Characters of Nachi Goat Breed of Pakistan

Nachis, the dancing goat breed is endemic to Pakistan and <br>are special when it comes to beauty. Their unique gait <br>attract young and old equally. Goat shows without Nachis <br>are incomplete and whenever they are part of multi breed <br>shows, they attract maximum visitors

Nachi is a unique genetic resource, unique not only in

, in the entire goat world. It is unique due to its
dancing gait which is natural (genetically controlled).
'Nach' means dance and Nachi means one havingdancing
quality. It is also pronounced as “Naouchi” in the local
dialects. Bikaneriterm has also been used for Nachi but is
erroneous becauseNachis are not found in Bikaner.

Anatomically, shoulder joints are not attached securely in
Nachis, nor is the upper joint of the fore arm and therefore
animals cannot jump as freely as in other breeds. Even kids
are difficult to rear as they have difficulty in getting up for
first few days and suckling may need assistance. When
animals walk, feet and pastern move in a partially revolving
motion and with heads held high, animals exhibit a dancing
walk.Interestingly, animals tend to stay together in the
herd (flocking instinct) and may follow the herder more

than any other breed. That is why in 'Nachi walk
competitions' a herd that follows the herder and moves
with herder's moves is considered better than others.
Goats in general, are natural browsers rather than grazers
and this is more true for Nachis. Among other behavioral
attributes, fighting behavior is also different in Nachis.
Males do fight for dominanceand mating rights yet,

thefighting stylesare different. Kicks are few andas rear legs
are weak, bucks do not rise up on their hind legs and come
down forcefully to butt heads as observed in other breeds.
They strike heads on sideways while standing with
occasional forehead bursts. Pushing and shoving is still the
same as in other breeds. Mating behavior is also different
as landing after mating may result in falling of bucks.
Nachishave reduced in number over the years mainly
because of changing lifestyles in villages. With squeezing

free grazing lands, herders are becoming fewer.Nachis are
mainly kept for their beautiful walk and cannot travel long
As part of the goat shows or any livestock show, Nachis get
maximum attention. While beauty, milk and weight
competitions are held for other goat breeds, walk
competitions are true for Nachis only. Their ability to follow
the herder is judged in Nachi shows and winning does are
decorated with turbans.

Judging Nachis

Nachis, like other goatsare judgedto select an attractive
animal which is structurally correct and meet breed
standards.Yet, field situation is different from bookish
knowledge. The bookish color for Nachis, for example, is
black (no spotting). Ears are expected to be white with
some black speckles. This is far from reality and has
resulted in narrowing the genetic base. A dancing goat
should be Nachi. Yet,crossbreds (for example, between
Nachi with other breeds such as Beetal) do not possess the

same gait and are in-between dancing and normal gait.
Even 75% Nachi animals can be recognized from purebreds
because the gait is not the same as that of purebred Nechis.
Animals should therefore be judged for individual body
attributes but unless they are allowed to walk freely,
judging will not be complete.It should also be realized that
Nachis prefer to walk in groups/company and therefore
while focusing on any individual animal, others should
accompany them

Nachi breed is its dancing gait

Nachi Utility
Primary objective of raising Nachi breed is its dancing gait.
Milkis secondary characteristic. Meat is eaten and hair also
used for making rugs Most of the animals are shorn before
summer season. They are sacrificed but to a limited extent.
Main districts inhabiting Nachi breed are Jhang, Multan
Muzaffargarh, Layyah,Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagarin
Punjab province. Animals have been taken to other
districts and provinces and even to other countries.

Body parts
Before discussing physical appearance, it is important to
understand various body parts. The male and female body
parts are given below (Fig. 3; Fig. 4). For judges it is
important to have knowledge of various body parts in local
languages/dialects. Punjabi and to some extent Siraiki
dialects are important.
Judging Nachis as dancing milch breed
There are many ways to segment or group various body
parts for ranking Nachis. Most breed associations
obviously take first and foremost decision of categorizing
the breed as dairy, meat or dual purpose as the major
decision. As an animal breeder this means the main
breeding objective or simply the main purpose for which a
specific breed is kept by the farmers/breeders. For Nachis
an obvious objective is beautiful Nachi gait with adequate
milk producing ability. Milk yield or generally dairy traits
will therefore be important for judging does but traits may
be specific to the Nachibreed and same will be true for
Judging Nachis from front to end
General appearance and the specific traits can be judged
easily if grouped as follows.
1. General Appearance
2. Front End
3. Back and barrel
4. Rear end
5. Udder and teats in does
6. Testicles in bucks
Grouping has been to run from one to the other end. Other
option for grouping is to group them into dairyness,
capacity etc. which may have attributes spread throughout
the body, instead sequenced from one to the other side.

