ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 88 Number 3
The prewean performance of kids of different goat breeds and crosses in Jamaica. (150)
The performance of pre-weaned kids of different breeds of goat in Jamaica based on the cross breeding program was evaluated. A total of 1,446 pre-weaned kids, spanning four (4) breeds / crosses were surveyed from five satellite (5) farms. The farms were located in central Jamaica within the representative areas of highest goat density. Data were analysed according to the GLM procedure and the fixed effect in the model included farm, birth type, sex and breed. There were significant differences (P <0.05) for birth weight between farms, breeds, birth type and sex. Birth weights of kids born on farms 1and 4 were significantly higher than kids born on farms 2, 3 and 5. Birth weight of Nubian x Boer crossbreed was significantly higher (P>0.001) than Graded Nubian (Nubian x Native) cross, the mean (±SEM) being 3.06 (±0.03) kg and 2.89(±0.03) kg, respectively. The weaning weight of purebred Boer was heavier than the rest 17.07 (± 0.34) kg but this was not significant (P=0.360) over graded Nubian 16.44 (± 0.20) kg, purebred Nubian 16.88 (± 0.57) kg and purebred Boer x purebred Nubian 16.48 (± 0.16) kg, respectively. The mean (±SEM) weaning weight for singles, twins and triplets across breeds were 19.17 (± 0.27) kg, 16.46 (± 0.13) kg and 13.50 (± 0.33) kg, respectively. Pre-weaning growth rate of kids did not show any significant difference between the breeds (P=0.218) with the value ranging between 149 to 157 gd-1. Mortality rate was high but was not significant between farms (P= 0.088) ranging from 20.1 to 30.3%, breeds (P=0.124) and sex (P>0.05), except for litter size (P<0.001). It was concluded that Nubian Boer crossbreed pre-weaning performance was higher than Graded Nubian. Further, research is needed to address the factors affecting pre-weaning goat kid mortality on farm in order to lower kid mortality in the breeding program and improve productivity and meat production.
Keywords: Pre-wean performance, goat breeds, Jamaica, tropics