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Results: description of goat types


Nubian family
Rift valley family
Somali family
Small East African family


Nubian family


Nubian
Barka


Nubian

Name: Nubian

Synonyms/local names: Shukria, Langae, Hassen.

Origins: Originated in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria and Israel) and moved through
Egypt to Sudan.

Subtypes, races and related types: Bledi goat kept by the Nara ethnic group in the western lowlands of Eritrea.

Distribution: Lowlands of western Eritrea (Gash, Setit and Akordat) and north-west Ethiopia (Wegera) on the border with Sudan.

Agroclimatic zones: Bereha and dry Kolla (arid and semi-arid).

Management systems: Predominantly pastoral. Kept by the nomadic Hidareb and Nara ethnic groups, mainly for milk production. The goats are also kept for milk production around urban areas.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 18 (SD 12).

Flock structure: Flock structure shows a very high proportion of females (94%), reflecting the owners desire for milk (Table 5). Very few breeding males are maintained in the flock possibly leading to reproduction problems.

Table 5. Flock structure of Nubian goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

21

3.7

-


21

3.7

105

18.4

126

22.1

1 pair*

6

1.0

-


6

1.0

40

7.0

46

8.0

2 pairs*

2

0.3

-


2

0.3

69

12.1

71

12.4

3 pairs*

-


1

0.2

1

0.2

90

15.8

91

16.0

4 pairs*

-


1

0.2

1

0.2

234

41.1

235

41.3

Total

29

5.0

2

0.4

31

5.4

538

94.5

569

100

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: In pastoral systems, free grazing during the day returning to stone enclosures at night. Around urban areas Nubian goats may be supplemented with crop residues and other feeds. Does may have bags placed over their udders to prevent suckling by kids.

Housing: In pastoral systems, the animals are kept in stone enclosures at night. In urban centres they may be housed during the wet season.

Major problems: Poor quality grazing limits milk production. The main diseases reported were mange, mastitis, pasteurellosis and some tick-borne diseases.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Tall (Table 6), markedly convex facial profile, long ears, hairy.

Table 6. Physical characteristics of Nubian goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

74.0±4.6

30.0±4.2

75.0±4.8

19.7±3.9

16.8±3.1

Female

70.1±3.4

34.1±5.4

74.3±3.8

20.1±3.6

14.6±7.9

The head of the Nubian is markedly convex (63% convex, 37% straight). Sixty-three per cent of the males have curved horns, while the remaining 37% have straight ones. Horns in males are mainly pointed backwards. There were no polled goats recorded. The main coat colour is black (72%), with occasional white and red patches on a black background. Most (75%) of the males are hairy and 12% have hair on the thighs. A ruff and beard were present in all goats; no wattles were recorded.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female was 2.1. Single births are most common (97.1%), followed by twin births (2.7%); triplets are rare.

Milk: All Nubian goat owners reported milking their goats. The Nubian doe has a large udder of 29 cm mean circumference and 18 cm mean length.

Skins: Skins of Nubian goats are used as water containers, and some are sold.

Research: None.

References: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Barka

Name: Barka

Synonyms/local names: Bellenay.

Origins: Derived from the Nubian type.

Subtypes, races and related types: Bellenay goats (kept by Tigrawi and Kunama ethnic groups), Nubian and Bledi goat types.

Distribution: West and south-west Eritrean lowlands.

Agroclimatic zones: Bereha and dry Kolla (arid and semi-arid).

Management systems: Predominantly pastoral. Kept by nomadic Tigre and Kunama ethnic groups in the western lowlands, and the sedentary Tigrawi ethnic group in south-west lowlands of Eritrea.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 21 (SD 19).

Flock structure: There is a high proportion (95%) of females (Table 7), reflecting the owners' desire for milk. The flock structure suggests a shortage of breeding males.

Table 7. Flock structure of Barka goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

23

2.7



23

2.7

149

17.4

172

20.1

1 pair*

6

0.7



6

0.7

21

2.5

27

3.2

2 pairs*

5

0.6



5

0.6

103

12.0

108

12.6

3 pairs*

5

0.6

1

0.1

6

0.7

141

16.5

147

17.2

4 pairs*

3

0.3



3

0.3

398

46.5

401

46.8

Total

42

4.9

1

0.1

43

5.0

812

95.0

855

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Free grazing during the day, returning home at night.

Housing: Kids are kept in corrals during the day. A special goat house is constructed in the south-west lowlands.

Major problems: Main diseases reported are orf, anthrax, mange and pasteurellosis.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Tall (Table 8), predominantly white coat colour, hairy thighs common, long ears.

Table 8. Physical characteristics of Barka goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

74.3±7.2

45.3±14.1

83.0±9.5

18.1±5.3

20.0±9.9

Female

67.9±4.3

33.8±5.3

73.9±4.8

18.2±3.1

13.9±3.1

Barka goats have a predominantly straight facial profile (95%). They are mainly white in colour with brown patches (73%). Hairiness (26%), particularly on the thighs is common (42%). Horns are mainly straight (53%) or slightly curving (47%), predominately orientated backwards (90%). A ruff is present on all goats and a beard on 95%. Wattles are absent.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female was 2.7. Of the total births, 93.4% were single births and 6.6% were twin births.

Milk: All Barka goat owners reported milking their goats which have a large udder size, mean circumference 28 cm, and mean length 18 cm.

Skins: Skins are mainly used as water containers. Very few are sold.

Research: None.

References: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Rift valley family


Worre
Afar
Abergelle
Arsi-Bale
Woyto-Guji


Worre

Name: Worre

Synonyms/local names: Tseada, Arab, Milege.

Origins: Derived from the Rift Valley type. Probably from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Subtypes, races and related types: Afar, Abergelle.

Distribution: Mainly in eastern lowlands and mid-altitudes of Eritrea around Keren and Nacfa, also in the Rift Valley strip of northern Eritrea.

Agroclimatic zones: Dry and moist Kolla (semi-arid) and dry Weyna dega.

Management systems: Mainly pastoral. Kept by nomadic Rashida and Tigre ethnic groups and the transhumant Billen ethnic group.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 29 (SD 27).

Flock structure: The high proportion of females maintained in the flock (Table 9) reflects the owners' desire for milk. Very few breeding males are maintained in the flock leading to an adult male to female ratio of 1:34.

Table 9. Flock structure of Worre goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

5

0.8

-


5

0.8

57

8.7

62

9.5

1 pair*

3

0.5

-


3

0.5

50

7.7

53

8.2

2 pairs*

5

0.8

-


5

0.8

85

13.0

90

13.8

3 pairs*

4

0.6

-


4

0.6

137

21.0

141

21.6

4 pairs*

5

0.8

-


5

0.8

300

46.0

305

46.8

Total

22

3.5

-


22

35

629

96.5

651

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Free grazing during the day; during heavy rain the goats may be moved to the highlands.

Housing: Kids are kept separate during the day in corrals. Lactating does may wear udder bags or kids may have a thorn through their nose to prevent suckling during the day. Fires may be lit to keep goats warm during the wet season.

