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Animal Science

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Published Version

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Livestock Research for Rural Development





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This study on the effects of paternal and maternal goat size on kid growth and survival was conducted by grouping bucks and does into big/elite and small/control categories and mating between the sub-groups to create four progeny groups whose body weight and mortality rate were assessed for fixed and variable effects at birth, 10, 20, and 30 weeks of age.

Big sized bucks and does had progeny that were heavier than those of small sized parents at all ages except at birth. The mean body weight of the progeny at 30 weeks was 15.1±0.6 kg for elite bucks and 13.2±0.8 kg for control bucks. Due to sexual dimorphism, male progeny were heavier than their female counterparts at birth, 20 weeks and at 30 weeks. Birth type had the most profound effect on both live weight and survival of goats. Single kids weighed 2.2 ± 0.05 kg at birth compared to 2.0± 0.03 kg for twins, and the margin of superiority widened to 3.5 kg at 30 weeks. Over 85% of the kids that died between birth and 30 weeks were born as a twin which effectively negated the advantage that is normally thought of for twinning in such a goat flock.

It is concluded that paternal and maternal size influences the weight of progeny at birth and through to maturity. Birth type and sex of kids also have profound effects on kid weight as well as on survival. However, the advantage of elite parentage appears to get diminished unless diet improvements are incorporated. In general, using elite bucks does have potential financial benefits for Mubende goat farmers.


This is an article from Livestock Research for Rural Development 26 (2014): 1. Posted with permission.


LRRD is fully OPEN ACCESS, with no publication charges, on the principle that research findings related to sustainability of farming systems should be freely available in the public domain. Papers may be copied and reprinted freely.



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