Age at Castration, type of birth, growth performance, Goats
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of age at castration, type of birth and sex on body weight, body linear measurements and correlation between body weight and body length, chest length, height-at-withers, facial length and fore and hind leg lengths of semi-intensively managed Savanna Brown goats. Forty eight (48) Savanna Brown goats (kids) aged between 2 - 8 weeks were used. The experiment lasted for 12 weeks. The goats were randomly allocated to 12 treatments (T1- T12) comprising of 2 replicates with 2 goats per replicate. T1 –T8 were single and twin goats castrated at ages 2,4, 6,and 8 weeks respectively while T9, T10, T11 and T12 comprised of 8 entire males and 8 females respectively. Open castration method was carried out on the castrates. The parameters measured were body weight and body linear measurements such as body length, chest length, height at withers, facial length, fore leg length and hind leg length. The result showed that twins castrated at 2 weeks obtained significantly higher values over twins castrated at 8 weeks in body length (53.50 and 43.00) and fore leg length (41.65 and 33.75) . Fore leg and hind leg lengths were observed to be the most correlated to body weight and this was observed in twins castrated at 2 weeks. Therefore, the two parameters can be recommended as good estimate for predicting live weight in Savanna Brown goats kids up to 12 weeks of age.