A study on Performance of non-descript goats upgraded with Sirohi bucks: NICRA experience

A study on Performance of non-descript goats upgraded with Sirohi bucks: NICRA experience

Manjunath Patil* , Shreenivas B V , Yusufali, Raju G. Teggelli , Ramesh B K , Zaheer Ahamed B

ICAR- Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kalaburagi, University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur-585101 Karnataka, India

Corresponding Author Email: manjunathpatilvet@gmail.com

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.53709/ CHE.2020.v01i01.027


The present paper is based on the up gradation of local non-descript does with Sirohi bucks in NICRA (National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture) project implemented village Melakunda (B) of Kalaburagi district. ICAR- Krishi Vigyan Kendra conducted Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to know the knowledge status of farmers on scientific goat rearing practices. Through PRA technique it came to know that, the shepherds of NICRA village have lack of knowledge on cross breeding, perennial fodder crops, fodder trees, improper sex ratio, concentrate feed and goat mineral mixture etc. However, NICRA village have maximum goat population compared to other villages. The KVK scientists continuously provided on and off campus trainings on scientific management practices on goat rearing viz., maintaining proper sex ratio (1:20:: male: female), flushing up and challenge feeding techniques, growing of perennial fodder crops viz., multicut fodder sorghum varieties (Cofs-29/Cofs-31), hedge lucerne, stylozanthus haemata and fodder trees on bunds viz., glyricidia, acacia, drumstick, sesbania grandiflora, subabul and azolla culture. Method demonstrations on low cost technologies like preparation of homemade concentrate feed by using own farm agriculture waste and growing of azolla culture in pit method were also taught to goat farmer trainees. In NICRA village, yearly four animal health camps were organized in collaboration with Department of animal husbandry and veterinary services.

During these camps, deworming against end-ecto parasites and vaccination against bacterial and viral diseases was done. With KVK intervention, the growth and reproductive performance of Sirohi crossbred goats was improved over local non-descript goats. Also, the economic status of farmers changed drastically.


Local Non-descript Goats, NICRA, Sirohi, up gradation

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Goats provide a dependable source of income to 40% of the rural population below the poverty line in India and to many who do not possess any land.  Kalaburagi district has highest goat population ( 4,73,800) in Karnataka state as per 20th livestock census [11]. The vast majority of the poorer section of the rural population depends on the goat rearing for subsistence and to meet the house-hold occasional need for meat and milk [30]. Goats are also utilized as biological control for brush and undesirable forbs. The browsing, if controlled, accelerates vegetative growth of trees, shrubs and surface vegetation [5]. Goats, being the most popular and easy source of household income and family nutrition in Nepal, could be the important source of national revenue provided with improved breeding and other husbandry practices [7]. Goats were grazed on community land, barren, open land after harvesting, canal banks having varying biomass availability. Lopping of trees is a routine practice of traditional goat keepers in this area [10], [25], [14] and [25] also reported major involvement of small and marginal farmers in goat rearing in the villages of Maharashtra and Rajasthan respectively.

Now a days, local non-descript goats are preferred less by the commercial goat entrepreneurs. The major reason is considered to be the low production and productivity potential of native as compared to other cross breeds. With regard to the genetic improvement of goats, selection within the native breeds was popular among the shepherds in the past years. However, upgrading of the native goats by crossbreeding with the north Indian breeds such as Sirohi [1] or Jamunapari or Barbari [2], [27] is being commonly practiced by the few stall fed goat farmers since few decades expecting significantly increased production and productivity within a short time period.

The Sirohi breed is from hot and arid Rajasthan and was expected to adapt well to a similar climate of the Kalaburagi area. The Sirohi goat is a dual-purpose compact, medium to large sized goat breed reared for both meat and milk production [8]. Coat colors are brown and brown with light to dark brown patches (spotted brown). The present study was aimed to upgrade the local goats through cross breeding with Sirohi buck and evaluate the growth, reproductive performance and economics of F1 generation (Crossbred; CB) kids with that of local kids.


            The present study was conducted by ICAR – Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kalaburagi, Karnataka through front line demonstrations in adopted NICRA village in the Kalaburagi district of Karnataka.

Selection of village and farmers

An action oriented participatory method was adopted for popularizing up gradation of local non-descript goats with Sirohi buck under adopted NICRA Melakunda (B) village of ICAR-KVK, Kalaburagi. The selected village was studied based on two criterions. Firstly, the village had rainfed agriculture with maximum number of non-descript goats resembling Osmanabadi goat breed. Secondly, large percent of small, marginal and daily wage laborers involved in goat rearing. 

