The Murcia-Granada Goats, originating from the southeastern region of Spain encompassing Murcia, Almería, Granada, and Alicante, are esteemed for their exceptional milk production and resilience in arid environments.
Adapted to the hot and dry conditions prevalent in the semiarid areas of southeastern Spain, Murcia-Granada Goats stand out as the most productive domestic animals in such climates, maintaining high milk production even under less than ideal conditions. These goats graze on adverse terrain and thrive on by-products from the agro-alimentary industry, exhibiting a remarkable transformation index. With an average milk yield nearing 500 kg over a 280-day lactation period, the Murcia-Granada breed boasts a superior milk composition, with fat content at 5.3% and protein at 3.4%, surpassing other breeds in Mediterranean regions. Notably, the majority of milk production in Spain is dedicated to cheese production, showcasing the significance of Murcia-Granada goats in the dairy industry.
Characterized by a small to medium size, with females weighing approximately 30-50 kg and males 50-60 kg, Murcia-Granada Goats feature uniform black to brown skin and hair, complemented by medium-sized erect ears and short, erect tails. Males typically exhibit a pronounced beard and are horned, while females possess short, thin hair compared to the longer, stronger hair observed in males.
Two distinct varieties of Murcia-Granada Goats exist: "Veguesi," originating from irrigated and flat land, and "Montana," native to mountainous areas. Veguesi goats exhibit superior milk production and larger size compared to Montana goats, with similar coloration observed in both varieties.
Renowned for their exceptional milk production, Murcia-Granada Goats boast an average lactation period of around 210 days, yielding approximately 500 liters of milk annually, with some individuals achieving double this amount. With milk comprising 5.6% fat and 3.6% protein, surpassing most other goat breeds in Mediterranean Europe, Murcia-Granada goat milk is primarily utilized for cheese production. Additionally, these goats are valued for meat production, especially due to the rapid development of their offspring. Crossbreeding Murcia-Granada females with meat breeds like Boer goats has further enhanced the growth of Murcia-Granada kids.
Presently, the population of Murcia-Granada Goats in southeastern Spain stands at approximately 400,000 animals, with around 150,000 located in the Murcia region alone. Moreover, these goats have been introduced into various regions globally, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, and North Africa, reflecting their significance beyond the borders of Spain.