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As you know, all existing goat breeds are divided into: meat, dairy, downy, woolen and mixed. Each type has its own characteristics and advantages. Thanks to this, each farmer can choose the breed for breeding the desired type of productivity. But in this article we will look at the characteristics of downy goats, as well as the best breeds of this type.
Characteristics and features of downy goats
Downy goats include large animals with strong, well-developed bones. They have deep chests and strong hooves. Down goat wool consists of dense awn and soft light down. Transitional hair, which is very similar in structure to downy hair, is rare.
Downy goats, in turn, are divided into 2 groups, differing in the structure of the coat. The first includes the Orenburg rock, as well as impurities of this type. This also includes goats bred in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Gorny Altai. In this group, the awn is longer than the down, and completely covers it. And the second group is distinguished by a long down, which can be on a par with the awn or longer than it. Such a cover is typical for such breeds as the Don, Gorno-Altai, Uzbek black and Kyrgyz.
For the entire lactation period, females can give from 200 liters to 300 liters of milk. Dairy species produce 2 times more milk, but do not forget that downy goats are not raised for the purpose of obtaining dairy products.
Important! In addition to the milk obtained, females are able to independently feed a couple of kids.
The most important thing in downy goat breeding is quality down. It is worth noting that more fluff is combed from the goats. The reason is rather not in the productivity of the breed of goats, but in the large size of the males. Up to 1.6 kg of down can be obtained from one goat, and no more than 1.4 kg is combed from a female. These are the maximum indicators, and on average, bouffants are about half a kilogram of fluff. The most productive are individuals aged 4 to 6 years. The coat of downy goats is 70% down. The average length of the down is about 8.5 centimeters, the length of the awn is 5.2 centimeters. The skins of young individuals are suitable for sewing outerwear (sheepskin coats and coats). The meat is used in cooking.
What makes the best breeds different
Of course, the main advantage of the best downy goat breeds is the availability of quality down. Due to the small amount of grease, the wool separates itself during clipping. The downy fibers are combed out during the shedding period, when they are most easily separated. This process takes a lot of time and effort. The goats must be combed out and sheared very carefully.
Advice! The best month to comb out fluff is February. If you miss this time, you can lose a lot of valuable fluff.
The second hairstyle is carried out half a month after the first. To do this, you need to purchase special tools. Also prepare a container for fluff in advance.
The most valuable and expensive is the fluff obtained after the first haircut. It differs in quality and color. White and gray down is most appreciated. It is from this fiber that the well-known downy shawls are knitted.
But, in addition to high-quality down, the best downy goats have high fertility, give a large amount of milk, and are also appreciated for delicious meat and high-quality skins.
Attention! Such productive breeds include the Orenburg and the Don ones. Their down is highly prized and in great demand.
But, these are not the only downy goat breeds that can boast of the quality of raw materials. We will talk about these and other downy goats in this article.
These goats are rather large in size and have a strong constitution. Females can weigh up to 60 kilograms, and goats can weigh about 90 kilograms. Most often they are black without blotches of a different color. The hair is braided, very thick and soft. These animals are prolific. They are bred in order to obtain high-quality fluff, but their wool is of average productivity. From one individual, you can get half a kilogram of fluff.
Important! The fiber of these animals is thin and soft, but at the same time very strong and elastic. In finished garments, the fluff can become fluffy, making them look even more attractive.
This breed was bred by breeders in the Orenburg region. These animals are highly resistant to various weather conditions. Changes in the weather have a very positive effect on the quality of the down. The formation of a warm coat is influenced by:
- severe frost;
Representatives of Orenburg goats can adapt to any climatic conditions. And due to the quality of the resulting down, they are considered one of the best breeds. Animals give little milk. The meat is of high quality, accounting for 40–45% of the carcass weight.
One of the most ancient breeds. Was bred and bred in the area of the Don River. The breed was created by crossing local species with angora goats. The color of the coat can be white, gray, black and various shades of these colors. The body is strong and well developed, the limbs are strong. At birth, a kid can weigh about 2.5 kilograms. An adult goat weighs up to 70–80 kg, and a female - up to 40 kg. The Don goats are prolific.
