Other common names: Australian Melaan Goat; Australian Black Dairy Goat; Australian Black
The Australian Melaan is a black goat breed developed in Australia and particularly well suited to the diverse and highly variable local production conditions. The breed, recognized in 2000, is considered hardy, disease resistant and highly productive with an intelligent and placid nature.
According to the Dairy Goat Society of Australia, "The Australian Melaan takes its name fron its colour and what is thought to be its origin in a Saanen buck imported in 1943. The 'Mel' is from melanin or black pigment and the 'aan' is from Saanen. Solid blacks were first accepted as an experimental breed by the DGSA in 1995 and was named and recognised as a breed in 2000. Since then they have proven themselves to be a popular breed suited to Australia's variable weather conditions. They are found from the sub-tropics to the far south of the continent. they are a particularly intelligent breed as well as being highly productive.
Appearance / health:
The Australian Melaan is a solid black goat.
Goats are sensitive animals that can suffer from various infectious and chronic diseases that are sometimes undetected until too late. Vaccinations, as well as de-worming and de-lousing applications must be conducted as needed. Milking goats should be checked regularly using prescribed mastitis tests for udder health. Milking areas should always be clean and the goat’s teats treated with teat dip after milking to prevent mastitis.
Goats must be inspected frequently to detect any signs of poor health, infections, or other ailments. Signs include cloudy or teary eyes, dull or fluffed up coat, droopy tail, hunched back, or poor appetite. A veterinarian should always be on call to address health concerns.
Behavior / temperament:
Goats are inherently curious, active, intelligent, and social. They are known to have the ability to overcome enclosures by unraveling the gate, climbing over the mesh, or pushing and ramming the fence down. Goats have good coordination and balance and can manage to climb low trees, ledges, and overhangs. Their curiosity leads them to constantly investigate items with their mouths; most items get chewed and swallowed. With a little patience, goats can be taught to carry or pull loads, respond to calls, and lead a herd. As social animals, they easily get along with other farm animals.
Housing / diet:
As herd animals, goats are best kept in pairs or groups. As grazers, they require an outdoor habitat that is securely fenced to prevent escape or foraging in restricted areas. The area should be large enough to allow the goat to roam. The recommended habitat per goat is 200 sq. ft. of yard or pasture plus a sheltered or indoor area of about 15 sq. ft. The sheltered area should be adequately built to keep the goats safe from rain and strong winds.
Keeping goats inside the house is not recommended because of the pet’s tendency to gnaw and chew on furniture and furnishings. Goats are also not known to adhere to toilet training.
The ideal food for domesticated goats is alfalfa hay and grass hay. This should be available daily in quantities of at least 3% of the goat’s body weight. Small quantities of feed grain and concentrates (often protein-enriched) like goat show or goat grain can also be given to add nutrition. Supplements are often used to address deficiencies inherent to local habitats.
Clean water is essential to a goat’s daily diet. It should always be available and provided where it cannot be soiled. Dirty and moldy water is hazardous to the goat’s health. Milking goats should be kept away from aromatic or strong-tasting foliage like garlic, onions, mint, and cabbage, which could taint the flavor of the milk.
black coat, good milking lines
Jubilee Australian Melaan's
I have been specialising in the Australian Melaan dairy goat for 10 years. I feel in love with the black coats because we have always had white cashmere goats and white sheep and it was lovely to own a goat with a completely different colour. Little did I know the amount of research on minerals and vitamins that owning this animal on my particular farm was to lead me to. But with all the acquired knowledge I have gained we have then put these practices into our sheep operation with excellent results. We drench only a couple of times a year, we have excellent lambing and growth. But back to the goats. Dairy goats are an excellent animal for the very small acerage and produce vast quantities of milk for their size. A goats of good milking lines will give about 3 to 5 ltrs of milk a day and can be milk through for two to three years without having to go into kid every year.The can live up to ten years and a goat that is cared for every day easily becomes a part of the family and thrives on as much affection as they can squeeze out of you. I especially like the melaans because the black coat is short and glossy. They are stunning in the sun when in full health. They are also a good indicator if you do not have enough minerals in your soil (especially copper) which is so vital to livestock and their production. Goats require two to three times more minerals than sheep and they do this by being browsers and not grazers. Shrubs, woody weeds, briar and blackberry bushes and young timber are their favourite foods. Dairy goats are just as effective as paddock improvers as any other breed of goat with the added advantage of an udder full of milk that can be used for a variety of things such as soap, cheese making and of course consumption. Some people that have health issues such as lactose intolerance, eczema, asthma, psoriasis, babies with colic etc, find a vast improvement in their health when they change from cows to goats milk. Raw goats milk tastes sweet, it has no smell and no off flavours. If you do find your milk has an aroma it can be caused by a few things, eg. mastitis, diet, bucks, etc. Most can be remedied. Like most animals goats require a few things to keep them healthy and in top condition. They will need their feet trimmed about every 6 weeks, they will need to be disbudded at a few days old so they do not grow horns, which are very dangerous around children and their own udders, they need a high fibre diet with very little grain, fresh water, some form of shelter from the elements (dairy goats dislike the rain) and a clean, dust free environment for milking. When sourcing melaans, make sure they are from a healthy herd, ask for a cae free certificate, a johnnes diseases free certificate, and what ever other disease might be common in your area to livestock. If you are not sure, then speak to a vet or ask them to inspect the animal for you. Melaans are great with children of all ages, kids between the ages of three months to six months are sometimes a bit too robust for the younger child, but they grow out of this stage and if taught to behave when young become excellent full grown milkers that bond with the young members of the family as well as the old. .
From gsoap4u Feb 23 2012 6:19AM