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Evaluation of Reproductive Efficiency of Nepalese Hill Goat (Capra hircus L.) in Western Nepal

Surya Prasad Sharma Nirajan Bhattarai Saroj Sapkota
Vol 7(9), 107-116
DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20170716124713

A study was carried out to compare and estimate the effect of non-genetic factors (location, parity and color) on the productive and reproductive performance of Hill goats (Khari) representing Nawalparasi, Dhading and Syangja districts from the farmer’s managed conditions from February 2014 to September 2014. Altogether, 40 does and their respective immediate kids (47) from Nawalparasi, 30 does and their respective immediate kids (53) from Syangja and 20 does and their respective immediate kids (32) from Dhading district were taken for the purpose of study. The data were analyzed using the Harvey (1990) computer software package. Least square mean comparison was made by using Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT). The findings revealed that goats in Syangja had shorter days of age at first conception (229.37±days), age at first kidding (380.57± days), kidding interval (253.93± days) and post partum estrus (89.19±9.60 days) than in the dams of Dhading and Nawalparasi district. Kidding rate was higher (1.77±0.06) in Syangja district with respect to the kidding rate observed in case of Dhading and Nawalparasi districts. Reproductive traits that were significantly influenced by location were age at first conception (P<0.05), age at first kidding (P<0.05), kidding interval (P<0.05) and post partum estrus (P<0.05). Kidding rate was significantly influenced by both location (P<0.001) and parity (P<0.001) too. Litter size at birth and weaning were significantly (P<0.001) influenced by location and parity whereas litter weight at birth was significantly influenced by location (P<0.001) and parity (p<0.05) and litter weight at weaning was significantly (P<0.001) influenced by both location and parity. So, it can be concluded that, the dams of Syangja were superior in terms of all reproductive traits taken into consideration along with kidding rate and litter traits too.


Keywords : Conception Gestation Length Kidding Kidding Rate Location Postpartum Estrus

Introduction

Among the livestock species, goat is an important species in most of the developing countries including Nepal. It provides a good source of meat, milk, fiber and skin and hence popularly known as the poor man’s cow. Goats have fulfilled agricultural, economic, cultural and even religious roles from the very early times in human civilization. It has been suggested that at least two wild species of the genus Capra have contributed to the gene pool of domestic goats (Clutton-Brock, 1981), supported by molecular data (Mannen et al., 2001). The large genetic variability of goat consists of more than 102 descript breeds and large number of non-descript breeds in the world, of which half are in Asia. Asian countries China, India and Pakistan have more than 70 breeds of the goat.

Goat has a significant role in the rural household economy of Nepalese farmers. It ranks second among the livestock species for meat production and shares the second highest proportion of livestock Gross Domestic products (GDP) in Nepal through meat (Gatenby et al., 1990). The total population of goat in Nepal was 1, 01, 79,321 (2013/14) which is the increment in number of goats by 4.02% from the year 2012/13 in which the population of goat was 97, 85,542 (MOAD, 2014/15). Similarly, total production of goat meat has also increased from 55,578 metric tons (2012/13) to 59,053 metric tons (2013/14) which is the increment in production by 6.25% (MOAD, 2013/14). Goat meat contributes 19.8% of the total meat production (MoAD, 2013/14). Nepal has spent Rs 1.146 billion in the import of goats in the year 2012/13 which was just Rs 99.153 million in the year 2011/12. This shows the increase in the expenditure for the import of goats by 15.6% (MOAD, 2012/2013). Goat farming fits more for poor, landless, marginalized and small farmers. This makes goat farming very significant for the underdeveloped nation’s economy. So, goat farming can play vital roles in the poverty reduction (Kolachhapati, 2006). Because of these various reasons the trend of goat farming has increased in recent times. Different organizations both governmental and non-governmental have focused in the promotion of goat production and goat farming. All these facts prove the goat farming as a source of generating additional household income among the resource poor but it has been kept in non-commercial basis or only in subsistence level (Kolachhapati, 2006).

