Influence of Breed, Season, Age and Body Condition Score (Bcs) on Litter Size of Goats Reared

Influence of Breed, Season, Age and Body Condition Score (Bcs) on Litter Size of Goats Reared in Mubi, the Guinea Savanah Zone of Nigeria

Tizhe, M.A., Shua, N. J., Kubkomawa, H.I. and Kwaji, D. T.

Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Adamawa State University, Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria

International Journal of Animal ResearchA two year study was conducted to investigate the effects of breed, year, season, age and body condition score on litter sizes of goats reared in Mubi, guinea savannah zone of Nigeria. Data was collected on fetuses recovered, and the grafian follicles as well as the presence of corpus luteum, which are direct measures of litter size from female Sahel and Sokoto Red goats of different age groups and body condition scores across four seasons for two years. It was discovered that, there were significant (P<0.001) effects of breed, season, age, year and body condition score variations on the litter sizes. The Sahel has higher number of litters than the Sokoto Red does. Season has highly significant (P < 0.001) effect on the litter sizes where early dry and late wet seasons ranked highest. Measurement of the litter size based on the number of matured follicles and the presence of corpora lutea shows similar trend. There are differences in the number of litter size in the does based on the year, as year 2016 recorded the highest number of matured follicles and corpora lutea. The highest number of ovarian parameters for both the right and the left were recorded among does aged ≥ 3 years with body condition score (BCS5). The combined effects of breed x season on litter sizes was significantly ((P < 0.01) higher during the early dry and late wet seasons in both breeds, but was better in the Sahel in both seasons. Since breed, season, age and BCS has significant influence on the litter sizes as measured using fetal recovery and ovulation rate in does of both breeds, and with the ovaries being active all year round, selection and breeding exercise should be carefully carried out based on the records obtained. This indicates that breed or individual animals that have the best parameter values should be selected for breeding using the available measured index.

Keywords: Influence, Breed, Year, Season, Age and BCS, Litter Sizes Goats, Nigeria

Free Full-text PDF

How to cite this article:
Tizhe, M.A., Shua, N. J., Kubkomawa, H.I. and Kwaji, D. T.. Influence of Breed, Season, Age and Body Condition Score (Bcs) on Litter Size of Goats Reared in Mubi, the Guinea Savanah Zone of Nigeria. International Journal of Animal Research, 2017,1:13.