Major problems: The diseases reported were pasteurellosis, and internal and external parasites. Peste des petite ruminants (PPR) was reported in the lowlands of Sahel.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Short (Table 10), concave facial profile, relatively short horns.

Table 10. Physical characteristics of Worre goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

61.7±4.4

26.9±6.0

68.9±4.7

15.1±7.3

16.1±3.6

Female

61.0±13.1

24.9±4.3

67.8±3.8

13.9±2.8

13.2±2.9

The Worre goat has a predominantly concave facial profile (64.7%); the remainder (35.3%) have a straight facial profile. Horns are either straight (47.1%) or curved (41.2%); the remainder (11.7%) are polled. All horns are pointed backwards. The hair is mainly short and smooth (82.4%), and 17.7% of these goats have hair on their thighs. The coat colour is mainly white (58.8%) with 23.5% brown, and 17.7% black. Colours are mainly in patches (88.2%) with only a few in plain colours (11.8%). Beards are present on 88.2% of males and 18.4% of females, ruffs on 94.1% males and 31.8% females, and wattles on 5.9% males and 6.6% females.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 1.74. Virtually all births are single (99.8%).

Milk: All Worre goat owners reported milking their goats which have a relatively small udder of 22 cm mean circumference and mean length of 15 cm.

Skins: Most Worre goat skins are sold.

Research: None.

References: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Afar

Name: Afar

Synonyms/local names: Adal, Danakil.

Origins: Descendent of the Rift Valley goat thought to have entered Ethiopia from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Subtypes, races and related types: Worre and Abergelle types.

Distribution: Kept almost exclusively by the Afar ethnic group in the Ethiopian and Eritrean rift valley strip, Danakil depression, Gewane, northern and western Hararghe.

Agroclimatic zones: Bereha and dry Kolla (arid and semi-arid).

Management systems: Pastoral.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 41 (SD 24).

Flock structure: The Afar maintain a high proportion (94%) of breeding females (Table 11) in their flock because of their need for milk. Males not kept for breeding may be sold or slaughtered at a very young age (less than 7 days old) leaving very few breeding males. Adult male:female ratio is 1:42.

Table 11. Flock structure of Afar goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

108

4.2

3

0.1

111

4.3

370

14.4

481

18.7

1 pair*

15

0.6

1

0.0

16

0.6

276

10.8

292

11.4

2 pairs*

13

0.5



13

0.5

265

10.3

278

10.8

3 pairs*

13

0.5



13

0.5

379

14.8

392

15.3

4 pairs*

7

0.3

3

0.1

10

0.4

110

43.3

1120

43.7

Total

156

6.1

7

0.2

163

6.3

2400

93.6

2563

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Free grazing on arid to semi-arid rangeland areas. These goats are well adapted to arid environments, infrequent watering (every 3-4 days) and travelling long distances. Where it is possible flocks may move to highland areas during the dry season (Afoot, Timugu, Kalu and Ambasel). The animals are usually herded by children and occasionally by women.

Housing: Kids are kept in small houses. Adults return to thorn enclosures for protection during the night.

Major problems: The main diseases are pasteurellosis, goat pox, gastro-intestinal parasites, ticks and occasional epidemics of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP).

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Concave facial profile, narrow face, prick-eared, leggy, long thin upward-pointing horns, patchy coat colour (Table 12).

Table 12. Physical characteristics of Afar goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

64.5±2.9

31.3±3.7

74.6±3.8

12.4±0.7

29.8±6.8

Female

60.9±3.3

23.7±3.4

67.4±3.8

12.3±1.8

17.4±3.9

The coat is very fine and short with variable colours and colour patterns - white 48%, light brown 25%, black 27%, and flecks and patches are also common. A ruff is present in 67% of the goats. A beard is present in 79% of males; wattles are relatively common (19%). Afar pastoralists commonly identify their goats by branding their ears or hindquarters, or by notching the ears.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 2.9. Of all births reported 98.6% were single births and 1.4% were twins.

Milk: Afar goats are extensively milked (hadore hana) for food, medicine and sale. Udder size is relatively small with a circumference of 21 cm and length of 17 cm. Occasionally the milk is made into butter for home use and sale. Sour milk, mixed with fenugreek and garlic, is used to treat measles. Skimmed milk may be mixed with sorghum and maize porridge. Melted goat milk butter is used to treat sick eyes and ears and as a treatment for headaches. It is also used to massage damaged limbs.

Meat: Meat may be consumed fresh or air-dried (teru). Fresh meat may be cooked with rice or roasted and eaten on its own (alayseni). Kids, less than 1 month old, may be sold as a delicacy known as bekel (male) and bekelo (female). Fresh blood is consumed to treat malaria and bullet wounds.

Skins: Skins are used for beds and made into prayer mats (akess). Skins are extensively used as water containers (sar) and as butter churns (koda).

Social functions: Goats are commonly used to pay bride price, and at weddings the groom gives a goat to the woman who performed the circumcision of his bride. Goat milk is also served at funerals. Religious healers (shekas) use white or black goats for sacrificial slaughter.

Research: None.

References: Wilson (1975); Galal and Getachew Feleke (1977); Galal et al (1977); Galal and Kassahun Awgichew (1981); Kassahun Awgichew et al (1989); Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Abergelle

Name: Abergelle

Synonyms/local names: None.

Origins: Descendent of the Rift Valley goat type from south-west Asia.

Subtypes, races and related types: Afar and Worre types.

Distribution: Localised distribution along the Tekeze river in southern Tigray (Tembien and Inderta), northern Wollo (Wag and Raya Azebo) and eastern Gonder (Simien). The goats are kept by the Agew and Tigray ethnic groups.

Agroclimatic zones: Moist Kolla and Weyna dega (highland areas above 1000 m, and along the subhumid Tekeze river valley).

Management systems: Mixed farming and agropastoral systems.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 20 (SD 16).

Flock structure: The flock structure (Table 13) reflects the multiple reasons for ownership. A relatively high proportion of males are kept for breeding and sale, and sufficient mature females retained for breeding and milk production.

Feeding: Free grazing during all seasons, supplemented with crop residues in the dry season. Some localised transhumance is practiced moving flocks down to graze along the banks of the Tekeze during the dry season.

Housing: Goats are mostly housed in a separate building.

Major problems: The main diseases are respiratory problems, anthrax and some bone deformities, possibly due to selenium deficiencies. Shortage of labour for herding was reported.

Table 13. Flock structure of Abergelle goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

45

9.8

-


45

9.8

105

23.0

150

32.8

1 pair*

3

0.6

-


3

0.6

11

2.4

14

3.0

2 pairs*

2

0.4

2

0.4

4

0.8

48

10.5

52

11.3

3 pairs*

12

2.6

2

0.4

14

3.0

47

10.3

61

13.3

4 pairs*

1

0.2

7

1.5

8

1.7

172

37.6

180

39.3

Total

63

13.6

11

2.3

74

15.9

383

83.8

457

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Stocky build, mostly reddish brown colour, males have magnificent spiral horns.