Important! White individuals usually weigh less than gray ones.
The wool of the Don goats consists of:
- 68-75% - down.
- 25–32% - awn.
The wool is of the same length and thickness. The down is much longer than the awn, and can grow up to 10 cm, and the awn, respectively, up to 7 cm. The wool cover consists of 80% of high-quality down. Up to 1.5 kilograms of fluff, gray or white, can be combed out of one individual.
The Don goats were exported to India and Mongolia for crossing with local goats, and obtaining more productive species. The skins are used for sewing clothes and shoes. The meat is of good quality, from one individual you can get up to 10 kilograms of slaughter yield. Farmers love these animals for their unpretentiousness to conditions and adaptability to any climate.
Mountain Altai breed
The name clearly shows that the breed was bred in Altai. The Don breed was taken as a basis. The result of the work of breeders can be assessed in the photo. The animals are very hardy, they can live in pasture conditions all year round. They gain weight quickly and have a high quality meat. Goats of the Altai mountain breed can weigh about 65 kilograms, and females - up to 40 kilograms. Meat can be up to 75% of the total carcass. The fertility of the breed directly depends on the pastures and living conditions; on semi-desert pastures, two kids are rarely born at once.
The amount of down in the Altai mountain goats is 3 times higher than that of the Altai breed. Up to 600 grams of pure fluff are combed out from one individual. Its length can reach up to 8-9 cm. Wool consists of 60-80% down.
The quality of the down is high. It is soft, strong and resilient. Suitable for a variety of downy items. A feature of scarves made from it is the shine of the products. While most breeds have a more matte down texture. It is profitable to breed the Gorno-Altai breed even on small home farms. The animals are fattening up quickly, and it will not be difficult to fatten them up.
Angora goats are quite small in size, but this does not prevent them from being the largest source of Moher. Usually these animals are white, although sometimes there are individuals of gray, silver and black colors. The mass of the Angora goat can be up to 60 kg, and that of the female - about 35 kg. The body of animals is short, the head is small. The chest is shallow, narrow. The limbs are strong, although short. The body is completely covered with thick shiny hair. She is curled into long braids. The length of the strand can be about 30 centimeters.
Attention! Animals are sheared 2 times a year. From one individual, you can get up to 5 kilograms of excellent wool.
Angora goats are not afraid of changing weather conditions and can adapt to any climatic conditions. They can be kept in mountain pastures, goats are not whimsical to food. It is believed that it was the Angora breed that was used to breed most of the other woolen species.
Black downy breed
The breeding of this breed of goats took place in Uzbekistan. Wool in animals is black, which is why the breed got its name. A goat can weigh about 50–55 kg, while a female can weigh 40–45 kg. The coat is heterogeneous. The down is quite long, although it can be of the same length as the awn. The tail of these animals is thick and shiny, but the down is dull and very thin.
Important! If you start combing black goats at least 5 days after the start of molting, you can lose almost half of the fluff.
In terms of the quality of the down, black goats are very similar to the Don ones. From one individual, you can get from 300 g to 500 g of raw materials. The length of the down depends on the sex of the animal. In goats, it can grow up to 10 centimeters, and in females, up to 8 centimeters. Animal skins are used in the manufacture of footwear.
So, we have reviewed the very best downy goat breeds. Based on their description, we see that the breeding of such animals has a high profitability. From them you can get excellent fluff for all kinds of products, the skin, which is used in the manufacture of clothing and shoes, high-quality meat and milk. At the same time, animals do not require complex care, and are not picky about their diet. They can graze in pastures, as the photo shows, and this will be enough for full growth. You can breed downy goat breeds at home, on small farms and large enterprises.
Alexander Petrovich, Severobaikalsk
He worked on a farm where downy goats were bred. They are very calm and non-capricious animals. They need to be cut no more than twice a year. The most important thing is not to miss the beginning of the molt, otherwise the fluff will simply crumble to the ground.
Margarita Ivanovna, Vologda
We once had angora goats. Very small and fluffy animals. There is a lot of wool on them, it is soft and shiny. It's a shame that over time, synthetic fibers have replaced natural fluff. Of course, goat down scarves are warmer, but they are rare, and the price bites.