The Sarda Goat, a Resource for the Extensive Exploitation in the Mediterranean Environment

  • Michele Pazzola
  • Maria Luisa Dettori
  • Giuseppe Massimo Vacca


Goat farming represents an important livestock sector in Sardinia, an insular region of Italy, being exploited approximately 300,000 heads in this region. The Sarda goat is the autochthonous breed of the Island with a census of 29,000 animals recorded in the official herd book. It is perfectly adapted to the semiarid environment and farming is mainly based on traditional and semi-extensive methods, grazing free pasture of the Mediterranean scrubland. Sarda is a small-size dairy breed and milk is mainly used for cheese-making. Daily milk yield ranges from 0.4 to 1 kg, while protein and fat contents range 3.7–4.3 and 4.5–6.0 g/100 mL, respectively. Favorable values of milk coagulation properties and cheese yield are also reported. The authors evidence the high variability in candidate gene and the positive effect on milk characteristics, in comparison with other specialized breeds. These productive and genetic characteristics are the strongest points of the Sarda goat, whereas the constant and unplanned importation of cosmopolitan specialized breeds along with and the absence of labeled products strictly linked to the Sarda breed are the weakest points.



We gratefully thank all the goat keepers, the humble and real core of Sardinian goat farming for giving us free access to their farms and herds.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Pazzola
    • 1
  • Maria Luisa Dettori
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Massimo Vacca
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of SassariSassariItaly

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