Abergelle goats are stocky, compact and well-built (Table 14). They have a straight (44%) to concave (56%) facial profile. Horns are found on all males, and 89% are spiral while 11% are straight. Horns are directed backwards. The majority of the goats have a plain coat colour (56%), with 33% patchy and 11% spotted. The hair is short and smooth. Ruffs are present on all males and beards on 94% of males. Wattles are almost entirely absent (94%).

Table 14. Physical characteristics of Abergelle goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

71.4+3.5

33.6+5.9

79.5+7.9

13.0±0.8

37.0±9.1

Female

65.0±2.8

28.4+3.5

71.2+3.8

12.7±0.8

19.6+5.7

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 2.8. Single births make up 98.7% of all births and twin births only 1.3%.

Milk: All Abergelle goat owners reported milking their goats, and milk is made into butter for home consumption and sale. Milk is thought to have medicinal qualities and is used to treat the sick. Goats are extensively milked in Tigray. Goat milk (tseba) butter (t'esmi) is made and used for cooking and as a cosmetic (likai); it commands a high price. Milk is also made into yoghurt (rugeo) and cottage cheese (ajebo).

Skins: Goat skins in Tigray are used for a multitude of purposes. The skin (korbet) is softened by rubbing with animal fat, rapeseed oil or other oils. After processing the skin may be used as an apron (shirara); a grain, water, butter or honey container (lekota); sling (wanchef); a small mat or shoulder cape (agoza); pages of religious books (brana); sandals (sa'ani); edges of baskets (makumbeti) and belts (kulfi). Goat skins are widely traded.

Manure: Goat manure (duheri) is widely used as a soil fertiliser in Tigray.

Research: None.

References: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Arsi-Bale

Name: Arsi-Bale

Synonyms/local names: Gishe, Sidama.

Origins: Part of the Rift Valley family.

Subtypes, races and related types: The Woyto-Guji goat is the closest relative. Previously known as Galla-Sidamo in the literature.

Distribution: Throughout the Arsi and Bale regions, up to an altitude of 4000 m. They are also found in the higher altitudes of Sidamo and western Hararge. It occupies all the agropastoral lowlands within the Rift Valley from Lake Abaya in the south to south Shoa in the north.

Agroclimatic zones: Weyna dega and Dega (humid and subhumid highlands with long rainy seasons. Some are kept by agropastoral societies in the semi-arid areas of Arsi, Bale and Sidamo).

Management systems: Arsi-Bale goats are kept in small flocks in mixed farming systems in the highlands, as well as in agropastoral systems at lower altitudes. Perennial crops (enset and coffee) are common in areas with a high population density (Sidamo).

Flock size: The mean flock size owned is 7 (SD 9).

Flock structure: (Table 15).

Table 15. Flock structure of Arsi-Bale goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

808

17.3

5

0.1

813

17.4

1140

24.5

1953

41.9

1 pair*

121

2.6

9

0.2

130

2.8

384

8.2

514

11.0

2 pairs*

55

1.2

31

0.7

86

1.9

245

5.3

331

7.4

3 pairs*

32

0.7

50

1.1

82

1.8

421

9.0

503

10.8

4 pairs*

13

0.3

64

1.4

77

1.7

1274

27.3

1351

29.0

Total

1029

22.1

159

3.5

1188

25.6

3464

74.4

4652

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Predominantly free grazing. Tethered feeding is practiced around perennial crop growing areas in Sidamo. Some arable farmers provide crop residues, thinnings of maize or sorghum, kitchen waste and chopped browse. Provision of mineral supplements in the form of natural licks and table salt is common among the Sidama people. Kids are sometimes provided with supplements.

Goats are herded mostly by family members with their other livestock during the day. It was reported that 20% of households hired labour to herd their goats. Labour is paid for in cash or kind (milk, butter and/or offspring). The main grazing areas are waterlogged valley bottoms and hillsides. Grazing is supplemented with crop residues, mainly wheat and barley straw. Goats in Bale can graze up to an altitude of 4000 m. In the dry season most owners are able to water their goats every day, 25% water every other day, while 21% water every third day.

Housing: The Sidama ethnic group usually keeps goats in sheds; they use either a separate part of the family home or a shed on its own to house goats (with calves and sheep). Goats are housed during the night and early hours of the morning. Particularly during the rainy season goats remain within the shed for part of the day to avoid cold and diseases (foot rot and orf).

Most goats (56%) are housed at night in the family house, while 24% are housed in specially constructed houses. The remainder (20%) are housed in communal barns, shared with neighbours.

Breeding: Mating is allowed to take place all year round. Kids are kept at home for the first 2-4 weeks until they are strong enough to go out grazing. A small number of males are castrated at two years and above. The main reason given for castration was to receive a better price at sale.

Major problems: The most frequently reported constraints in the highlands are shortage of grazing, problems due to the mobility of goats in densely populated villages and diseases. The major goat diseases reported are anthrax, liver fluke and other internal parasites, orf and pneumonia. Early kid mortality is considered a serious problem.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Medium-large size (Table 16), often hairy. Coat colours are most common in a combined patchy pattern.

Table 16. Physical characteristics of Arsi-Bale goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

73.2±6.9

42.1±9.6

85.0±7.0

14.1±1.3

23.7±7.2

Female

66.1±3.5

30.4±4.5

74.9±4.0

14.0±1.3

12.5±3.3

The Arsi-Bale goat is a relatively tall goat with a predominantly straight facial profile (98%). Hairiness was observed on 25% of goats recorded. Males have curved (47%) and straight (41%) horns mainly pointing backwards (58%) with some pointed straight upwards (28%). Polled goats were 6% in both sexes. Ruffs occurred in 33% of males with beards on 92% males and 52% of females. Wattles are present in 14% of males and 11% of females.

The coat colour varies between any of the seven types (white, black, brown, fawn, grey, roan and red), with the first three being most dominant. Colours appear more in patchy combined patterns than in plain or spotted ones. The most frequent colours are mainly white in males (35%), and brown in females (40%). Black is found in 20% and grey in 22% of goats. In parts of Sidamo and Arsi the long legs, ears and body suggest a lowland-type conformation, but at high altitudes in Bale, Arsi and Sidamo goats have a hairy coat. The goats in Sidamo are horned with only 1.7% of females and 1.8% of males being polled. The ears are fairly long. About 10% have a semi-pendulous ear form, the rest being erect or horizontal. About half of the females and 75.5% of the males in Sidamo are bearded, but in the agropastoral areas beards on females are less frequent (38.7%).

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 3.6. Of all the births recorded 82% were single and 18% were twin births. For the goats in Sidamo an average litter size of 1.3 was estimated for the 2463 total births recorded. Two quadruplets (0.08%), 48 triplets (1.95%) and 755 twins (20.15%) were recorded for home-bred and purchased does, implying a multiple birth frequency of 32.68%. The goats in Sidamo appear to attain a greater number of average kiddings for a given dentition class than other goat types in the region.

