Damascus Goat Farming:
Introduction of Damascus Goat:- The Damascus goats which are also known Shami, or Chami, Aleppo, Halep, Baladi, Damascene is a breed of Syria and Cyprus. However, it is being raised in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories as well. Damascus is an excellent goat breed for commercial milk production. Actually we can say this breed is kind of multi-purpose breed as it is also being raised for commercial meat and leather purpose. Cross breeding with other local goats is an excellent option for other region goat farmers. In India, Damascus goats are used to cross breed with Boer goats and Sirohi goats. The Damascus goat has been a popular choice for livestock for centuries due to its multi-purpose (meat, milk and leather) advantage. The main advantage of this breed is it can deliver 3 to 4 kids in a single birth. Damascus breeds (Mix-breed) are found in various parts of Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka & Tamil Nadu.
Purpose of Damascus Goat Farming:- This breed is mainly raised for commercial milk production. However, they do perform well in meat and leather production as well.
Damascus Goat Description /Conformation:- The Damascus goats are large in size with relatively small head. The matured Damascus goats have a long neck and long legs, ears that hang low and long. These goats come in almost all shades of grey with beige, white, and dark colour. This goat breeds are usually can be either horned or polled. In male Damascus goats; power, strength and size is immediately apparent and female Damascus goats are finer than male goats.
Damascus Goat Breed Characteristics and Performance:-
- The female Damascus goats will be ready for kidding at the age 450 to 500 days.
- Daily average milk production of Damascus goats is up to 5 kg/day.
- Lactation duration of Damascus breed is around 200 to 220 days.
- When it comes to reproduction, it can deliver 3 to 4 kids in single birth and twinning is common (50%).
- Average hair yield per annum is around 210 grams.
|Goat Size (Avg)||Damascus Male (Adult)||Damascus Female (Adult)|
|Body weight (kg)||70 to 90||50 to 60|
|Body length (cm)||80||60|
Advantages of Damascus Goat:- The following are the advantages of Damascus goat breed.
- Damascus goat is a multi-purpose breed (milk, meat & leather).
- Damascus goat breed has high feed conversion (FCR) ratio.
- The Damascus goat milk is a rich source for fat and protein.
- 3 months Damascus breed kid weights around 16 to 18 kg and 6 months kid weighs around 21 to 25 kg. The matured Damascus goat can reach the weight of 90 kg (adult male) and 60 kg (adult female).
- This goat breed can also be fed with jack leaves and coconut oil cakes to help in gaining the weight.
- Damascus goat kids are strong because mothers have high milk yield.
- This Damascus breed will mature for first kidding at 600 to 625 days of age.
- The Damascus female goats give milk up to 5 kg/ day
- The lactation period of Damascus goats is 200 to 220 days.
- This Damascus goat breed can deliver 3 to 4 kids in single birth. Twining is common.
- For best growth milk production of Damascus goats, Alfalfa hay, Subabul, Lucerne, CO-3, CO-4, Barseem, Stylo, Dashrath, Hybrid Napier, African Tall, Sorghum, Molato, Gini Grass, corn silage, pellets, legumes and various types of green grasses can be used for daily fodder requirement.
- Damascus goats are suitable for both open grazing and stall-fed.
- Damascus goats can easily adapt to any kind of climatic conditions.
- Damascus goats are helpful in reducing unemployment in rural areas along with providing healthy and tasty milk.
Damascus Goat Farming Tips:- The following tips are for Damascus goat farmers who wants to go for a small scale or large scale commercial goat farming business.
- Should prepare a proper goat farming business plan before implementing Damascus goat farming business.
- For breeding purpose, select the Damascus goats primarily on body size.
- Before starting the farm, watch you tube videos and read any articles related to Damascus goat farming on the web.
- Avoid any poisonous plants/ pasture/feed in the Damascus goat farming.
- When you are planning for commercial Damascus goat farming, visit nearest farms to know ins and outs of Damascus goat characteristics and their management.
- Separate goat kids from adults immediately at birth and feed them pasteurized milk.
- Keep the Damascus goat herd separated from sheep and cattle.
