Sahelian Goat Characteristics, Origin & Uses Info

The Sahelian goat is a breed of goat from West Africa, used mainly for meat and skin production. It is also known by some other names such as Cheèvre bariolée, Fulani, Gorane, Nioro, Niafounké, Sahélienne, Sahel and West African Longlegged.

The Sahelian goat belongs to the Savanna group of goats with many types and sub-types raised in the Saharan and sub-Saharan region. Sahelian type of goat is distributed in north and northwest of Mali.

The Sahelian goat is most suited to desert or semi desert environments and is intolerant of areas with high humidity. The breed is widely distributed in the arid and semi-arid zones of the Sahel, north of the 12°N parallel from central Chad in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west and well into the southern Sahara. This is the most suitable place, where most of the world’s Sahelian goats will be found.

Although some numbers of this goat breed can also be found elsewhere in the world. Especially in such areas where suitable environments or conditions are available, such as Australia.

The Sahelian goat is not a trypano-tolerant goat breed. And they usually do not survive for long in forest and dense Savannah. They are very strong animals which are found and survive well only in desert environments.

And they are especially well-adapted to a nomadic life and can fed on a variety of vegetation found within their native regions. Read more information about the Sahelian goat below.

Sahelian Goat Characteristics

Sahelian goat is a small sized animal. They are thin in appearance with narrow body, shallow chest and sloping short croup. They have stiff short hair with variety of colors.

Their color vary from pure white, cream to red, black or gray sprinkled or pied, gray, brown or black. They have long legs, and pendent or semi-pendulous ears.

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Both bucks and does have horns. And most of them (about 70 percent) have wattles. Udder as well as scrotum in males split into two halves.

Average height of the adult Sahelian buck is about 70-85cm, and 65-75cm for does. The bucks on average weight about 38.5 to 56.7 kg, and average weight of the does is about 25 to 34 kg. Information form Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science, OSU, and photo from Ministry of Food & Agriculture, Republic of Ghana.


The Sahelian goat is a multi-purpose goat breed. It is a good meat goat breed, good for skin production, and also very rarely raised for milk.

Special Considerations

Sahelian goats are very strong and hardy animals. They are well adapted to the desert environments. First kidding occurs usually about 18 months of age. And the does will produce one or two kids per kidding.

The Sahelian does mostly produce one kid (almost 70 percent), and their lactation period is usually 5-6 months. Review full breed profile of the Sahelian goat in the table below.

Breed NameSahelian
Other NameIt is also known by some other names such as Cheèvre bariolée, Fulani, Gorane, Nioro, Niafounké, Sahélienne, Sahel and West African Longlegged.
Breed PurposeMeat, Milk, Skin
Breed SizeSmall
BuckAbout 38.5-56.7 kg
DoeAbout 25-34 kg
Climate ToleranceDesert Climates
Coat ColorMany
Good for Stall FedNo
Country/Place of OriginWest Africa

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