Some production parameters and their associated risk rates in traditionally managed local Zambian goats.

B. Ahmadu, C.E.A. Lovelace, M. Melo, Y. Vaz


This paper describes the flock population dynamics and the pattern of some selected production parameters for goats kept and maintained under traditional management in the Luangwa valley. A monthly questionaire survey was conducted over a period of twelve months to monitor flock inventory, kidding rate, mortality, slaughter, sales and purchases pattern in a group of twenty-five randomly selected farmers. All the investigated parameters appeared to have been influenced by seasonal effects. The average annual flock composition was 516 goats which consisted of 26% suckling animals, 34% rearing animals, 35% breeding, females, 1% breeding males and 4% castrates. The breeding male to breeding female ratio was 1:36. Two peaks in kidding rates (31%, 30%) were observed during the hot, dry part of the year (August to October) and the warm, rainy season (February to April) respectively. The least kidding rates
(15% and 18%) were in the hot, rainy season and the cool, dry season respectively. The average flock prolificacy for the whole period was 1.36. The overall mortality risk rate for all the flock during the study period was 21.9%. The seasonal mortality risk rate was highest (13.3%) for the same flock during the hot, wet Part of the year and the animals were at least (1.4%) risk during the hot and dry season. The selling pattern of the animals
suggested that most farmers prefer selling the biggest animal in the flock and about 64.6% of the animals at risk of being sold were breeding males. This was followed by the rearing males (31.1%) and castrates (12.5. Similarly, the slaughter pattern suggested rearing males as being the most affected class with risk rate of 56.4% followed by castrates (48.6%), breeding males (18.8%) and rearing females (13.2%).


Zambia, goat, kidding rate, slaughter, mortality, sales, semi-arid

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