Growth: The average body weight for each dentition class shows that kids reach 23% of maximum average weights by the time the fourth deciduous incisor teeth erupt. This relatively high value compared to goat types in adjacent areas may be indicative of good milk productivity and kid growth rate, particularly when compared with the Woyto-Guji goats. However, the subsequent growth rate up to eruption of the first incisor pair appears to be less than that of the Woyto-Guji goats.

Milk: Arsi-Bale goats are extensively milked. Among the Sidama people goat milk is a highly valued source of nourishment for children. The demand for goat milk is so high that even the smallest amount of milk available is diluted with some water to make sure that as many children as possible drink some. Daily milk offtakes of 250 to 500 ml were recorded in the agricultural highlands of Sidamo for 10 lactating does on their third or above parity. Does with desirable dairy type body conformation are common, especially in the highlands. The goats are milked usually once a day for two to four months throughout the year. Butter is occasionally extracted for medicinal purposes.

Meat: Goat meat is widely eaten, mostly during social and festive occasions. This goat type is more prolific than other goat types in the region and is potentially a desirable meat producer in the highlands.

Meat is eaten raw, fried or boiled as a soup (kikil). The intestines are cooked as dulet, or cooked with blood as wadi diga.

Skins: The skins of the hairy Arsi-Bale goats are highly valued as saddle covers. The white haired skins are particularly prized and, if well-decorated, can fetch Birr 50-80. People living at very high altitudes around Dinsho and Batu value hairy skins as a warm garment (gishe kora) often worn when herding goats.

Manure: Manure is highly valued in the perennial crop growing areas of Sidamo.

Social functions: In some communities of the Sidama people there are cultural taboos against domestic use of different goat products, especially the viscera. Use of goats to fulfil ritual customs is not common. Goats are highly regarded for traditional healing, and are slaughtered during the elaborate Fiche festival by the Sidama people.

Research: None.

References: Mason and Maule (1960); Epstein (1971); Workneh Ayalew (1992); Alemayehu Reda (1993).

Woyto-Guji

Name: Woyto-Guji

Synonyms/local names: Woyto, Guji, Konso.

Origins: Part of the Rift Valley family of goats.

Subtypes, races and related types: Related to the Arsi-Bale goat.

Distribution: In North and South Omo, southern Sidamo and parts of Wolayta. These goats are mainly kept by pastoral ethnic groups (Tsemay, Malie, Hamer, Benna, Dasenatch, Bumie and Guji) and by a few agricultural groups (Konso and Gardula). Less distinct types of this goat are also kept by the Wolayta, Gofa and Gamo people in North Omo. More notably this goat type inhabits those areas in Sidamo known to be endemic with trypanosomiasis, especially the Gelo valley to the south of Lake Abaya and the western Ghenale catchment area.

Agroclimatic zones: Kolla and Weyna dega (semi-arid and arid).

Management systems: Predominantly pastoral, some in mixed farming systems.

Flock size: The mean flock size owned is 11 (SD 17).

Flock structure: (Table 17).

Table 17. Flock structure of the Woyto-Guji goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

1557

17.5

11

0.1

1568

17.6

1885

21.2

3453

38.8

1 pair*

251

2.8

44

0.5

295

3.3

692

7.8

987

11.1

2 pairs*

103

1.1

41

0.4

144

1.5

539

6.0

683

7.7

3 pairs*

81

0.9

82

0.9

163

1.8

804

9.0

967

10.

4 pairs*

50

0.6

110

1.2

160

1.8

2630

29.6

2790

31.4

Total

2042

22.9

288

3.1

2330

26.0

6550

74.0

8880

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Flocks are mostly herded on rangelands. Crop residues are supplied in the agricultural highlands. The provision of mineral supplements is less common than for the Arsi-Bale and Long-eared Somali goat types.

Housing: Various types of housing for goats were observed. The pastoral Guji ethnic group by tradition have a separate hut for goats with a raised wooden floor 30 cm above the ground. Kids and adults are housed separately and are together only during the morning and evening hours during or soon after milking. Diseased goats are also isolated. Because of their prevalence mange mite infestation and diseases such as pasteurellosis are treated very carefully. Goats are often housed in overcrowded conditions causing the rapid spread of mange mite infestation in those areas. The goats do not come in contact with manure as it collects under the wooden slatted floor. The manure is not put to any agricultural use.

Other pastoralists use open kraals around their homesteads. Goats are kept with sheep, and the young stock is, in all cases, kept in a small protected shed within or beside the kraal. Those of the Tsemay people are very clean and are usually built on a slope to ensure good drainage. Isolation of diseased goats was observed among the Hamer and Dasenetch pastoralists.

Highland farmers in North Omo use part of the family home to keep the small flocks during the night and early hours of the morning.

Major problems: Goat owners reported that the major constraints to goat husbandry were disease, shortage of labour and grazing. The most frequently reported diseases are mange mite infestation, CCPP and internal parasites. Mange mite infestation was also observed in epidemic proportions causing heavy flock losses (probably complicated by other diseases) in South Omo (Hamer and Woyto) and Sidamo (Odo Shakiso). The Hamer, Benna and Guji pastoralists are well acquainted with the use of acaricides. A shortage of acaricides at the time of the survey resulted in mange spreading rapidly. CCPP was also causing very high mortality rates (85%) among goats kept by the Hamer.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Brown, black or red colour with a shiny, smooth coat and small head with a straight or concave facial profile. Coat colours are often marked with black or brown stripes along the back, on the underside or on the front of the legs.

Table 18. Physical characteristics of Woyto-Guji goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

72.9±5.0

39.0±6.3

80.8±6.6

12.5±1.3

17.6±7.2

Female

66.4±3.5

28.8±5.0

72.5±4.2

12.5±1.0

10.8±3.7

The Woyto-Guji goat is a medium-sized goat (Table 18) with a mainly straight (89%) to concave (11%) facial profile. Straight horns, occur on 71% of the males, curved on 26%, with polled goats forming 3% of the population. Horns mainly point backwards (75%) or upward (21%) and in a few cases laterally (2%). The coat is mainly short, smooth and shiny (76%), with a few goats with coarse hair (6%) or hair on the thighs (6%) and 11% being hairy. The predominant colours are reddish-brown (49%) and black (12%) in a patchy pattern (50%). Black or brown stripes on a dark background are common. A beard is present on 96% of all males, a ruff on 91% and wattles are present on 10%.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 4.3. Of all births reported 83% were single, 16% were twin and 1% were triplet births. Kidding records of seven and above were frequently reported in Woyto. This needs to be examined more closely.

Milk: In pastoral (South Omo) and agropastoral (Sidamo) areas the goat is an important milk producer. For the poorest families in Wolayta and Konso the goat provides the only milk to feed to children. By tradition the Gardula, Zaisie, Gamo and Gofa ethnic groups in North Omo do not milk goats. The Gedeo in Sidamo do not use goat milk, but they do not seem to like cow milk either. In Wolayta men do not like to admit that they use goat milk because culturally it is associated with poverty. However, mothers from the poorest families do appreciate the crucial role of goats as the only source of milk for their children.

