After the success of its pilot project under which 12 beetle goats were sent to Ladakh, the veterinary varsity has decided to give further push to goat farming and improving the quality of breeds in Punjab.
In October last year, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University sent 12 Beetal goats to Ladakh on the request of Jammu and Kashmir sheep husbandry department to be cross bred with local breeds for better milk yield. While one goat failed to survive, 11 survived the harsh winters and two hybrids were also born during this period.
Elated with the success of this experimental project, the sheep husbandry department of J&K has decided that after Zojila pass, connecting Ladakh to other parts of the country, opens in the coming months more goats will be brought from Punjab for cross breeding.
“Goats adapt to a varied climatic conditions and are hardy by nature. Therefore, they sustain in local environmental conditions much better than other livestock species. Goat has many specialities such as smaller size, easy handling, a broad range of vegetation and wider climatic adaptability which makes it the animal of choice for poor farmers around the globe,” said Dr HK Verma, director of extension education. Verma said GADVASU took initiatives to conserve and propagate Beetal goats by establishing the Beetal flock and is maintaining model goat farms on the Ludhiana campus and at the Regional Research and Training Centre in Kaljharani (Bathinda) and in Talwara (Hoshiarpur).
The varsity is also propagating goat farming among farmers in Punjab as a lucrative business and is also selling their germplasm.
“Due to lower input requirements, goat production highly suits unemployed youth, women and ex-servicemen as they can easily learn skills in this profession. Apart from meat, goat milk also remains in high demand. The demand increases during the outbreak of dengue and other viral diseases,” said Dr Sandeep Kaswan, assistant professor, department of livestock production management.
He said Beetal or popularly called Amritsari is the native goat breed of Punjab which is good for both milk and meat products.
“It normally produces between 150 and 200kg of milk during the lactation period of six months. The average peak milk yield is about two kilos but some may produce around four,” said Kaswan.
Meanwhile Dr Zakir Hussain, a veterinary official of J&K sheep husbandry department, said sweaters were also woven for the 12 Beetal goats brought from Ludhiana. “However the goats adapted well to the environment of the place,” said Dr Hussain.