The Gaddi Goats originates in India and is a popular domestic breed. It’s one of eight types of sheep indigenous to India’s cool north. Sheep are mostly kept for their wool. Goats of the Gaddi breed are sometimes called white Himalayan goats. They play a crucial role in the evolution of high-altitude, Western breeds.
Jammu and Kashmir’s neighbouring mountainous regions also benefit from them. Rams have horns, while the rest of the animals are brown and grey. The height is 74.27 centimetres, and the weight ranges from 30 to 35 kilogrammes. This domesticated sheep breed is bred for its luxurious fleece. Gaddi goats may be seen often along mountain paths and even on cliffs. Some goats take refuge beneath the rocks to defend themselves from the burning heat as the temperature climbs.
Characteristics of Gaddi Goats
The Gaddi goat falls somewhere in the middle of the size spectrum.
The most common colour is white, although tan, black, and brown variations are sometimes seen.
They are well-built and strong creatures, distinguished by drooping, pointed ears and long, curved horns.
Once a year, there is a single birth, and the cycle begins again. Each shearing produces half a kilogrammeme to one kilogrammeme of wool from hair that is 17 to 19 centimetres in length. Milk production is around 1.5 kg per day, but the meat is gritty and lean. There are around 472,405 Gaddi goats in the nation, as per the 18th Livestock Census in 2007.
The horns of rams tend to be rather huge. However, only around 10 to 15 percent of the ewes have horns. The tail of the Gaddi sheep is tiny and narrow, and the ears are short. Mature animals typically reach a height of around 56 cm at the withers. The adult animals have an average live body weight of around 26 kg.
Sheep are primarily grazers, and they thrive on a diet of legumes like lobia, berseem, cowpea, etc. Since cowpea/labia is an annual plant, it is often fed to animals in fodder along with a combination of maize or sorghum. Sheep spend around half their day grazing; therefore, pasture or hay is an essential part of their nutrition. They needed healthy, new grass to graze on, namely timothy or canary grass.
Avoiding abortions, early births, and toxaemia in pregnant sheep requires careful attention to their diet and treatment. Before the ewes are 4-6 days into labour, shield them from the cold and provide them with a clean, isolated space. Feeding more to pregnant sheep in the last three to four weeks before they give birth has been shown to improve both milk supply and lamb health.
Weaning care includes removing the placental membrane and wiping the newborn’s nose, cheeks, and ears with a dry cotton towel. Gently rubbing babies down is the best way to clean them. If a newborn is having trouble breathing, you should prop it up on its hind legs with its head facing downward. This will assist in opening up its airways. Within the first 30 minutes after birth, clean the weaner’s udder with tincture iodine and give it its first swallow of colostrum.
Lambs need special attention in the first weeks of their lives. Ensure your lambs have access to nutritious, readily digested hay or feed. Give them fresh leaves or leguminous food to graze on.
The systematisation of sheep identification markings: Marking them with a number is vital for keeping accurate records, promoting good husbandry, facilitating identification, and serving as evidence of ownership. Branding is often done using tattoos, tags, wax marking crayons, spray chalk, coloured spray paint, and paint.
Lambs should be vaccinated against sheeppox and enterotoxemia, and they should be drenched to prevent gastrointestinal parasites, all within their first month of life.
Disease and treatment
Acidosis (grain overload)
Overconsumption of wheat or barley causes the condition.
The illness harms the animal’s rumen.
Sodium bicarbonate (10 g/sheep) should be administered if symptoms are present.
Annual Ryegrass Toxicity (ARGT)
Consumption of annual regrass is the cause of the illness. Sheep consume the contaminated seeds, which are harmful to their health. Animals will die as a result of this. Common times for this are late October through early December.
If ryegrass is growing in the area, move the animals elsewhere.
The lack of vitamin B12 is the primary cause of this sickness in sheep.
When symptoms appear, vitamin B12 is injected immediately.
Goats are susceptible to this parasitic illness, which causes damage to the gut lining. Goats will perish as a result of this.
Sulfa medication is administered either by drenching twice at 3-day intervals or by injection.
This happens most often within two weeks following shearing when the sheep’s natural body heat is lost and it struggles to recover.
Sheep need shelter from the elements.
Listeriosis (circling disease)
It is a sporadic bacterial illness that affects animals and sometimes people. The consumption of contaminated hay is to blame for the outbreak in flocks. The vet prescribes antibiotics.