Goats may be milked once or twice a day for one to four months irrespective of the season. Milk is sometimes made into butter and used in traditional healing treatment.

Meat: The Woyto-Guji goats are known to be good for meat. Most of the viscera are edible but marketing is very limited. Except among some of the Guji and Gardula blood is an edible product and it is sold among the Konso. Members of pastoralist societies in South Omo (Hamer and Dasenetch) sometimes collect blood from live goats by piercing the jugular vein, as practiced on cattle. Fresh blood mixed with milk is a delicacy. Various goat products, including rumen contents and intestines, are often used in traditional medicine.

Skins: Almost all pastoral groups in South Omo use goat skins to make traditional leather garments for women. Well-processed skins decorated with beads and shells are made into skirts, robes and other clothing in distinct patterns characteristic of the ethnic groups. Goat skins are also used to make sacks and for wrapping produce to take to market. To a lesser extent goat skins are needed for various home uses among the Guji people in Borena and Sidamo (carrying rugs, reinforcements to utensils etc). Because of these extensive domestic uses 19.5% of the respondents in the pastoral areas said they never sell goat skins and many others said they seldom sell. As a result the official figures of goat skin sales are gross underestimates of skins produced in South Omo and Borena. As this goat is a lowland type adapted to the arid tropical environment the skin is of a high quality.

Manure: Manure is used as a fertiliser in all the agricultural and agropastoral areas. Manure was reported to be sold in Konso. Otherwise it is dumped as waste in pastoral areas piled up in heaps that mark settlements.

Social functions: Some members of the Wolayta, Amaro, Ari, Benna and Bodi ethnic groups have certain cultural taboos against goat products. But most societies that keep the Woyto-Guji goat prefer goat meat for certain social occasions, or for fulfilment of ritual customs. In some cases goats are used for payment of bride price, burial or other cultural ceremonies. The Hamer, Guji, Tsemay and others slaughter a goat to honour important visitors. Research: On-farm productivity monitoring currently in progress in North Omo as part of the FARM-Africa Dairy Goat Development Programme.

References: Workneh Ayalew (1992); Workneh Ayalew and Peacock (1993).

Somali family


Hararghe Highland
Short-eared Somali
Long-eared Somali


Hararghe Highland

Name: Hararghe Highland

Synonyms/local names: None.

Origins: Most likely derived from the Somali goat type.

Subtypes, races and related types: Related to both the Short- and Long-eared Somali goat types.

Distribution: In the highlands of East and West Hararghe.

Ecological zones: Moist Weyna dega and moist Kolla.

Management systems: Small flocks kept in mixed farming systems.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 4 (SD 4).

Flock structure: (Table 19).

Table 19. Flock structure of Hararghe Highland goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

321

19.5

7

0.4

328

19.9

366

22.2

694

42.1

1 pair*

44

2.7

4

0.2

48

2.9

172

10.4

220

13.3

2 pairs*

23

1.4

24

1.5

47

2.9

124

7.5

171

10.4

3 pairs*

11

0.7

22

1.3

33

2.0

201

12.2

234

14.2

4 pairs*

5

0.3

15

0.9

20

1.2

310

18.8

330

20.0

Total

404

24.6

72

4.3

476

28.9

1173

71.1

1649

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Free grazing during the dry season but usually tethered during the growing season. The goats are mainly herded by family labour, but 12% of owners reported hiring labour, and 16% reported sharing herding with neighbours. There is a widespread use of maize and sorghum thinnings and crop residues. Sweet potato vines are fed as dry season supplement and leftover chat (Catha edulis) known as geraba is widely fed to semi-urban goats. Many Hararghe farmers (46%) are only able to water their goats every other day during the dry season, and some (15%) water every third day. The remainder water their animals daily.

Housing: Goats are housed at night, mainly in the owner's house (65%). In some cases (15%) the animals are housed in a specially constructed building.

Major problems: The main disease problems are gastro-intestinal parasites, liver fluke and mange.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Small, white, brown or black, commonly polled.

The Hararghe Highland goat is relatively small (Table 20), with a straight (60%) or concave (40%) facial profile. There is a very high incidence of polledness (37%). Horned goats have straight (32%) or curved horns (29%). Hararghe Highland goats have short hair. Colours are mainly in a plain pattern (90%); 10% are spotted. The main colour is white (41%), with equal proportions of black (23%) and brown (23%). A beard is present on 72% of males but there are no ruffs. Wattles are present on 14% of goats.

Table 20. Physical characteristics of Hararghe Highland goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

71.5±7.2

41.9±7.2

80.6±7.9

14.4±1.4

21.4±6.7

Female

62.5±3.5

29.1±4.5

72.8±4.5

13.0±1.1

13.1±3.4

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 2.2. Single births are 85% of all births and twin births are 15% of all births.

Milk: Hararghe Highland goats are commonly milked (anan rae) for home consumption and sale in some markets. The milk is widely used to make hoja, milk boiled with dried ground coffee leaves, drunk when chewing chat (jima).

Meat: Goat meat is widely eaten and preferred to sheep meat. It commands a higher price than mutton or beef, particularly during Moslem holidays. Male goats are commonly castrated and fattened for sale during holidays. The meat is mainly eaten fresh but sometimes is air-dried (jeji), cooked as a kind of wat known as hulbet merek, or as dulet, a dish made from liver, rumen, kidney and lean meat. Blood is also cooked with intestines (wadi diga); sometimes salt and/or lemon is added to it and it is drunk.

Skins: Skins are used for beds and prayer mats (sijaja). They are also made into blacksmith's bellows (bufa).

Other products: In the Afden area goat manure is placed around hot pepper seedlings to protect them from hares (Lepus habessinicus).

Social functions: Goats are widely used by traditional healers for sacrifices during personal or community problems. If the shadow of the bird alachua passes over a pregnant woman this is considered bad luck. A cream-coloured goat should be slaughtered and the mother made to drink the rumen contents while the child is wrapped in the skin.

Research: On-farm productivity monitoring currently in progress in East Hararghe as part of the FARM-Africa Dairy Goat Development Programme.

References: Alemayehu Reda (1993); Workneh Ayalew et al (1994).

Short-eared Somali

Name: Short-eared Somali

Synonyms/local names: Denghier or Deghiyer.

Origins: Probably related to the Arab goats in Somalia which were introduced directly from Arabia.

Subtypes, races and related types: Long-eared Somali.

Distribution: Northern and eastern parts of Ogaden (Jijiga, Degeh Bur and Werder) where they are kept by the Isaaq and Mijertein Somali clans, and Dire Dawa, Issa and Gurgura.

Agroclimatic zones: Dry Kolla (arid and semi-arid).

Management systems: Pastoral.

Flock size: The mean size of flock owned is 23 (SD 21).

Flock structure: The relatively high proportion of females (Table 21) reflects the owners' desire for milk. There appears to be an adequate number of breeding males and some fattening of excess males as castrates.

