ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 95 Number 3
Influence of genotype, sex and age on selected body measurements of Nguni, Boer and Non-descript goat kids reared under an extensive system of farming in South Africa
This study sought to determine the effect of genotype, sex and age on live weight and linear body measurements of goats. A total of thirty-five goat kids from Nguni (14), Boer (12) and non-descript (9) goats raised under an extensive system of production were used for the study. Data were obtained for live weight, body length and height at withers at birth and fortnightly for eight weeks. The results revealed that, there were significant differences (P < 0.05) in the body weights at week 4, 6 and 8 among the kids of Nguni, Boer and non-descript goats. The Nguni kids had highest mean weights of 7.36 kg, 11.85 kg and 13.72 kg at weeks 4, 6 and 8 respectively compared to Boer kids (5.20 kg, 7.18 kg and 10.20 kg) and the non-descript goat kids (5.23 kg, 6.19 kg and 8.01 kg). In addition, there was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the withers height at the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th weeks after parturition among the kids of the three different goat genotypes. The Nguni kids had higher mean values in height at withers (41.92 cm, 44.71 cm, 49.38 cm and 55.75 cm) than the Boer kids (35.67 cm, 37.14 cm, 42.40 and 44.20 cm) and the non-descript kids (36.38 cm, 40.20 cm, 41.14 cm and 43.50 cm) at week 2, 4, 6 and 8 after parturition, respectively. Sex influenced the weights of kids with male kids having higher weights compared to their female counterparts for Nguni and non-descript goat kids but not for Boer kids. There was a positive correlation (P < 0.05) between body length and live weight of Nguni goats and no correlation was observed for Boer and non-descript goats. The positive correlation between the body length and live weight of Nguni goats suggest that, they can be used by communal farmers to predict the live weights of the animal.
Keywords: Caprine; body weights; linear body measurements Livestock