Animal Production


Small Stock

The Small Stock field as in AP context encompasses three species i.e. sheep, goats, and rabbits. These species have been farmed with from time immemorial with numerous breeds developed through rigorous breeding and selection programmes to improve productions inevitably bettering profitability of operations thereof.

In this age these species are a target towards food security and income generation initiatives as they are easy to keep and manage particularly by women and children within poor communities.


Breeds Gallery

The SA Animal Improvement Act lists registered sheep breeds found in the country. The indigenous breeds are described in the Field guide of SA Farm Animal Genetic Resource which is being updated by the ARC.

Africana Istrian Ille de france
Afrino Karakul Persian
Damara Leicester Romanov
D ormer Lincolin South down
Dorper Meatmaster Suffolk
Dorset Merino Van rooy
Friesian Nguni White dorper
Hampshire Pedi




Internal Parasites Over the years have been a problem in small stock, sheep in particular. Prof. Gareth Bath and his team developed a strategy for a full worm control called FAMACHA. This strategy is a simple way to decide which sheep needs treatment as this aid the reduction of the amount of treatment to be used thereby slowing the development of worm resistance to remedies (Files: USING THE FAMACHA, FAMACHA1, FAMACHA2 )

Production and Supplementation

A survey of Karakul sheep farmers in Southern Kalahari, Botswana: management practices and constraints to improving production.
The carry-over effect of supplementation in the previous year on the production of South African Mutton Merino ewes
The effect of frequency of supplementation on the production of South African Mutton Merino ewes grazing wheat stubble

Goats, prior to the SA Democracy, have been overshadowed by sheep. They were often included in statistics figures for sheep. The humble goat offers a wide range of benefits to its keeper as its milk and meat provides nutritional advantages over that of cattle. The goat also yields other products such as skins, cashmere and wool which are further processed to trendy products.
The value of goats is so vast particularly for remote and poor communities as it would address issues of food security and small scale production which given proper management and marketing will inevitably provide income to better the poor families’ livelihoods. This species is easy to be managed and handled by women and children. The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) investigated the potential for the South African Goat Industry

Breeds Gallery

The SA Animal Improvement Act indexes registered goat breeds. However there are many breeds of goats all over the world. The S A indigenous breeds such as the famous Boer goat, Savannah, Kalahari Red are world renowned and most sought after for their superior characteristics such as adaptability, hardiness, good maternal instincts, meat production, high reproduction rate and etc.

Alpine Saneen
Angora Toggenburg
Boer Goat Kalahari red
Gono altai


Conference Proceedings

Reviewed popular scientific papers of the 8th International Conference on Goats


  • Preliminary assessment of Boer and Kiko does as maternal lines for kid performance under humid, subtropical conditions
  • Polymorphism of the as1-casein, ?-casein and ß-lactoglobulin genes in the Hungarian Milk Goat
  • Genetic assay of Caprine arthritis encephalitis in the Hungarian goat herd
  • Genetic variation of three commercial and three indigenous goat populations in South Africa
  • Genetic characterization of the Blanca Andaluza goat based on microsatellite markers

Dairy Goats

  • Dairy Goat Production Handbook
  • Milk Production from the Indigenous Malawi Milk Goat
  • Manufacturing and Marketing of Goat’s Milk - Kefir
  • Milk Production from the Indigenous Malawi goats
  • Milk Hygiene
  • Effect of supplementary feeding with maize bran on the milking potential of the Malawi Indigenous goat
  • Factors influencing milk quantity and quality in Assaf sheep and goat crossbreds
  • Milk Production From Goats For Households And Small-Scale Farmers In South Africa

Dairy Goats


  • Goats: vaccination programme
  • Diseases and mortality of kids and adult goats in a South African milk goat herd


NAMC Report On The Investigation Into The Potential For The South African Goat. The survey investigated the potential for the South African goat industry. South Africa is a relative small goat producing country and possesses only approximately 3% of Africa’s goats and less than 1% of the world’s number of goats. Approximately 96% of the world’s goat numbers are in the hands of developing countries, but when traded, goat products are mainly consumed in developed countries due to its superior health qualities.
This study focused on the so-called Indigenous goat, the Boer goat and the Angora goat, but special attention was given to Indigenous goats, which are mainly in the hands of black farmers. White commercial farmers mainly own Boer and Angora goats while black farmers mainly own Indigenous goats in a communal farming system.
The biggest advantage of the Indigenous goat is its resistance to diseases and its adaptability in unfavourable grazing circumstances. Because of their small size, adaptive feeding behaviour and low management, goats are a viable option in improving the household cash flow of rural people and resolve the issue of food security. Apart from cash income, goats could also be a valuable source of milk and meat for rural poor people. Goats can be kept on one acre of land or even less.NAMC


Commercialization of goats in South Africa The Kgalagadi Dipudi Enterprise (KDE) is one of the priority programmes implemented within the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme (ISRDP) launched by President Mbeki in February 2001. This is an enterprise of 600 farmers in the ISRDP nodal area of Kalahari-Kgalagadi District. The aim is to reduce poverty through job creation and economic growth. To ensure the success of this project, the Department of Agriculture has started to provide support to this project, primarily to empower KDE to improve upon business, marketing and production skills among its members. DoA has agreed to utilize research expertise through the Agricultural Research Council to:

  • Increase the number of animals and improvements in their performance by 10 % per year;
  • Increase income for the KDE by 20%;
  • Develop and implement a live goat marketing strategy;
  • Establish business linkages between KDE and black customers in SA
  • Introduce a goat performance recording system;
  • Examine and possibly introduce technologies for cashmere harvesting and processing within KDE;
  • Examine and possibly introduce goat milk harvesting and processing technologies in KDE for marketing in Gauteng.
  • Examine/establish abattoir for goats within KDE
  • Estimated cost of project in 2005/06 is R1 million.
  • Once successful within 18 months, the project must be expanded to include other districts along the N14 corridor.


Farming with rabbits is becoming popular because as the production requirements are extremely cost effective; easy to produce at small scale therefore this enterprise is ideal for backyard production, food security and income generation. The directorate is developing a Household Rabbit Production Manual