Difference Between Sheep And Goat PdfBy Vignette B. In and pdf 24.04.2021 at 22:51 4 min read
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- Sheep–goat hybrid
- Goat System Productions: Advantages and Disadvantages to the Animal, Environment and Farmer
- The Difference Between Sheep and Goats
- Similarities of Goats & Sheep
Sheep vs Goat. The first difference that can be thought of pertains to how the two animals look.
Out with the Year of the Horse and in with the new animal for the Chinese lunar year: the goat. Or is it the sheep? Here we take a look at both.
Goats have always been considered very useful animals. Goats success is related to its excellent adaptability to the difficult mountain conditions, extreme weather and low value feed acceptance, versatile habits and high production considering their size. These are some reasons because goats are among the first animals to be domesticated. In terms of evolution, goats could be separated by their dispersion area in three large groups: the European, the Asian, and the African.
Global goat populations, mainly in Africa and in Asia, have increased for centuries but very strongly in the past decades, well above the world population growth. They are also used for forest grazing, an integrated and alternative production system, very useful to control weed growth reducing fire risk. There are consumers for goat dairy products and there is enough global production, but misses a professional network between both.
Regarding goat meat, the world leadership also stays in Africa and Asia, namely in China, and there is a new phenomenon, the spreading of goat meat tradition through Europe due to migrants from Africa and other places with strong goat meat consumption. Goat Science. Goats were among the first farm animals to be domesticated. According to Ref. Due to their great adaptability to difficult environment conditions and to different diets, they have always been considered very useful animals for their good productivity and easy to handle and they do not compete with man for food and eat cheap feeds.
Currently, there are about 1 billion goats around the world. While in the countries, where goat production is massive, high adaptability to the environment is one of the main breed characters, in the developed countries, most of the goats are of genetically selected breeds for high production [ 2 ].
In rural areas of developing countries, the contribution of goats is highly valued and has an important role in feeding the populations, an item that is often not adequately recognized when comparing goats with sheep and cattle.
In fact, goats are extremely intelligent animals, very agile, and independent, with a high level of resistance to diseases, much better than other ruminant species. Despite the fact that in recent decades there has been a great progress in research aimed at increasing the goat productivity, there is still a great work to be done, namely in the applicability of the different races to the different environmental realities of the underdeveloped and developing countries.
In these areas, the current and potential importance of goat production combined with the use of breeds that have not yet been fully selected and exploited will certainly be a reality in the near future.
To prepare this theme, a documentary research was carried out to analyze world goat products and its production systems. The main sources of information were scientific papers, books, and statistical data from FAO. The origin of the current goat breeds is not clearly known. It is believed to have been originated from wild goats found in Asia Minor. The main morphological elements of differentiation were related to the insertion, section, and configuration of the horns.
The elements of comparative morphology and the interspecific crossbreeding experiments suggest that the bezoar Capra hircus aegagrus from Southwest Asia is probably its most significant ancestor. Scimitar horns are common and probably due to the influence of this species.
It is believed that another species already extinct, like the C. According to the majority of the authors, the enormous variety of breeds although much smaller than that of the ovine species is grouped by their area of dispersion in three large groups or trunks: the European, Ovis capra europaea ; the Asian, Ovis capra asian ; and the African, Ovis capra africana.
The European trunk belonged to C. Some authors consider C. This one has long horns and is still found in the mountains of southwestern Asia [ 5 ]. The identification of the geographic origins and ancestral forms of the current goats has been subjective, since the scarcity of data requires extensive speculative exercises of considerable controversy.
Theories that have broader consensus suggest that the origin of goats lies in a set of primitive goat populations that have evolved in the arid and mountainous regions of Central Asia and Southeast Asia.
Unlike the sheep, goat migrations allowed their spread to the Southern Europe and to the Northern Africa without having populated the American continent [ 8 ]. Goats do not have as many breeds as sheep, and unlike them, they easily adapt to the harsh environments if they have the opportunity. Like the sheep, goats were probably among the first animals to be domesticated by man. These animals are also considered to be one of the first helpers of man, for in addition to providing manure, skins, hair for cloths and shelters, he gave to the primitive man meat and milk for food [ 9 ].
The goat must have been domesticated at the same time as the sheep in the East during the Neolithic period about BC, and traces of this species are found in the lacustrine cities of Western Europe, as well as in archaeological evidence and in excavations of the neolithic places.
In the last two decades, we can see that the geographic areas with the largest goat production are located in the global African continent, in a range from Southeastern Europe Greece and Turkey to South Asia India and China , passing through the Arabian Peninsula and, in the American Continent, where the highlight goes to Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
The production of small ruminants is largely rooted in some world regions, for both historical and religious reasons. This is the case in all Muslim countries where pork is not a food option, as also in the case in India where beef is also out of the food tradition, in both cases due to religion. Soil and climatic matters greatly condition the animal species produced, benefiting goat production in poorer areas in terms of forage capacity and enhancing this species in areas with steep slopes and mountainous rocky areas.