The farmers were selected based on four criterions. Firstly, the shepherd should have minimum number of twenty non-descript does and one buck (20+1) in his home. Secondly, the farmer should have minimum basic knowledge of goat rearing practices which have learnt either through his ancestors or with daily goat rearing. Thirdly, Sirohi bucks which will be given by KVK should be rotated among shepherds on bimonthly basis in the village so that all the shepherds should get benefitted.  Fourthly, out of 20 female goats, bifurcation should be made for 10 each. So that, crossing of non-descript female goats with non-descript buck (T0) and crossing of non-descript female goats with Sirohi buck (T1).

Before and After KVK Intervention

Before KVK intervention, the goats maintained by farmers were of non-descript goats which are of less body weight, reproductive traits and have less economic net returns to the farmer.  The problems faced by goat farmers were known through participatory rural appraisal technique [18]. Those were of low body weight, abortion of pregnant does, long maturity age and kid mortality. They have lack of knowledge on cross breeding, perennial fodder crops, fodder trees, improper sex ratio, concentrate feed and goat mineral mixture etc.

With KVK intervention, slowly famers started adopting scientific goatry skills.  The study period was one year and follow up was done for next three years. For first year, knowledge enhancement strategies were followed in the NICRA village through KVK extension activities like front line demonstrations, on and off campus trainings, method demonstrations and animal health camps in collaboration with animal husbandry and veterinary services department. During animal health camps, regularly deworming with broad spectrum endo-ecto parasiticidal drugs and vaccination against Haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS), Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and enterotoxaemia diseases.

On continuous in touch with farmers for a period of one year, the next coming second year, one Sirohi buck was placed in each of the five farmers (age 18-20 months; weight 40-45 kg) and crossed with 200 to 500 local non-descript does (Age 15-30 months; weight 25-35 kg) selected at random. These bucks had been selected on their own growth rates and their mothers’ milk yields. These bucks were rotated for every two years among the adopted farmers to avoid inbreeding. For scientific feeding, KVK has distributed fodder seeds like multicut fodder sorghum varieties viz., cofs-29 & cofs-31, hedge Lucerne, Stylozanthus haemata, Sesbania grandiflora, drumstick and azolla culture to selected shepherds.

Experimental Design and Feeding

T0 acted as control group where non-descript does with non-descript buck was crossed. T1 acted as study groupwhere non-descript does with Sirohi buck was crossed. Feeding and management practices were similar for the crossbred ones as that of local goats. All male and female goats in both the groups received a basal diet comprising of roughages and concentrates separately to meet the maintenance and production requirements. All the goats were fed with 1 kg dry fodder of red gram bhusa, 3 kg of non-leguminous fodder (cofs-29/cofs-31) and 1 kg of leguminous fodder (hedge lucerne/stylozanthus/sesbania/drumstick). Apart from dry and green fodder, concentrate mixture @ 250 g per doe and @ 500 g per buck was given. The concentrate mixture was prepared at respective farmer’s house with the advice of ICAR-KVK, Kalaburagi scientists and composed of maize, cotton seed cake, wheat bran, rice bran, mineral mixture and salt. The concentrate was offered daily during morning hours.     

Sampling and analysis

The growth performance in terms of birth weight and body weight (kg) at 1 month, 2 month, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 months was recorded for both the local non-descript and Sirohi× local of F1 generation (CB). The data on reproductive performance (days), i.e. age at maturity, age at kidding, kidding interval and gestation length were recorded. Also, economics of overall average weight gain of local non-descript and Sirohi× local goats were analyzed.

Statistical analysis

In the present study, mean as a measure of central tendency and the standard error as a measure of random error were employed for the statistical analysis. The student’s t test (p≤ 0.05) was used to know the significant variation between the groups as per the procedure described by [28].


A field study on comparative performance of non-descript goats and their crossbreds with Sirohi of F1 generation are discussed below.

Growth Performance

The mean and standard error for growth performance data in local and cross bred goats are given in Table 1. The average mean for birth weight of local goats was 1.83±0.19 kg while that of the CB was 3.17±0.31 kg, indicating superiority of Sirohi germplasm. This finding was in agreement with [23]. The average weight of the goats significantly increased from 1.83±0.19 kg to 32.17±3.09 with 30.34±2.90 kg body weight gain at the end of 12 month study period in T0 group. While it increased from 3.17± 0.31 to 41.57±4.19 kg with 38.40±3.88 kg body weight gain in T1 group. The statistical analysis of the data indicated significant improvement (p≤0.05) in growth rate among the crossbred kids than that of the non-descript local kids.

This finding was in close agreement with results of [20]. They have conducted field study on comparative performance of non-descript goats and their crossbreds with Beetal in Cuttack district of Odisha state.  The body weight at birth, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months age were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in CB Beetal goats than non-descript local goats. [3] Assessed goat breed improvement through distribution of Beetal bucks in rainfed pothwar, Punjab. They convinced the benefits of crosses with Beetle buck and reported that the off springs Beetal were of higher body weight (40% higher), good looking and well built.

