Augmentation of the Kaule Goat Project 🐐

In May of last year, we provided each of 50 families in the Chepang village of Kaule, Nepal, with a female goat.  We formed a village goat committee to administer the program and manage the two male goats that we purchased for breeding purposes.  Although the original plan was to give highland khari breed goats common in Himalayan villages like Kaule, the villagers instead opted for lowland jumanapari goats, which are larger and better for food than khari goats.   The project has gone fairly well so far.  Ten of the females have given birth and eight others are pregnant.  So far, the villagers have honored their promise not to sell or eat the goats for two years.

The goat project needs to be tweaked in order to stay on track.  The lowland jumanapari goats have not adjusted as well to the higher elevation and cooler climate as we had hoped.  In fact, ten of the original females died from respiratory illness in the first few months after the goats were delivered to Kaule, leaving ten families without a goat.

The jumanapari goats have not reproduced as quickly as we had hoped and expected.  Yes, they are reproducing, just not as quickly as expected.  The veterinarian that the goat committee has engaged to consult on the problems believes that the delayed reproduction rate is also due to the stress the jumanapari goats are experiencing as a result of the elevation and climate changes.

We originally had hoped that the goat project would be fully developed in two years, but under current conditions it could take five years.  Therefore, we plan to augment the project in such a way as to accelerate its progress.  The way we intend to do this is to purchase three female highland khari goats for each of 15 Chepang families, as well as two male khari goats to be managed by the committee.  The hope is that crossbreeding lowland jumanapari goats with the highland khari goats will result in a hybrid that has the size of the jumanapari and the heartiness of the khari.

The cost of implementing this augmentation plan is approximately $10,000. That’s $222 per goat, which includes not only the goat, but veterinarian costs, inoculations, transportation, taxes, governmental licensing fees, etc.



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