Goat breeds

Khari (Hill) Goats of Nepal

Origin and distribution: Khari (Capra hircus) goats are the principal goat breed of Nepal and are found across the hills and inner valleys in the country. They are quite widespread and can be found in the mid hills and immediate south of high mountains. They represent 56 % of the total goat population. They are prolific and good for meat production. They are hardy and well adapted to local environments, and occur in 6 different colour types namely, Seti (White), Kali (Black), Khairi (Brown), Ghorli (Brown mixed with other colours), Singari (Black with white markings) and Dhobini (White with black markings) (Oli, 1987; Neopane, 1997).

Phenotypic measurements: These goats have a prolificacy of 1.6 kids and a kidding interval of 283 days (Neopane, 2000). They have a relatively small body size that may vary widely in body weight from 20 to 40 kg. The wide variation within Khari goats tends to support the existence of several types. They have been characterized at phenotypic and chromosomal level. Measures of phenotypic characteristics are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Phenotypic characteristics of Khari goats (Values are means ± standard errors)


Parameters Values
Body length (cm) 63.1±0.39
Heart girth (cm) 65.5±0.37
Height at wither (cm) 55.9±0.28
Ear length (cm) 16.2_0.4
Tail length (cm) 12.6_0.3
Adult weight (kg) Female:24.1±0.34; Male:28-40


Kuwar (2000) working with Khari/Hill goats across the hills from east to west of the country reported three distinct types with respect to genetic distance. The goats of the eastern region are smaller in size and the goats from mid western region are bigger in size (Table 2).

Table 2: Body parts measurements of Hill goats grouped into three main clusters


Parameters Cluster A (46) Cluster B (70)


Body length (cm)




Wither height (cm)


64.7±0.1b 59.2±0.2c

Heart girth (cm)




Flank girth (cm)

81.7±0.2a 80.1±0.2b 71.4±0.1c
Flank height (cm) 68.9±0.2a 67.3±0.1b 61.1±0.2c

Ear length (cm)

15.6±0.2a 13.3±0.2b 13.3±0.1b

Horn length (cm)

16.7±0.6a 10.7±0.5b 11.3±0.3b
Adult weight (Kg) 38.6±0.8a 31.8±0.4b 27.7±0.5c


Cluster A: Goats from mid-west (Salyan and Surkhet); Cluster B: Goats from west (Lumle and Bandipur); Cluster C; Goats from east (Sindhuli and Pahkribas)

A protein analysis indicated that haemoglobin was polymorphic in Hill goats. Two genotypes of haemoglobin, HbAA and HbAB were found in the sampled population. The gene frequency of HbA was higher than HbB, which was more in the goats sampled from east Nepal. Four genotypes of transferrin, TfAA, TfAB, TfBB and TfAC were found in the Hill goats with decreasing trend of genotypes frequencies. The gene frequency of TfA was the highest followed by TfB and TfC. The gene frequencies of TfB and TfC were higher in the goats of east Nepal than west Nepal. Polymorphism of these two principal blood protein including differences in gene frequencies between the populations of Hill goats found in different locations indicated the genetic variation in Hill goats (Kuwar et al., 2001)

Production performances: Khari goats are a promising breed due to their high prolificacy and low kidding interval. A useful measure of reproductive rate is the number of kids born per doe per year. This can be calculated as litter size divided by kidding interval (expressed in years) as per Oli and Gatenby (1990). Taking the means of the values presented in Table 3, the calculated value is 2.1 kids born per doe per year. The figure indicates that the Khari goats have a good reproductive rate. However, the Khari/Hill goats have a low finishing weight. The average live weight at 48 weeks is 12.6 kg. This would produce only 7.8 kg dressed meat (calculated from the basis of 62% dressing percentage as per Aryal and Neopane, 1996).

Table 3: Production performances of Khari breeds of goats (Values are means ± standard errors)


Parameters Value
Birth weight (Kg) 1.70 ±0.023
Weaning weight (Kg) 7.47±0.119
6 month weight (Kg) 8.78±0.199
36 weeks weight (Kg) 10.4±0.167
48 weeks weight (Kg) 12.6±0.331
Litter size at birth (No) 1.61±0.024
Litter weights at birth (Kg) 3.38±0.056
Litter size at weaning (No) 1.42±0.026
Litter weights at weaning (Kg) 11.9±0.365
Age at first service (days) 374±5.63
Weight at first service (Kg) 15.4±0.219
Kidding interval (days) 282.9±4.2
Gestation length (days) 145±0.18


Source: Neopane (1999)


Aryal, I K and Neopane, S P (1996). Growth and carcass yield of intact male Hill goats in east Nepal. Veterinary Review, 11(1), 11-13. Pakhribas Agricultural Centre, Dhankuta, C/o BAPSO, P O Box 106, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Kuwar, B S (2000). Identification of different types and sub-types in Hill goats through morphological and bio-chemical analysis. M.Sc. Thesis, Tribhuvan University/ Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal.

Kuwar, B S, Kharel. M and Neopane, S P (2001). Hemoglobin and Transferrin Polymorphism in Nepalese Hill Goats.Proceedings of the 4th National Animal Science Convention. Nepal Animal Science Association (NASA), November 29-Dec 1, 2000, Kathmandu, Nepal. Pp 141-151.

Neopane, S P (1997). The Genetics of Productivity Traits in a Nepalese Hill-Goat Herd. Ph.D. Thesis, University of London, UK, 1997

Neopane S.P (1999). Improvement of Hill goats through selection. Proceedings of the Third National Conference on Science and Technology organized by Royal Nepal Academy for Science and Technology, Volume II, held in Kathmandu from March 8 to 11 1999, Pp 1105-1110.

Neopane, S. P. (2000). Genetic Potential of Hill Goats: Conservation through Improvement. Proceedings of the Fourth Global Conference on Conservation of Domestic Animal Genetic Resources. Nepal Agricultural Research Council and Rare Breeds International, 17-21 August, Kathmandu, Nepal. Pp 27-29

Oli, K P (1987). Goat breed comparison study in Hattikharka Panchayat. PAC Working Paper No 11. Pakhribas Agricultural Centre, Dhankuta, Nepal.

Oli, K. P. and Gatenby, R. M. (1990). Goat and sheep production in the hills and mountains of eastern Nepal. International Journal of Animal Sciences, India, 5, 41-47.

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