Non-genetic factors influencing post-weaning growth and reproductive performances of Arsi-Bale goats
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Adami Tulu Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box: 35, Ziway, Ethiopia; Bako Agricultural Research Center, P.O.Box: 3, Bako, Ethiopia
A study was conducted to investigate the effects of non-genetic factors on post weaning growth and reproductive performances of Arsi-Bale goats maintained at Adami Tulu Agricultural Research Center in the mid Rift Valley of Ethiopia. The fixed effects of year, season, dam parity, sex of kids and litter sizes on post weaning growth traits were investigated while dam age in addition to the above factors, was used in investigating the reproductive performances of does. Year significantly affected (P <0.05 and P <0.001) all traits considered in the study, except for the 18-month live weights of kids. Season did affect only weaning weight (3MW) of kids while parity significantly affected 3MW, 6 months weight (6MW), 6- to 12-months daily weight gain of kids (ADG2) and litter sizes. Its effect increased with increasing parity with heaviest 3MW (8.7kg) and 6MW (10.6kg) and largest litter sizes of 2.1±0.10 being achieved in sixth parity. Sex of kids significantly influenced (P <0.001) all growth traits considered in the current study, except for the 3-to 6-months growth rate of kids (ADG1). Males were heavier and grew faster than females. However, the effect of litter size was only on 3MW, 6MW and yearling weight (12MW). Single born kids were heavier at 3-, 6- and 12-months of age and the litter size effect disappeared thereafter. Dam age significantly affected age at first kidding. The effects of non-genetic factors on both growth and reproductive traits considered were significant and hence will need to be considered in goat breed improvement program.