Sometimes goat production is the only possible, due to the excellent adaptability of these animals to the difficult mountain conditions. On the other hand, forest grazing is an excellent productive alternative, associating in an integrated way the forest and animal productions. It helps to control unwanted weed growth with a consequent strong reduction of fire risk and, on the other hand, is often a valuable complement to the farmer or forest producer income, while it also helps to fertilize forest soils with their waste.
Goats are mainly grown to produce milk, meat, or fiber. Usually, the primary production is meat and milk, and there is little global information on fiber production. The potential of goats for the sustainable supply of milk and meat for human consumption is unquestionable, and their contribution to improve the nutrition of rural populations is likely to increase.
At the same time, consumption of goat cheese should also increase in developed countries. Government programs to support goat rearing should focus on research and training on genetic improvement, farm management, infectious disease control, product collection and marketing markets [ 3 ]. Unfortunately and unfairly, the dairy goat is still considered in some regions as the cow of the poor. In proportional terms to its size and feed intake, the milk yield of the goat is often remarkable. The goat has a reduced food intake, its feeding is cheap, it is a small animal and easy to keep, and each goat produces enough milk to feed an average family.
Comparatively, and due to its size, the cow has very high maintenance costs and is more difficult to maintain at home. Dairy goats produce about In France, it is where the highest production figures per animal are achieved, whereas Iran has the lowest values. China has the largest number of goats in the world, but they are bred mainly for meat production. Milk production by milk breed occupies the third place, behind France and Spain.
The statistics on these goats can be questioned because they are not based on actual censuses, and knowledge of the number of dairy goats is even more difficult [ 15 ]. At the global level, interest in dairy goats has steadily increased, and in less than two decades, milk production has grown from around 10 million tons in to about In these regions, milk is largely consumed raw but can also be processed into a wide variety of products for better preservation and commercialization.
According to Refs. Access to productive data to enable the development of breeding programs is very scarce, and on the other hand, reproductive and productive seasonality, which is very marked in some breeds, prevents a constant supply of milk demanded by markets [ 17 ].
In sum, there are consumers for goat dairy products and there is enough production to meet this demand, but there is a lack of bridges between both sides in order to enhance this market in terms of an efficient marketing of the product toward profitable industry [ 3 ]. Goat meat is widely consumed in developing countries.
As we could see in milk production, also in goat meat production the Asian and African continents are leading. As in milk production, the increase was also notable in the same 18 years of comparative production and raised from the 2. Most of this meat is not commercialized but is produced and consumed locally [ 3 ]. The goat meat business is not already become profitable on an industrial basis.
It is not enough to know the proper management techniques, but nowadays it is also essential to control the market and the economic limiting factors for farming success, as well as the financial management and marketing techniques.
In addition, there are an increasing number of challenges associated with meat production, including knowledge of regional preferences and consumer education for consumption.
In the production and processing sector, producers have to undergo training programs, and slaughter and processing facilities have to be modernized. Finally, there has to be made a strong commitment to organized programs of genetic improvement, market analysis, and marketing channels [ 18 ].
The increase in goat meat consumption has been occurring in some parts of the world due to the migrations of people who prefer goat meat to the developed countries.
This recent fact has increased demand for goat meat in these areas [ 19 ]. They represent a set of interacting elements, managed by the farmer, according to their objectives. The farmer will define the objectives influenced by the social environment in which he is inserted, his degree of technical knowledge, and the available production factors [ 20 , 21 ]. Several authors consider that the general and strategic management approaches are applicable to agricultural enterprises and those who apply them are more successful [ 22 , 23 ].
The application of strategic management concepts helps to design the way the farmer will achieve the objectives, and it is convenient to know the strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and the threats [ 24 , 25 ].
A caprine production system has production subsystems, whose performance influences the overall results, for example, the forage system; if there are nutrient deficiencies in the soil, its production is lower, and then, the animals may not have adequate feed to their needs.
The increase in the meat and milk ruminant production has been much greater than the increase in the pasture area, mainly because this increase was due to the increase of mixed or landless production systems intensive systems than to the pastoral or extensive systems [ 26 ].
Increasing livestock production to provide food to the growing human population has increased the potential to cause environmental problems, and the balance between the environment and livestock production is now a concern.
It is important to avoid an increase of grazing land and arable land for crops production to feed the animals, with the consequent reduction of areas of natural vegetation, soil and air contamination. Overgrazing also leads to several bad consequences like high amounts of animal excretions and overuse of natural pastures with low productivity and with high risk of soil degradation, especially in the arid and semiarid regions of the tropics and subtopics [ 26 , 27 , 28 ].