Materials and Methods

The study area was selected sites of Nawalparasi, Dhading and Syangja districts from February, 2014 to September, 2014. Altogether, 40 dams and their respective immediate kids (total 47 kids) from Nawalparasi, 30 dams and their respective immediate kids (total 53 kids) from Syangja and 20 dams and their respective immediate kids (total 32 kids) from Dhading district were taken for the purpose of study. Different reproductive traits such as age at first conception, age at first kidding, gestation length, kidding interval, post partum estrus, kidding rate were recorded. Thus collected data were used to study the effect of non-genetic factors on reproductive performance of hill goat. After the collection of all the information required for the study, the data were coded and entered into Ms-excel & converted into text documents (Text MS-DOS). The data were analyzed by least square procedure using Harvey (1990) software package and Mean comparison was performed by DMRT. Among different models of Harvey (1990), following fixed effect model was used to estimate the effect of non genetic factors on age at first conception and age at first kidding.

Yijk= µ+ ai+ bj+eijk

Where, µ is the overall mean

ais the effect of ith location (i=1,2 and 3)

bj is the effect of jth color (j=1,2,3,4 and 5)

eijk is the random (residual) element assumed as randomly & independently distributed.

Whereas, model used to estimate gestation length, kidding interval, post partum estrus and kidding rate was as follows-

Yijkl= µ+ ai+ bj+ ck+ eijkl

Where, µ is the overall mean

ais the effect of ith location (i=1,2 and 3)

bj is the effect of jth parity (j=1,2 and 3)

ck is the effect of kth color (k=1,2,3,4 and 5)

eijkl is the random (residual) element assumed as randomly & independently distributed.

Results and Discussion

This chapter considers the reproductive traits as age at first conception, age at first kidding, gestation length, kidding rate, kidding interval and post-partum estrus. These traits are major economic traits which determine the productivity of goat.

Age at First Conception and Kidding

The mean average age at first conception and kidding of hill goats were 249.32±7.65 days and 397.577.89days, respectively (Table 1). Kolachhapati (2006), Shrestha (2002) and Sapkota (2007) also reported similar value of age at first conception as 255.11±29.09 2549.75 and 26507 days at Udaypur district and mid western Terai goat at Nepalgunj and Terai and hill goat respectively.Similarly, Sapkota (2007) and Shrestha (2002) reported the closer value of age at first kidding i.e. 411±07 days and 406 days in hill goat and Barbari goat respectively.

Effect of Location

Location had significant effect (P<0.05) on age at first conception and kidding (Table 1). Dams of Syangja early conception and kidding compared to dams of Dhading and Nawalparasi. Sapkota (2007) and Parajuli (2012) found significant (P<0.001) effect of location on age at first conception. Parajuli (2012) reported that does of upper altitude conceived earlier compare to those of lower altitude might be due to proper nutrition, early sunshine that may influence the activation of physiological process. Altitude factor also comes under this study as Syangja is at higher altitude as compared to Dhading followed by Nawalparasi. Also, good nutrition and good management practices in Syangja might lead to the activation of reproductive hormones which was supported by the study of Tiwari (2002).

Effect of Color

Color had no significant effect on the age at first conception and kidding of hill goat in this study (Table1). Neopane (1997) also reported the non significant effect of color on the age at first service of the Nepalese hill goat. However, in this study the age at first conception and kidding of black goats were found noticeably higher than the age at first conception and kidding of white goats.

Table 1: Least squares means and standard errors of age at first conception and age at first kidding (days)

Factors No. of

observations

LS Mean± SE

of AFC

LS Mean± SE

of AFK

Overall 90 249.32 7.65 397.577.89
Location * *
Nawalparasi 40 261.85a9.70 407.70a12.37
Syangja 30 229.37b10.34 380.5710.66
Dhading 20 256.72ab12.00 404.46ab10.01
Color NS NS
Brown with white patches 33 252.988.53 399.50 8.79
Totally brown 27 251.399.55 397.95 9.85
Black 19 261.2011.07 410.92 11.42
White (ash white) 8 232.2216.97 379.44 17.51
Black and white patches 3 248.8027.54 400.05 28.40
CV (%) 18.35 11.98

