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Goat Production under Traditional Management in Gaborone Agricultural Region in Botswana

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Author(s): A.A. Aganga | U.J. Omphile | R.G. Chabo | M. Kgosimore | M. Mochankana

Journal: Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
ISSN 1680-5593

Volume: 4;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 515;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Growth | reproduction | traditional management | Tswana goats

ABSTRACT
An initial study covered the feed resources and nutritional ecology of Tswana goats kept under extensive communal management conditions in Gaborone Agricultural Region. Such goats feed on a variety of browses and herbaceous forages throughout the year. Only 30% of the respondent farmers provided their goats with supplementary feeds implying that most goats in Gaborone agricultural region rely solely on natural vegetation for their feed. A further study surveyed the production parameters of goats under extensive management by smallholder farmers over a 12 month period from February 2000 to February 2001. This survey covered 375 goats, comprising 87% females and 13.5% males (12% castrates and 1.5% intact). There were 168 kids. The mortality rate for the kids was 33.3% and that for adults was 5.6%. Disease accounted for 44.6% of the overall pre-weaning mortality. Of the 168 kids born during the period of study, 52.4, 45.2 and 2.4% were singles, twins and quadruplets (one birth), respectively. The average birth weight of the kids was 3.6 kg, while the average daily weight gain was 58g per day. The kids weighed 17.7 kg on average at the age of 240 days. The mean body weights were 8.6?0.6, 15.3?0.8 and 23.3?1.4 kg for the age groups 30-120 days, 121-240 days and 241-360 days, respectively. The net numerical growth in the herd was -17.6%, with a prolificacy rate of 93.3%.
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