Discussion is focused on both sexes in general appearance,
front end, back and barrel and rear end. Udder and teats in
does and testicles in bucks are discussed separately

Body parts of Nachi goat breed

Breed characters: Breed characters are generally
defined by breed associations. For Nachis, the description
of the breed available in booklets and manuals is quite
misleading. Descriptions such as “black but black and white
spotted too, medium head, Roman nose, small & thin
horns, medium ears; udder well-developed…”(Khan et al.,
2003)or “neck is short and muscular in males but relatively
thin and long in females. Udder is not well developed and
teats are small.” (Bhutto et al., 1993) or “legs are also
medium sized and stout” (Isani and Baloch, 1996) are
beyond reality and are being corrected in this guide
keeping in view the ground realities. Actually, the average
body weight in Nachis is more than double the 20-25 kg
reported by Isani and Baloch (1996).
Restricting the color to black or black and white will narrow
the base especially when almost all goat colors are present
in the breed and breeders have different preferences for
the color.
Headis quite proportionate to body while horns can
neither be called very huge nor can be categorized as thin.
There are slight to moderately spiral but not as spiral as
those of Diara Din Panah (DDP). In size, these are not as
small as those preferred for Beetal bucks (small stumpy and
close to body). Polledness is rare in Nachis. Horns can
therefore be called as partially to completely twisted,
directing generally backward. Completely twisted and
directed upward (similar to Sindh Desi) are also found but
in a small proportion of the population. The bridge of nose
is prominent but not as prominent as that of Rahim Yar
Khan strain of Beetal
Stature: Nachis are tall in stature almost as tall as
Beetals. Taller does are preferred but very leggy animals
are not preferred over animals with balanced height and
body length. Body length has the same qualifying criteria
​ and animals with longer body length are preferred. Adult
body weight in breeding does varies and may average 60 kg
(in show does) with breeding males weighing more than
Body length (diagonal) in these animals average 80cm in
does(participating in goat shows)with bucks some 10cm
longer. Height at withers average 88 and 98cm in does and
bucks, respectively

Color: Black is the main color in Nachis. Yet, other
colors are allowed because Nachis are available in almost
all goat colors.Sawi (grey) and other colors are also being
maintained by breeders. Multicolred (spotted animals) can
also be found. Purple color has also been seen. Solid colors
with light underline are also present.

Hair coat: Hair coat in Nachis is short but not as short
as that of Teddy or Beetals and of course not as long as
Jattal or Kaghani. Animals are generally trimmed once a
year before the summer. Shows are mostly arranged during
spring and summer season and so animals may or may not
be shorn. While animal with small hair coat give better
appearance, preference may not be shown due to hair coat
unless it is announced a year earlier that a certain show will
be held on certain time of the year.

Vigour: Animals showing vigour are desirable. Animal
should be alert and to some degree aggressive, especially
the males. Males can be furious and dangerous if a handler
is not alert especially in the breeding season, so holding
from ears is common. Handlers may however, be guided to
hold at the base of the ear (on the opposite side of the

Gait: Impressive style and powerful carriage are
preferred attributes. Does should have feminine
appearance through head, neck and shoulders while bucks
should be more masculine.As gait is the main objective of
raising Nachis, gait in does is considered important and
most of Nachi shows have judging contest of does. Small
steps and semi circular movement of front toes are the two
most important attributes. Neck is kept upright while
animals walk. Some degree of hopping is also there and
erect necks give some feeling of them being relative of

Faults: Beard is not allowed in Nachis. Normal goat
walk (not dancing) will disqualify any animal

Head: It should be devoid of excessive hairs similar to
other Pakistani goat breeds (except for Jattal or Kaghani
breeds). Jaws should be strong and muzzle should be wide.
Bite should be aligned. Nostrils are large. Bridge of nose
may be from slight to moderately prominent (Roman
nose). Eyes should be prominent and alert. Eye ballsare
generally reddish yellow (dark yellow) in color. Horns
should be small, twisted and pointed backward and
upward.In some animals twisting may be tight and these
should not be discriminated against. Ears are of medium
size and drooping. Softness and length varies with an
average around 30cm.Ears remain drooping even when
animals are alert

Neck: Long and lean neck is a peculiar characteristic of
Nachis. It is kept upheld as if it is quite erect. It may also not
blend smoothly into shoulders and brisket as expected in
other breeds, rather shoulder may be quite visible in most
cases. Throat may not be clean and some dewlap may be
present especiallyin older animals. Wattles are absent.

