ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 73 Number 1
On-farm reproductive performance of the West African Dwarf goat at Ganawuri in the sub-humid zone of Nigeria
Thirty-two herds of West African Dwarf goats raised under village conditions and which grazed stylosanthes (Stylosanthes hamata cv. Verano) or natural pasture in the wet season were monitored for 30 months to determine herd productivity. Average litter size was 1.67 ± 0.082, kidding interval 250 ± 12.0 days, and age at first kidding 471 ± 18.0 days. Birth weight was significantly affected (P < 0.05) by parity, year and season of birth, and birth type (P < 0.01). Weaning weight at 150 days of age was affected by year of birth (P < 0.01), parity (P < 0.01), and sex (P < 0.05). Growth rates decreased with age and were significantly affected (P < 0.01) by season. Litter size was significantly affected (P < 0.05) by parity. The cumulative mortality to one year of age was 14.5% and accounted for about 50% of all disposals. It was significantly affected (P < 0.01) by season and was very low for kids born in the dry season. Postpartum weight was significantly affected by parity (P < 0.001), season of birth, and birth type (P < 0.01). The results suggested that a strategic health intervention would be beneficial; peste des petits ruminants (PPR) immunization markedly reduced mortality and increased animal productivity index.
Keywords: West African Dwarf goats; Reproduction; Mortality; Stylosanthes; Fodder bank; Village conditions; Sub-humid zone; Nigeria