The rangeland goat is a composite breed of goat which has become naturalised throughout Australia’s rangelands and in other areas which offer natural protection against predators. These goats have effectively adjusted to the environment to the extent that they no longer bear any strong resemblance to the original breeds of domesticated goats introduced with European settlement.
The rangeland goat is the major source of goats for the goatmeat processing industry, accounting for approximately 90% of total goat meat production.
To ensure the continued development of a viable rangeland goat industry, producers have moved from opportunistic harvesting operations to increasingly managed production systems. This involves reducing the buck population within the mob and only retaining or introducing quality bucks for breeding purposes. If breeder numbers are sufficient, does may also be culled for type and performance. Preference is shown for tall, wide framed, short haired goats.
Improvements in the management of rangeland goats have led to increased returns for producers through increased supply and improvements in quality, carcase weights and consistency.
Rangeland goat traits include:
- Hardy and can thrive in low rainfall zones
- Maintain high fertility in dry conditions
- Suitable for commodity goatmeat trade and live trade
- Low maintenance- do not require shearing, crutching or mulesing
- Exhibit hybrid vigour when crossed with other breeds, for example Boer