scrotum in males, split into two halves
  7. Both sexes have horns

Uses of Sahelian Goats

They are used mainly for meat and skin production.

Habitat

The most comfortable environment for Sahelian goats is a desert or semi-desert environment.

2. Saanen Goat

Saanen goat originated from the western side of Switzerland. It is also called Saanenziege. It is highly productive.

saanen

Classification

Saanen goat is classified as a dairy breed because of its high milk production. It can produce three gallons of milk in a day.

Features/Characteristics

  1. Pure white, smooth, silky fur
  2. A slender build
  3. A dainty manner of walking. 
  4. Ears and nose often appear pink. 
  5. Elegant carriage
  6. Amber eyes 

Uses

It is used mainly for milk production. The milk it produces is highly nutritious.

Habitat

It is a domestic animal and is reared at home. It is intolerable to intense sun.

3. Maradi Goat

Maradi goats are commonly red, and they originated from southwest Asia. It is mainly found in Sokoto and is called Sokoto goat.

maradi

Classification

They are classified under dairy breeds.

Features/Characteristics

  1. Relatively small size 60 cm 
  2. Mucous membranes black
  3. Horns in both sexes
  4. Short ears
  5. Males carry a light mane extending to the shoulders
  6. Short neck
  7. Rounded Chest 

Uses

It is used for meat, milk production, and skin for water carriers.

Habitat

It thrives more in semi-arid areas.

4. African Dwarf Goats 

This small and stunted goat originated from central Africa. They have high resistance to diseases and breeds in multiples. It has other names like Fouta Jallon, Grassland Dwarf or Chèvre Naine des Savanes, etc. 

african-dwarf

Classification

It is classified under dairy breeds.

Features/Characteristics

  1. Both sexes have horns, which curve outward and backwards in males
  2. Males also have beards and sometimes manes. 
  3. Long neck
  4. Broad chest
  5. Straight back
  6. Shot legs 
  7. Short, stiff hair

Uses

It is kept as livestock for meat and milk.

Habitat

Humid and subhumid zones are the major habitat of African Dwarf goats.

5. Pygmy Goats 

Pygmy goats originated through African Dwarf goats. The British took it to their country during the colonization of West Africa, and from there, pygmy breeds were obtained.

pygmy

Classification

They are classified as dairy breeds

Features/Characteristics

  1. Short legs and head
  2. Well-muscled, stocky body 
  3. Broad and deep barrel 
  4. Short limbs and head. 
  5. Broad forehead 
  6. Erect ears, goat wattles, and horns. 
  7. Short, wide, and flat nose with a rounded muzzle. 

Uses

Its uses are for meat and milk production.

Its skin is also for skin production. Some people use it as a pet too.

Habitat

Their habitat is mainly farmland.

6. Anglo-Nubian Goats

Anglo-Nubian goat is a domestic goat that originated from cross-breeding between native British goat and lop-eared goat, which came from India.

Classification

It falls under the dairy breed.

Features/Characteristics

  1. Long legs
  2. Long pendulous lop ears. 
  3. The head is carried high 
  4. The females have a short and smooth coat
  5. The males have rough and longer coat

Uses

It is reared for both goat meat and milk.

Habitat

They can live in hot climates but mainly prefer to graze under temperate climates. If the place is well ventilated, with grass around, they can thrive in such an environment. 

Chinonye Ikebaku

This article was written by Chinonye Ikebuaku.