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Open AccessArticle

Genetic Parameters for Growth and Kid Survival of Indigenous Goat under Smallholding System of Burundi

1
Department of Animal Health and Productions, Faculty of Agronomy and Bioengineering, University of Burundi, Bujumbura B.P. 2940, Burundi
2
Fundamental and Applied Research for Animals and Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, 6 Avenue de Cureghem, 4000 Liège, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010135
Received: 8 November 2019 / Revised: 9 December 2019 / Accepted: 12 December 2019 / Published: 15 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Goats play a key multifunctional role in food security and poverty alleviation for small farmers in many less developed countries. Unfortunately, the productivity level of these goats is low. Among the alternatives proposed to overcome this situation, one is to establish a phenotypic breeding program with the support of community breeding organizations. In this study, genetic parameters were estimated for the growth, conformation, and survival of 1538 young goats raised by small farmers in Burundi organized in farmer field schools. Overall, the results suggest that phenotypic selection of growth and conformation traits would be possible if data recording and animal management were improved. On the other hand, efforts to improve survival should focus on improving the environmental conditions in which kids are raised. The role of community breeding organizations and animal health workers is therefore essential to disseminate breeding techniques and methods that optimize animal production and health.
The goal of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for the growth, conformation, and survival of goat kids raised in smallholder farming systems in Burundi. To do this, measurements were taken on live weight, thoracic perimeter, length, and height at birth (n = 1538 animals), at 3 months (n = 1270 animals), at 6 months (n = 992 animals), at 9 months (n = 787 animals), and at 12 months (n = 705 animals). Kids were born between 2016 and 2019, from 645 dams and 106 bucks. Three bivariate animal models were used to estimate genetic parameters of body weight and conformation measurements as potential indicators of this weight. According to the measure, heritability was estimated between 15 and 17% and genetic correlations between 65 and 79%. An accelerated failure time animal model was used to estimate the heritability of survival for kids under one year, adjusted for birth weight. Goat survival was significantly prolonged by 0.64 days per kilogram of birth weight. The estimated heritability for this trait was 2%. Overall, these results suggest that a selection program could be implemented to improve animal growth, either directly on weight or indirectly on conformational traits. At the same time, efforts need to be made to improve rearing conditions to increase the survival of kids. View Full-Text
Keywords: body weight; heritability; repeatability; genetic correlations; Bayesian approach; survival analysis body weight; heritability; repeatability; genetic correlations; Bayesian approach; survival analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

Josiane, M.; Gilbert, H.; Johann, D. Genetic Parameters for Growth and Kid Survival of Indigenous Goat under Smallholding System of Burundi. Animals 2020, 10, 135.

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