African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578

Full Length Research Paper

Influence of flushing and season of kidding on reproductive characteristics of Small East African goats (does) and growth performance of their kids in a semi arid area of Tanzania

J. Safari1*, G.C. Kifaro2, D.E. Mushi2, L.A Mtenga2, T. Adnøy3 and L.O. Eik4      
1Institute of Rural Development Planning, P. O. Box 138, Dodoma, Tanzania. 2Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania. 3Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P. O. Box 5025, N-1432 Ås, Norway. 4Department of International Environment and Development Studies, P. O. Box 5003, N-1432, Ås, Norway.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 12 March 2012
  •  Published: 11 September 2012

Abstract

A study was carried out to assess the effects of nutritional supplementation (flushing) and season of kidding on reproductive performance of Small East African (SEA) does and growth performance of their crossbred (Norwegian x SEA). Seasons of kidding were defined as season 1 (June- August) and 2 (September to November) which represented the early and late dry months of the year, respectively. A total of 90 grazing does were divided into three groups of 30 does each and monitored for two years. In each observational year, one group (control goats) received no concentrate supplementation while the remaining groups were subjected to 200 or 400 g of concentrate diet/doe/day for a period of 60 days (November to January) before mating. Does were then exposed to sexually active bucks from January through June in 2008 and 2009. Nutritional flushing and season of kidding had no effects (P>0.05) on fertility, prolificacy and fecundity. Nonetheless, the relative weight increase during gestation was 35.8 % in season 1 being higher (P<0.01) than 12.6% recorded in season 2. The proportion of weight loss of does kidding in season 1(6.1%) was, however, lower (P<0.05) than 8.9% in season 2. Kids born in season 1 grew at a faster rate than their counterparts born in season 2 (80 vs. 57 g/day, P<0.05). Consequently, the average weight of kids weaned per doe kidding was 2 kg in favour of season 1. It is concluded that nutritional flushing during peak-dry season may not be necessary for goats to conceive especially when raised on lightly grazed rangeland and that breeding activities of goats should preferably be restricted to January to March for kidding to take place during early dry season (June to August).

 

Key words: Goats, nutritional flushing, seasonality, reproductive performance, growth rate.