THE INFLUENCE OF NON-GENETIC FACTORS ON EARLY GROWTH OF HALABA KIDS UNDER SMALLHOLDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA
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Stagnant early growth and mortality are the major constraints for goat production in Ethiopia. We evaluated the effects of non-genetic factors on early growth performance of kids in Halaba district of southern Ethiopia, on-farm monitoring with 587 kids owned by 60 households from 2008 to 2009. Body weight (kilograms) of kids at birth, 30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 days were 2.34, 4.39, 6.61, 9.85, 11.8 and 13.7, respectively, while the average daily gain (ADG; gram) from birth to 30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 days were 68.3, 70.4, 82.3, 78.3 and 75.0, respectively. Season had profound effect on body weights of kids at all ages (except at 120 days) and ADG. There was significant sex effect on body weights from 30 to 120 days (P < 0.05). Parity influenced body weights of kids at birth (P < 0.01) and 30, 60, 120 and 150 days (P < 0.05). Type of birth affected pre-weaning body weights (P < 0.05) and ADG from birth to 30, 60 days (P < 0.01) and birth to 90 days (P < 0.05). There were significant (P < 0.05) effects of parity by sex and parity by type of birth on body weights and ADG at weaning. The non-genetic factors evaluated in this study are important sources of variation and need to be taken into account in the improvement plan of Halaba goats under semi-arid tropical conditions.
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