Phenotypic Characterization of Indigenous Goat Types and Their Production System in Shabelle Zone, South Eastern Ethiopia
The study was conducted in Shabelle zone, to characterize goat production system, to identify morphological variation among indigenous goat types found in the study area through phenotypic characterization and to gather baseline information for further study and for the development of improvement strategy of goat found in the study area. Data were collected through questionnaire, focal group discussion and field measurements. A total of 650 goats were used for measurement and 126 households for interview. Data collected via questionnaire were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Indices were calculated to provide ranking. Pastoral and agro-pastoral are the main production systems in the study area with large proportion of goats per household (41.24±15.7 for Denan, 36.24±8.4 for Adadle and 35.47±11.7 for Gode district).The primary reason of keeping goat is milk, meat and cash income in all districts. Milk yield, meat quality, size, coat color and growth rate were the most prefered trait of goat in study area. Natural pasture, standing hay, shrubs and bushes were the main feed sources in the study area. Drought occurrence, disease incidence, feed and water shortages were the major constraints of goat production in the study area. Most frequently observed coat color pattern was plain (84.93% and 72.4%) in female and male goat, respectively. The overall mean age at sexual maturity for indigenous female goat was 8.51±0.13 month and for male 8.36±0.14 month; age at first kidding 14.75± 0.12 month; average reproductive life time of doe 8.45 ± 0.11 year; and average kidding interval 7.14±0.05 month. GLM procedure of SAS versions 9.2 (2008) was employed on metric data to study sex, age, district, and sex by age group interaction effects. The key features of the indigenous goat found in the study area are long ear, relatively larger body size, dominantly white coat color type and horned.
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