Srinagar: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has recognized `Kashur Anz’ as the only existing domestic goose species in the country.
The ‘Breed Registration Committee of ICAR– National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resource–registered local goose of Kashmir as ‘Kashur Aenz’. It has been approved with an accession number ‘INDIA_GEESE_0700_ KASHMIR Aenz_18001’.
This followed the exhaustive study conducted by Heena Hmadani, Azmat Alam Khan, and M T Banday of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry, SKUAST Kashmir.
As per the research, two strains of `Aenz‘ have also been identified in Kashmir- white Anz named as ‘Safed Aenz‘ and a cinnamon-colored Aenz called ‘Katchur Aenz’.
“Katchur Aenz are predominantly being reared in Bandipora and Baramulla, whereas Safed Aenz are popular in Ganderbal. Mixed flocks comprising of both Katchur and Safed Aenz are seen in Srinagar and Budgam,” the study said.
It said that goslings of ‘Kashmir Anz‘ also have two variants, which include yellow feathered and blackish yellow feathered. “Yellow gosling appears to grow into ‘Safed Aenz’ and blackish yellow gosling into ‘Katchur Aenz’,” it said.
Given the characteristics of the Anz, the research said that the average adult body weight of the gander is 3.82 kg and that of the goose is 3.34 kg.
“Body temperature, respiration, and heart rates are 40.05 ± 0.15°C, 17.16 ± 0.75 breaths/min and 60.57 ± 5.09 beats/min, respectively. Each goose lays about 12 white-shelled eggs a year, weighing 137 g on average. Dressing percentage is around 67.7%,” it said.
Anz as per the research has been rated well for its appearance, texture, taste, and acceptability. “Appearance, texture, taste and overall acceptability of Kashmir Aenz meat was rated better than chicken meat by 72.41, 82.76, 82.76 and 75.86 % consumers respectively, and better than mutton by 68.97, 72.41, 89.66 and 82.76 % consumers respectively,” it said,
Despite being the only domestic goose breed, their dwindling population is reaching a critical level.
“Their population has gone down drastically. They are now found in Wular lake of Bandipora, Ganderbal, and other districts. In Srinagar, they were found in huge numbers in Anchar side of Soura where their number has gone down. Their population is above critical level so far but require conservation,” said Azmat Alam Khan, co-author of the research.