Chest: Deep and wide chest is preferred; it should not
give look of an over conditioned / fattened animal and is
generally quite wide in males

Shoulders: Blades in Nachis are not set very smoothly
against withers and may be seen clearly especially in newly
shorn animals

Front legs: Legs should be set smoothly against the
chest wall and withers. Legs should be straight with some
curving allowed (front view). The knees on the front legs
should also be smooth and in direct line with the front legs.
From knee downward, standards are the same as in other

Front hooves and pasterns: Small front hooves and
strong pasterns are preferred. Both hooves should be
symmetrical and proportioned to the size of the animal.
Well-trimmed hooves are desirable because these will be
more comfortable for the animal and promote better
weight distribution and stance. Overgrown hooves put
animals at the risk of developing problems such as
lameness and joint and other problems. Both hooves
should be symmetrical and proportioned to the size of the
animal. Deep heal and level soles are preferred

General Assembly: Style and balance comes when
entire body blends together from front to end. Smooth
blending of various parts is preferred but in week animals,
blending may never be smooth as shoulder blade will be
quite obvious.

Faults: Convex forehead, blind eyes, severely under or
overshot jaw (slight parrot or monkey mouths are
acceptable); erect ears; bow legged animals; big horns and
excessive/overgrown hooves are not preferred

Withers: These are prominent and wedge shaped,
moderately covered with flesh and blend well with neck
and shoulders. The front side of chime is dished in and is
characteristic of the breed. In Beetals, this dip does not

Heart girths: Hear girth should be medium, resulting
from well sprung fore ribs and wide chest floor between
the forelegs and fullness at the point of elbows.The heart
girth has a wide variation and may average 85 cm with 5-
10cm wider girths in bucks

Back: Strong and appearing dipped in behind the
withers. This is very typical in Nachis while in other breeds,
smooth blending is expected. The loin area should be long.
The hips (hooks) should be wide apart and almost leveling
with posterior side of the back

Rump: The area between the hook bones and the tail
should be wider with medium slope. It is one of the most
important areas for selecting younger animals. This area
affects general appearance in does due to its tail set and
placement, but more importantly, it affects how the animal
moves off of his/her rear legs. Animals with steep rump
and low set in tail are not preferred

Ribs: Ribs should be wide apart,well sprung, flat and
long with lower rear ribs angling to flank

Flanks: Flanks should be deep, arched and refined

Rear legs: Rear feet and legs are important for any goat
breed. For Nachis, rear legs are weak and animals are
generally hock-in (sickle hocks) reducing space for udders
in does. Legs should preferably be as straight as possible
and set squarely when seen from rear and straight when
seen from side. Post-legged and sickle-hocked animals
results as poor moving, ill-structured goats. As “bowlegged” or “cow-hocked” animals at younger age develop
into worse legged animals with age, potential bucks should
be selected carefully that there is space between hocks as
much as possible.

Thighs: Incurving to flat from the side and wide apart
when viewed from rear to provide sufficient space for
udder. A dense hairy coat is not preferred

Pastern: Strong and springy pasterns are preferred
over weak pasterns. This is important for Nachis because
they have inherit difficulty in traveling long distances

Rear hooves: Square hooves with two halves spaced
closely is desirable. Worn out hooves or overgrown hooves
are not preferred. Trimming is not generally practiced.

Vulva in does: Vulva should be of normal size (as per
age of the animal). Smaller size for non-breeding and
younger animals and comparatively bigger size in older and
freshly kidded animals is expected

Tail: Tail should be bent upward and preferably make a
semicircle loop (Fig. 22). It is hairy and tuft may or may not
be kept when trimmed. Animals with hanging tail are

Udder and Teats in Does

Size : Udder size and yield are positively correlated.
Capacity of udder is mainly determined by its shape. Long
(fore and hind udders), wide and capacious udders are
preferred. A low hanging pendulous udder may be bigger
but is not preferred over a smaller strongly attached udder.
Fore udder should be carried well forward, be tightly
carried and blend into body. Rear udder should be wide
and high. Nachis generally have good fore udders but rear
udders are not very wide and high. It may also be pointed
out that milk is synthesized in udders and not in teats.
Therefore size of the udder and not the total size
(udder+teats) is important

Balance: The two udder halves should be nearly of the
same size for balance and symmetry. Tilting to right or left
when animal walks is not preferred. This may be difficult to
judge in Nachis as space between hocks is narrow.
Awareness for selecting bucks with symmetrical testicles
and does for symmetrical udders is weak.

