The Kalahari Red is a meat-type goat breed that originated in South Africa. The namesake comes from the Kalahari desert, which spans the borders of Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia. This semi-arid climate has contributed to Kalahari’s overall hardiness. Although guided by selective breeding, natural selection played a major role in the development of this breed. These are particularly sun, parasite, and disease resistant livestock.
All of these attributes amass to a very low labor-intensity operation. Their skin is fully pigmented, allowing them to forage and increase gains through the heat of the day. They will feed on a large variety of plants for sustenance. Their parasite and disease resistance allows for less vaccination inoculation than the average goat breed. This lowers costs, amount of labor, and allows for greater ease of an organic enterprise. Does are known to be great in maternal instincts, usually with no assistance needed for parturition. They have full and properly attached udders, and kids have strong sucking instincts. Does can be bred all year round, and can kid about three times every two years.
The most distinct visual characteristic of Kalahari Red goats is their red coat color. White or light shades of red are not desirable, as they do not provide as much camouflage from predators in their native pastures. They also have strong herding instincts for protection as well. Kalahari Reds have long, floppy ears. Above their ears are moderately-sized, sloping horns. Their frame is similar to that of the popular South African Boer goat. Kalahari Red goats can be used as a good crossbreed to increase hardiness and carcass size. Rams should larger than does, with loose skin in neck region.
Although commonly believed, Red Kalahari Goats are not related to or are a derivative of Boer goats. Genetic and blood testing from the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa has not shown evidence of being developed from a particular breed.