Shami (Damascus goat) - a breed that from ancient times gave people milk, meat, wool and skin. In the article we will consider the main pedigree characteristics and tips on the maintenance and breeding of these goats.
Shami Goat Profile
History of occurrence
Damascus goats are several thousand years old; they appeared in the Middle East. Their ancestors are Cypriot goats. In the history of peoples many proverbs, sayings and ancient annals have been preserved, where these goats are mentioned. Syria is considered the historical homeland of Shami. Goats got their second name in honor of the Syrian city - Damascus.
The breed gained worldwide fame after a beauty contest among goats held in 2008, at which Shami got the title “The Most Beautiful Goat”.
Damascus goats are currently raised and bred in Palestine, Cyprus, Israel and Syria. Due to good productive indicators, breeders use these goats to improve some breeds, including Saanen and Nubian shorthair goats.
Description and characteristics of the breed
In terms of popularity and value, Shamis compete with Arabian horses.
Young Shami is cute - a small head and long curly ears, but the appearance of adult goats is quite unusual:
- the head is disproportionately large;
- the lower jaw is advanced, but by standards a normal bite is required;
- humpback nose;
- ears are long, up to 32 cm;
- eyes are bright, but other colors are allowed;
- the neck is long;
- most goats have horns, but gradually breeders try to bring out the hornless Shami;
- high growth - goats at the withers reach 103 cm, goats - about 84 cm;
- legs are thin and long;
- large sizes - the weight of goats reaches 130 kg, smaller goats - up to 95 kg;
- newborns have an average weight of 3.5 kg; sometimes there are individuals and 5.5 kg;
- the coat is thick and long, covering the whole body;
- the color is red-brown, there are brown and yellow shades, there are white spots, but this is undesirable, black shamy are not welcome, this is a rare recessive color;
- the character of goats is calm and good-natured;
- hardy and easily adapt to a different climate, can live on any terrain.
Long ears perform the function of regulating the body temperature of the animal, have many blood vessels. In hot climates, through them, the goat gives off excess heat so as not to overheat.
Historically, more often Shami goats are chosen not by milk yield, but by the correct shape of their heads. An animal with a beautiful head shape is valued higher than a goat with external imperfections, but giving more milk.
Features to be guided when choosing a goat:
- a regular-shaped head with a characteristic hump on the nose;
- ears should be long, well-groomed;
- glossy coat, pleasant to the touch;
- eyes are transparent, bright;
- strong legs.
Shami Goat Productivity
Damask goats are versatile animals, known not only for their outlandish appearance, but also for their productive qualities. Although they are referred to as dairy breeds, from ancient times they provided a person with not only milk, but also meat, beautiful wool, and skin of excellent quality. Also distinguished by multiple pregnancy.
Shamis are unpretentious and able to live with a poor diet, but the better the living conditions and wholesome nutrition, the higher the milk yield and better health.
They feed the young with milk 240-305 days a year, during which time they give out from 640 to 1100 liters of milk. About 5 liters of milk are produced per goat per day, and champions give up to 9 liters.
Shami give high quality milk:
- fat content of milk is 3.8-4.5%;
- protein 3.7-4.4%;
- the taste is good, without smacks and odors.
Breeding goats Shami
Shamis breed well, grow quickly and gain weight. This is facilitated by the following features of the goats of the breed described:
- Males reach maturity by the age of 9 months.
- Females are ready to bear and give birth to kids from 7-9 months to 6 years. But it is still desirable to keep the goat up to a year for breeding, so that the body grows stronger and is better prepared for pregnancy. It is important to ensure that the weight of the goat is at least 42 kg.
- The lamb of a goat of this breed happens once a year, and it can bring 2 or 3 kids, sometimes 4 babies. The fertility rate is 180-250%.
- The goats are weaned at the age of 45 days, but in order to increase the milk yield, they often excommunicate the babies at the age of two days and feed them with expressed mother's milk for up to one and a half months, and the goats themselves are crushed.
- After the birth of the kids, the next goat hunt occurs after 45 days.
- The kids are gaining weight very quickly. At 4 months of age, they weigh 34-36 kg. The kids gain weight 200-300 g per day.
Features of care and maintenance
For goats, you need to equip a spacious barn and do not forget about the simple rules of care and maintenance.
Requirements for the goat house:
- a herd of 5-7 goats needs a room measuring 7x5 meters;
- each goat should have a separate flooring and stall;
- preferred temperature in the range from +18 ° C to +25 ° C;
- good ventilation;
- daylight hours at least 10 hours.
