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Options to Improve Traditional Goat Breeding: Controlled Breeding

This article deals with technological interventions of improving the traditional way of breeding goats. It discusses the principles, application, advantages, and drawbacks of each option as well as the considerations in the adoption of the technology.

This article will help the breeder to identify the technologies that can be employed to improve the traditional way of breeding goats; and specify the advantages, disadvantages and requirements in adopting said technologies.

Controlled Breeding
Controlled breeding is an innovative technology for freely grazed, rotationally grazed, and partially-confined goats.

In this system, contact between male and female goats is restricted to allow you to choose when and which animals to breed.

In areas with 6-8 months of wet season beginning May, first breeding can be done in August so that 1st kidding will be in January (5 months after).

By April (3 months after kidding), the kids can be weaned and the does can be bred a month later to kid in October. Since the animals are confined, the kids can be kept safe and warm in the shed even if kidding coincides with the rainy months.

If you want to avoid the peak months of the rainy season, however, you can delay breeding by a month, and start 2nd breeding in June so that kidding will happen in November, when it is already past the peak rainy month.

Succeeding breeding can proceed a month after every weaning.

Using this system, kidding during the peak of the rainy months, which in this case falls around September, can be prevented and the best animals can be bred with the chosen

Advantages of Controlled Breeding
  • Although it seems unfair to the goat, controlled mating affords goats the best of care.
  • Since you can choose the animals to pair off, it prevents inbreeding and premature breeding.
  • It also ensures proper timing of kidding such that peak rainy months, which are detrimental to the development of the young, are avoided. This minimizes diseases and neonatal mortalities.
  • Proper timing of kidding also minimizes parasitism, respiratory, and digestive diseases.
  • As kidding can be timed, kids are born at times most suited to you, to market demands, and the supply of feed.
  • The best males and females can also be selected for mating, resulting in better quality offspring.
  • Proper kidding time also allows you to concentrate your efforts during periods when additional help in the family is available. Labor requirements for caring of young animals is thus concentrated during periods of labor availability.
  • This makes possible the synchronization of parasite control such as the drenching of young animals.
  • All these contribute to efficient management and better growth of goats.
Disadvantages/Limitantions of use
  • Control of breeding requires investment of time, money and management effort
  • Selling of marketable animals, and income generation, on a monthly basis is hindered since offspring produced will reach marketable age by batch which only happens on certain months of the year depending on the set breeding time.
Requirements for Adoption
  • If you decide to adopt this system you must have:
  • Knowledge of the peak rainy months in your region
  • Separate rooms or pen partitions for males and females
  • Labor to monitor and ensure that females do not come in contact with the buck during off-breeding periods
  • A definite breeding plan

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