Goat Breeding: the four main types

Goats like sheeps are some of the best ruminants to grow. They can provide good milk, skin and meat. They can support local community and farmers.


Goat is, along with the sheep, one of the first animals to have been domesticated.

Goat farming has always proved valuable for man, that one gets meat and milk, which is generally intended to cheese, wool and leather. It is an intelligent and curious animal, which is well adapted to the difficult farming conditions and poor pastures. The food needs of a goat is equal to one tenth of that of a cow, but her milk production is, in relation, higher. There are four main types of breeding goat :


Extensive Breading

It is a very common type in mountain areas. It provides shelter only in winter time and during the period of parts and milking. The rest of the year goats are out to pasture in the valley in spring and fall, while the mountain pasture is during the summer. The milk is used only for nursing kids and the only source of income is meat. This is a meat breeding mainly. The costs of this type of farming is low. Goats get most of their food from pasture and only some extra hay is planned after pregnancy. However, this form does not allow the selection of goats according to their productive characteristics or a control of the mount. The breeds raised under this type are usually native ones, more hardy and adaptable than highly selected ones.

Semi-Extensive Breading

Even this type of breading is more common in mountainous areas and is quite similar to the extensive one. The main difference are in the use milk, which is destined to cheese-making after weaning kid. The goats are stable all winter and not only during birth. In spring and autumn pasture is due near the barn using the pastures or meadows-driven forms of pasture, while during the summer goats are in the mountain pastures. After weaning kids, milk is usually hand milked and used to cheese-making. Compared to the previous type, the operating costs are higher, due to milking activities and cheese-making, but the economic return rise more. The goat breeds grown in this way are usually indigenous.

Intensive Breading

This is a non-traditional goat production. In recent years it has been particularly widespread in valleys. The main production is milk. This is the best dairy goats breading. The animals are raised in modern and large farm. Lambs are fed with substitute foods to breast milk, while ewe are milked for the production cheese. Milking takes place in the milking room, which has different dimensions depending on the number of animals raised. Goats are milked usually from February to October-November. Nutrition is designed on the basis of the daily needs of animals, in relations to the different physiological stages. A major amount of food is provided during lactation.

Semi-Intensive Breading

It differs from the intensive one because the pasture is fundamental for goats feeding. Apart from the winter-housing period, the rest of year goats are carried out for pasture. This is managed in a rational giving them supplement food in the barn. In this way there is a substantial reduction of food costs and the use of areas where the production of hay is difficult. Lambs are bottle-fed and milk produced is mainly for cheese.Discover the Suite of Apps for Livestock Management The most complete set of tools to improve productivity

Maria Luisa de la Puerta Fernandez

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