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© 2023 JOY Goat Development Programme

Kabulya Smallholders’ Goat
Our breeding target

Our Vision

All over the world, farmers have developed breeds of goat that best suit their situation. We want to develop a breed that can supply household milk to subsistence farmers in Uganda.

Disease resistance

The biggest barrier to the adoption of dairy goats in Uganda is the poor disease resistance of imported breeds. The two biggest challenges are worms and heartwater (carried by certain types of tick). The local types of goat are tolerant to both of these. By starting with goats having at least 50% local ancestry, we will ensure that right from the beginning disease resistance is adequate. The Kabulya open herd book approach encourages further incorporation of local genetics into the dairy population. The selection methods that we encourage as part of the selective breeding will further improve the disease resistance.

Milk production

The Kabulya Smallholders’ Goat (KSG) is a dairy goat, and the breed rules focus on continual improvement in milk production.

The 50% crosses that we start from typically provide around 500 ml of milk for household consumption (in addition to feeding their own kids well). Our target is 1,500 ml per day. We do not need to go any higher than this, because goats that give more milk will also need better feeding than what is readily and cheaply available to smallholders.

Getting started

Occasionally it is possible to find a local goat that qualifies as a KSG Grade 1. But realistically, it is necessary to start from crossbreeds of dairy goats. Examples are:

The Grades

Our breeding programme makes it easy for anyone to get started, but also provides a framework for breed improvement. Grades are not determined by percentage of exotic blood but by performance. We define six grades. In order to qualify as a particular grade, the goat must either have both parents of at least that grade or the milk must be measured at least 4 months after the goat delivered and must reach the following thresholds:

Grade 1 goats are barely worth milking. But we include them in the grading process so that it is possible to join the breeding programme even with goats having very little dairy ancestry.

The Rules

The description above gives a basic framework. The detailed rules are a bit more complicated, but still feasible in the Ugandan village setting. They are available here.

Get Help

You are free to apply the Kabulya breeding system for yourself. But you may also choose to partner with us, to benefit from technical advice, verification of your breeding stock and help with marketing your surplus offspring.

Meat production

The ideal goat for smallholders must fulfil many functions. Although we hope that in the short term most females that are sold will be for breeding, it is likely that the majority of males will be sold for slaughter. It is therefore important to acknowledge that the breed will be used for meat as well as milk. So fast growth and adequate fatness, especially of the males, will be important.

Download them in PDF format here.

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