1 ADADP (1986). Adamawa Agricultural Development Programme. Method of Vegetable Gardening, pp. 3- 4.
2 Adalemo, I.A. and Baba, J.M. (1993). Nigeria Giant in the tropic 1:129 Gambumo publishing Co. Ltd Lagos Nigeria.
3 Adebayo, A. A. (1999). Climate, Sunshine, Temperature, Relative Humidity and Rainfall. Journal of Applied Sciences and Management,1, 69 -72.
4 Adebayo, A. A. and Tukur, A. L. (1991). Adamawa State in Maps, pp. 35 – 40.
5 Adebayo, A. A. and Tukur, A. L. (1997). Adamawa State in Maps, pp. 8 – 45.
6 Akusu, M.O. and Ajala, O.O. (2000). Reproductive Performance of West African Dwarf Goats in the Humid Tropical Environment of Ibadan. Israel Veterinary Medical Association, 55 (2): 2000.
7 Amegee, Y. (1988). Performance de-production de la Cheure Djallon au Togo. In: Goat Production in the Humid Tropics: O.B. Smith and H.G. Bossman (Eds) Centre for Agricultural publishing and Documentation, Wageningen, Holland. Pp: 137-139.
8 Areola, O. O. (1983). Soil and Vegetational Resources. In J. S. Ogunn, O. O. Areola and M. Filani (Ed). Geography of Nigerian Development. Heinemann Ibadan, p. 342.
9 ASMLS (2010a). Map of Nigeria Showing all States. Adamawa State Ministry of Land and Survey, Yola, Nigeria.
10 ASMLS (2010b). Map of Adamawa State of Nigeria Showing all Local Government Areas. Adamawa State Ministry of Land and Survey, Yola, Nigeria.
11 Awemu, E.M; Nwakalor, L.N and Abubakar, B.Y. (1999a). Environmental influences on preweaning mortality and reproductive performance of Red Sokoto does. Small Ruminant Research 34: 161 – 165
12 Bitto, I.F and Egbunike, G.N. (2006). Seasonal variations in sperm production, gonadal and extra gonadal sperm reserves in pubertal WAD bucks in their native tropical environment. Livestock Research for Rural Development 18 (9) 2006.
13 Boyazoglu, J. and Morand-fer, P., (2001). Mediterranean Dairy Sheep and Goat Products and their Quality. A critical Review. Small Ruminant Research, 40: 1-11.
14 Bradford, G.E. (1985).Selection for litter size. Journal of Animal Science. 49 (Supplement) Pp 66-74.
15 Butswart, 1.S R. and Zaharadeen, D.T. (1998). Comparison of some reproductive parameters in Red Sokoto and Kano brown breeds of bucks. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production 25 (1)1-5.
16 Butswat, I.S.R. (1994). Study on seasonal variation in reproduction status of sheep and goats in Bauchi, Nigeria Ph.D thesis, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Nigeria.
17 Devendra, C. (1962). Upgrading of local goats by Anglonubian at federal experimental stations Serdang. Malayan Agricultural Journal 43:260-280.
18 Devendra, C. (1970). Classification of goats by body size, Sheep and Goats production in the tropics. Int. tropical Agricultural series (edn) Devendra, C, and MCleroy G.B. Pp188- 200
19 Devendra, C. and Burns, M. (1983). Goat production in the tropics; 2nd Edn. Common- wealth agricultural Bureau Slough, U.K. Pp183.
20 Devendra, C. and McLeroy, G.B (1982). Goat and sheep production in the tropics. ELBS Edn. Longman Singapore. 20-200.
21 Ebozoje, M.O and Ikeobi, C.O.N. (1998). Colors variations and reproduction in West African Dwarf goats (WAD). Small Ruminant Research 27:125-130.
22 Epistein, J.and Herz. (1964). Fertility and birth weight of goats in a subtropical environment. Journal of Agricultural Science (Cambridge, London) 62: 237-244.
23 FAO (1996). World Development Report Paper No. 2. Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome, Italy.
24 Grunner, L. and Charbert, Y. (2000). Proceedings of the 7th international conference on goats. Vol. 2, Institute de l’Elevage, Tours, France. pp. 10-49.
25 Gunn, R.T and Doney, J.M. (1975). The Interaction of Nutrition and condition at mating on ovulation rate and early embryo mortality and South country cheviot ewes. Animal Production 29:11-16.
26 Haenlein, G. F. W. (2001). Past, Present and Future Perspectives of Small Ruminant Research. Journal of Dairy Science 84: 2097-2115.
27 Haenlein, G. F. W. (2004). Roles of goat milk in human nutrition. Small Ruminant Research, 51: 155-163.
28 Haenlein, G.F.W. and Fahmy, M.H. (1999). Role of small ruminants in the supply of animal products. Small Ruminant Research, 34: 175-308.
29 Hafez, E.S.E. (1982). Reproduction in Farm Animals 5thEdition. Philadelphia Baltimore NewYork, London Pp 301-322.
30 Hambolu, J.O and Ojo, S.A. (1985). Ovarian activity in Sokoto Red goats using abbatoir specimens. In: Final Year project thesis Dauda, D.D (1986). Department of Animal Science University of Maiduguri – Nigeria.
31 INEC (1996). Independent National Electoral Commission of Federal Republic of Nigeria
32 Kelly, R.W; Wilkins, J.F and Newnkam, J.P. (1989) Fetal Mortality from Day 30 of pregnancy in Merino ewes offered different levels of nutrition. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 29: 339 – 342.
33 Levasseur, Z and Thibault, C. (1980). Reproductive life cycle: In: Reproduction in Farm Animals. Hafez, E.S.E (Eds). 4thEdition, Lea and Fabriger Philadelphia, Pp130- 149.
34 Mansir, M. (2006). Livestock Marketing and Transportation in Nigeria.
35 Mbap, S.T. and Ngere L.O. (1989). Observations on reproduction and kid performance of goats in the humid tropics. Nigerian Journal of Agricultural Technology.1 (1):69 – 80.
36 Mellado, M; Foote, R and Gomez, A. (1991). Reproductive Efficiency of Nubian Goats throughout the Year in Northern Mexico. Small Ruminant Research. 6: 151– 156.
37 Mohammed, K. (1999). Historical background. In A. A. Adebayo and A. L. Tukur (Ed) Adamawa State in Maps.
38 Newton, J. E; Betts, J. E and Wilde, R. (1980). The effects of body condition and time of mating on the reproductive performance of Masham Ewes. Animal Production 30: 253-260.
39 NPC (1990). National Population Commission Exercise of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
40 Odubote, I.K. (1996). Genetic parameters for litter size at birth and Kidding interval in the West African Dwarf goats. Small Ruminant Research, 20: 261-265.
41 Ozo, N.O. (2004). The stakeholder interphase and self-sufficiency in animal proteins in Nigeria. In: Animal protein in Nigeria. Proceedings of the 9th annual conference of animal science Association (Eds). Ugunji, J.O; Osakwe, I.I; Ewa, V.U; Alaku, S.O; Otuma, M.O and Nweze, B.O. Ebonyi State University, Abeokuta. 13-19 Sept. 2004 Pp. 10-12.
42 Premium times Newspapers (2017). National agricultural Sample Survey report, 2011. In premium times newspaper Nigeria Releases Census of Goats, Sheep, Pigs other livestock in the country June, 2nd 2012
43 Sacker, G.D and Trail, J.C.M. (1966). Production Characteristics of a herd of East African Mubende goats. East Africa Journal 32: 133 – 136
44 Shelton, M (1961). Factors effecting kid production of Angora does. Texas Agriculture Experimentation Station MP 469.
45 Silva, E; Galima, M.A, Palma, J.M and Voilenaira, J. (1998). Reproductive performance of Alpine dairy goats in a semi-arid environment of Mexico under a continuous breeding system. Small Ruminants Research 27: 79 – 84.
46 Statistix 9.1. (2012) Statistical programme for Scientists and Engineers. USA Washington DC 2011
47 Taiwo B.B.A; Buvendran, V and Adu, I.F. (2005).Effects of Body Condition score on the reproductive performance of Red Sokoto goat. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production. 32: (1) 1 – 6.
48 Thiruvenkadan, A.K., Panneerselvam and S. Kandasmy, N. (2000a). Reproductive performance of Kanni Adu goats under field conditions. Indian Journal of Animal Science 70 (7); 691 – 693.
49 West, K.S, Myer, H.H and Nawaz, M. (1991). Effects of differential ewe condition at mating and early post mating nutrition on embryo survival. Journal of Animal Science 69: 3931 – 3938.
50 Wilson R.T and Light, D. (1986). Livestone production in Central Mali: Economic characters and productivity tendencies for traditionally managed goats and sheep. Journal of Animal Science, 62: 567 – 575.
51 Wilson, R.T. (1989). Reproductive Performance of African Indigenous Small Ruminants under various management systems, a review. Animal Production Science 20:265– 286.