LS= Least Square; SE= Standard error; *** = Significant at 0.1% (P<0.001) level; * = Significant at 1% (P<0.01) level; *= Significant at 5% (P<0.05) level; NS= Non Significant; CV= Coefficient of Variation, AFC= Age at first conception, AFK= Age at first kidding

Gestation Length

The overall mean gestation length of hill goats in this study was 148.870.40 days with the range of 140-150 days (Table 2). The value of gestation length in this study was lower but close to the normal gestation length (150 days) of goats reported by Devendra and McLeroy (1982) and Verma et al. (1991), but the value was higher than the value of gestation length found in the Mid-western Terai goat (1455 days) and similar to the value of Barbari goats (1480.87 days) observed by Shrestha (2002) and Mittal (1993) respectively. Similarly, Kolachhapati (2006) reported values of gestation length of hill goats in Surkhet (150.482.95 days), Kavre (150.184.53 days) and Udayapur (149.892.02 days). Likewise, Bhattarai (2007), Pandey (2007) and Sapkota (2007) reported the values of gestation length of Terai and hill goats as 150.790.98 days, 1490.32 days and 1500.47 days respectively. Parajuli (2012) also reported the similar value of gestation length as 150.540.84 days. The causes of variation in the gestation length is still not confirmed in detail but the comparison of the case with other species made the argument that the sex of fetus, parity of dams and other genetic and non-genetic factors (Devendra and Burns, 1983) affect the gestation length.

Effect of Location

Location had non significant effect on gestation length of goats in this study (Table 2). Parajuli (2012) observed slightly longer gestation length at upper altitude (152.320.85 days) as compared to lower altitude (150.760.84 days) in goats of Nawalparasi district. Kolachhapati (2006) also reported that the gestation length was shorter in Udayapur (149.892.02 days) than in Surkhet (150.482.95 days) and Kavre (150.184.53 days). However, significant effect of location on gestation length was not observed in the study of Kolachhapati (2006) and Parajuli (2012).

Effect of Parity

The non significant difference on gestation length was observed with respect to parity (Table 2). These results are matched with the findings of Neopane (1997); Bhattarai (2007), Sapkota (2007) and Parajuli (2012). However, slight increase in the value of gestation length in mid parities (4-6 parities) were found whereas slight decrease in the value of gestation length in late parities (>6 parities) were found. Parajuli (2012) reported that the third and fourth parity had longer gestation length as compared to those of other parities. Neopane (1997) stated shorter gestation length during later parity of dams could be due to the several factors as physiological maturity of uterus and efficient uterine function.

Effect of Color

Color had no significant effect on gestation length (Table 2). But Neopane (1997) found significant effect (P<0.001) of color on gestation length. He reported high value of gestation length in Dhobini (white with black marking) (146±0.59 and Kali (146±0.28 as compared to Seti (144±0.36and Khairi (145±0.30). However, in this study too, dams with black color or some presence of black color had slightly higher value of gestation length.

Table 2: Least squares means and standard errors of gestation length (days) and kidding rate (kids per parity per doe)

Factors No. of

Observations

LS Mean± SE

of GL

LS Mean± SE

of KR

Overall 90 148.870.40 1.510.05
Location NS ***
Nawalparasi 40 148.910.42 1.25c0.06
Syangja 30 149.980.55 1.77a0.06
Dhading 20 149.470.64 1.50b0.08
Parity NS ***
Parity 1-3 43 148.330.44 1.30b0.05
Parity 4-6 30 149.420.55 1.52a0.07
Parity >6 17 148.850.69 1.69a0.08
Color NS NS
Brown with white patches 33 148.040.45 1.470.05
Totally brown 27 148.620.50 1.490.06
Black 19 149.040.59 1.370.07
White (ash white) 8 148.770.90 1.340.11
Black and white patches 3 149.871.47 1.860.18
CV (%) 3.66 22.61