Table 21. Flock structure of Short-eared Somali goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

328

9.6

16

0.5

348

10.1

481

14.0

825

24.1

1 pair*

118

3.4

10

0.3

128

3.7

367

10.7

495

14.4

2 pairs*

83

2.4

48

1.4

131

3.8

334

9.7

465

13.5

3 pairs*

43

1.2

46

1.3

89

2.5

481

14.0

570

16.5

4 pairs*

17

0.5

20

0.6

37

1.1

1040

30.4

1077

31.5

Total

589

17.1

140

4.1

729

21.2

2703

78.8

3432

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: The animals are herded during the day by family members, usually with sheep. During the dry season goats are watered infrequently, every 5-8 days.

Housing: The goats return to thorn enclosures at night.

Major problems: Gastro-intestinal parasites and respiratory problems including occasional outbreaks of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP).

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Medium sized (Table 22), mainly white, short hair.

Table 22. Physical characteristics of Short-eared Somali goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

64.9±5.5

32.8±6.5

72.8±4.7

12.1±2.2

19.6±6.9

Female

61.8±4.1

27.8±6.0

70.4±4.7

12.8±1.8

12.2±4.2

The Short-eared Somali goat is smaller than the Long-eared Somali type. It has a straight facial profile and most males bear straight (46%) upward pointing (64%) horns. Females appear to bear more curved horns (50%), most of which point upwards (55%), but 27% are orientated backwards and 12% are lateral-pointing. Polled goats are found in 5% of males and 7% of females. There is a low incidence (6%) of spiral horns in both sexes. The Short-eared Somali goat has a short smooth coat which is mainly white (76%) with brown (9%), black (7%) and grey (7%) occasionally in spotted patterns (12%). No ruffs were observed in either sex, but beards are present in 79% of males and 14% of females. Wattles were found in 5% of all goats.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female was 2.4. Short-eared Somali goats mainly give birth to single kids (97.5%) with very few (2.5%) twins. Somali goat owners reported a tradition of selecting against twinning and past selection appears to have been very effective.

Milk: Somali goats are widely milked (hanna ear) and milk is consumed fresh and also made into butter. The Somalis use butter for both food and medicinal purposes. Milk may also be sold.

Meat: Meat may be eaten fresh or preserved by cutting into slices, frying it in butter or animal fat and keeping it in a container (odka). Preserved in this way the meat can keep for up to five years. Odka may be given to the groom by the parents of the bride. Meat may also be preserved by air-drying strips (solei). Fresh meat may be roasted and eaten with rice (wesla).

Skins: Goat skins are widely used as sitting or sleeping mats and prayer mats (harek or okedi). The Somali make water containers (karbit) and use goat skins to churn butter. The Somali also use strips of goat skin for tying firewood and constructing their houses (aqal).

Social functions: A Somali man wishing to marry will take a goat in good condition to the father of the girl he wishes to marry. If the father accepts the goat and slaughters it, it is understood that he has agreed to the marriage. At Somali funerals it is customary to serve goat milk. Traditional healers slaughter goats of particular colours - Somalis will never slaughter a black goat. The Rare Bare Somali clan associates particular parts of the goat's body with specific parts of the human body and uses.

Research: The Short-eared Somali goat is used as the dam line in the cross-breeding programme of the FARM-Africa Dairy Goat Development Programme at Alemaya University of Agriculture.

References: Neugebauer et al (1993); Alemayehu Reda (1994).

Long-eared Somali

Name: Long-eared Somali

Synonyms/local names: Large white Somali, Degheir, Galla, Digodi, Melebo.

Origins: Probably related to the descent of the Arab goats in Somalia introduced directly from Arabia.

Subtypes, races and related types: Short-eared Somali.

Distribution: Distributed throughout the Ogaden, lowlands of Bale, Borana and southern Sidamo. Kept by the Hawia, Ogaden, Rare Bare, Digodi clans of the Somali ethnic group and the Boran, Gabra and Geri ethnic groups.

Agroclimatic zones: Bereha and dry Kolla (arid and semi-arid).

Management systems: Pastoral.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 37 (SD 36).

Flock structure: The high proportion of females (Table 23) reflects the owners' desire for milk. There appears to be an adequate number of breeding males, and some fattening of excess males as castrates.

Table 23. Flock structure of Long-eared Somali goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

350

8.7

18

0.4

368

9.1

705

17.5

1073

26.6

1 pair*

93

2.3

2

0.05

95

2.3

371

9.2

466

11.5

2 pairs*

40

1.0

4

0.1

44

1.1

291

7.2

335

8.3

3 pairs*

39

1.0

11

0.3

50

1.3

441

10.9

491

12.2

4 pairs*

27

0.6

24

0.6

51

1.2

1623

40.2

1674

41.4

Total

549

13.6

59

1.4

608

15.0

3431

85.0

4039

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Free grazing on rangeland areas.

Housing: The goats return to thorn enclosures at night. The Boran and Somali pastoralists keep enclosures clean, especially those for the kids.

Major problems: Gastro-intestinal parasites and respiratory problems including occasional outbreaks of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP). Ticks are also considered a serious problem.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Large (Table 24), white, short hair.

Table 24. Physical characteristics of Long-eared Somali goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

75.8±4.2

42.3±7.4

82.3±4.9

14.8±1.7

13.5±6.2

Female

69.4±3.3

31.8±5.4

74.4±4.0

14.6±1.7

9.0±3.8

The Long-eared Somali is a large white goat with a predominantly straight facial profile. Horns are mainly curved (41% in males, 46% in females), and pointed backwards in 38% of males and upwards in 48% females. Some 13% of horns in both sexes have a lateral orientation. A high incidence of polledness was recorded in males (19%) and females (8%). The Long-eared Somali has a short smooth coat which is mainly white (92%), with occasional brown (4%), black (3%) and grey (1%) coat colours. A spotted coat pattern was observed in 21% of males, but rarely occurs in females. Ruffs occur in 21% of males but never in females. Beards were observed in 66% of males and 7% of the females. Wattles were observed in 6% of males and 3% of females.

The ear is horizontal (64% in females, 66.8% in males) and semi-pendulous (22% in females, 16% in males). Vestigial ears, which are not found in other goat types, occurred concentrated in one site, Dollo, in Borana.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids per breeding female is 3.2. Single births account for 97% of all births and twins for 3%. An average litter size of 1.04 was estimated for the 4530 total births recorded. The Somali and Boran pastoralists reported deliberately culling does giving birth to twins. This obviously successful selection for single births enables good kid survival and milk offtake for human consumption.

Milk: Somali goats are extensively milked (hanna ear) by the Somali and Boran pastoralists. Milk is consumed fresh and also made into butter for both food and medicinal purposes. Milk may also be sold. Goats are usually milked before and after grazing; herdsboys may milk the animals while out grazing. Lactation extends for three to four months.

