Goats of the Changthangi goats breed, often known as “Pashmina goats,” are indigenous to the dry, cold climate of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Changthangi goats are often bred for their luxurious fleece. However, they may also breed for human consumption.
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The cold doesn’t bother these goats, and they can get by on a diet of grass in the wide fields and hills. The famed Pashmina shawls of Kashmir are made from the fleece of these animals. Shawls woven from Changthangi sheep’s luxurious wool are popular all over the globe. The commercial production of wool is the primary motivation for breeding this breed. But they may also be raised for human consumption.
Goats from Changthangi are also known as Changra goats. Goats that are able to produce pashmina are crucial to the economic revitalization of the impoverished Changthang and Leh districts of Ladakh. The information on Changthangi goats was acquired from both small and large-scale farmers in Ladakh, and 337 animals were included in the research.
The changthangi goat’s most notable quality is its capacity to endure harsh climates. In temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius, these goats continue to produce luxurious yarn. Their thick coat acts as an effective insulator, preventing them from being cold.
Changthangi goats’ pashmina and long hair cover practically their whole bodies, and their skin tones range from white to light brown. Children born to mothers of both sexes weighed an estimated 2.11 0.3 and 2.06 0.2 kg, respectively; after 300 days of age, the average weight of boys was 20.0 2.1 kg and that of girls, 18.7 1.9 kg.
They are well-suited to farming because of their placid nature and low stress levels. In comparison to other livestock animals, they have a high maintenance requirement but a decent appetite. The goats provide some of the world’s finest wool.
Pashmina, animal sales, variations in flock inventory, milk, and dung were the most significant returns from raising Changthangi goats. Net profits for Changthangi goat farmers were the greatest of any goat breed in India, coming in at Rs 970.96, Rs 741.23, and Rs 724.67 per animal and Rs 112,732, Rs 50,404, and Rs 41,307.
Comparing zones A, B, and C, zone A had 30.99 and 33.98 percent more yearly net revenue from goats, respectively. Gross profits from Changthangi goats were mostly attributable to the sale of pashmina (>40%) and value-added youngsters (10%). Nomads (Changpa) relied on milk and meat from their goats to ensure their nutritional security while living in severe climates.
Diseases are seldom seen in Changthangi goats. Stunted or delayed development is the most common cause of distress. Sometimes, animals suffer from diarrhoea caused by parasitic and deadly grasses. It is not uncommon to find tapeworms, roundworms, and coccidians in goat youngsters. Vaccinations against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), polio, and clostridium infection (CLO) are routinely used on large farms.
Changthangi goats often get a disease called gid. There is usually a tick problem. Some of the more organised farms do things like deworming twice a year with anthelmintics and dipping with antiparasitic medications once a year. However, these preventative measures are not as common among impoverished small village farmers, leading to greater than average animal mortality. Some animals have been seen to have genetic anomalies such as cryptorchidism, a stumpy ear, short legs, prognathism, or a chimaera of different colours.
Although traditionally produced for meat, in modern times, the Jammu and Kashmir region of India has focused on raising this breed specifically for its super-fine cashmere fibre. They are mostly grown by a group of nomadic people called the ‘Changpa’.
Due to their positive impact on the economies of Changthang, Leh, and Ladakh, these goats are now seldom killed for food. Kashmir Pashmina wool, often regarded as the highest quality wool in the world, is obtained from the undercoat of this goat.
Whether by shearing or combing, wool is only obtained once a year, in the summer months of June and July. This cashmere wool is often regarded as the best there is. The maximum fibre thickness is about 12–15 microns. Cashmere wool is known as Pashmina after it has been woven into the famous shawls of Kashmir. These wraps, which may be either shawls or carpets, are shipped across the globe at exorbitant prices.