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What is recorded

Sample herd bookBecause of logistical problems, the task of recording the herd book has been decentralised, to ‘parish’ level. Here it is maintained as a literal book, with all grades of goat recorded consecutively in the same book.

In order to enable subsequent integration into a national register, each location is given a unique 3-letter code. Each goat is then given a serial number - 0001, 0002, 0003 etc. When the location code and serial number are combined, every goat has a unique identifier.

In order to make sure that the paper records are good enough to be incorporated in a computerised system, quality control is critical, and so frequent checks on the people recording them is essential.

Computerised records at Nyahuka, Bundibugyo District, UgandaThe information that is recorded is:

• ID (Three-letter code + serial number)

• Date of registration

• Keeper/Owner

• Sex

• Name (if applicable)

• Tag colour & number (if applicable)

• Sire (father) - preferably its ID

• Dam  (mother) - preferably its ID

• Description

• Grade (Initially the known or estimated percentage dairy/Boer blood. In future the grade.)

We hope all goat keepers in Uganda will keep this type of record to make a unified system possible in future.

Grading up

The new breed will have an open herd book, which means that it will be possible to ‘grade up’ from any other type of goat. This is common practice elsewhere, for instance for ‘British’ breeds such as British Toggenburg, entry into the herd book is essentially according to the amount of Toggenburg/British Toggenburg blood. This works well when starting from predominantly dairy type goats. But when the starting goats are non-dairy Small East African, the large numbers of goats being graded up will result in a dilution of the dairy quality of the breed. To minimise this, it is envisaged that the grades will all be performance based - a doe can only qualify for a higher grade if it produces a specified amount of milk, but subsequently all its offspring qualify for that grade, unless promoted because of their own milk production. Eventually it will be for the breeders to come together at a national level to form a breed society to set exact rules.

The Herd Book