A recently introduced goat breed promises to be a highly suitable small animal for milk production in the Philippines.
This is the Oberhasli which was introduced last year under the program called “Accelerating the Genetic Resource Improvement Program for Beef Cattle and Small Ruminants” or AGRIPBeS for short.
The project is under the auspices of the Bureau of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture and the US PL480 program. One of the cooperators of the program for goats is Rene Almeda of the Alaminos Goat Farm in Laguna.
On July 6 last year, Almeda received 18 doelings (young female) Oberhasli and a buck. After one year of closely monitoring the performance of the introduced animals, Almeda is excited about the possibilities of raising Oberhasli for commercial milk production.
Almeda reports that the 18 doelings have already given birth and are being milked now. Eight of the 18 does have been selected for monitoring their milk production. And what is his observation?
The animals are producing about two liters of milk a day in their first lactation. Compared to the milk of Saanen, the popular dairy breed earlier popularized in the Philippines, the milk of Oberhasli, according to Rene, is creamier, sweeter and with a higher butterfat.
The observation has prompted Almeda to invest more of his resources to further improve the goat’s milk production through good genetics and continuous selection. For this purpose, his company has imported at great cost two pedigreed bucks for upgrading their present stocks.
The high-powered American Oberhasli bucks, according to Rene, came from the Ober-Boerd Farm in Ohio. One of them called Ober-Boerd Lead the Way, has for its dam Ober-Boerd Lilly, the 2010 ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) National Champion and Reserve Udder. It is also the 2011 ADGA Reserve National Champion.
The two pedigreed bucks will spearhead the Oberhasli breed improvement program of the Alaminos Goat Farm starting in the last quarter of 2013.
As observed by Almeda, Oberhasli is highly adapted to the tropical weather in the Philippines. They are performing very well under the nutrition regimen that uses pelleted feeds with Indigofera as the main ingredient. The animals also love to eat fresh forage of Indigofera and other green feeds given on a cut and carry basis.