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There are animals in nature that can move where, according to the laws of physics, it is simply impossible to stay. This is an alpine mountain goat. Its second name is ibex. These representatives of the fauna are among the most agile climbers. Among the rocks, they hide from natural enemies, because few predators can climb a vertical stone wall. In appearance, these animals resemble a mythical ibex.
Description and characteristics of the animal
Mountain goats are medium-sized artiodactyls. Alpine ibex has a well-pronounced sexual dimorphism. Goats are smaller than goats in size. At the withers, females are not more than 70-80 cm, their weight is about 40 kg. The growth of males is 90-100 cm, the weight reaches 100 kg.
The main difference between individuals of different sexes is the horns. In goats, they are small, from 15 cm to 18 cm, similar to daggers and slightly bent back. The male ibex has huge, up to 100 cm long, horns bent in a half-ring towards the back. In goats over six to seven years old, they can weigh 10-15 kg.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
The muzzles of the goats are decorated with a small beard; the goats do not have it. The tails are short, the hooves are narrow and very strong. Strong muscles in the neck and shoulder girdle make it easier to climb rocks.
The coat is thick and hard. In summer, goats have a reddish coat, while in males it is colored brown. The limbs and tail are darker than body hair, most often they are black or brown. In the middle of the belly and near the anus, the hair is lighter, almost white. By winter, alpine goats will molt and turn gray.
Advantages and disadvantages
The undoubted advantages of the breed are its unpretentiousness and endurance. These animals do not require insulated rooms. A group of ibexes in an unheated barn can withstand winter frosts down to -25 degrees. Mountain goat milk has a fat content of 3.2% to 4%, it is tasty, sweetish, used for a variety of purposes, including baby food. These animals can interbreed with domestic goats, improving the quality of the livestock.
The downside of keeping in captivity is that at temperatures above +25 degrees, animals have a decrease in appetite and productivity. In addition, in terms of the amount of milk, they are inferior to dairy breeds of domestic goats. On average, females produce about 700-800 liters of milk per year. For comparison, the Saanen breed can be cited. Its annual milk yield is equal to 1000-1200 liters.
It should be noted that male ibexes have a specific smell. Urine contains a special secret, they mark everything around with it. The aggressive nature of adult males is also a significant disadvantage of the breed.
You can buy both a young goat and an adult animal. It is not worth buying a newborn toddler. It will have to be milked by hand, and this should be done by the hour.
A more correct decision would be to buy an adult goat with a kid or wait until the baby is 45 days old. At this age, their stomach is already capable of digesting roughage. The udder of a lactating goat should be soft, without signs of mastopathy.
When buying an adult animal, be sure to examine the hooves. If they are ugly and deformed, it is better to refuse the purchase.
Conditions of maintenance and care
To keep alpine goats in a home farm, you need a wind-blown barn with an area of at least 2.5-3 square meters. m per head. The indoor air must be dry. The permissible humidity is 40-60%. These animals do not tolerate dampness. It is advisable to raise the floor by 15-20 cm and make it of wood. There must be good ventilation in the barn. It will be provided by two small windows, one of which is located at the bottom and the other at the top.
Important! In the presence of drafts and increased dampness, even hardy mountain goats can get pneumonia.
Despite the fact that the animals tolerate stall keeping, in the summer, grazing on pastures or the arrangement of spacious walking yards near the barn is desirable.
When keeping at home, it is important to take care of the animal's hooves, to clean and trim them in time. In some cases, young animals at the age of 3-14 days are subjected to the procedure of dehorning or decornation. Such animals grow calmer, and the absence of horns in adults protects the livestock and the people serving it from injury.
What to feed
Alpine goats naturally feed on grasses such as bluegrass and fescue. They eat branches of bushes and trees. These products are also included in the diet of animals at home. For the winter, it is advisable for them to prepare meadow hay, cut and dry branches of linden, birch, hazel.
For a year, one animal in a stall can eat up to 450-600 kg of hay. If it is possible to graze the herd before the onset of frost, then the amount of hay is almost halved. When calculating the daily amount of hay, you need to take as a basis a consumption of 2 kg per head per day for the entire stall period.
The diet must include:
- juicy roots and vegetables;
- 200 g of compound feed for each head, it is especially needed in winter;
- water with any sweet jam, give in the fall and spring.
Both in stall housing and grazing on pasture, animals require table salt.
Goats of this breed are especially sensitive to water. If it is not possible to equip nipple drinkers, then the water tanks should be washed daily before filling with water. In winter, animals can be poured with warm water heated to 35 degrees.
How to breed
Alpine ibex reaches sexual maturity in the second year of life. It is desirable to mate goats not younger than a year and not lighter than 35 kg of weight. Males can be allowed into breeding after reaching two to three years and kept separately. Only healthy individuals participate in breeding.
The hunting period for mountain goats is from December to January. In the wild, rivals that have reached the age of 5-6 years have powerful and sturdy horns. They are the ones who organize fights for the right to possess a female. In a home farm, the goat and the goat are placed in an isolated stall. In case of joint keeping, free mating of animals is possible.
A kid is born 150-170 days after mating. If the male covers the female in late December-early January, then the offspring should be expected in late spring-early summer. The newborn is covered with fur, eyes and ear canals are open, its weight is 3 kg and it is ready to follow its mother almost as soon as it dries up. Adult females are quite fertile and, when kept at home, very often bring twins.
Alpine goats are ill with both infectious and non-infectious diseases. For humans, the most dangerous tick-borne encephalitis, which can be carried by these animals. The goats themselves do not get sick with it. In regions unfavorable for this indicator, goat milk must be boiled.
Of the non-communicable diseases, tympania is the most common in mountain goats. It is caused by feeding with legumes in a pure form, grazing after rain in the fields sown with alfalfa, peas, and soybeans is especially dangerous. Disease prevention is the feeding of hay to alpine mountain goats before pasture.
Alpine goat cost estimate
The cost of an alpine goat depends on its purebred breed. The price of crossbred kids starts from one and a half thousand rubles. A purebred baby can cost 10,000 rubles. When assessing the cost, sex, age, pedigree and place of birth of animals are of great importance. If alpine mountain goats were born on a foreign specialized farm, their origin is documented, then the price of such animals can be quite high.