Savanna (also called “Savannah”) goats originated in South Africa in the 1950s, by breeding Boer goats with local landrace goats. In 1993, the Savanna Goat Society was created in South Africa, to recognize and perpetuate the breed, and within a year or two they were being imported to the United States. Due to extensive crossbreeding, purebred Savanna goats are rare outside of South Africa, and conservationists recommend keeping conservation herds to preserve their status and explore desirable traits in the breed. Savanna goats were developed to be a low-input meat goat, able to adapt to rough climates and poor forage.
They were also specifically developed for their rare white hair and dark skin. White goats are a particularly popular for meat in large parts of Africa, but most white goats have skin that is extremely sensitive to the sun and requires protection. The Savanna’s dark skin protects it from the sun and makes it easier to care for than other goats with white hair. As meat goats, they are favored for having tender, flavorful meat and a balanced carcass with little fat.
Features of Savanna Goats
Savannas are strong, medium-framed, functionally efficient animals. They move easily and can, if necessary, travel long distances in search of fodder and water. The ewes are aggressive and protect their kids fiercely. Goats have a natural flocking instinct, and although black-backed jackal and caracal pose problems in the area, the Savannas’ aggressive protection of their young means that relatively few are lost to predation. Stock theft does occur, unfortunately; Kotzé lost 43 ewes about four years ago to thieves.
The rams are masculine, robust and well-muscled. Savannas have a fairly long, slightly curved head. The head and nose must be fairly broad and not sharp. The mouth must be reasonably wide, with muscled jaws. “From the onset I’ve been extremely strict about eliminating cull faults such as undershotjaws, knock knees, bandy legs, weak pasterns, and hoofs pointing outwards or inwards, His passion for functionally correct and uniform animals has been rewarded with his goats taking the honours a number of times at world championships since 2003. “At an agricultural show, my wife Marina and I were once asked if we’d succeeded in photocopying our animals because of their invariable uniformity and unbroken top quality.
Savanna Goats Characteristics
The high litter weaning weight, easy breeding, and relatively low input of Savannas is the main reason for their economic value and popularity in the US. Savanna goats were bred to be an independent, low-input breed. They are excellent foragers, and are able to grow rapidly with little supplemental food or nutrition. They are resistant to parasites, and tolerate heat and cold well. Females give birth in the open and are excellent mothers. Despite this independence and little need for human intervention, Savanna goats have a mellow temperament and are easier to handle than many other meat goat breeds.
Savanna goats produce a lot of high-quality meat. Despite their close similarity to their Boer parent breed except for coloration, the Savanna goats are tougher. This feature makes them suitable for low-maintenance input operations as well as for crossbreeding with Boer goats or other goat breeds to improve their kids’ hardiness and meatiness.
Savanna Goats Price