The terms equilibrium, disequilibrium, and nonequilibrium are commonly used and can be understood by equilibrium when the animal population and forage resources are under stable climatic conditions. Otherwise, climatic variations disturb the system, causing disequilibrium, which differs from nonequilibrium, represented by modifications in vegetation due to changes in the proportion in the plant species or where the dynamics of the animal population is disassociated with key factors that determine their survival, and their survival is maintained through feeding supplementation [ 29 , 30 , 31 ].
Goats are opportunistic feeders, the time they spend on grazing species depends generally on the relative frequency of encounters, but this relationship depends on species of vegetation and habitat visited [ 34 ]. Goats also have high energetic efficiency in milk production, excellent utilization of marginal lands, a very strong flocking instinct and a docile behavior, which enables herding by children and elders [ 35 , 36 ].
Farmers tend to have mixed herds of sheep and goats as a strategy to maximize the use of environmental resources [ 37 ]. Small ruminants in many traditional systems in the Mediterranean basin are the main source of red meat for human consumption [ 38 ], while in Northern Europe, in addition to meat, the milk, wool, and skin were also the main products [ 39 ].
However, with development for a market agriculture, meat has become the main product in the sheep sector, while in the goat sector milk has been, and still is, the main product while meat is secondary in most cases followed by skins and hair [ 40 ]. These products are mainly consumed regionally, constituting market niches with low international visibility. Often, small ruminants, especially goats, are extensively produced using the poorest land, shrubland, and forest areas where other species cannot survive [ 41 ].
Extensive systems are characterized by large areas to feed the animals, with a low animal density. It uses soils of poor agricultural ability, located in mountainous areas with large rainfall or in areas of low rainfall, sometimes with extreme temperatures. There is a use of natural resources, made by autochthones goat breeds that are perfectly adapted to the environment, very rustic, but with low productivity.
The goat production in this extensive system uses family labor, often as a second source of income for families. The goat milk is obtained for family consumption or for cheese to sale. However, the sale of the kid goat is the main reason for this production.
In the Southern Mediterranean, this product is very appreciated and valued, mainly in the Easter and Christmas seasons.
Goat System Productions: Advantages and Disadvantages to the Animal, Environment and Farmer
Sheep , Ovis aries , species of domesticated ruminant cud-chewing mammal , raised for its meat, milk, and wool. The sheep is usually stockier than its relative the goat genus Capra ; its horns, when present, are more divergent; it has scent glands in its face and hind feet; and the males lack the beards of goats. Sheep usually have short tails. In all wild species of sheep, the outer coat takes the form of hair, and beneath this lies a short undercoat of fine wool that has been developed into the fleece of domesticated sheep. Male sheep are called rams , the females ewes, and immature animals lambs. Mature sheep weigh from about 35 to as much as kg 80 to pounds. To browse sheep by breed, see below.
The Difference Between Sheep and Goats
Goats have always been considered very useful animals. Goats success is related to its excellent adaptability to the difficult mountain conditions, extreme weather and low value feed acceptance, versatile habits and high production considering their size. These are some reasons because goats are among the first animals to be domesticated. In terms of evolution, goats could be separated by their dispersion area in three large groups: the European, the Asian, and the African. Global goat populations, mainly in Africa and in Asia, have increased for centuries but very strongly in the past decades, well above the world population growth.
A sheep—goat hybrid called a geep in popular media or sometimes a shoat [note 1] is the offspring of a sheep and a goat. Sheep belong to the genus Ovis and have 54 chromosomes , while goats belong to the genus Capra and have 60 chromosomes. The offspring of a sheep-goat pairing is generally stillborn. Despite widespread shared pasturing of goats and sheep, hybrids are very rare, indicating the genetic distance between the two species.
Sheep and goats are closely related. Both are in the same subfamily, Caprinae, and it is sometimes difficult to tell if a specific breed or strain is a goat or a sheep. Both goats and sheep are hoofed mammals, or ungulates. Goats and sheep will sometimes mate, although their offspring are typically not fertile.
Similarities of Goats & Sheep
Dairy goat Sannen. Sheep are grazers. Goats are browsers. Sheep About sheep. Kinds of sheep. History and other interesting stuff.
Distinguishing between the bones of sheep and goat is a notorious challenge in zooarchaeology. Several methodological contributions have been published at different times and by various people to facilitate this task, largely relying on a macro-morphological approach. This is now routinely adopted by zooarchaeologists but, although it certainly has its value, has also been shown to have limitations. There is therefore a need to establish a more objective system, susceptible to scrutiny. In order to fulfil such a requirement, this paper offers a comprehensive morphometric method for the identification of sheep and goat postcranial bones, using a sample of more than modern skeletons as a basis, and building on previous pioneering work.
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