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Breed Improvement

Starting point

Local goats have good disease resistance and climate tolerance, so we don’t want the local blood to drop too low.  However, we need a reasonable contribution from European dairy breeds to get a reasonable milk yield. So we start with 50% crosses.

Why 50% crosses

How we use improver bucks to achieve the initial population

Video illustrating how an individual can breed 50% crosses

Video illustrating how the initial stock is established in a village

Selection

The initial cross-bred goats have quite good disease resistance and moderate milk production; but we want to improve on this. By continually choosing the best goats to breed from  the productivity can be increased without reducing resistance. This is a slow process, and takes many generations.

Selective breeding explained

Video illustrating selective breeding

The target

The main aim is to increase the milk available for consumption and sale. But if the milk production per goat is too high, then feeding the goat becomes difficult. So we are aiming for an average of 2 litres per day.

In addition, factors such as climate adaptation and disease resistance must be maintained. Consideration must also be given to meat production.

More on breeding targets

The role of breeders’ groups

At village and parish level, the breeders’ groups will oversee the selection process by selecting which males are to be used as village bucks. They will also provide the foundation for good record keeping.

At a higher level, we hope to establish goat shows at sub-county, district or regional levels.  This will help to create cohesion for the breeding process, as well as providing a point of contact with farmers and groups who are not yet part of the programme.                 more…

Setting up a herd book in Nakalembe Sub-Project, Masaka