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Dairy goats have a good potential to help increase milk production in Malaysia. Dairy goats, as compared to dairy cows and buffaloes, are easier to handle due to their small size and require less feed, which is cost saving.  According to Devendra (1970), development of milk production from goats by small farmers can complement commercialized milk production by cattle and buffalo. In addition to this, goat’s milk has been shown to fetch a much higher price compared to cattle or buffalo milk.


Shami goat is a dual-purpose goat originating from Syria. It is widely spread into Cyprus, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and other Mediterranean countries. For over 40 years, it has been improved through genetic selection for milk and meat (Mavrogenis et al., 2006). They are of the Nubian type and are usually red or brown colored but can also be seen in pied or grey. The animals can be either horned or polled and are long haired. It is considered as a large breed with withers measurement of about 78 cm and body circumference of about 97-99 cm. Adult live weight is about 65.5±5 kg for females and 75.0±5 kg of males. The breed is considered as one of the best dual-purpose breeds of the Middle East, under semi-intensive or intensive production systems. It combines prolificacy with high milk production and a growth of kids comparable to exclusively meat breeds (Mavrogenis et al., 2006). Total milk production, including milk produced until weaning, ranges between 350 kg and 650 kg per goat per lactation for 305 days (Louca et al., 1975). The climates which the Cyprus Shami goats originate range between 5oC and 20oC in the winter and 28oC to 35oC in the summer. Humidity in the summer ranges between 40% and 60% (Mavrogenis et al., 2006). The Technical Consultation of FAO/UNEB on Animal Genetic Resources, Conservation and Management have agreed that the Shami is among the important goat breeds of the world, and should be given a high priority due to its superior  qualities (Mavrogenis et. al, 2006)


Salleh S.I a., Ernie-Muneerah M.A a., Hafiz A.R a., Raymond A.K b., Zawawi I a., Kamarulrizal M.I .a, Hafizal A.M. a, Safaruddin M. D b., Abu-Hassan M.A b. and Kamaruddin M. I b.


a National Institute of Animal Bio-Diversity, Jerantut Pahang.

b Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Putrajaya.


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Salleh S. I., Ernie Muneerah, M.A., Mohd Hafiz A. R., Raymond, A.K., Zawawi, I., Kamarulrizal, M.I., Hafizal, A.M., Safaruddin, M.D., Abu Hassan M.A. and Kamaruddin, M.I. Bioprospecting of Shami Goats for Dairy Production in Malaysia. Proceeding of 2nd National Conference on Agrobiodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Utilization. May 2010 (Page 139-141).


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