5 Largest Goat Breeds

5 Largest Goat Breeds

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Goats are among the oldest domesticated breeds of animals that have long served man and given him high-value products such as meat, milk, skin, and hair. Goats have long been called “poor cows” because of their low milk yield, lower efficiency in meat production, and lower daily gain.

With the changes in consumer habits, goat meat is increasingly in demand on the market and is kept with specialty and tradition and served on special occasions. Large goat breeds are special because they are extremely muscular and are quite fascinating.

1. Boer goat

The Boer goat is the first breed of goat in the world selected for meat production, with a total population of about 5 million. Today it is considered the meatiest breed of goat in the world. They first appeared in the early 20th century, South Africa. It was created by crossing European and African breeds of goats.

In the creation of this breed, a long-term selection on the quality of the meat was used, which is why this breed of goats is characterized by great meatiness. It is an extremely grateful breed. Compared to alpine goats, they are twice as heavy, quite massive, with developed muscles and a strong constitution.

They have horns and can be different colors. The most sought-after specimens are those with red-colored heads and white bodies. Females weigh about 90-100 kilograms, while males reach a weight of 110-135 kilograms. The characteristic of the breed is early maturity, males become fully mature as early as six months, and females a little later.

The body of the Boer goat is covered with very high-quality leather which is a significant product of this breed. The skin, at the same time, serves as a shield from the sun’s rays. The horns are strong and well developed, and the ears broad and drooping. The Boer goat is well adapted to different climatic conditions and is not overly demanding.

It is very resistant to diseases and adaptable, they tolerate high temperatures and drought especially well. Lately, an increasing number of people keep them as pets, known as “gentle giants” because of their size and personality, these obedient goats are great playful friends with both children and other animals.

For the Boer breed, huts with an area of 4 square meters per animal will have to be built. In winter, this room must be heated if the air temperature is below 15 degrees Celsius.

2. Kalahari Red Goat

The name of the breed comes from the red hue of the Kalahari Desert, which stretches along the borders of South Africa. A distinctive feature of animals is their unusual appearance. These sturdy animals are characterized by an attractive color and arouse true admiration.

By the age of three, goats develop pus and wrinkles on the neck. In this case, the horns of the animals are bent back. They have big ears hanging down. The legs are quite short compared to the length of the body. At the same time, the limbs are strong and thick and complemented by strong heavy hooves. Well-developed muscles are characteristic of animals.

This breed is resistant to the harsh environment and their coats protect them from sunlight. Just like the Boar goat, they are built to resist diseases.

The male is 90 centimeters tall, while the female is 75 centimeters tall. At the same time, an adult male weighs 120-140 kilograms and a goat 90 to 110 kilograms. Kalahari goats produce delicious milk with high-fat content. It has no specific smell and is therefore perfect for making cheese. The peculiarity of animals is high productivity. These goats can produce 2-3 liters of milk.

Today there is little information about the origin of this breed. Some sources claim that these are African goats, which were obtained by crossing with local species. According to other sources, Kalahari goats do not belong to Africa in any way.

This species of animal is often crossed with Boer goats, which helps to improve their breed characteristics. The main advantage of goats is their fast growth. As a result, they can be used commercially to produce meat products. The animals are characterized by excellent fertility and can feed their offspring on their own.

3.  Saanen Goat

The Saanen goat is a white breed of goat, native to the Saanen Valley in Switzerland. The Saanen goat is the world’s most important and well-known goat breed. Today there are numerous local species around the world of which the most famous are Swiss, German, and French.

This is an extremely dairy breed that in ideal conditions of feeding, care and accommodation can produce milk up to 20 times more than its own weight. The Saanen breed is a world record holder for producing milk.

This goat has been used in the selection and creation of many other breeds, so its gene has been used in the formation of the breeding of the French San goat, the German white goat, and many others.

This goat is of medium size or large build, strong bones, and full of energy. The average weight of a female goat is about 68 kg, while males weigh over 91 kg. Their carcass is about 80 cm long in females and 95 cm in males. The height of the ridge in females is on average 74 cm, and in males around 85 cm.

It is not suitable in tropical sun conditions, and in these areas, it must always have the possibility of shelter from the sun.

4. Alpine Goat

Alpine goat originates from the Swiss-French Alps. It is widespread throughout France, and its main breeding area is the Pays de Loire. It is the youngest dairy goat breed in France, which is, therefore, as well as due to good fertility, quite exported, especially to the Mediterranean.

Alpine goats are resilient and adaptable and equally grateful for extensive and intensive production systems, both in the lowlands and in the mountains and hills. Alpine goats are of medium physical development, with well-defined depths. The bodyweight of adult fully developed females is between 50 and 80 kg, and males from 80 to 100 kg.

The carcass of an alpine goat is firm, with a well-developed chest and strong limbs. The animals have short erect ears, with or without horns. The carcass of an alpine goat is firm, with a well-developed chest and strong limbs. The animals have short erect ears, with or without horns. The horns grow backward in the form of strongly bent sabers. Some even have a beard and fringes.

This breed appears in several colors. The most famous and most common type is chamois (saffron), light yellow or brown, with a black belly and lower legs and a recognizable stripe that extends over the back to the tail and more on the head.

Their skin is fine and smooth, covered with short thick hair, which in males is slightly longer in the neck and shoulders. The head is of medium length, slightly curved profile, and wide forehead. They have great adaptability to different growing conditions and great resistance to diseases.

Alpine goats have a friendly character and are very active. It should be noted that they feel great and can function at low temperatures.

5. Kiko goats

These animals are mostly brown or white in color, but there are black and colored individuals. Goats have a large build. The head is of medium size and rests on a long neck. Male horns are long and massive, straight or curly, and in females, they are only flat and small in size.

The goats are endowed with a thick, long beard. This breed has large drooping ears, while the back and chest are wide. The legs are strong, with well-developed hooves. The length of the coat varies depending on the season. It is shorter in summer and longer in winter.

These animals are humble with food. The weight of an adult female ranges from 60 to 70 kilograms, while males can weigh around 115 – 140 kilograms. These goats can be aggressive. Males have a cold nature. Therefore, young goats are not allowed to play with them. Kiko goats feel comfortable in harsh climates because they have high immunity and are resistant to foot ailments.

They are characterized by good health. This breed is also gaining weight fast. Milk is not enough to produce, but they make enough milk to feed the offspring. Females have a developed sense of motherhood which means they take care of their babies for a long time. Females surround their offspring with attention and love.