A total of 56 kids produced from four breeding goat units consisting of pure Red Sokoto (RS ×RS), pure West African Dwarf (WAD × WAD), main cross (RS × WAD), and reciprocal cross (WAD × RS) were used to investigate performance and cost benefit of producing progenies of these indigenous goat breeds in a rain forest zone of South Eastern Nigeria. The experimental design was a completely randomized design with genetic group as the factor of interest. Data obtained showed that at birth, the male RS × RS kids weighed significantly (P<0.05) highest (1840.0 ± 230.98 g), followed by WAD × RS (1430 ± 144.36 g), RS × WAD (1371.00 ± 56.54 g) while the WAD x WAD kids had the lowest birth weight (1150.00 ± 39.36 g). However, the RS × AD female kids, at birth weighed significantly highest (1500 ± 54.10 g), followed by the RS × RS (1328.50 ± 98.69g), WAD × RS (1312.50 ± 17.81 g) and WAD × WAD (1087.50 ± 106.80 g). The male and female kids of the RS × WAD had improved body weight and the linear body measurements such as body length, height-at-withers and heart girth. They also had a higher average daily gain (46.03 ± 1.41 g/day) and better feed conversion ratio (5.38 ± 0.27) than the RS x WAD and WAD x WAD goats. This genetic group had the lowest cost of production (
N953.40 ± 10.21) and as such the highest gross margin ( N2111.06 ± 21.7). They appear more promising hybrid goats for commercial meat goat production in the rainforest zone of South Eastern Nigeria.
Key words: Red Sokoto goats, West African Dwarf (WAD) goats, crossbreeding, conformation traits, cost benefit, rainforest zone.
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