Among the huge diversity of goats, the Shami breed is particularly notable, they are also Damascus goats. They are difficult to confuse with another breed, due to external features. And although they can look frightening, they are very calm and kind animals with high productive indices. Breeders with proper maintenance, can get offspring, meat, skin, wool and milk. Shami goats are also often used for breeding new species.
Description of the Shami goat breed
Shami goats are big but graceful animals. They have a slim body and an impressive look. Males can grow up to a meter in height, and females up to 85 cm on average. Weight of males is about 130 kg, and females - 60-90 kg. Build massive. The animal is distinguished by developed muscles, but they are not very visible behind the dense skin. The back is straight, the stomach is tucked up. The legs are long, strong. The udder is large, wide, the nipples of the correct form, convenient for milking.
The neck is pulled in, which catches the eye at first sight. The head is hooked, small in size. The eyes most often have bright colors, although exceptions are allowed. Ears are always long (25-35 cm), drooping, often they are stopped. According to the standard, only animals with the correct bite are allowed, so this indicator is checked from birth. The Damascus goat predominantly has horns, but individuals without horns are also allowed by the standard.Interesting! Today Damascus goats are often bred as exotic pets.
Exterior of Shami goat
The main external difference is dense wool covering the whole body. It protects animals from the cold and at the same time from the heat. The color is usually red-brown, but the shades can be very diverse, from dark brown to pale yellow. White spots are possible, but according to the standard they are excluded. In rare cases, black Shami can be found, but this color is not typical for purebreds.
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Damascus goat is known not only for its unusual appearance, but also for its productive qualities.
- Males give healthy offspring from about 9 months of age to 2 years. Females can bear and give birth to kids from 7-9 months of age and up to 6 years. However, professional breeders recommend not to reduce for breeding females under the age of one year old. They are still growing, developing and for them the process of carrying will be very difficult, which often affects the health of the young.
- For the lambing, the female can give 2-3 goatlings. In rare cases, only one or four babies are born.
- Young mothers of 45 days are weaned. Sometimes, when the mother cannot take care of the offspring for any reason, a new goat eats the newborn or a breeder.
- Lactation lasts approximately 300 days. For all this time you can drink 650-1000 liters of milk from a goat. The female is able to produce 5-9 liters of a quality product per day, which is a high indicator. The fat content of milk in goats Shami reaches 4.5%, but it may be less if the food is of poor quality.
Goats Shami fully adapted for automatic milking
Breeders say that the Shami goats are very calm and good-natured. These are the sweetest creatures that are easy to handle. They are very reasonable, not picky and easy to maintain.
Merits and demerits of the Damascus goat
For a better understanding of the Shami goats, their advantages and disadvantages should be considered. So, what can please these animals?
- Unpretentiousness. Goat Shami is suitable for breeding in different climatic zones.
- Strong maternal instinct.
- High productivity.
- Milk is very tasty, without unpleasant smell, suitable for drinking or processing.
- Goats are fully adapted for automatic milking, but they are not afraid of hands either.
- Calm temper.
- They are often used to breed new species. The famous Anglo-Nubian goat was bred from the Shami breed mixed with some other breeds. From Damascus animals she got a crooked nose and atypical ears.
For the lambing the female can give 2-3 kid
And now about the minuses of the breed.
- Finding a real Damascus goat is not easy, often there is a "translation". To buy a goat Shami you need to select only registered producers with the relevant documents.
- The cost of the pedigree is high. Shami is one of the most expensive breeds in the world.
- Horned breeds need to be able to handle, so beginner breeders often reject them.
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In Israel, Palestine, Cyprus Damascus goats are in great demand. It is in these countries that Shami are treated with great honor, they are trying to save the breed from extinction and to increase the livestock in the world. Breed standards are respectful, and breeding individuals are sold for a high price.Interesting! Shami goats are growing fast. At birth, they weigh up to 5.5 kg, and in 4 months already reach 30-36 kg. The average weight gain per day is about 300 g.
When selecting individuals for breeding, it is necessary to pay attention, primarily to the shape of the head. If there is no characteristic hump, then the animal is a mixture. Interestingly, lovers of this breed value its external features even higher than milk yield. In other words, an animal with high productivity, but with external flaws is always cheaper than an individual that meets the general external standards, but with low yields.
Maintenance and care
Wonderful transformation. The most shocking in Shami is the appearance of young goats and adults.
Breed of goats Shami belongs to unpretentious species. For these animals do not need to create special conditions. They survive in different climatic zones. But the worse the content, the lower the productivity, so knowing how to care for goats Shami will not hurt.Interesting! Damascus goat can survive even with a poor diet, but it will certainly affect the quality and fat content of milk, as well as its health.
- For the maintenance of settling down a barn with separate stalls. There should be enough space for all animals, because in cramped quarters they get along poorly.
- Animals must be kept clean. If they are dirty, they are bathed, cleaned. Hooves regularly inspected to avoid inflammation. It is also necessary to monitor the condition of the eyes, ears (especially if they are long, not cropped) and teeth.
- Food is fed nutritious, wholesome and varied. You can give feed, mash, or even just keep on grazing, however, the better the food, the higher the productivity!
- Cleaning is done daily. This is necessary so that dirt, germs and viruses do not get divorced. Maintaining cleanliness reduces the risk of disease.
- When signs of illness are caused by a qualified veterinarian. It is worth noting that Shami are expensive, so in their case it is not profitable to save money on treatment and prophylactic vaccinations!
Shami goats are exotic, unique animals. High productivity and unusual appearance made them very popular in the Middle East, and recently they have spread almost around the world and are often used to create new, dairy breeds. With decent care and proper feeding, they quickly multiply and fully pay for their content.