The Maltese goat is a domestic goat breed from the east and central Mediterranean area. The breed takes it’s name from the island of Malta and originates in Asia Minor. Maltese goat is mainly raised in southern Italy, and particularly in the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Although the Maltese: Mogħża Maltija is reported to Domestic Animal Diversity Information System, the official view is that ‘there are no purebred specimens of Maltese goat in the Maltese islands.’ Although it is possible that some modern Maltese goats are closely related to the original type.
The breed is also present in Greece, Turkey and the Maghreb. In Italy, the Maltese goat is one of the eight autochthonous Italian goat breeds. And a genealogicall herdbook is kept for the Maltese goats by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia, the Italian national association of sheep- and goat-breeders. The herdbook was established in the year of 1976.
The number of this goat breed is gradually decreasing in Italy. Total number of Maltese goat was estimated in 1983 to be about 70000, and about 40000 in 2005. And the registered number of this goat was 1934 at the end of 2013. Read more information about this goat breed below.
Maltese Goat Characteristics
Maltese goat is a beautiful medium sized animal. The goat breed is usually long-haired and characterized by a raven-black area on the top and sides of the head and long pendulous black ears. Their ears turn outwards at the tip. The Maltese goats usually don’t have horns. Their face is white with black sides, black crown and black ears. Their skin color is pinkish white, and dark where the coat is black. The bucks are usually bearded. Average height of the bucks is about 87 cm, and the average height of the does is 71 cm. On average a Maltese buck weights about 70 kg, and a doe about 46 kg. Photo from PetMapz & info from Wikipedia.
The Maltese goat is a dairy goat breed and mainly used for milk production. In Sicily, the milk of these goats is used for making ricotta and traditional caprino cheeses.
Maltese goats are valued for their milk production. On average, the Maltese does can produce 500 to 600 kg of milk per lactation. Their milk has pleasant taste without an excessively “goaty” flavor. And their milk has an average of 4.28 percent fat and about 3.66 percent protein. There are no specific seasons for breeding, and kidding occurs throughout the year. Review full breed profile of the Maltese goat in the following table.
Maltese Goat | Breed Profile
|Breed Size||Small to Medium|
|Buck||About 70 kg|
|Doe||About 46 kg|
|Horns||Usually don’t have horns|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Good for Stall Fed||No|
|Country/Place of Origin||Asia Minor|