Articles | Volume 50, issue 2
10 Oct 2007
 | 10 Oct 2007

Growth, carcass and meat quality parameters of purebred and crossbred goat kids in extensive pasture

P. Herold, H. Snell, and E. S. Tawfik

Abstract. Goats are more and more used as shrub-fighters in landscape conservation. Important traits for the extensive production system are vitality and robustness but also acceptable meat production of kids during the grazing period. To investigate possible selection traits for "landscape conservation suitability", 35 kids were investigated for vitality parameters directly after birth whereas all-in 65 kids were investigated for performance traits under extensive grazing conditions. Birth weight as a parameter for vitality and survivability of kids was significantly influenced by sex, genotype and age of doe. Besides rectal temperature 3 hours p.p., other factors regarded as possible vitality parameters were not influenced by birth weight. Birth weight had a significant influence on daily weight gain during the extensive period; kids with higher birth weight showed slightly better weight gain. Birth weight had also a significant effect on some carcass parts, indicating that higher birth weight implies a high probability of a better carcass performance especially in some valuable parts. Still, the effect of the genotype on carcass performance was considerably higher than any other investigated effect. As a result of the present study, there are indications that birth weight can be taken as a parameter for kids' vitality. Also, it is indicated that goats of Cashmere type as fibre animals are not appropriate for landscape management whereas crossbred animals with a meat, dairy and fibre component in their genotype showed to be a vital animal with acceptable efficiency also in harsh conditions and with an average meat and carcass performance.