- Trim hooves at least four times yearly. Brush Damascus goats when needed to remove loose hair and dirt that might contaminate the milk.
- Buy Damascus goats only from certified animal breeders and avoid buying from unknown individuals as this may bring many unhealthy animals into your farm.
- For safety, make sure to have a fence around the goat farm/house.
- Make sure the Damascus goat house has very good ventilation for fresh air and light.
- All Damascus goats should be given proper initial vaccinations before entering into your farm.
- It is advised to have a veterinary doctor to examine the Damascus goats on regular basis.
- Pregnant goats, newly born Damascus kids should be provided with minerals and nutritious feed.
- Select quality Damascus male goats and good reproductive Damascus female goats for breeding.
- Pregnant Damascus goats should be given special attention for healthy kidding.
- Timely vaccinations in Damascus goats will reduce the mortality rate and result in great weight gain and milk production.
- Clean water and timely feeding is important in Damascus goat farming.
- Milking machinery and equipment should be kept clean to avoid any contamination.
- Isolate the sick Damascus goats from the goat flock as soon as possible.
- Making home grown silage will reduce the cost of feed in Damascus goat farming.
- Should act quickly with any unexpected diseases in Damascus goats.
- Damascus Goat kids should be given a special care to ensure sufficient food and milk till they attain certain age and weight.
- Milking the female Damascus goats twice a day is advisable especially before providing the fodder/feed.
- One should ensure better feeding and pasturing practices in Damascus goat farming.
- Have a proper plan of marketing Damascus goats. This plan should be prepared well before starting of Damascus goat farming.
Breeding in Damascus Goats:- If you are planning for commercial breeding of Damascus goats, it is better to consider various factors when planning the breeding cycle.
- Fodder/Feed flow and feed availability.
- Natural estrus cycle of the Damascus goats.
- Market cycle.
- Marketing date and personal management factors.
There are various factors which affect the reproduction percentage of the ewes which are listed below.
- Season of breeding.
- Age of Damascus goat.
- Body mass of Damascus
- Feed and nutrition.
Mass Mating in Damascus Goat Farming:- Find the mating ration of male and female with local animal husbandry. (In most of the goat cases, it is 1 male (buck) per 25 to 30 does). One should make sure that the mating the young ewes happen separately from the mature ewes.
Single Mating in Damascus Goat Farming:- Find the mating ratio of male and female with local animal husbandry (In most of the breeds, it is 1 male (buck) per 20 to 25 females (does). With regard to the above, it is very important to keep male goats in small shady camps during hot periods with a small amount of growing supplement and Male Damascus goats should only be let loose among ewes during the evening. This system works particularly well in cases where goats are penned at night.
Artificial insemination in Damascus Goat Farming:- Well, there is an option for artificial insemination in any goat breeding. For artificial insemination in Damascus goats, contact local animal husbandry for more information.
Damascus Goat Housing:- Proper goat housing is very important and should be secured when you are going for stall fed Damascus goat farming. Wooden flooring is considered best for their house. The place selected for farming of Damascus goats should be dry and free from any insect-pests and predators. The shed/house floor should be cleaned daily to make the goat house hygiene. Proper ventilation and airflow should be maintained for preventing any diseases. Supply of clean water to prevent from diseases is essential in Damascus goat farming.
Damascus Goat Price:- Goat price depends on many factors like breed, age, season and region. However, commercial breeders can bargain for best price. The Damascus goats which are cross bred with local goats may cost less whereas pure bred goats cost more. If the goats are bought in flocks at local markets or in professional breeding centers, one can get cheaper prices. It is advised to buy from certified breeders. The following prices may change according to area, and time.
The price of Damascus goat depends on weight, age and cross bread. Usually a 3 year old 75 kg goat which is cross bread with Damascus and Boer is about 60,000 INR.
Marketing of Damascus Goats:- A proper goat business plan should ensure the profits in goat farming. Commercial goat farmers should have marketing plan for bulk goat sale. Goat farmers can also sell their goats in batches based on their age, weight. Local agents, meat shop owners can be contacted for regular supply of Damascus goats.
Bottom Line of Damascus Goat Farming:- Damascus goats are excellent breed for commercial milk, meat production and leather production.