- Animals: goats
- Animal Production: parasite control, livestock breeding
LS13-254: Improving Fitness in Meat Goat Herds through Better Genetic Management
PI: R. Browning, Jr. – Tennessee State University
Co-PI: M.L. Leite-Browning – Alabama A&M University
Co-PI: R.N.B. Lobo – EMBRAPA
Fitness problems in meat goat herds may be associated with unsuitable animal genetics for a given production environment. Moderate to low management inputs are important for meat goat enterprise profitability. Better genetic management under limited resource conditions may enhance meat goat herd performance. Findings of this project were that crossbreeding with Boer or Savanna did not improve on base Kiko or Spanish doe performance. Indications were that Boer or Savanna does had higher parasite burdens than Kiko or Spanish does. A substantial proportion of producer trainees indicated making changes in herd genetic management with positive outcomes.
Boer crossbred and Savanna crossbred does were compared to parental Kiko and Spanish purebred does for fitness traits on pasture typical of small farms in this region. An outreach effort was conducted to stimulate on-farm performance testing and enhance genetic evaluation in meat goat seedstock herds using a web-based management tool using best linear unbiased prediction to generate breeding values for growth and fitness traits.