These goats have developed naturally towards functional efficiency; and the basis for every breeder™s selection should be for natural functional efficient animals, with the emphasis on fertility, femininity and masculinity.
- They are exeptionally fertile, even from a young age,
- Indigenous Veld Goat ewes are known for their extraordinary mothering abilities, and will fiercely protect their offspring and themselves with their sharp efficient horns
- They have non-seasonal breeding patterns; and have a long productive lifespan.
- Ewes have good milk production; and can easily feed twins or even triplets
- Indigenous Veld Goats have a very strong herding instinct, this help to protect them from predators, they will even fight them off with their sharp and efficient horns (horns also aids them in getting access to food, and to scratch at external parasites like ticks - naturally polled goats do occur; but very rarely)
- They are antelope like with a lively posture and are alert
- They are mobile and light-footed, with lean, long shapely legs “ to move with ease and to walk long distances
- Indigenous Veld Goats are adaptable and less susceptible to tick borne diseases (like heartwater), more parasite tolerant, and are generally more drought and disease resistant - lower maintenance costs.
- They can either browse (±60%) or graze (±40%) on a wide variety of plants, shrubs and grasses, and have the potential to select for a higher quality diet over a short time, and have the ability to obtain nourishment from average forage quality
- A slightly sloping rump and very slight cow- or sickle hocks, (usually more in ewes) is characteristic of Indigenous Veld Goats (aids towards giving birth)
- They have a relatively thick and generally good pigmented skin, with good pigment on the vulnerable parts ( head, ears, muzzle, chest, back and lower legs), to protect them from the sun.
- They have a wide variety of colours and colour patterns “ which helps towards camouflaging, and make them difficult to be spotted by predators.
- Most indigenous goats grow cashmier between their hair in the cold winter season to protect them, in summer they shed this woolly cashmier.
- Due to their hard, good pigmented hooves, there is almost no sign of growing claws (except maybe in very sandy areas) [growing claws influence the pastern joints “ strong pastern joints aids in mobility]
- Their meat is succulent with good flavour, and is very low in cholesterol.
The tragedy of breed improvement. (Almero de Lange,1991), - the adverse effects of well-intentioned but ill-advised breed improvement programmes have been with us for a long time. Crossbreeding programmes may become so widespread that the existence of valuable genetic diversity in the indigenous and adapted breeds may be threatened, and will merely reduce the hardiness of local adapted animals.
Dr Laurie Hammond (1995) director of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, stated that 40% of the world's 4000 domestic livestock breeds are in danger of becoming extinct. The world wide trend for super breeds could be wiping out thousands of indigenous breeds with their unique abilities to perform in harsh environments. Hammond (op.cit.) continued: "Breeds of cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and goats; once the backbone of farming economics in many countries, were being replaced by a few super breeds which only performed in ideal conditions. Irreplaceable genetic resources are being lost. Many of these native breeds have maintained humans for more than 10 000 years.
Their loss is not just a matter of heritage. It's very much about our future."
Dr Herbert Atkinson said in the 18th century about man always wanting to "develop" the animals around him
"Please do not spoil, transform or improve them out of existence"