Jianzhou big-eared goats evolved after 60 years of crosses between the British Nubian goat and the Jianyang local goat breed, including three cultivation stages: the introduction stage (hybrid form and hybrid population), progressive hybrid breeding stage, and transverse formation of fixed and breeding new varieties subculture stage. Jianzhou big-eared goats are 75% Nubian and 25% Jianyang.
They are characterised by the following:
- brown hair on the whole body,
- a small amount of black hair on their abdomen and limbs,
- short and thin winter nap,
- large drooping ears between 18-23cm,
- a moderately large, sickle-shaped head with an arched nose,
- angular or without horn, thick ram’s horn, horns bent backwards to both sides, and smaller in ewes,
- jaw hairy with bearded adult rams, some wattles under jaw,
- tall, strong physique, the whole body is rectangular,
- a neck of moderate length,
- straight waist and stout limbs,
- solid hoof quality,
- rams should have majestic posture and ewes should have a handsome body,
- well-proportioned and well-developed testicles,
- well-developed spherical udder.
Jianzhou big-eared goats kids have an average birth weight of 3.06 kg and 2.93 kg, at 2 months old weight should be 14.25 to 12.43 kg, 6 months 23.14 kg to 29.37 and 47.19 to 34.67 kg, and 69.68 and 47.26 kg as adults. Adult ram body height, body length and chest were 76.43, 85.54 and 98.26 cm, adult ewes were 68.22, 73.24 and 83.49 cm. In feeding conditions at 6 months and 12 months, carcass weights were 14.25 kg and 19.79 kg, with a slaughter rate of 48.51% and 51.04% , net meat weight were 10.89 kg and 15.21 kg, lean percentages were 37.08%, 38.46% , eye muscle area was 13.05 cm2 and 23.24 cm2. Rams reach breeding age at 8-10 months old, while ewes are earlier, at 6 months. They have a recorded estrous cycle of 20.66 days, 48.52 hours for the duration of estrus, first egg 335.98 days, pregnancy is 148.76 days, the first postpartum estrus after 27.71 days, produced with interval of 68.95 days, kidding intervals of 228.34 days, an average kidding size of 1.75 births, primiparity does had a rate of 153.51 percent, and 242.41 percent by multiparity does.
Jianzhou big-eared goats greatly facilitated the cultivation of new varieties Jianyang quality meat goat production bases and have become an advantageous industry in Jianyang City. In 2012, the city's goat population was 436,400 head, and 1,360,000 goats were slaughtered, for a total output value of 15 billion yuan. Rural per capita income to raise each goat was 1,250 yuan, with a net profit of 567 yuan. The city’s mutton production was 21,800 tons, accounting for 11.2% of the total output of meat. Goats accounted for 26% was city's animal husbandry output value.
Jianzhou big-eared goats have good production performance, adapt to crude feeds, good resistance and can adapt to a wide range of landscapes. They have already been introduced in more than 20 provinces and municipalities, including: Chongqing, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, and Hunan.
In Southern China, the Jianzhou big-eared goats have a great deal of influence in industrial development of standardization, improving the level of scientific farming, market competitiveness and breeding efficiency, increasing farmers’ income, and promoting sustainable and healthy development of the goat industry.
Special thanks to Zheng Suiming and Xu Gangyi for sending us this article.