The Murcian goat is the main goat breed of milk in Spain. It is a native race from the southeast of Spain, in the province of Murcia, hence the origin of the name of this breed. Being one of the four populations of domestic animals was defined first in the literature of the fifteenth century. In 1934 a year after the appearance of the genealogical book. The general association of cattlemen and provincial board of cattlemen of Murcia publishes the book called “The Murcian goat and his genealogical book”. This book describes the Murcian race, evidencing its differences with the Grenadian race.
Characteristics of Murciana Goat:
The Murcian goat breed is morphologically characterized by its smaller size, more refinement, shorter head and more erect ears. Black coat or uniform mahogany, the females usually have short and thin hair and lack antlers.
While the males usually have longer hair and have horns. The weight of the males ranges between 50 and 70 kg and that of the females between 40 and 55. Head of medium size, triangular, ears of medium size and erectile. Light and thin neck in females, in males shorter, powerful and well inserted and can present two symmetrical or none.
It has an elongated and deep trunk with a broad chest fused to a broad belly. The prominent cross and straight lumbar backline terminated in a rump fallen with a short and erectile tail.
It also has thin, solid and medium-length limbs, slightly arched on its inner side, hosting a voluminous udder. The females of this species have voluminous udders with a wide insertion surface. Nipples implanted forward and out, thin skin and hairless.
The aptitude of the breed is dairy, producing milk with a high cheese yield where the average productions in animals from 2nd calving onwards are 530 liters per normalized lactation (210 days). The average of fat oscillates between 5,6-5,8% and of protein between 3,6-3,8%. There are herds where 25% of their animals exceed 715 liters as well as individuals of more than 1000 liters obtaining a maximum of 1300 liters.
The high cheese yield of the breed together with its rusticity and ability to take advantage of agricultural by-products and the agri-food industry makes it totally competitive with other improved foreign breeds much larger and with more complex food requirements. Meat production is not the main objective of this breed. However, the quality of the meat is nationally recognized, is one of the most valued meats in the markets.
In addition to being beautiful is a breed of eminently dairy, highly productive. Whose milk is characterized by a special flavor due to its composition? Its genetic selection, together with its small or medium size and its low nutritional requirement, allow the Murcian goat to have a great profitability per liter of milk produced, being therefore very competitive with other goat breeds that have been improved.
Murciana goat is a breed that is fed by intense grazing. In his diet, he spends a lot of time choosing both the plant species and the different parts of the plant he ingests. So this breed needs time and space to “feed”. If they can not find a way to cover their food needs outside of the one they have access to, it will be necessary to make contributions. For example, alfalfa, leftovers from the garden and kitchen, small amounts of carob, etc.
The most remarkable characteristics of the breed are its easy milking, its null reproductive seasonality, its rusticity and ample grazing capacity. The Murciana goat is milked only once a day, unlike other breeds that are usually milked twice. However, milk production averages (both in quantity and quality) are higher in Murcia. Regarding the reproductive aspects of the Murciana goat stands out, on the one hand, its high prolificity facilitates genetic progress.
And on the other hand, that under normal conditions of exploitation and with male effect. It presents sexual activity throughout the year. Unlike other goat breeds with long sexual stops in spring, which allows reducing the seasonality of dairy production. The best Murcian goats and the best herds are groups into some 200 farms with about 50,000 heads. Its biggest advantage is the adaptation to extreme climates, both hot and dry. Having, in turn, the highest milk production in that climate.
In addition to having a high capacity of reproduction in intensive industrial systems and the highest adaptability to intensive farming methods. And be highly adaptable to long hours of walking and resistant to different types of stress.