Don Goat

What Is The History Of Don Goat Breed?

The Don goat is a multi-purpose breed of domestic goat used for the production of milk, wool, and goatskin. It produces the highest average wool per individual goat sheared of any goat breed and produces milk with relatively high-fat content.

The Don breed was discovered in 1933-34 by an expedition of the All-Union Institute of Sheep and Goat Husbandry studying goats in the former Lower Volga territory in Russia. It was named Don because of its location, their habitat covers the basin of the Don river and it’s tributaries. The major enterprise for Don goat breeding is the collective farm Svetly Put situated in Oktyabr district of Volgograd region.

What Are The Characteristics Of Don Goat Breed?

Don goat is a medium-sized goat. The height at withers should be 60-65 cm. They have a strong constitution and adequate undercoat wool on the body, neck, and belly. Their body is roundish in shape. The bucks are usually larger than the does. They are predominantly black in color, but they are sometimes white. They have large horns that are variable in shape. Males back is long, straight, and wider than in females.

The goats are very prolific with an average kidding rate of 145 to 150 kids per 100 does. Don goats are quite satisfactory milkers. On average they are capable of producing about 130-140 liters of milk per lactation period. Their lactation period is about 5 months. The milk is noted for high-fat content - an average of 4.6% (range 3.3-8.2%). In the first two days after kidding the fat content is 7-12%.

Don goats are hardy animals and generally of good behavior. They have the highest wool production among all goat breeds. The average wool yield from females is 500 g (range 330-1430 g); from bucks, it is 1015 g (range 550-1600 g). The average wool content in the fleece of the Don goat is about 61.5 to 92.2 percent. As is known, in all other cashmere breeds and related varieties the guard hairs are much longer than the wool fibers. In this respect, Don goats is that, compared with other breeds and varieties, the wool is coarser and not uniform in fineness. The average fineness of wool fibers, both fine and coarse together, is 22 µm. 

The Don goat is valued for their skin. The goatskin is mainly used for low-grade footwear. The pelt of Don goats slaughtered in autumn has good fur quality determined by the structure of the fleece (its density and wool fibers longer than guard hairs). They can be used as a basic material in the fur industry. In their fur quality, Don goats are comparable with Romanov sheep which produce the best sheepskin.

What Is The Weight Of Don Goat?

The average live body weight of the adult male Don goat ranges from 65 to 85 kg. And the does on average weight about 35 to 40 kg. Kids weigh 2 kg at birth, 14 kg at weaning, 27 kg at the age of 1.5 years, and 30 kg at 2.5 years.


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