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If the 50% goats are not zero-grazed, it is essential to deworm them every three months.  In some parts of Uganda, heartwater is a risk, especially where amblyoma ticks (mbarabara) occur.  It can be prevented by treating all the goats in the herd for ticks.  If the goat develops a fever, call a vet quickly.

Keeping 50% crossbreeds

Milk production

Crossbreeds of 50% produce less milk than 75% crosses or purebreds. However, they are still worth milking. Typically they will provide ½ litre of milk for consumption, in addition to feeding their own kid(s) well. Good ones can give 1 litre or even 1½ litres for consumption.


Although performance can be improved by zero-grazing, keeping them housed is not essential, as long as attention is paid to health.

Overview of goat types Keeping purebred dairy goats Keeping 75% crossbreeds

Breeding 50% crosses

When goats of 50% dairy blood are mated among themselves, the offspring are also reckoned as 50%.  Alternatively, a purebred male mated with local females will produce 50% offspring. (See diagram.) It is also possible to get goats of approximately 50% dairy blood using 75% dairy males mated to local goats. (See diagram.)

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The Future

Crossbreeding is a compromise. The disease resistance of the crossbreeds is not as good as local goats, and the milk production is not as good as European dairy goats. But the crossbreeds are the best option at the moment. However, starting from the 50% dairy crossbreeds we plan to develop the Kabulya Smallholder’s Goat through selective breeding. When it becomes available, it will be a better option than the current 50% crosses.