National Goat Show in Pakistan, The Story of Makhi Cheni Betal Breed

Organized and reported by Dr. Sajjad Khan

Dr. Sajjad Khan is a well-known scientist and currently working as Prf. and Dean faculty of Animal Husbandry, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad Pakistan.

National goat show concluded here at Faisalabad (Pakistan) last evening on 21st October. It was very well attended the show as 663 animals competed for various beauty, weight and milk competitions. Beauty competitions were breed wise. Individual (male or female), pairs (breeding male and a breeding female) and flock (five adult females + 1 breeding male) competitions were held apart from goat kid beauty competition which was across breeds.

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Makhi Cheeni Beetal (MCB) breed from Bahawalnagar

Represented breeds were various strains of Beetal (Faisalabadi, Makhi-Cheeni, Nuqri and Nagri strains), Nachi-the dancing goat (Boora, Sawa, Makra and Bulahi strains) and Diara Din Panah (Kala and Shera strains). Single strains of Barbari, Pak-Angora, and Teddy breeds also competed. While beauty competitions were within, weight and milk competitions were across breeds. Breeders and goat keepers competed for cash prizes, trophies and certificates and just for fun. The show was supported by my University, GEF-UNEP-ILRI FAnGR Asia project and the Directorate of Small Ruminants, Government of Punjab.

Animals started arriving on 18th and 90% had reached by 19th. Animals from the host district arrived on 20thmorning as well. As some had taken a 10-hours journey, rest was needed especially for milking goats. Competitions continued till late into the evening on 20th. The goat kid competition, held for the first time (to promote goat as a pet) was conducted on 21st, the day for prizes and trophies. Some 50 goat kids competed and were paraded (actually allowed to move around for about a minute) before young boys and girls (between 5-8 years of age) who were our no-card guests/visitors and had even helped farmers in handling goats during flock competitions.

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Mature Buck of Makhi Cheeni Beetal

Some 50 were randomly selected from about 90+ boys and girls present. We had 50 red ribbons to be worn to the goat kids. Every kid was individually explained to not follow his/her friends or parents (some had come) for making his/her choice, rather his/her own likeness. While farmers kept sitting with their goat kids, judges (boys and girls) marched in front from one side to the other and selected their champion. Some had done it while animal science students (girls) were tagging the goat kids in the start, while others did it on the spot. Nuqri goat kid won the first position with 7 ribbons followed by Makhi-Cheeni and Barbari goat kids. It is worth mentioning that many goat kids were purchased by the local residents’ price ranging between 80 and 400 USD/animal at the end of the goat show.

 

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MCB lactating doe can produce up to 10 kg milk per day

 

 

Highest weight was 179kg of a Beetal  (Faisalabadi) buck while highest milk yield was of a Beetal Makhi-Cheeni goat producing 4 liters of milk on a voluntary intake as owners were not allowed to offer anything and competing goats remained in the custody of organizing committee before the beginning of emptying of udders till the last milking. Similar restrictions were imposed in weight competition. This was not a kidding season for goats because in our March competition last year, amount of milk by the winning goat was around 8 liters.

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The most deficient information seemed to be scoring the dancing gait of Nachi goats while a lot of indigenous knowledge (apart from the typical nose and longer neck, foot sole was desirable to be visible while animal walks, as narrated by a Nachi farmer) awaits documentation. Love for this breed could be judged talking to a 70-year-old farmer who had raised this breed since he was 10. I hope to learn from him and similarly knowledgeable farmers in future.

 

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Deep colored spotted MCB breed pregnant yearling

 

The show was telecasted live by at least five television channels. Introduction of Nagri strain of Beetal was the pleasant surprise for technocrats and so was the introduction of a colored strain of Diara Din Panah (Shera strain) which was even more attractive than the traditional black strain. Bucks with their cock screw longhorns, massive bodies (~100kg) and long hair really gave a dangerous look (as a friend called them terrorists). New strains of Nachi were also worth watching.  It looks we need to redefine breeds to incorporate farmers standards and available. Information available in booklets on various breeds looks quite distant from reality.

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Best animal of the show was a DDP buck (black strain). The best breeder was Mr. Nazir Masih with exceptionally good animals (1st in milk competition, 1st in flock beauty competition for MCB breed and 1st in individual female beauty competition in MCB breed).

 

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8 Month old MCB female

 

As always it was a very pleasant and rewarding to organize and conduct a goat show. Interaction and exchange of ideas with farmers is an asset. Few photos are attached. More photos with video clips will soon be posted at project website  (http://fangrpk.org/).

Dr. M. Sajjad Khan

Professor

Dept. Animal Breeding and Genetics

University of Agriculture Faisalabad 38040

PAKISTAN

Khurasani or Khorasani Goat Breed

Khorasani or Khurasani goat is one of the most important goat genetics of the historical Arya Warsha

Khurasani goat is one of the most important breeds of the historical land of Arya Warsha. This breed of goat is well adapted to the climatic conditions of the region and support the food security with its specialized milk and meat. The goat keepers make Kurath from the milk when it is abundantly available in favorable season.

Khorasani/Khurasani goat being reared by some families for milk. Photo credit: Ellen Geerlings

Habitat

The historic lands of Khurasan/Khorasan (now in Pak and Afghanistan), Toba Kakar range, Suleiman mountains region of Zhob and Sherani districts, Killa Saifullah, Loralai, Ziarat, Chaghai and Pishin districts are the main niche of the breed. This habitat is the famous and historical land of ARYA WARSHA. The breed is equally raised by nomadic, semi-nomadic, agro-pastoral tribes of Pashtoon people. The Baloch tribes of Chaghai-Kharan desert also raise this breed. The nomads with Khurasani breed move from Khurasan in autumn and may reach to Indus delta and some tribes reach to Chaghai-Kharan desert. The breed is trans-boundary. This breed is mainly a nomadic breed.

This photo was shot in Loralai, a goat grazer is milking Khurasani goat for making tea.

Phenotypic characteristics

The phenotypic characteristics of the Khurasani breed are black long hair coat, turned back horns and fine second hair coat in winter. The breed is predominantly black in color with a red face but some other color is also found occasionally. The males have beard also.

Vegetation of the Region

Acacia modesta, Caragana ambigua, Bararr, Gurgulla, Sarwane, Showan, Wanna, Barrai, Ghalmi, Shorai, Lani, Azghai, Sassi, Ghaz, Korai, Sperbutai, Oma, Murgha, Tarkha and Zizyphus.

Population of Khorasani Goat

The population of the goat is hard to predict, because of the widely scattered and mobile nature of the Khorasani goat as it is reared both by the transshipmentry and nomadic people. . It is estimated about 2.7 million. The trend is increasing.

The goat produce Pashmina in winter. Some NGOs are helping people to comb and harvest the pashmina. Photo credit: Ellen Geerlings

Special traits

  • The animal of this breed is highly intelligent, making it safe
  • The Khorasani goat is loving to her soul and take care of herself, can find vegetation and water
  • Always lead other livestock towards water and vegetation
  • Close to wild ancestors and highly resistant to diseases
  • Can travel long
They have great diversity among the breed. Khurasani breed of goat. Photo credit: Ellen Geerlings

Hope options

Goat is a more effective tool against drought as the breed can better thrive on the drought and climate resilient vegetation (bushes and shrubs) of the region.

Economic importance

The male animals are the major source of earning. The animal is smaller in size and cannot attain as higher prices as Kohe-Suleimani goat. Moreover, it is good in milk production, and milk is used for by-products like ghee and Kurath. The goat also produces pashmina, but the importance of pashmina is not yet being realized. The hair is used for making ropes and tents.