Meat: Goat meat is preferred to mutton in most areas where the Long-eared Somali goat is kept. Meat may be consumed fresh or preserved by cutting into slices and frying it in butter or animal fat and keeping in a container (odka). Preserved in this way the meat can keep for up to five years. Odka may be given to the groom by the parents of the bride. Meat may also be preserved by air-drying strips (solei). Fresh meat may be roasted and eaten with rice (wesla). The Boran slaughter a goat when a woman gives birth. The new mother drinks the coagulated blood mixed with some of the rumen contents to replace the blood lost during childbirth.

Early kid growth rates appear to be faster than in the other goat types from average weights for dentition classes.

Skins: Goat skin is widely used as a sitting or sleeping mat and prayer mat (harek or okedi (Somali)). The Somali make water containers (karbit) and use goat skins to churn butter. The Somali also use strips of goat skin for tying firewood and constructing their houses (aqal).

Social functions: Young Boran boys of the same age group may slaughter a goat to celebrate their birthdays. A Somali man wishing to marry will take a goat in good condition to the father of the girl he wishes to marry. If the father accepts the goat and slaughters it, it is understood that he has agreed to the marriage. At Somali funerals it is customary to serve goat milk. Traditional healers will slaughter goats of particular colours - not black goats among the Somali. The Rare Bare Somali clan associate particular parts of the goat's body with specific parts of the human body.

Research: Used as the dam line in the cross-breeding programme of the FARM-Africa Dairy Goat Development Programme. Widely used as an improver breed in Kenya.

References: Wahome et al (1986); Kimenye and Karimi (1989); Skea et al (1990); Workneh Ayalew (1992); Workneh Ayalew and Peacock (1993); FARM-Africa (1992; 1993; 1994).

Small East African family


Central Highland
Western Highland
Western Lowland
Keffa


Central Highland

Name: Central Highland

Synonyms/local names: Brown goat.

Origins: Highland type derived from mixing of types in the past.

Subtypes, races and related types: Western Highland and Keffa goat types.

Distribution: Central highlands west of the Rift Valley escarpment in central Tigray, Wollo, Gondar and Shoal Owned by settled farmers of the Tigray and Amhara ethnic groups.

Agroclimatic zones: Dega and Weyna dega zones.

Management systems: Kept in small flocks in mixed farming systems. Free grazing on hillsides with seasonal confinement.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 10 (SD 9).

Flock structure: The relatively high proportion of males (29%), both intact and castrated (Table 25), reflects their owners' interest in keeping goats for fattening, and for sale in times of need.

Table 25. The flock structure of Central Highland goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

1032

17.1

1

0.01

1033

17.1

1380

22.9

2413

40.0

1 pair*

156

2.6

35

0.6

191

3.2

429

7.1

620

10.3

2 pairs*

76

1.2

77

1.3

153

2.5

375

6.2

528

8.7

3 pairs*

59

1.0

143

2.4

202

3.4

657

10.9

859

14.3

4 pairs*

18

0.3

131

2.2

149

2.5

1467

24.3

1616

26.8

Total

1341

22.2

387

6.5

1728

28.7

4308

71.3

6036

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: The goats are seasonally tethered during the growing season and graze freely on hillsides and communal grazing areas during the dry season. Crop residues are used as supplement.

Housing: Adults and kids are housed at night in the owner's house.

Major problems: The major disease problems reported were gastro-intestinal parasites, lungworm, liver fluke, respiratory problems, mange, goat pox, nasal bot fly (Oestrous ovis) and anthrax.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Medium-sized (Table 26), broad-faced, thick horns, reddish-brown colour.

Table 26. Physical characteristics of Central Highland goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

76.3±5.0

43.0±7.7

84.6±5.8

13.5±0.9

23.4±5.1

Female

67.9±3.2

30.1±5.4

74.1±4.4

13.1±1.1

13.7±3.5

The Central Highland goat has a predominantly straight (71%) facial profile; 29% of the goats have a concave profile. Virtually all males have horns, 82% being straight and pointed backwards, 13% curved and 5% spiral. The coat type is short and smooth with 51% plain colour, 42% patchy and 7% spotted. The predominant colour is red-brown (41%), the remaining goats being split between black, white and grey. Most males (82%) have a beard and ruff (99%). Wattles are present on 6% of males.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 2.9. Single births account for 83% of all births while twins account for 17%.

Milk: Goats are extensively milked in Tigray. Goat milk (tseba) butter (t'esmi) is made and used for cooking and as a cosmetic (likai) and it commands a high price. Milk is also made into yoghurt (rugeo) and cottage cheese (ajebo). Goat milk is believed to have medicinal value.

Skins: The skins from Central Highland goats are an important export product. The best quality skin 'Bati Genuine' is made from skins of brown/fawn coloured goats in the Bati area of Wollo. The lower grade 'Bati type' skins are from black coloured goats. Skins are locally used to make sacks for grain and may be sold.

Goat skins in Tigray are used for a multitude of purposes. The skin, korbet, is softened by rubbing with animal fat, rapeseed or other oils. After processing the skin may be used as aprons (shirara); grain, water, butter or honey containers (lekota); slings (wanchef); small mats or shoulder capes (agoza); pages of religious books (brana); sandals (sa'ani); edges of baskets (makumbeti) or belts (kulfi).

Manure: Goat manure (duheri) is widely used as a soil fertiliser in Tigray.

Research: None.

References: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Western Highland

Name: Western Highland

Synonyms/local names: Agew.

Origins: Highland type derived from past mixing of types.

Subtypes, races and related types: Central Highland and Keffa types.

Distribution: Highlands of South Gonder, Gojam, Wellega and western Shoal

Agroclimatic zones: Weyna dega and Dega (highlands).

Management systems: Mixed farming.

Flock size: The mean flock size owned is 8 (SD 6).

Flock structure: The relatively high proportion of males (27%) (Table 27) reflects their owners' desire for males for sale for cash. These males appear to be sold young - before 14 months old.

Table 27. Flock structure of Western Highland goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

688

21.0

3

0.1

691

21.1

994

30.3

1685

51.4

1 pair*

43

1.3

6

0.2

49

1.5

275

8.4

324

9.9

2 pairs*

14

0.4

25

0.8

39

1.2

229

7.0

268

8.2

3 pairs*

4

0.1

41

1.3

45

1.4

256

7.8

301

9.2

4 pairs*

6

0.2

42

1.3

48

1.5

652

19.9

700

21.4

Total

755

23.0

117

3.7

872

26.7

2406

73.3

3278

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Free grazing during the day. Castrates are occasionally supplemented with roasted beans.

Housing: The animals are housed at night separate from the owner's house.

Major problems: The main health problems reported were gastro-intestinal parasites, respiratory problems, orf, foot rot and mange.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Tall (Table 28), coarse hair, white and/or fawn colour.

