Performance of dairy goat genotypes in different production systems in Kenya

  • R.W. Waineina
  • K. Ngeno
  • T.O. Okeno
  • E.D. Ilatsia
Keywords: Dairy goat, Genotype, Kenya, Performance, Production system


Dairy goat population in Kenya is estimated to be 175,000 heads which mainly consist of exotic breeds such as Toggenburg, Anglo-Nubian, German Alpines, Saanen, Boer and their crosses with indigenous goats. Genetic improvement efforts have mainly been focused on crossbreeding between the exotic breeds and local populations to improve both milk and meat. Previous crossbreeding programmes were initiated by interest groups such as Non-Governmental Organizations. Knowledge on productivity for different dairy goat genotypes is, however, still limited. The aim of this study was to document performance of dairy goat genotypes in different production systems. A baseline study was conducted in Homa Bay, Nyeri and Meru Counties which were the entry points of Saanen, Alpine and Toggenburg dairy goats in Kenya. A structured questionnaire was administered to a total of 147 household farms. The three genotypes per County with combinations of 30 households with Saanen, 58 Alpine and 59 Toggenburg were randomly sampled from Homa Bay, Nyeri and Meru Counties respectively. Data analysis were performed using SAS v2008 software. The results showed that all households in the three Counties practiced semi-intensive production system. The mean flock size was 4.5 ± 3.5, 5.2 ±2.4 and 6.9±3.2 per household for Saanen, Alpine and Toggenburg respectively. The average milk production per doe/day was 1.70±0.13 L, 1.83 ±0.12L and 2.52±0.18L for Toggenburg, Alpine and Saanen, respectively. Overall, age at first service, age at weaning and kidding interval for does were 1.1 years, 3.3 months, and 9.1 months respectively. The results from the study revealed the need for further research on profitability analysis per genotype.


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