Goat milk has long been popular: a healthy product that does not cause allergies. That is why it is widely used in baby food. The question of choosing a pet must be treated carefully.
Distinguish between meat and dairy breeds.
Attention! If the animal is purchased for milk, then it is better not to pick up the Megrelian goat breed.
What is this animal, how to care for it - we will consider these questions in detail.
This breed was bred on the territory of Western Georgia in the 35th year of the last century. There are two types: upland and lowland
The creators are considered to be ordinary peasants from Samegrelo, who did not possess special knowledge.
Today, breeders often use Georgian goats as donors to improve a certain breed. After all, representatives of the Megrelian breed are the most highly productive.
Highland goats stand out for their strong constitution:
- Elongated body, wide chest.
- Strong limbs set straight.
- elongated head with graceful straight ears.
- Beautiful horns resembling a saber. If you look closely, they look like the Latin letter "S".
- Height at withers approx. 70 cm.
The color of the coat varies from white to light gray. There are also roans with reddish-brown spots.
Important! The coat of the representatives of the Megrelian breed is coarse, since it consists mainly of guard hair.
Attention! Animals of the Megrelian breed are dairy, therefore, the live weight, in comparison with other breeds, is not so great.
- Goats most often reach a weight of 38 to 45 kg. Males - up to 55 kg. Some Megrelian goats can weigh up to 60.
- Females most often breed with twins. For a hundred goats, you can get a litter equal to 160 kids. A productive herd is easily replenished.
- With proper feeding per year, one Megrelian goat gives up to 900 kg of tasty, healthy milk, fat content up to 4%. It can be used to prepare various dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, feta cheese.
Attention! Before driving adult Megrelian goats or kids to pasture, they are watered.
Drinking from a puddle can cause infection. In the summer heat, goats are watered twice a day; in winter, if there is wet food, once is enough.
Warning! You cannot drink hot goats - they will catch a cold.
Do not use galvanized dishes for feeders, so as not to poison the animal with zinc. They put the bowls on elevations that reach the goat's chest; for the kids, drinkers and feeders are installed lower. Water and feed are given in separate containers. Many goat breeders make automatic drinkers - the water is always clean. In winter, the water needs to be heated.
What to feed
- The animals are fed with oats, barley, and corn grains. It is necessary to ensure that no water gets into the feeders with dry food.
- If peelings from potatoes are fed, then they need to be washed and boiled. Sprinkle salt and feed on top.
- Root vegetables can be fed raw, but chopped carefully, especially for kids.
- It is good to give various mash. Steamed oats, oatmeal, leftover food from the table, carrots, beets, cabbage will do. Milking goats, eating wet feed, add milk.
- In a special trough, there should always be fodder salt (one goat or goat needs up to 8 kg of salt for a year, kids a little less).
- In winter, in addition to hay, goats are given harvested brooms and pine needles. They are hung at such a level that goats and kids can reach them.
Feeding is carried out several times a day:
- in the morning - grain and root crops.
- in the afternoon - hay.
- in the evening, crushed grain, hay.
In summer, Megrelian goats, together with kids, graze in the highlands, in winter, weather permitting, at the foot of the mountains.
Dairy goat care rules
For the Megrelian goats, a special room is needed, it is called the goat's rue. The height of the room is about 3 meters. Square:
- for one queen with a litter of at least 2.5 sq. m;
- lonely goat - 1.5 m;
- male - 2 m;
- kid - up to 3 m.
The room for the goats must be dry, drafts are unacceptable. In winter, the temperature is maintained from +6 to -7 degrees. In the presence of a large number of animals, additional heating is not required - the goats warm it with their breath. But where the kids are kept, you need to use heating.
Males are kept separately from the queens so that they do not walk around ahead of time. In addition, the proximity of a goat next to milking goats can adversely affect milk: it acquires an unpleasant aftertaste.
For the Megrelian breed, stall keeping or free grazing is acceptable. The kids graze together with adult animals.
Attention! Be sure to arrange a shed in the courtyard. In summer, Megrelian goats hide from the heat, and in winter from the snow.
All about lamb
If the Megrelian goat is not sick with anything, it does not need human help during lambing. The kids appear 20 to 22 weeks after mating. The owner writes down this period in order to know when the goat will kitten in order to wean from the general herd.
It is necessary to prepare in advance for lambing:
- The room where the lamb will pass must be clean and dry. Disinfection is required. The walls and ceiling are whitewashed with lime solution. If it is dark in the goat's house, additional lighting is carried out.
- The room is ventilated, a fresh litter is laid on the floor, the thicker the better.
- For future kids, a nursery is made with an area of at least two square meters with a feeder and a drinker.
You can understand that the time of lambing has come by the behavior of the goat: she is worried, often refuses to feed. The udder swells, becomes dense, the nipples are spread out to the sides. Mucus appears in the swollen genitals.
How to feed a goat after lambing
Megrelian goats, like other representatives of this restless tribe, are fed with sweet warm water. The animal needs carbohydrates to recuperate. Then the drinker is filled with clean warm water, hay is put into the trough.
The digestive system of goats after lambing can malfunction, so you need to use easily digestible feed for feeding:
- bran up to 300 grams, four times a day;
- if lambing occurs in summer, then fresh grass is given, in winter - hay;
- branches and brooms;
- salt at least 10 grams.
Warning! Overfeeding goats after lambing is unacceptable, otherwise it will negatively affect the general condition of the animal.
How to feed kids without a goat
Since the Megrelian goats are dairy breed, it is not recommended to let the kids in for feeding. They are fed artificially. A special bottle with a nipple is purchased in advance. This makes it easier for the kid to suck. In addition, the throats are uniform, casein lumps do not have time to form.
On the first day, the kids are given colostrum. It contains all the necessary micro and macro elements to boost low immunity. Moreover, colostrum removes the original feces and mucus from the intestines of the kids.
Milk is given immediately after milking, while it is warm every 4 hours. It is clear that it will not always be paired, it will have to be heated.
On the third day, the kids of the Megrelian breed are fed with oatmeal. Water should be constant. And the kids begin to eat hay from ten days of age. As for compound feed, you need a special one.
It is necessary to give new food to the kids gradually. It is given in small portions, gradually increasing to normal. As soon as the kids of the Megrelian breed get used to it, and this will be evident from their condition, a new product can be introduced. Youngsters are fed milk for two or three months. Wean off by reducing the portion.
Advice! Little females need to be given milk for longer than goats, then a productive goat will grow out of them.
When the kids of the Megrelian breed are one month old, in the summer they are driven out to the pasture. Artificially reared kids do not fit the goat. If the kids of the Megrelian breed are fed correctly, then they do not get sick, they grow quickly.
Instead of a conclusion
High-dairy domestic animals of the Megrelian breed are raised mainly by residents of Megrelia, Svaneti, Armenia, Azerbaijan. For free grazing, they require high-altitude pastures. They find there the grass they need for development. Currently, there are approximately 100,000 head. There are no special differences in raising goats of various breeds. The main thing is attention, love for animals and adherence to the rules.