The Black Bengal goat is a breed originating in Bangladesh, though it can be found in regions of northeastern India also.
Goat farming is considered as the main source of income for many families in these regions and the Black Bengal goat is the most popular breed in Bangladesh. It makes up an estimated 95% of goat populations in the country, which are 25-million strong.
A small goat, though extremely valuable in its homeland, the Black Bengal is used in both dairy and meat production.
They are usually, as the name suggests, black in colour though they can also be found with varying colours such as brown, grey or even white! The breed is also horned, with small, short legs.
At full maturity, a buck weighs up to 30kgs, with does reaching a maximum weight of 25kgs. The breed are not only friendly but also reach sexual maturity much earlier than other breeds. They can give birth to their first kid as early as 12-months old. Females can become impregnated twice a year and are capable of having up to three kids every time.
The Black Bengal is also very sought after due to its hardiness, its ability to adapt to any climates AND because it is low maintenance. They have a very low demand for food and are unfussy grazers, eating most grasses, leaves and vegetables. Carrots at a high dose are fatal to the breed, however.
Although milk yields are poor from the breed, it is still used in dairy production due to the tasty and nutritious nature of the milk.
Does can produce up to 400mls of milk per day for a three to four month period, though this can be increased to 1000mls with access to good quality feed. Reports also suggest that the milk from the Black Bengal goat can help prevent asthma and tuberculosis.
The breed is also famed for producing high-quality meat, with up to 60% of the breeds total weight used for meat production. The breed is also known for producing high-end skin, which is another market it is used for.
A hardy, docile and easily managed goat breed, it is no wonder that the Black Bengal goat has taken over Bangladesh in its millions.
Picture - Wikipedia Commons.