a branch of animal husbandry. Various products are obtained from goats. Among these products is milk, which is easily digested and particularly good for children and for adults with gastric diseases. Goat’s milk is processed into cheese and lactic products. The meat obtained from goats is as nutritious and tasty as mutton. The wool of goats raised for fiber is homogeneous and is characterized by great durability, resilience, elasticity, and luster. It is used in the manufacture of piled fabrics, carpets, suits, knits, and other products. Tanned goatskin is processed into high-quality kid, box calf, and other types of leather. Kidskin is made from the hides of young goats, or kids. Goatskins with dense wool are made into furs. The undercoat, or down, of goats, which is exceptionally fine (15–20 microns) and soft, is relatively strong and has low heat conductivity. It is used in the manufacture of knitted open-worked kerchiefs and shawls.
In 1970–71 there were 383 million domestic goats, distributed throughout the world. Approximately 50 percent of the entire population is in Asia; and almost 30 percent in Africa. Goat breeding is most highly developed in Southwest Asia, India, and China. In most countries goats are raised for milk. There are numerous breeds of dairy goats. The USSR has Gorky, Saanen, and Mergel’ breeds. Dairy goats bred in Western Europe include Saanens and Toggenburgs. Murcian and Maltese goats are raised in the Mediterranean countries. Indigenous Syrian breeds are raised in Southwest Asia; indigenous Nubian breeds, in North Africa; and dwarf goats, in tropical Africa.
Commercial goat breeding for fiber is highly developed in the USSR, where a Soviet breed is raised for hair production. In Turkey, the United States, and the Republic of South Africa the Angora is bred for fiber. In Iran and other Middle Eastern countries the Murghuz is raised for wool. Orenburg and Don breeds are raised for down in the USSR; and the Cashmere breed, in Tibet. The manufacture of the famous Cashmere shawls is widespread in Tibet. Coarse-wooled goats of mixed productivity are raised in many countries.
As of Jan. 1, 1972, there were 5.4 million goats in the USSR. Approximately 47 percent was concentrated in the RSFSR; and about 21 percent, in the republics of Middle Asia. A large part of the goat population is found on the private farms of kolkhoz, factory, and office workers. In the most highly developed goat-breeding regions, sovkhoz and kolkhoz breeding farms have been created, which carry on work to improve the productive qualities of goats. These farms include the Guberlin Goat-breeding Sovkhoz in Gai Raion in Orenburg Oblast, the Erdzhigitov Goat-breeding Farm in Asht Raion in the Tadzhik SSR, and the Engels Kolkhoz in Khodzhent Raion in the Tadzhik SSR. Research on goat breeding is being conducted by the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Sheep and Goat Breeding in Stavropol’.
REFERENCESSee references under GOAT, DOMESTIC.
G. G. ZELENSKII