Suckling behaviour of West African dwarf goat kids
During suckling, goat kids exhibit different kinds of behavior which could be germane to their general performance. The objective of this study was to determine suckling behaviour of West African dwarf (WAD) goat kids with respect to some behavioural measurements. A total number of 21 WAD does comprising of 1st and 2nd parity with live weight range of 9.5kg-16.5kg with a total of 26 kids (12males and 14females) in a small holder dairy goat were used. Data on suckling behaviour (suckling bout, duration of suckling and number of butts during suckling) was monitored to investigate the effect of birth type (singleton and twin) and kid sex (male and female). Behaviours were observed twice/day i.e. in the morning (7:00-8.30 am) and evening (4:30-6:00pm), 2 days/week starting from the 2nd week after kidding for 7 weeks. Suckling bout, duration of suckling and number of butts during suckling was greater in twin than in singleton. Kid sex had no significant effect on all behavioural parameters monitored. However, significant positive correlations were observed between suckling bout and number of butts during suckling, between suckling bouts and duration of suckling and between duration of suckling and number of butts during suckling. In conclusion, suckling behaviours in WAD kids were dependent on the birth type and not sex of the kids.
Keywords: parity, sex, suckling behavior, West African dwarf goats