Varieties of goats found in Nepal
Four breeds of goats are recognized in Nepal. The Terai goat which is thought to have developed by crossbreeding indigenous animals with the Indian Jamunapari, is found in the Terai (below 300m). The other three breeds, the Khari, the Sinhal and the Chyangra are all found in the hills. The breeds found in the hills are described below.
KhariThis is the most important breed of goat found in the lower mid-hills (300– 1500m asl) of Nepal. It is a small goat with an average bodyweight of 30 kg for females and 33kg for males, and there is wide variation in body size between different areas.The Khari goat is a regular breeder and the breeding season is spread throughout the year. However, the majority of the does are served during September-October, and April-May (LAC, 1988). This is the most prolific goat breed in Nepal, and is suitable for meat production. The breed matures quickly, and under good management can produce offspring at one year of age. 30–50% of goats kid twice a year and three kiddings in two years is very common. Twinning percentage is high, ranging from 30% to 50%. There is a wide variation in age at first kidding, kidding interval, kidding percentage and litter size.
SinhalSinhal goats are found in the high hills of Nepal (1500–2500m asl) principally in migratory flocks where they act as lead animals in mixed flocks. A few animals are also kept in villages singly or in small flocks throughout the year. The breed is characterized by good flocking instinct, hardiness and walking ability. They thrive even on low-quality, dry pasture, and lose little weight during winter (1–1.5kg) in comparison to Baruwal sheep (5–6kg) of the same flock. However, they are more susceptible to cold temperature and monsoon stress, and do not gain weight in spite of the higher plane of nutrition experienced in alpine pastures. Sinhal goats are heavier than the Khari, with an average bodyweight for bucks in winter of 37kg, and in autumn of 41kg. The growth rate of Sinhal goats is rapid during the first year of life, but in spite of this fast growth rate, animals are generally slow to reach puberty, even under a sedentary system at a high plane of nutrition. Generally, Sinhal goats are shorn once a year during October-November. The fibre is utilized locally for the production of ropes, bags and radi. Shearing yields between 100 and 500gms of hair fibre per head per year.
ChyangraChyangra goats are found in the inner Himalayan valleys of North Nepal near the Tibetan border together with Bhyanglung sheep. The average adult bodyweight for males is 36kg and 32kg for females (LAC, 1985). They are covered with a thick hairy outercoat and a fine undercoat called “Pashmina”. The Pashmina, which is used to prepare fine quality shawls, grows during the winter months and is shed during the summer. Therefore, in the late spring and early summer the Pashmina is collected by combing. The Chyangra grows steadily for a longer period compared to the Sinhal and the Khari. They are renowned for meat production, and thousands of Chyangra along with Bhyanglung sheep from the northern part of Nepal and from Tibet are brought to the lower valleys for sale prior to the Dashain Festival every year.