As part of the series leading to the farm clinic on June 14, which will focus on all aspects of goat farming, this article highlights the different breeds found in Uganda.
The Mubende goat is poorly characterised and has no distinct breeding population or geographic area where it is found.
However, there is certainly considerable variation among the local breed and this has enabled people to select some faster-growing, larger goats from the general population. This may eventually lead to the development of a well-defined Mubende breed.
This has origins from the highlands of Kabale and Bundibugyo districts. It has a small compact, short legged body. Average weight is about 30 kg.
The Small East African goat
Kept for meat, the Small East African goat grows slowly, has a heavy-set conformation and is resistant to heartwater (a tick-borne disease) and worms and possibly other diseases such as mange.
The hides give a good quality leather. An adult weighs between 25- 30kg and the age for first kidding is 18 months.
Sudanese Dwarf goat
Found in the Acholi and Karamoja regions, these goats are much smaller than the Small East African goats.
Although, the Karimojong milk them sometimes, it is only the large numbers kept that make this feasible--only 100ml, or occasionally 200ml of milk is obtained per goat.
This breed is adapted from the Karamoja region. It is suitable for the arid areas of Kotido, Moroto,Abim and Nakasongola districts. It is a short-haired, mainly white breed. It is a relative of the Galla goats breed of Kenya.
This is suitable for the highland areas of Mt Elgon in Kapchorwa and southwestern Uganda. It can withstand lower temperatures.
The Toggenburg goat
This is named after a region in Switzerland where the breed originated. It is medium-sized, moderate in production, and has relatively low butterfat content (two to three per cent) in the milk.
Wattles, small rudimentary nubs of skin located on each side of the neck, are often present in these goats.
The Alpine breed
The Alpine breed of goat is mainly imported to Uganda for milk production, it has no distinct colour and may range from pure white to shades of fawn.
The Boer goats (pictured) distributed in Uganda are mainly imported from South Africa. Cross-breeding indigenous goats with exotic breeds of meat and dairy goats has been practiced but breeding practices are often not planned and coordinated.
It has a very stocky body, strong muscles and bones. It usually has a white body with brown spots, with a high twins kidding rate. It is valuable for its meat, milk and skin production.
The Saanen goat
These goats are white or cream in colour. They are named after the Saanen valley in Switzerland.
They are the largest of the dairy goat breeds. They weigh averagely 68kgs or more and the bucks weigh over 91kgs.