In summer, animals graze most of the day. In the evening, feed hay or mowing grass, and also add a little roughage for more satiety.
In winter, feed the hay prepared in advance (should be available around the clock), also in the morning and at lunch, give coarse and green food (200-250 g per individual). For evening meals, include sprouted grass, oats, and some fresh vegetables.
How to feed:
- crushed cereals;
- crushed beans;
- Red clover;
- green potatoes;
- spoiled foods.
In winter, additionally give fortified complexes to avoid vitamin deficiency. More information on feeding goats in winter can be found in this article .
Water the goats with clean, warm water, and change it regularly. Be sure to leave so much water at night so that it is enough for all individuals.
Regular care for wool and hooves is required:
- comb out the goats once every few days, and be sure to cut the overgrown individuals;
- Clean and inspect the hooves after each walk.
General measures for the prevention of diseases:
- to protect against parasites, periodically give antihelminthic drugs;
- to prevent animal diseases of intestinal infections, monitor the purity of water and do not allow the goats to drink in stagnant water bodies;
- so that harmful bacteria do not multiply, change the litter daily, and once a week carry out a general cleaning with disinfection;
- in order to avoid hoof diseases, once a month the animals make a bath with copper sulfate;
- to prevent mastitis, carefully treat the udder before and after each milking;
- do not forget about seasonal fortified supplements - this will improve immunity, protect the animal from dangerous viruses;
- watch your ears, eyes and teeth.
Shami goats are not aggressive, so you can keep a large herd.
Long hair protects the Shami against temperature changes, so they are kept in almost any climate. Like other breeds, Syrian are afraid of drafts.
How to milk:
- Allocate a specific place and time for the milking goat.
- Properly prepare yourself and the animal:
- wash your hands thoroughly with warm water, and the goat udder;
- during milking the animal take food;
- gently and quietly talk with the goat;
- to improve blood circulation, massage the udder nipples well;
- At the end of the process, wipe the udder dry, disinfect and lubricate with a special moisturizer.
Advantages and disadvantages
An objective examination of this breed, we can distinguish their advantages and disadvantages.
- the shape of the udder is very suitable for milking machines;
- unpretentiousness in food;
- good health and thick coat allow you to adapt to different climatic conditions;
- high productivity;
- universality - high-quality milk, skin, skin;
- high-quality and tasty milk, without unpleasant odors;
- peaceful, flexible character;
- strong physique and strong legs;
- highly developed maternal instinct;
- great fecundity and precocity;
- ability to adapt well to different climatic conditions;
- rapid growth and maturation.
But there are also disadvantages of the breed:
- the circle of breeders is limited, but if you buy from Jews or Chinese, you often come across a "switch";
- high price - up to $ 67,000 per goat;
- horniness - you need to be able to handle horny rocks correctly;
- some do not like Shami's appearance.
Eugene, summer resident, 46 years old, Moscow.
Goats are really meat and dairy, I keep them primarily to feed my family. At first we had a goat of the Saanen breed, but we didn’t like the milk. Fresh was wonderful, but when heated, a specific goat smell appeared, it was also present in yogurt and cottage cheese. Therefore, we tried to start a lamancha, again not that.
Then they got damask goats. Now I do not want to change them to any other breed. With their milk, my family fell in love with all the other goat dairy products. We are very satisfied with the quality of milk - completely odorless, dense and oily. The goat has a calm character and milk now gives no less than nubia. The goat Shah is only formidable in appearance, but in fact, kind and obedient as a puppy, and affectionate as a kitten.
Anastasia, 39 years old, farmer, Rostov region.
I decided to talk about my pets - goats of the Shami breed. They have been living with us for 2 years, they easily adapted to our climate and to new conditions. These are very graceful and unusual creatures, calm and moderately phlegmatic. Their coat is not very long, but a cape of long wool is on top of their back. In winter, it increases. Our goats were brought from a large Turkish farm that specializes in milk production. So far I have never regretted that I acquired them.
Due to their high productivity, unpretentiousness and unusual appearance, Shami goats are very popular in the Middle East. Gradually, interest in them is growing in other countries. Russia for these goats has not yet been mastered due to the high price and lack of experience in breeding this breed in domestic goats breeders. But there are some enthusiasts who have acquired and successfully raised damask goats in Russia.