Improved goat breed: Kalahari Red.

Kalahari Red buck. Pic L Hungwe

Dr. L. Hungwe

In the 1970s, Boer goat farmers in South Africa and Namibia noticed special qualities of brown goats produced once in a while by their Boer goats. Together with other farmers, they started selecting these brown coloured goats. Indigenous goats bloodlines collected from the former Bophuthatswana, the Eastern Cape, the Karoo and Namibia were also infused into these goats along the way giving birth to the Kalahari Red (KR) goat.

Americans who visited pioneer breeder Mr Jordaan in 1994 and others who met Louis van Rensburg on his visit to America, liked the goats and encouraged them to produce brown goats. These efforts culminated with the formation of the Kalahari Red Breeder’s Association in 1999. Starting with only a few brown goats, farmers like Tollie Jardaan rose to dominate world goat shows for several years and won several prices in the process.  The Kalahari Reds were selected for fecundity, mothering ability, hardiness, adaptability and uniform colouring.

The Kalahari reds have a brown coat, with colour shading ranging from dark to light brown. They have a fine vigorous appearance. The head is strong with round, dark coloured and backward curved horns. The ears are broad and pendulous ears just like in the Boer goat. They have a deep, broad brisket and a fleshy shoulder. The barrel is long deep and straight. The rump is broad, long with well fleshed buttocks and fleshy thighs. The legs are well placed and strong. Kalahari reds have short glossy hair with a loose, thick, supple skin folds of the neck and chest. The skin folds are broad and prominent in bucks. Does have a well formed udder and bucks have well-formed testicles. 

There are several lessons I would like us to learn from the development Kalahari Red goats.

It is sad that as a nation we failed to protect and promote our Tuli cattle breed to such an extent that Australians have now done very well with the genetics and they are claiming ownership of our national treasure simply because we did not realise what we have and we did not act.

In our next instalment we will look at the Savannah goat.

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