Twelve goats of Punjab’s Beetal breed have landed in the arid, cold desert of the Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir for a first-of-its-kind experiment to cross-breed with the local Purgi breed to produce a hybrid with high milk yield.
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, sent the 10 female and two male goats last week upon a request by the J&K department of sheep husbandry, Kargil district. Dr Zakir Hussain, veterinary officer at Kargil, told HT over phone that the department in consultation with the Ladakh hill development council had decided to bring these goats from Ludhiana.
“There used to be cattle with almost every household earlier, but urbanisation led to that concept ending. Now, there is a demand from the council to get milch animals other than cows. We brought the goats as part of research as we need to see if Beetal can withstand the intense winter that’s coming,” Hussain said.
Beetal goats found in the Punjab region in India and Pakistan can yield 1.5 to 2 litres of milk a day, while Purgi produces only 500ml. “In Kargil, the cows have relatively low milk yield and are less economical to rear. Therefore, the sheep husbandry department decided to improve their local goats,” said Dr Sandeep Kaswan, assistant professor in the department of livestock production management at GADVASU.