Performance of pure and crossbred progenies of Red Sokoto and West African Dwarf goats in the Rainforest Zone of South Eastern Nigeria.
This study is a report of part of a planned breeding programme to evaluate the performance of pure and crossbred progenies of Red Sokoto (RS) and West African Dwarf (WAD) goats in a rainforest zone of South Eastern Nigeria. A total of 56 kids produced by four breeding goat units consisting of pure Red Sokoto (RS x RS), pure West African Dwarf (WAD X WAD), main cross (RS x WAD), and reciprocal cross (WAD X RS) were used to investigate performance and cost benefit of producing progenies of these indigenous goats. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with genetic group and sex as the factors of interest. Results showed that at birth, the male RS X RS kids weighed significantly (P<0.05) highest (1.84±0.23kg), followed by WAD X RS (1.43±0.14kg), RS X WAD (1.37±0.56kg) while the WAD X WAD kids had the lowest birth weight (1.15±0.39kg). However, the RS X WAD female kids, at birth weighed significantly highest (1.5±0.54kg), followed by the RS X RS (1.33±0.98kg), WAD X RS (1.31±0.17kg) and WAD X WAD (1.09±0.12kg).Body weight at 18 weeks was significantly higher for RS X RS (9.82±0.79kg) than the RS X WAD (8.34±0.85) which in turn was significantly higher than the WAD X RS (7.61±0.13kg) and WAD X WAD (7.51±0.61kg). The male and female kids of the RS X WAD had improved body weight and the linear body measurements namely, body length, height-at-withers and heart girth. This genetic group had a higher average daily gain (46.03 ± 1.41g/d) and better feed conversion ratio (5.38 ± 0.27) than the RS x WAD (6.64 ± 0.18) and WAD x WAD (7.02 ± 0.21). It also had the lowest cost of production (N953.40=$6.60) and as such the highest gross margin (N2,111.06 = $14.60) in 18 weeks. Individuals in this group appeared more promising hybrid goats for commercial meat goat production in the rainforest zone of South Eastern Nigeria.
Keywords: Red Sokoto and WAD goats, crossbreeding, linear body measurements, cost benefit, rainforest zone.