Goat Farming And Common Goat Breeds in Kenya
Goat farming is very common in Kenya especially in the rural areas. People keep goats for wool, milk and meat. Goats are very hardy and some breeds can withstand adverse weather conditions. The choice that people make for their goat breeds depends on their location and the weather conditions. For example people in north eastern keep a different goat breed than people from the highlands. The three main breeds in Kenya include Saanen, Alpines and Toggenburg.
This is a white goat. It is fairly small and it has black spots on the udders, nose and the skin is black and spotted. This goat has the neutral colors. These goats do not have horns. They have pointed ears and their ears face the front. This breed is different from the others. The weight of the male goats is about 75kgs and the females weigh 65kgs on average. This is a very hardy breed and during crossbreeding, people upgrade the local breeds. It produces around 100litres of milk in 50 days.
This translates to 3.9 liters per day. The milk has a high butter fat content of around 45. This is the amount of oil in the milk. Oil from milk is butter. The more the oil the higher the butter fat content. However this goat breed has a few problems. First it gets skin cancer when it is exposed to strong sunlight. It is also sensitive to high temperatures and it cannot survive in arid areas like north Eastern Kenya. This goat breed has many hermaphrodites and the prevalence of the kids having the same sexes is common.
Another breed of goat is the alpine which easily adapts to the arid areas. This goat breed is very hardy and it adapts to the tropics too. It is better than the Saaneen breed. The colour of this goat varies from white and black to grey. The weight of this goat is like the Saneen. The female goats are 60kgs. The male goats weigh 65kgs. The butter fat content is 3.6%. This is the amount of fat in the milk. Thirdly, the Toggenburg breed is not very successful and many farmers do not prefer it. These breeds have white legs. They also have a white stripe from their nose to their eyes. These goats also have a white triangle in the back. This is a common characteristics with all the goats form this breed.
This goat breed is different in that the females weigh 45kgs while the males weigh 65kgs. Their milk production is about three litres every day and the world record 2613 kg/lactation or 12.5 kg/day. This breed can milk for a long time if not served and are good for upgrading local breeds. These breeds are also hardy and they can adapt to cold and warm areas in Kenya. A farmer wishing to keep goats in Kenya should choose any of these three breeds because they are hardy and they can survive extreme weather. However the Alpine and the Saaneen are not as hardy as the toggenburg.
A farmer can earn profits from these breeds because they provide, meat, milk and wool and they are easy to care for.