Improving Fitness in Meat Goat Herds through Better Genetic Management

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2013: $230,000.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2017
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Richard Browning, Jr.
Tennessee State University

Annual Reports


  • 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.

    Project objectives:

    Objectives/Performance Targets
                    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.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.