Beetal goat breed introduction
Goats are multi-purpose animals that providing hair, wool, meat, and milk. The production of meat from goats and sheep play a vital role in the supply of animal protein for the people of our country. Goats production in many traditional village systems in hot countries is often characterized by poor growth rates and high mortality It is generally known that raising young
animals on high concentrate diets results in higher daily gains, dressing percentage and carcass quality than on a forage system. The Beetal goat breed from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan is used for milk and meat production. It is similar to the Jamnapari goat.
It is also known as Lahori goat; it is considered to be a good milker with large body size, long ears, and high fecundity. The skin of these goats is considered to be of high quality because of its large size and its yielding of fine leather such as velour, suede, and chamois for manufacturing clothes, shoes, and gloves. Beetal goats have been widely used for the improvement of local goats throughout the subcontinent. These goats are also adjusted to stall feeding, thus are favored for intensive goat farming
Beetal breed home tract
Beetal goats are found all over Punjab, but diﬀerent strains have diﬀerent concentrations in various regions of the province. Faisalabadi strain is mostly found in Faisalabad Sahiwal, Okara, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Jhang, Sargodha, Toba Tek Singh, and Khanewal districts. The Makhi Cheeni strain is concentrated in Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and Muzaffargarh districts. Nukri strain is mainly found in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Bahawalpur districts. Gujrati strain is found in districts of Gujrat, Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Jhelum and Sialkot. The Nagri color is available in Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts and seems to have been mixed with RY Khan strain at some places yet, separate herds are also available in Faisalabad and Pakpattan districts
Characteristics of beetal goat
General body color is golden brown to black and spotted with black and white or brown with white or black patches. The body is compact and well developed with short hair. The head is massive and broad, nose Roman, and ears long, broad and pendulous. Horns in males are long spiraled but short in females. Long stout legs and short tail is found in beetal goats. The udder is well developed with beautiful long teats. Almost 50 percent of the births are twin and triplets
Goat body parts
Before explaining the physical condition or features of goats, it is important to understand various goat body parts. The male and female body parts are given below taking Makhi-Cheeni strain as a model. A good goat judge needs to know and master the various body parts, including in local languages/dialects. For Beetal, Siraiki and Punjabi languages are important.
Breed characters: Breed characters are generally defined by breed associations. For Beetal, the descriptions that are available on the breeds in booklets and manuals is quite outdated. Descriptions such as “massive head…, spiraled horns…, more than 50% twin or triplet births…”(Khan et al., 2005) or “head broad and massive…”(Isani and Baloch, 1996) are beyond reality. Beetal head is quite proportionate to body and cannot therefore be categorized as “massive”. Similarly, Beetal’, horns are generally small and polled ness is also common. Multiple births are also common. Descriptions for coat color as being “white and black or white with grey, red or black
spots” (Isani and Baloch, 1996) or “golden brown or red-spotted with white or black patches“ (Khan et al., 2005) may be true for any breed but are not sufficient to describe the Beetal. Information provided by the livestock department (Awan, 2010) also has some erroneous information about Beetal. Strain level descriptions are therefore more appropriate. For Nuqris, any color other than white is not acceptable. A small spot or two at limbs can be ignored but on the body, these are not desirable. Spotting of (any) colors will disqualify Makhi-Cheeni while splashing will disqualify Faisalabadi/ Lyallpuri strain. For RY Khan and Nagri strains white color will be a disqualification. Splashing (of any color) is also not allowed in these strains.
Stature: Beetal goats are tall in stature, (much taller than the Teddy goats, but may not be taller than the Nachi). Taller does are preferred and generally leggy animals are not preferred. Overall, farmers prefer 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 animals varies between 30 and 120 kg. Does averaged 60 kg and bucks 100 kg in a recent Nuqri goat show (average data from 58 animals); same averages were true for RY Khan strain. Body length (diagonal) averages 80cm. Bucks have 10cm higher averages than those of does. These averages are similar to the averages of Nachi and DDP breeds. Height (at shoulders) in Beetal average 90cm for does and 105-110 cm in bucks. The fattened males of Beetal can grow up to (and even beyond) 230 kg.
Coat color: Coat color is the most important single criteria for diﬀerentiating various Beetal strains. Faisalabadi Lyallpuri strain (also called Desi in central Punjab) is black and white spotted. Black replaced with red are acceptable but the splashing of any color is not. The general color in Nagri is dark brown with a lacing of black or very dark brown color (called ‘Loha’ color). Spotting of white color is acceptable. Nukri strain as indicated above should be white. Small spots of black (or even brown color) are sometimes acceptable on legs. Pinkish muzzle (instead of blackish/greyish) and ears are preferred
and that is why sometimes it is called ‘gulabi goat’ meaning pinkish breed. Rajanpuri is another name used for the Nuqri strain because of its main concentration in the Rajanpur District. Makhi-Cheeni (Makhi means ﬂy and Cheeni means an admixture of two or more colors) strain primarily has a light background with light or dark brown splashing. A light-colored animal is called ‘Phikki’-Cheeni and dark-colored animals as ‘Ratti’-Cheeni. If brown is replaced with black, the name is ‘Kali’-Cheeni. Spotting is not acceptable in MakhiCheeni strain yet, solid fawn color may be allowed. Other variants of black, brown and white combinations also exist in Beetal. Dark and light brown spotting, for example, is called ‘Shaira’ color.