LS= Least Square; SE= Standard error; *** = Significant at 0.1% (P<0.001) level; * = Significant at 1% (P<0.01) level; *= Significant at 5% (P<0.05) level; NS= Non Significant; CV= Coefficient of Variation, GL= Gestation length, KR= Kidding rate

Kidding Rate

Average kidding rate of hill goat was 1.51±0.05 (Table 2). Bhattarai (2007) reported lower value (1.45±0.04) of kidding rate of Terai goat. However, Neopane (2000) reported the higher kidding rate of central Terai goat (1.60) and Tamrakar and Chapagain (2000) also reported similar value of kidding rate of Terai (1.60) and Barbari goats (1.63) reared at RARS, Nepalgunj. Whereas, Sharma et al. (2000) observed lower value of kidding rate of does reared at IAAS livestock farm than the result of this study.

Effect of Location

Location had significant effect (P>0.001) on kidding rate of hill goats (Table 2). Syangja had the highest value (1.770.06) of kidding rate while Nawalparasi had the lowest value (1.250.06) and Dhading had medium value (1.500.08) of kidding rate of hill goats. Kolachhapati (2006) also reported the difference in the kidding rate (number of kids per kidding) between Udaipur, Kavre and Surkhet districts studied both in imposed and controlled conditions. The result showed that the kidding rate was comparatively higher in high altitude as twinning was high there.

Effect of Parity

Parity had significant effect (P>0.001) on kidding rate of hill goats (Table 2). As the parity increases the kidding rate was also found to be increased. It was found that 1st-3rd parities had kidding rate of (1.30±0.05), while 4th – 6th parities had kidding rate of (1.52±0.07) and highest kidding rate value (1.69±0.08) was found in parities above six. Bhattarai (2007) also observed that the kidding rate value of goats were highest in the dams of parities above six. Lower kidding rate of dams during early parity could be due to the physiological immaturity of reproductive organs at younger age (McDonald and Pineda, 1989).

Effect of Color

Color had no significant effect on the kidding rate of the dams (Table 2). Although, there was some noticeable difference with dams of black and white mixed coat color had highest value (1.86±0.18) of kidding rate. Similarly, dams with white color had the lowest value (1.34±0.11) of kidding rate.

Kidding Interval and Postpartum Estrus

The overall mean of kidding interval of hill goat as revealed in this study was 264.177±8.05 days (Table 3). Upreti and Khanal (1997) also reported the similar value of kidding interval (265±5 days) of hill goat. Similarly, Kolachhapati (2006) and Sapkota (2007) reported the closer value of kidding interval of hill goats as 253.4±38.8 days and 256±6 days respectively.

Table 3: Least squares means and standard errors of kidding interval (days) and post partum estrus (days)

Factors No. of Observations LS Mean± SE of KI LS Mean± SE of PPE
Overall 90 264.1778.05 107.727.56
Location * *
Nawalparasi 40 275.22a12.62 126.56a11.87
Syangja 30 253.93b10.21 89.19b9.60
Dhading 20 263.37ab10.88 107.40ab10.23
Parity NS NS
Parity 1-3 43 260.598.79 108.848.26
Parity 4-6 30 256.2911.02 96.1210.36
Parity >6 17 275.6413.75 118.5312.92
Color NS NS
Brown with white patches 33 265.608.97 101.138.43
Totally brown 27 279.4610.05 125.689.44
Black 19 278.2911.65 122.0110.95
White (ash white) 8 230.6017.86 90.3716.79
Black and white patches 3 266.9128.98 99.4027.23
CV (%) 18.33 42.94

LS= Least Square; SE= Standard error; *** = Significant at 0.1% (P<0.001) level; * = Significant at 1% (P<0.01) level; *= Significant at 5% (P<0.05) level; NS= Non Significant; CV= Coefficient of Variation, KI= Kidding interval, PPE= Postpartum estrus

However, Neopane (2000) and Parajuli (2012) reported lower value of kidding interval of Central Terai and hill goats as 218±5 days and 199.98±2.41 days respectively. Likewise, Shrestha (2002), Bhattarai (2007), Pandey (2007) reported average of kidding interval as 229.7±9.03 days, 246.97±6.13 days and 296.42±4.46 days in Terai and hill goats respectively.

