Estación Experimental del Zaidín (EEZ) in Spain

Posted on 2 August 2018 by Makhosi Mahlangu

The goat research station is situated in Armilla, Granada (Spain). It is a research Centre of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) Agency. The activity of the EEZ is divided into four departments that is:

  • Environmental protection
  • Physiology and Biochemistry of Animal Nutrition
  • Soil and microbiology and symbiotic systems
  • Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants

The main objective of the EEZ is to carry cutting-edge research in Animal Biology and to promote sustainable agriculture and livestock production. Goats and sheep are also researched. The centre prides itself in research article publication and in engaging in collaborations with companies and communities. Collaborations are also important and the centre collaborates with companies and the communities. Collaborations are also important and the centre collaborates with international laboratories and universities.

Two main research lines are followed at present: a) to determine the nutrient requirements of single-stomached animals, and the nutritional value of feed resources, particularly energy utilization and amino acids bioavailability; b) to study the biological effects and mechanisms of action of bioactive substances, either naturally present or added to feed- or foodstuffs.

To contribute to the sustainable development – in arid and semi-arid ecosystems – of effective, environmentally friendly and to provide natural and healthy products for human nutrition. To study nutrition-immunology interactions to improve animal health. These objectives are always carried out with ruminants through the study of aspects such as the nutritional value of conventional and non-conventional foodstuffs, the quality of the products (meat and milk) and ruminal metabolism and ecology. Animal welfare is an important parameter in the research institute and forms the basis for humane treatment of animals.

The goats used at the research station were Murciano-Granadina goats a local goat variety which originates in the semi-arid areas in South Eastern Spain. They produce milk under dry and nutrient-poor regions. They are medium sized goats around 30 to 50kg for females and 50 to 60kg for males. Goats eat 4-6% of their body weight in dry matter and they are very selective eaters.

Goat farming

The goats are very good milk producers with a Lactation period around 210days. The goats reproduce quickly and are sexually mature around 7 to 8 months of age. The research institute comprised of seven sections, housing a total of around 70 ewes and 3 rams. There were also 33 kids. According to David YÁÑEZ RUIZ a senior scientist from the research institute they are willing to collaborate with African institutes to help them develop their goat industries.