There are goats and then there are goats, the Jamunapari goat falls in the latter category. Usually seen in the older parts of the city, collecting these long eared convex faced goats has taken off among youngsters in a big way.
Going by the trader talk, a few youngsters are heavily investing in the animal which is the tallest breed among goats.
Some keep Jamunapari as a hobby while others for business purposes. But no one buys them for their meat, owing to its high price tag. Milk of these goats is said to have many beneficial properties for children, so a lot of people also line up at the owners houses to get a glass of milk.
Typically, a Jamunapari goat of either sex can cost anywhere between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 1.5 lakh in the city. “The price varies according to the need. For instance, those who rear the goat as a hobby like to buy a pure breed which costs around Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh. Only a handful owns this variety in the city,” says Syed Bakhtiyar, a goat rearer from Rethibowli.
The Jamunapari goats are found in the northern and central parts of India specifically in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. It is said that this breed of goat was imported from Indonesia in early 50s by traders from north India before finding their way into different parts of the country. Since the goats are a prized possession, the owners don’t let them out of their sight for grazing. Instead they feed peepal leaves and grass to the goats twice a day.
“Every month we spend close to Rs. 2,000 feeding a single goat. Unlike other common goats, we can’t let them graze at garbage dumps or trash at street corners. There are chances of someone stealing it,” says Haji Akram Ali, a small time businessman who owns a pair of these goats.
All in a day’s work
A lot of thinking goes into the mating process as well with owners striking a deal for triplets. “People who own female goats take the male goats for a day by paying Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000,” explains Dr.Shakeel Ahmed, a private veterinary doctor.
Jamunapari goat starts its first kidding at two years of age and then usually every 7-8 months. The kid’s weight generally ranges between 4-5kg which grows steadily. Jamunapari goats are usually considered as an adult at the age of 12 months after gaining 29.6 kg weight.
A one-year-old goat is sold for Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000, although it can even fetch a prize of Rs 50,000 after two years of rearing. “It is a business cum hobby, one can say. People invest in it and later sell the goat. But whoever rears it has to be careful as these animals require frequent monitoring of their health and vaccinations,” adds Dr. Shakeel.
Booming online trade
Previously, it was common practice to parade such goats in the marketplace to attract prospective buyers. But with websites like Olx, Locantom coming into the fray, the trade has shifted online with sellers posting details and photos of their goats on the web.