The Effects of Breed Heterozygosity on Kidding Performance and Subsequent Reproductive Success in Goats



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The focus of this thesis was to investigate the effects of heterozygosity in goats on kidding performance and subsequent reproductive efficiency. The Boer and Spanish breeds are by far the most commonly used breeds in west Texas. Boer and Spanish cross breeding females were observed over a two-year breeding season. These females were bred to a Spanish billy to obtain F1, F2 and F3 offspring. The F1 generation is a true ½ Boer × ½ Spanish, F2 is ¾ Spanish × ¼ Boer, and F3 are 5/8 Spanish × 3/8 Boer. The study used a semi-intensive management strategy to mimic producers in west Texas that rely heavily on dams yielding kids on their own. Kids were weaned at approximately 90 days of age and placed in weaning pens. After weaning, replacement females were exposed to a billy so that they may kid as yearlings. These young females were managed alongside the mature breeding females. Differences in heterozygosity were not statistically significant, but numbers showed that heterozygosity in doe population could improve maternal characteristics and improve overall productivity in a goat herd.



Boer goats, Spanish goats, Heterozygosity, kidding performance, weaning weights, first time kidding