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Options to Improve Traditional Goat Breeding: Buck Rotation

Buck Rotation

Buck rotation or buck exchange is a simple approach to maximize the use of bucks with superior genetic value in improving the genetic potential of the herd while combating problem in inbreeding at the same time.

To do this you must link with at least two other goat raisers of farmer groups (FG), who are willing to exchange their good quality bucks with yours within a 3-year period

Each of your group can raise and maintain a buck for a year, after which it will be transferred and exchanged with the buck of the other raisers/groups

However to ensure that the bucks to be rotated or exchanged are genetically superior, evaluate at least 10 offspring produced by each buck before transfer is made

Here is a simple diagram of buck rotation that can guide you:

  • As shown in the table, you start breeding your does using your buck (B1) on year 1
  • When the offspring of your mated does are weaned, separate the female kids from the males
  • Keep the female kids and breed them when they reach puberty using the buck of the next group, B2
  • You can still use B1 to breed your original does so long as your buck has not yet been exchanged
  • On year 3, change buck to B3 and breed all your ready females
  • Remember that every weaning, separate the new male kids from the female herd and castrate them or sell at the right time
  • It is thus imperative that each animal is provided with a tag or identification and the records of the does and the kids be monitored and kept to avoid inbreeding

Advantages of Buck Rotation
  • Avoidance of inbreeding through proper buck rotation:
    1. Reduces number of stillbirths
    2. Reduces the rate of pre-weaning mortalities
    3. Decreases kidding interval
  • This approach helps you become keener of the time your animals become in heat
  • By using the best buck available to mate a herd, other production performance parameters such as kidding interval, conception rate, kidding size and kid weight may be improved
Reservations/Limitations of use
  • Intervention of the government and private accredited breeder may be necessary to facilitate the availability of good quality bucks to the village.
  • Services of the barangay health aides and municipal/provincial veterinarians are needed to check the health condition of rotating bucks to avoid possible disease transmission.
Requirements for Adoption
If you decide to do buck rotation, the following are required:
  • At least 2 other raisers or farmer groups, with equally superior bucks and willing to exchange bucks within a 3-year rotation period.
  • Strict documentation of breeding and pedigree through proper recording.
  • At least 3 good quality bucks whose performances have been tested to be superior.

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