The overall mean value of post partum estrus was 107.72±7.56 days (Table 3). This value of post-partum estrus of was similar (101±4) with the findings of Sapkota (2007). However, Parajuli (2012) reported far lower value (50.37±0.84) of post partum estrus interval of the dams in Nawalparasi district. Similarly, Sharma et al. (2000) and Bhattarai (2007) reported the mean value of post partum estrus interval as (64±6.1 days) and (80.05±2.33 days) respectively. Also, Jindal (1984) reported lower post partum estrus in Barbari and Black-Bengal goats and relatively higher in case of Jamunapari (143 days) and Beetal (193 days). Early post-partum estrus reduces the kidding interval and thus has a direct economical benefit of goat raising. The post partum estrus is independent on the aggression of the corpus luteum of pregnancy. Lyngset (1964) reported that the period between parturition and the following breeding season is the period if anestrous, may be shortened by exposing the animals to increased amount of light.

Effect of Location

Location had significant effect (P<0.05) on kidding interval (Table 3) with highest value of kidding interval in dams of Nawalparasi (275.22±12.62 days) followed by Dhading (263.37±10.88 days) and Syangja (253.93±10.21 days). Sapkota (2007) and Parajuli (2012) also reported significant effect of location on kidding interval. Management practices may vary the kidding interval. Comfortable environment with appropriate housing, temperature, relative humidity, ventilation etc and good nutrition may lead the reproductive hormones to function timely (Pineda, 1989). In above study too, good nutrition, light and other factors in Syangja might have lead to shorter kidding interval.The significant difference (P<0.05) on post partum estrus was also observed with respect to location (Table 3). The dams of Nawalparasi, Syangja and Dhading had post partum estrus of 126, 89 and 107 days respectively. The post partum estrus interval with respect to location was reported significant by Sapkota (2007) and Parajuli (2012) too. Shortest postpartum estrus in dams of Syangja might be due to good nutrition practices and higher light intensities in that region. Lyngset (1964) in his study reported that good nutrition and higher light intensities shortened the post-partum estrus.

Effect of Parity

Parity had non-significant effect on kidding interval (Table 3). However, if was found that 4th – 6th parity (in mid parities than early and late parities) had the lower value of kidding interval (256.29±11.02 days). Likewise, Bhattarai (2007), Pandey (2007), Sapkota (2007) and Parajuli (2012) also reported the non significant effect of parity of dam on kidding interval. However, Neopane (1997) reported the significant effect of parity of dam’s kidding interval and also reported that there was lower kidding interval in older as compared to those of younger.

Parity had also significant effect on post partum estrus (Table 3). Bhattarai (2007) and Parajuli (2012) also reported the significant effect of parity on post partum estrus. In the study, it was found that the post partum estrus interval of mid parities (96 days) was found lower than earlier parities (108 days) and late parities (118 days). The lower values for middle parities might be due to the full potential of reproductive organs in this stage than early or late parities (Hafez, 1989). Since during early parity the reproductive organs may not be fully developed and degeneration might occur during the advanced parity.

Effect of Color

Coat color of dam had no significant effect on the kidding interval of dam (Table 3). However, it was found that kidding interval in white color dam was noticeably lower (230.60±17.86) than in other color dams. Likewise, Neopane (1997) also reported the non significant effect of color of dam on kidding interval. Color had also not any significant effect on post partum estrus (Table 3). Dams of totally black color (122 days) and totally brown color (125 days) though were found with higher value of post partum estrus interval in comparison with dams with mixed colors.

Conclusion

Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded that location and parity are the important non-genetic factors that are worthy to considered, while improving the productivity of goat flock. Likewise, goat in Syangja district was observed to have more kidding ability as well as better reproductive traits. Hence, the traits of goat in Syangja district were found more close to that of pure Khari breed as compared to the goat in other districts considered in the study.

Acknowledgements

Farmers from Nawalparasi, Dhading and Syangja districts who supported and eased me on my work during entire of my research period are highly acknowledged.

References

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