Goats are dairy goats from the east and central Mediterranean area.
They originated in Asia
Minor, and they get their name from the island of Malta,
although the officially
there are no pure-bred specimens of the breed in the Maltese
They are raised mainly in southern Italy, and particularly in the islands
They are also found in Greece, Turkey,
and the Maghreb.
Maltese goats are long-haired
white goats with a raven-black area on the top and sides of their heads and
long pendulous black ears that turn outwards at the tip.
In Italy, the Maltese is
one of the eight autochthonous Italian goat breeds for which a genealogical
herdbook is kept by theAssociazione
Nazionale della Pastorizia, the Italian national
association of sheep- and goat-breeders.
The herdbook was
established in 1976.
The Italian population of
the breed was estimated in 1983 to be about 70,000, and in 2005 at 40,000. At
the end of 2013 the registered population reported was 1934.
Maltese Goats are
valuable dairy goats. The milk has a pleasant
taste without an excessively "goaty" odor or flavor. Yield per
lactation is 242 ± 87 liters for primiparous, 307 ± 141 l for secondiparous, and358 ± 160 lfor pluriparous, nannies; it may reach 500–600 kg in
The milk has an average of 4.28% fat and 3.66% protein.
In Sicily the milk is used to make ricotta
and traditional caprino cheeses includingPadduni, which has PAT status,
andFormaggiu ri crapa.