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Husbandry, Productivity and Producers Trait Preference of Goats in North Western Lowlands of Ethiopia

Tilahun Debela, Mengistu Urge, Getnet Assefa, Zeleke Mekuriaw
Open Journal of Animal Sciences , Volume 10, pp 313-335; doi:10.4236/ojas.2020.102019

Abstract: A survey was conducted in Agalo Meti, Bambasi and Mandura districts of Kamashi, Assosa and Metekel zones of Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State, respectively. The aim of the study was to assess production characteristics, productive performances and producer’s traits preference of goats. A total of 177 households who have goat flock and experience in goat production were purposively selected. Data was collected through respondent interviews using structured questionnaire, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and field visit. Data was analyzed using SPSS software and reported using descriptive statistics. Indices were used to present ranking. Farming is characterized by mixed-crop livestock production system and livestock are kept under traditional extensive management system. Greater number of goats than other livestock species were owned in the area. The indigenous goats reared in the area include Arab, Felata and Gumuz. The mean goat flock size per household was 9.81 ± 1.08, 8.31 ± 1.16 and 8.71 ± 0.88 in Agalo Meti, Bambasi and Mandura district, respectively. Goats were primarily kept for generating income (indices = 0.43), followed by saving/insurance (0.34), and meat for home consumption (0.18). About 58% of the producers sell goat skins, whereas (42%) did not-sold through the formal market chain. Natural pasture and indigenous browse species were the major feed resources. About 89.3% of the respondents housed their goats in a well-shaded separately constructed house. The herding practices of goats include: free-roaming all year round (67.8%) and restricted herding (32.2%) during the cropping season. The major constraints for goat production were infectious and parasitic diseases (0.45), inadequate veterinary services (0.39), predators (0.091), marketing problem (0.03) and poor management (0.01). Arab, Felata, and Gumuz goats give first birth at the age of 13.65 ± 0.40, 12.90 ± 0.29 and 12.54 ± 0.43 months, kidded at every 8.52 ± 0.41, 7.85 ± 0.25 and 7.67 ± 0.22 months and produce 0.52 ± 0.03, 0.61 ± 0.02, and 0.51 ± 0.01 liter of milk, respectively. Uncontrolled natural mating is the dominant breeding system, and bucks and does run together throughout the year. Size, growth rate, body conformation and age were the preferred traits in selecting bucks, whereas does were selected based on size, multiple birth, milk yield and kidding interval. Therefore, in order to utilize the current growing demand for goat meat at local and international markets, improving the production environment, particularly health and nutrition, genetic and production technologies is necessary.
Keywords: constraints / goats / Husbandry Practice / Feed Resources

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