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FARMER'S NOTEBOOK

Rearing Sirohi goats ideal for small scale farmers

M.J. PRABU

The breed is popular for its weight gain and better lactation



MILKING REGIMEN: Does are milked twice a day and 2-3 litres of milk can be got from does with first kids. — PHOTO: LRS

SOCIALLY, GOATS have provided livelihood security to small and marginal farmers and particularly, landless labourers.

Goats are medium in size and consume a variety of grasses, weeds, bushes and kitchen waste and produce higher amount of milk with lower input cost, when compared with cattle.

Common breeds such as Jamunapari, Barbari, Beetal, Jakarana, Marwari, and Black Bengal are used for milk and meat and for up grading of non-descript breeds in India.

Another common Indian breed is called Sirohi, which derives its name from the Sirohi district of Rajasthan.

The breed is also known by other names such as Devgarhi, Parbatsari, and Ajmeri.

Dual-purpose animals

Sirohi goats are dual-purpose animals, which are reared for both milk and meat, according to Prof. R.K. Nagda, Officer-in-Charge, Livestock Research Station (LRS), Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology, Udaipur, Rajasthan.

The animals are popular for their weight gain and better lactation even under poor quality rearing conditions, according to him.

The animals are resistant to major diseases and are easily adaptable to different climatic conditions.

Widely distributed

Though the main breeding tracts of Sirohi animals are situated in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan, they are also widely distributed in several other Indian states.

"The skin colour of the goat varies from light brown to dark brown sometimes with light brown patches on the body. The ears are big and droop downwards. The tail is small and curved upwards," said Prof. Nagda.

Sirohi bucks (males) are heavier than the does (females). Animals with a tapering body shape are preferred for milk and those with a cylindrical body shape for meat production.

The animals can be stall-fed as well as sent for grazing. It is ideal to feed the animals reared in a stall with about 3-5 kg of green fodder every day.

In addition, the animals must be fed with a concentrate mixture of barley and channa gram along with 2 per cent mineral mixture and 1 per cent common salt.

Does normally come to heat at one year of age. The normal breeding ratio is one buck for 30 does. Does can be bred twice a year.

Getting more kids

Usually a buck can service 30-35 does in a single breeding season.

"Farmers must provide about 300 gm of barley mixture mixed with channa dhal to get more healthy kids in a single kidding. This is called flushing," said Prof Nagda.

The gestation period usually lasts for about 150 days. "It is advisable to keep pregnant does, fifteen days before kidding, in separate enclosures with straw bedding and fresh water.

In case of any difficulty during delivery of lambs immediate veterinary attention is necessary," he said. About 30-40 per cent of does give birth to twins or triplets, according to Prof. Nagda. Weaning of kids is done at 3-4 months of age. Does are milked twice a day and 2-3 litres of milk can be got from does with first kids.

Hardy animals

Though the animals are hardy and resistant to major diseases and infections, farmers are advised to deworm and vaccinate the animals against enterotoxaemia and foot and mouth infections regularly.

The University maintains a healthy flock of Sirohi breed at its Livestock Research Station (LRS),Vallabhnagar.

Breedable bucks are being supplied to several farmers. Bucks are priced at Rs.5,000 and Does at Rs.3-3,500.

Prof. R.K. Nagda, can be reached at LRS, Vallabhnagar, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology, Udaipur, Rajasthan, mobile: 94147-34827.

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