Basics for breeding goats – Introduction

Breeding goats successfully depends on several factors and the implementation of good breeding practice. When considering breeding, the main reason behind it is to increase productivity of farm livestock under a certain environment. In order for that to happen, you select for specific desired traits or characteristics that best suit your ideal herd. When selecting the right animals fit for breeding, some characteristics are considered for example females are selected for their milk yields, size of the udder, vigor, conformation, growth rate and meat production. All in all when breeding, different characteristics come into factor depending on what you are looking for as a breeder as well as the environment that you are in.breeding attention should be paid to traits of economic importance.


These desired characteristics can be those below:

  • Excellent mothering ability – they bond well and protect their young at all costs.
  • Ewes kid with ease in the field – where less labour needed.
  • High fertility and excellent conception rate – regular kidding, once or twice a year ideally 3 kiddings in 2 years.
  • Multiple births – twins and triplets.
  • Good milk production – sufficient for twins and triplets.
  • Good growth and good weaning weights.
  • Export quality carcass – good conformation and tender tasty meat.
  • 100% pigmented – no albinism.
  • Tolerant of external and internal parasites.
  • Tolerant of temperature extremes.
  • High parasite and disease tolerance/resistance
  • Good body structure- strong legs especially for males in order to mount well. General good body conformation is ideal all depending on the breed of choice, no abnormalities.
  • Highly efficient foragers – can walk long distances and can be used to control bush and weeds.
  • High feed conversion rate.

It all boils down to the preference of the breeder and what traits are of value to you. Therefore it is important to know what you want to be the outcome of your breeding activities and how suitable will it be for your flock. So select those traits and start the breeding process!