Genetic Parameters for Growth and Kid Survival of Indigenous Goat under Smallholding System of Burundi
Department of Animal Health and Productions, Faculty of Agronomy and Bioengineering, University of Burundi, Bujumbura B.P. 2940, Burundi
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.
Received: 8 November 2019 / Revised: 9 December 2019 / Accepted: 12 December 2019 / Published: 15 January 2020
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.