Table 28. Physical characteristics of Western Highland goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

80.7±6.5

48.4±9.9

87.2±7.9

14.6±6.0

20.7±4.8

Female

70.8±4.7

33.0±6.0

75.8±4.5

14.7±1.6

12.8±3.6

The Western Highland goat is relatively tall with a concave facial profile (100%). It has a relatively coarse long coat (82%); 12% of the animals have hair on their thighs. The coat colour is mainly plain (51%), 42% have a patchy colour pattern, and 7% are spotted. The main colours are white (42%) and fawn (42%), and combinations of these colours. There is a relatively high proportion of polled goats in the Western Highland population (14%). The horned goats have straight (76%) horns directed backwards (73%). A ruff is present on 99% of males, and a beard on 84%. Wattles are present on 12% of the goats.

An unusually high proportion of polled and hermaphrodite goats were found around Lake Tana. The goats showed hermaphroditism based on examination of external genitalia. There is an established relationship between hermaphroditism and polledness in goats (Gall 1981).

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 3.6. Single births were 62% of all births while twins were 36% and triplets 2%.

Milk: There is a cultural taboo against goat milk in parts of Gojam.

Meat: There is a cultural taboo against goat meat in parts of Gojam.

Skins: Skins are widely used as grain containers.

Research: None.

References: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Western Lowland

Name: Western Lowland

Synonyms/local names: Shankela, Gumez.

Origins: Highland type derived from past mixing of types.

Subtypes, races and related types: Most closely related to the Central and Western Highland goats.

Distribution: Western lowlands bordering Sudan in Gojam (Metekel), Wellega (Assosa) and Illubabor (Gambela).

Agroclimatic zones: Wet Kolla (subhumid Savannah).

Management systems: Agropastoral.

Flock size: Mean flock size owned is 11 (SD 12).

Flock structure: (Table 29).

Table 29. Flock structure of Western Lowland goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total


Intact

Castrate

Total




No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

189

18.8



189

18.8

315

31.3

504

50.1

1 pair*

18

1.8

1

0.1

19

1.9

87

8.7

106

10.6

2 pairs*

1

0.1

1

0.1

2

0.2

81

8.1

83

8.3

3 pairs*

3

0.3



3

0.3

80

8.0

83

8.3

4 pairs*

4

0.4

5

0.5

9

0.9

230

22.9

429

23.8

Total

215

21.4

7

0.7

222

22.1

783

79.9

1005

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: The goats graze freely with no supplementary feeding.

Housing: The animals are housed at night in thorn enclosures in Gambella and Assosa, and in specially constructed wooden-floored houses in Metekel.

Major problems: Occasional epidemics of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP), gastro-intestinal parasites, trypanosomiasis, mange and insect bites. Smoke is used to repel biting flies at night in Gambella.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Short, straight face, fawn or white patchy colour.

Table 30. Physical characteristics of Western Lowland goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

67.2±5.0

35.5±10.2

77.0±9.2

14.1±1.6

18.5±7.2

Female

63.5±3.8

33.9±6.9

75.9±5.2

13.8±1.5

12.8±3.6

The Western Lowland goat is a relatively short goat (Table 30) with a straight facial profile (100%). It has a predominantly short smooth coat (81%), with 16% having a relatively coarser coat. The main colours are white (42%) and fawn (38%), with some black (9%) and grey (11%), occurring mainly in patches (73%). Most male goats have straight horns (85%) orientated backwards (77%). There are 12% polled males in the population. A ruff is present in 96% of all males and a beard in 70% of males. Wattles are present in 12% of all male goats.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female was 3.5. Western Lowland goats are remarkably prolific with 56% single births, 41% twin births and 3% triplets. Quadruplets were also reported to occur.

Milk: Goat milk is used extensively by pastoral and agropastoral groups in the area of distribution.

Meat: Goat meat is widely eaten.

Skins and other products: The horn is used as a musical instrument (zoombara) in Assosa.

Research: None.

References: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).

Keffa

Name: Keffa

Synonyms/local names: None.

Origins: Derived from mixing of types in the past.

Subtypes, races and related types: Related to the Western Highland goat.

Distribution: In the highlands and lowlands of Keffa, and parts of south Shoa, Kembata and Hadiya.

Agroclimatic zones: Wet Kolla, Weyna Dega and Dega (subhumid highlands and semi-arid lowlands).

Management systems: Kept in small flocks in mixed farming systems.

Flock size: The mean flock size owned is 6 (SD 5).

Flock structure: (Table 31).

Table 31. Flock structure of Keffa goats.

Age (teeth)

Males

Females

Total

Intact

Castrate

Total

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

No.

As % of total flock

Milk teeth

738

21.9

10

0.3

748

22.2

840

24.9

1588

47.1

1 pair*

68

2.0

25

0.7

93

2.7

264

7.8

357

10.5

2 pairs*

28

0.8

32

0.9

60

1.7

209

6.2

269

7.9

3 pairs*

13

0.4

34

1.0

47

1.4

324

9.6

371

11.0

4 pairs*

8

0.2

49

1.5

57

1.7

728

21.6

785

23.3

Total

855

25.3

150

4.4

1005

29.7

2365

70.1

3370

100.0

* of permanent incisors.

Feeding: Goats often roam unherded, particularly around Mocha, with a lead goat guiding the flock.

Housing: No housing is provided despite the high rainfall (1800-2000 mm per annum). Goats may shelter under large trees.

Major problems: Attacks from wild animals are reported as a major problem. The main disease problems are gastro-intestinal parasites, liver fluke, mange, ticks and respiratory problems. Epidemic outbreaks of contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) are common in the Keffa lowlands.

Physical characteristics

Key identifying features: Small, red or black, short neck, prick ears.

Table 32. Physical characteristics of Keffa goats.

Sex

Height at withers (cm)

Weight (kg)

Chest girth (cm)

Ear length (cm)

Horn length (cm)

Male

75.6±6.8

40.5±8.4

82.7±5.9

13.3±1.1

20.1±5.5

Female

66.7±4.0

28.2±5.2

72.2±4.5

13.0±1.0

11.6±3.6

The Keffa goat is relatively short (Table 32) with a predominantly straight facial profile 92%. Most males (83%) have straight horns pointing backwards (80%). A small proportion, 14%, have curved horns. The incidence of polledness is low at 3%. Keffa goats have short pricked ears. Most Keffa goats have a coarse (38%) to hairy (27%) coat type; some 16% have hair on the thighs. Plain colours predominate (52%), with some patchy colour patterns (45%). The main colours are black (30%) or brown (31%). Among males, 88% have beards, 97% have ruffs. Wattles are present on 12% of all goats.

Products and productivity

Reproduction: The average number of kids born per breeding female is 3.1. Of all births reported 78% were single births, 21% were twins and 1% were born as triplets.

Milk: The pastoral ethnic group, the Surmas, drink the milk and blood of goats.

Meat: Goat meat is widely eaten.

Skins: The skin is used to cover seats, as a wig or headress. It is also placed underneath saddles. The horn is used as a container for igniting a mixture of explosive minerals.

Social functions: Goats have important social functions in the Mocha area. They are used in divine healing and as gifts for spiritual leaders.

Research: None.

Reference: Nigatu Alemayehu (1994).


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