n Farmer’s Weekly - Savanna goats : tougher than tough - livestock - savanna goats

Volume 2018 Number 18026
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



After a gruelling 80km gravel road to Koenie Kotzé’s farm in the Niekerkshoop district, it’s a relief to reach the homestead, where he has especially kraaled his Savanna goats for Farmer’s Weekly’s visit. This part of the Northern Cape, with its sparse vegetation, koppies and earthy colours, has a beauty of its own, and the Savannas stand out like white flowers against the stark background. The lively disposition of the Savannas is beautiful to behold. Even the adult animals climb into the feed troughs, stand upright against the kraal fences and climb on top of one other. Despite this, the animals are not wild and have an even temperament. Kotzé’s career as a breeder started in the 1980s when he became stud manager of the DSU Cilliers and Sons Savanna Stud. He recalls that although he was highly impressed with the qualities of the Savannas, he did not have enough money to start his own flock. Cilliers and Sons along the Vaal River in Douglas started developing the breed in the 1950s, and are regarded as the pioneer Savanna breeders in South Africa. Kotzé then went into an agreement with his employer to purchase some of the females with folded ears that they had wanted to cull. He also bought animals from other breeders. “I selected top-class genetics despite the folded ears and so started the upbreeding of my own stud.”

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