Nachi - The Dancing Goat All Breed Information

The Dancing Goat - Nachi: a native breed of Pakistan

Nach means dance in Hindi, and nachi means one with dancing quality. Native to Pakistan, these goats exhibit a beautiful prancing gait. Many feel no goat show is complete without a Nachi walk competition. Their beauty and unique gait make them a draw, bringing many more spectators to the shows. These goats are also judged on their ability to follow a herder.

Hometract Main districts inhabiting Nachi breed are Jhang, Multan Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagarin Punjab province. Animals have been taken to other districts and provinces and even to other countries.

The Dancing Goat - Nachi : a native breed of Pakistan
The Dancing Goat - Nachi : a native breed of Pakistan

Nachis, the dancing goat breed is endemic to Pakistan and are special when it comes to beauty. Their unique gait attract young and old equally. Goat shows without Nachis are incomplete and whenever they are part of multibreed shows, they attract maximum visitors. Indigenous knowledge of raising and breeding Nachis is however, scarcely documented. Breeding objective for Nachis will remain beautiful and unique gait with milk yield as the second objective. As awareness improves, other similar guides may incorporate more indigenous knowledge to judge animals correctly in an effort to conserve and promote this breed.

Nachi is a unique genetic resource, unique not only in Pakistan, in the entire goat world. It is unique due to its dancing gait which is natural (genetically controlled). 'Nach' means dance and Nachi means one having dancing quality. It is also pronounced as “Naouchi” in the local dialects. Bikaneri term has also been used for Nachi but is erroneous because Nachis are not found in Bikaner. Anatomically, shoulder joints are not attached securely in Nachis, nor is the upper joint of the fore arm and therefore animals cannot jump as freely as in other breeds. Even kids are difficult to rear as they have difficulty in getting up for first few days and suckling may need assistance. When animals walk, feet and pastern move in a partially revolving motion and with heads held high, animals exhibit a dancing walk.

Interestingly, animals tend to stay together in the herd (flocking instinct) and may follow the herder more than any other breed. That is why in 'Nachi walk competitions' a herd that follows the herder and moves with herder's moves is considered better than others. Goats in general, are natural browsers rather than grazers and this is more true for Nachis. 

Among other behavioral attributes, fighting behavior is also different in Nachis. Males do fight for dominance and mating rights yet, the fighting styles are different. Kicks are few and as rear legs are weak, bucks do not rise up on their hind legs and come down forcefully to butt heads as observed in other breeds. 
They strike heads on sideways while standing with occasional forehead bursts. Pushing and shoving is still the same as in other breeds. Mating behavior is also different as landing after mating may result in falling of bucks. Nachis have reduced in number over the years mainly because of changing lifestyles in villages.

Nachi Utility 

Primary objective of raising Nachi breed is its dancing gait. Milk is secondary characteristic. Meat is eaten and hair also used for making rugs Most of the animals are shorn before summer season. They are sacrificed but to a limited extent.

Category: Meat, Milk, hairs

Country: Pakistan

Home Tract: Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah and Jhang districts of Punjab Province. Due to dancing gait it known as 'Nachi'.

Morphological Characters

Body: Medium sized, compact

Body Coat: Usually black but sometimes having black and white spotted colour. Coarse, short and rough hairs.

Head: Medium

Nose: Roman type

Ears: Medium sized

Horns: Small

Udder: Not well developed

Reproductive parameters

Litter size: Twins are common

Morphometeric characters

Body weight: Birth weight: male – 3.5 kg, female – 3.0 kg; Adult male: 40 kg, Adult female: 35 kg

Body length: Adult male: 60 cm, Adult female: 55 cm

Body height at withers: Adult male: 71 cm, Adult female: 64 cm

Chest girth: Adult male: 75 cm, Adult female: 67 cm

Production characteristics

Daily milk production: 0.6-1.1 kg per day

Fibre production: 600 gm per annum


Afzal M. and Naqvi A.N., 2004, “Livestock resources of Pakistan: Present status and future trends,” Sci. Vision; 9(1-26):3-4.
UVAS, 2015, “Goat Breeds,” University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

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