Hair coat length: Hair coat in Beetal is short. Excessive hair on fore and hind legs, especially in males are not desirable. Trimming of hair is acceptable.
Vigor: Wasty front is not desirable. The animal should be alert and to some degree aggressive, especially the males trying to establish their pecking order in the ring.
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.
Faults: Transmittable skin conditions or parasites and hernia often lead to disqualifications, because such animals present risks to the other exhibited animals, and/or indicate gross carelessness of the owners. Odd color combinations may also not be preferred, and some points are often deducted due to this. Beards are not preferred
Head: It should be devoid of
excessive hairs. Jaws should be strong and muzzle wide. A bite should be aligned; under or over-shot pallets are undesirable. Nostrils should be large, and face should not be dished in Beetal, rather the bridge of the nose may be from slight to highly prominent (Roman nose), ending abruptly in males (cut nose). Eyes should be alert in males, horns should be small and stumpy and close to the body. Both sexes can be polled as well. Ears are usually drooping, wither lengths varying between 25 to 45 cm. The Nuqri strain has 10 cm longer ears (about 40cm) than RY Khan strain (30 cm) while the ear lengths of the other strains are in-between.
Neck: Long and lean neck is preferred but it should be proportionate to the body. It should blend smoothly into shoulders and brisket. Throat usually clean it does yet some dewlap may be present in males. The presence of wattles not allowed.
Chest: Deep and wide chest is preferred; it should not give the look of an over-conditioned / fattened animal.
Shoulders: Blades should be set smoothly against withers and chest wall forming a neat junction with the body. This may be possible for most other breeds except Nachis
Front legs: Legs should be set smoothly against the chest wall and withers. Legs should be straight
with no curving. Canon bone length is considered a good indicator of skeletal size. Keepers selecting kids for fattening (for more than 100 kg) use the strength of front legs as an indicator trait for heavier weight. Stronger legs being indicative of the animal’s capacity to support heavier mature weight and put on heavyweight, later in life. So agile animals with strong parallel legs are preferred. The knees on the front legs should also be smooth and in direct line with the front legs. Animals that are “buck-kneed” or “calf kneed” at a younger age get worse with time, hence it is not desirable. Actually poorly structured legs aﬀect the ability of the animal to carry itself along, hence animal with poor legs tend to have movement problems, which increase with age, especially when such animals are subjected to long-distance for daily walks or are made to stand for long hours in poorly constructed pens, especially overnight. Growth is also compromised.
Front hooves and pasterns: The angel of the hoof is important (Fig.19) and 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. Additional points are therefore awarded to animals with well-trimmed hoofs. 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 come when the entire body blends smoothly together from the front end to the back end. An animal that has smoothly blended parts presents an overall attractive look and is preferred.
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 overgrown hooves are not preferred
Back and Barrel
Withers: Prominent and wedge-shaped, that are moderately covered with ﬂesh and blend well with neck and shoulders are desired. Beetal has smooth withers that blend into back. Unlike the Nachi breed, Beetal rarely has a dip behind withers.
Heart girths: Heart girth should be of medium length, resulting from well-sprung fore ribs and wide chest ﬂoor (the area between the forelegs) and fullness at the point of elbows. The heart girth varies widely among Beetal. Heart girths of between 65 and 100 cm in does and between 70 and 110 cm in bucks are common. Heart girth is highly and positively correlated to live weight and is usually used to predict an animal’s weight
Back: Strong and slightly straight (slightly curved) backs are more desirable. The loin area should be long, thus have more muscles. The hips (hooks) should be wide apart and almost level with the back, thus allowing for more muscle attachment. An arched back puts undue strain on the back, especially during pregnancy. Animals with arched bucks suﬀer more can have restricted movements, which would restrict their feed intake, especially under free-range grazing systems.
Rump: The area between the
hook bones and the tail should be wider with medium slope. It is one of the areas to which greater emphasis is made when selecting younger animals. This area aﬀects how the animal moves his/her rear legs and general appearance in does due to its tail set and placement. Animals with steep rump and low set in the tail are not preferred because of poor muscling and lesser kidding ease.
Ribs: Ribs should be wide apart, long, ﬂat and well sprung, with lower rear ribs angling to the ﬂanks.
Flanks: Flanks should be deep, arched and refined.