Also, the present findings were in agreement [6], [4], [31]. The highest body weight and body measurements were recorded under farm and field conditions at all ages of Sirohi goats in southern Rajasthan indicating that favorable environment and improvement in management practices leads to higher body weight and body measurement.

  Table. 1: Mean body weight (Kg) of Local and Sirohi × local does (Mean±SE).

Mean Body WeightT0T1
At Birth1.83±  0.19(108 )3.17±  0.31b (99)
1 month  4.35±  0.38a (101)6.91± 0.89b (91)
2 month 7.87±0.98a (92)11.18±1.57b (86)
3 month10.31±1.21a (79)14.65±1.73b (73)
6 month   17.52±2.31a (69)23.28±2.65b (62)
9 month  25.28±2.93a (61)33.89±3.47b (53)
12 month32.17±3.09a (55)41.57±4.19b (44)
Overall average weight gain30.34±2.9038.40±3.88

a, b Means bearing different superscripts differ significantly (p≤0.05) between groups at corresponding intervals of T0 and T1 animals. Figures in parenthesis indicate number of observations.

Reproductive performance

The reproductive performance data in local and cross bred goats are given in Table 2. The overall mean for age at maturity, age at kidding and kidding interval reflected significant improvement (p≤0.05) in these reproductive parameters, thereby indication of marked improvement in fertility traits. However, contrary to our findings, lower age at maturity (354.8 days) was observed by [15] in Jamunapari goats in Bangladesh.  This may attributed to the present study was undertaken in non-descript goats which resemble Osmanabadi goat breed. [19] reported that age at maturity and age at kidding in cross bred goats were 482.9 and 631.90 days, respectively, which were higher than the present findings. This may be attributed to the differences in the feeding and management practices used in the experiments. It seemed that the cross bred goats were having better browsing nature than local kids, where the present study was carried out. The variation in results might be due to variation in genotype and environmental factors. [9] and [16] were reported that progeny born to selected buck had good breed characters, higher twinning rate and higher body weight over local goats.

Table. 2:  Reproductive performances (Mean ± SE) of local and Sirohi × local goats.

Reproductive traitsT0T1
Age at maturity (days)428.17±11.13a (103)329.13±9.53b (81)
Age at kidding (days)607.09±29.75a (97)501.13±25.11b(77)
Kidding interval (days)378.29±11.57a (81)321.17±15.11b (59)
Gestation length (days)150.57±2.27a (58)153.11±2.18a (49)

a, b Means bearing different superscripts differ significantly (p≤0.05) between groups at corresponding intervals of T0 and T1 animals. Figures in parenthesis indicate number of observations.

Economic analysis

The cost and benefit analysis is depicted in Table 3. The dressing percentage of 50 % and . 400 chevon as the current market price of the goat meat in Kalaburagi district are taken for calculation purpose. The gross earnings for the farmers with single goat after twelve months of study period by  cross breeding with a Sirohi buck, the net profit was Rs. 2634/- in local non-descript (T0) group as compared to cross bred ( . 4590/-) (T1) group.  It can be interpreted that there was significantly higher profit in cross breeding ( . 1956/-) group as compared to local non-descript group.

The present economic analysis was in agreement with [24], [26], [12], [17] and [3]. They assessed the economics on cross breeding of non-descript goats with Beetal buck. There was a price difference of . 1277/- for male kids and . 697/- for female kids of the same age than the kids from local buck crosses. [22] in Botswana reported that Beetal male kids fetched 650 rupees more price than the local ones and female kids fetched 550 rupees higher price. Also, [29] observed that Upgradation of local goats with Jamnapari buck fetched high income over local even under climate variability in Gadag district of Karnataka state. [21] Concluded that twining in sheep and improved grazing efficiency was achieved and high income generated due to twin breed of Nari Suvarna over local breeds in Chikkaballapura district of Karnataka state. [13] revealed that the cross bred Beetal goat performed better with respect to growth and reproductive performance in comparison to Assam hill goats and their by increasing farmers income in hill districts of Assam state.

The farmers believed that the price difference was not only due to the higher weight but a better look and better structure of the Beetal goat. Farming community showed keen interest in using this intervention on a regular basis.

With this, farmers slowly started adopting this up gradation technology. This technology was horizontally spread to 150 villages of Kalaburagi district over a period of 4 years. The goat population of these villages was 50,000. So, net profit to goat farmers of these villages is achieved is 100 million rupees.

Table. 3:  Economics of local and Sirohi × local adult goats.

*Dressing % = 50%.  **Market Price for chevon (goat meat) =

.400 per kg
Being popular as “poor man’s cow” or “living cheque,” it significantly contributes to food and nutritional and economic security of the marginalized smallholder farmers and provides good employment and self-employment opportunities in the country.

The present findings suggested that, up gradation of local non-descript goats with Sirohi buck can be recommended for agro-ecosystems similar to that of Kalaburagi district for getting better growth and reproductive traits in these animals which in turn provides better economics return to farmers.


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