Production performance of Toggenburg dairy goats in semi-arid and sub-humid areas of Tanzania
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania; Tanzania Livestock Research Institute, P.O Box 202, Mpwapwa, Tanzania
A study was carried out in Babati and Kongwa districts which have sub-humid and semi-arid climatic conditions, respectively, to compare reproduction and lactation performances of Toggenburg dairy goats kept by small-scale farmers in the two agro-ecological zones. In each district four villages were purposely selected based on the presence of Toggenburg goats and 10 dairy goat farmers per village who have been keeping Toggenburg breed for at least five years were randomly selected. Age at first kidding of Toggenburg goats was higher in sub-humid areas than in semi-arid areas while kidding interval, litter size and kid mortality rate did not differ between the two locations. The goats kept in sub-humid areas had higher mean daily milk yield and lactation yield than those in semi-arid areas. Lactation length and dry period of does in sub-humid areas were not different from those of the does found in semi-arid areas. It is concluded that Toggernburg goats produced relatively more milk in sub-humid areas than in semi-arid areas while those in semi-arid environment had lower kid mortality compared to those in sub-humid environment.