Faults: Severely curved/ arched back.
- REAR END
Rear legs: Rear feet and legs are important for any goat breed. For Beetal, rear legs are more important, hock-in or sickle hocks fault (problem) is common among Beetal goats. Goat with this fault has reduced inter-hind leg space for udders and testicles. Rear legs should be straight and set squarely when seen from rear and straight when seen from the side. Post-legged and sickle hocked animals exhibit abnormal/ awkward gait and end as ill-structured finished goats From the rear, the hocks should be smooth and straight with the body. A “bow-legged” or “cow-hocked” animal at a younger age only gets worse with age.
Thighs: Incurving to ﬂat from the side and wide apart when viewed from rear to provide sufficient space for the udder. The presence of a lot of hair coats is not preferred in Beetal and males are specially trimmed.
Pastern: Strong and springy pasterns are preferred over weak pasterns. This is important for long-distance travel in Beetal.
Rear hooves: Square hooves with the two halves closely spaced are desirable. Worn out hooves or overgrown hooves strain the animal’s movement and are not preferred.
Vulva in does: Smaller size for non-breeding and younger animals and comparatively bigger size in older and freshened animals, with normal clear (during estrus) and colored discharge during the post-parturient period is expected. Inﬂamed vulva with abnormal size and discharge is not expected.
Tail: Tail should be small but hanging or bending upwards with a tuft of hair at the end. Sometimes (i.e. majority of RY Khan and Nuqri breeders, for example), tails are shaved in both sexes which may give a strange look but maybe respected as a cultural issue. Thinner tails are preferred.
Faults: Extremely hocked-in animals are not liked. The tail should not be curled fully upward as in Teddys or Nachi.
Udder and teats in does
Size: Udder size and yield are positively correlated. The capacity of the 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 desirable and a smaller but strongly attached udder is preferred. Fore udder should be carried well forward, be tightly attached and blend smoothly into the body. The rear udder should be wide and high. Beetal generally lacks strong fore udders. Wide and high rear udders are also rare among this breed. Milk is synthesized in the udder and not in teats. Therefore, the size of the udder and not the total size (udder+teats) is important.
Udder balance: The two udder halves should be near the same size for balance and symmetry. Udders that tilt to the right or left when the doe walks are not preferred. Udder balance is a major problem in Beetal does. Udder balance is related to testicular symmetry. Selecting bucks with symmetrical testicles results in female oﬀspring with symmetrical udders and vice-versa. Failure to pay attention to such selection results in does with asymmetrical udders and bucks with unbalanced testicles.
Texture: Generally, the 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 desired and preferred. Scars may not be ignored but the presence of some scars is permissible 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 height. Too tight and too loose udders are not desired
Teat size: Doe should have only two teats, both of which should be of equal size. These should be big enough to allow hand milking and to enable kids to suckle without much difficulty. Longer and bulbous teats are, however, not desirable. Teats that hang below hocks are prone to injuries and therefore undesirable. Rarely do Beetal breeders select against too long and bulbous teats, thus Beetal goat generally has long teats. Increased awareness and more strict selection for reasonably sized teats should be practiced and promoted by awarding higher points for better teats and vice-versa for poor teats.
Teat shape: Cylindrical shape is preferred in many goat breeds but not in Beetal. Most do have bottle-shaped teats. Cylindrical shaped teats should be emphasized in dam selection and by so doing, this trait would gradually be improved.
Teat placement: Preference is generally given to teats that are pointed straight downwards and those that are slightly pointed frontwards. Teats pointed inwards or outwards are not preferred.
Faults: Large extra and blind teats are considered as major faults. Broken udders do not fetch high points.
Testicles in bucks
Testicle size: Two fully descended, large enough size for the age are ideal testicles. 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. The size of the testicles is generally measured in terms of scrotal circumference i.e. length of the measuring tape put at the maximum width of the testicles. In Beetal males, testicular size averages 30 cm with a range of 25-35 cm. Sheath in bucks is generally devoid of defects. Tying a string at the orifice to stop mating in the non-breeding season may result in injury and therefore overgrown or damaged sheath is not preferred.
Testicular symmetry: Tilting (left or right) not allowed, the direction should just be downward. When the buck walks, it is easier to judge if symmetry is maintained or not. Both testicles should be of equal size.
Scrotal shape: Bi-partitioning of the scrotum is not preferred in most goat breeds. Some associations allow a cut of one inch or less. For Beetal, wide variation exits and convincing the farmers to select bucks without bi-partitioned scrotum may take some time. For simplicity, the two main shapes may be called ‘U’ and ‘W’, with ‘U’ being the most preferred shape. For comparisons, Teddy bucks generally have ‘U’ shaped testicles.
Extra teats: Two small supernumeraries, non-functional teats in the inguinal region are acceptable, but not ideal. More than two or big sized teats (Fig. 38) are discouraged.