Texture: Generally, texture is judged by palpating the
udder to seek for pliable and soft tissue (rather than hard
tissue, lumps etc) where milk is produced and stored. Soft,
pliable and elastic udders (which can collapse after milking)
are preferred. Scars may not be ignored but some scaring
will be present as most of the does graze all year long.

Udder support: Medial suspensory ligament is the
main support for the udder. It divides the udder into two
halves and holds the udder to the body. The strength,
elasticity and length of the ligament determine the udder

Teat size: Both teats should be of equal and adequate
size for hand milking because 100% Nachis are hand
milked. In reality however, teats are generally long in
Nachis. So if teats hang below hocks these should be
discredited. As the awareness will improve, udders will
become larger and teats shorter

Teat shape: Cylindrical shape is preferred in many goat
breeds but not in Nachis. Most does have bottled shape
teats (Fig. 26, left and right photos). So cylindrical shape
can be emphasized for dam selection and gradually
situation can improve

Teat placement: Preference is generally given to teats
pointed straight downward and slightly towards front.
Teats pointed inwards or outwards are not preferred

Other faults: Large extra and blind teats are
considered as a fault. Broken udders do not fetch high

Testicle size: Two fully descended, large sized testicles
are needed. Age should be considered in comparing bucks
because younger bucks have smaller sized testicles. If
thighs are not trimmed, judgment may be difficult.
Palpating may help to judge their softness and movement
in the scrotum. Size of the testicles is generally measured in
scrotal circumference i.e. length of the measuring tape put
at the maximum width of the testicles. In Nachi males it is
above 30cm. Sheath in bucks is generally devoid of defects.
Tying a string at the orifice to stop matings in non-breeding
season may result into injury and therefore overgrown or
damaged sheath is not preferred

Testicular symmetry: Tilting (left or right) is not a
preferred attribute for breeding bucks. Slight tilting may be
acceptable however. Testicles should be directed
downward. Buck should be forced to stand squarely and
exhibiter should lead it to see for judge from behind if
asymmetry exits. Both testicles should also be of equal size.

Scrotal shape: Bi-partitioning of scrotum is not
preferred in most goat breeds. Some associations allow a
cut of one inch or less. For Nachis, a wide variation exits and
convincing the farmers to select bucks without bipartitioned scrotums may take some time. For simplicity,
the two main shapes may be called 'U' (left below) and 'W'
(middle and right below) with 'U' being the preferred
shape. For comparisons, Teddy bucks generally have 'U'
more common than Nachis and other breeds.

Extra teats: Two small supernumerary, non-functional
teats in the inguinal region are normal. More than two or
big sized extra teats are discouraged. These are not very
common in Nachis

While judging goats (or any animal species for that matter)
experience counts a lot. Animals with gross faults and
extraordinary animals can be distinguished from others in
no time. Final placing takes some time as top few animals
need to be looked at repeatedly. In moving them in circles
or asking presenters to lead them towards or away from
the judge helps. With some experience, eye appeal still
isthe final attribute that must be considered when
evaluating animals. Along with dancing gait, balance and
symmetry are the most important factor in final judgment.
Does should be feminine in appearance with visible
angularity such that body depth increases into the region
of the rear flanks. Udders are extremely important and
should be given due importance. Bucks, on the other hand,
should express a masculine appearance. Testicles are
important and ideal may not be easy to find even when
other traits are easier to judge. Dancing gait is a special
attribute of the breed and it takes time to learn what is a
Nachi gait.
As many goat farmers participating in goat shows are poor,
due respect should be paid to them to encourage them to
keep raising good animals. Some have no experience of
presenting animals in shows which requires patience from
Show rigs should have enough space for individual animals
to walk freely (go to the farmer or herdmates for judging
their walks. Some animals (especially males) may be
reluctant to walk (away from herd) by themselves and
therefore time taken for judging may be more than any
other breed of goat. Standing for very long time may also
put stress on animals and should be kept in mind while age
class competitions are planned.

Number of prizes should be as many as possible even if of a
smaller monitory value. They should feel good when going
back to their village/community. There is no perfect animal
and one must try to rank animals in the fairest possible way