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Computerised records at Nyahuka,  Bundibugyo District Boer-cross and Savannah bucks

Record Keeping

Importance of records

The final aim of this programme is to create a new breed of goat, combining the best features of the dairy and local types. In order to achieve this it is necessary to keep good records

This is a big challenge. Record keeping is not routine in Uganda, and no existing project has the level required for this programme.

The picture shows how far we have to go. On a farm  that breeds improved meat goats, a local female attracts a pure Savannah, a 75% Boer and a 50% Savannah x local. Whose will the kids be?

Mating records

The first stage is the mating record which is kept at every buck station. Common mistakes in keeping these records include failure to clearly show which male is used (NB the males are changed frequently) and failure to clearly identify the female. (Often only the keeper’s name is recorded without considering that one keeper may have many goats.)

In order to check up on such issues, it is necessary to make regular follow-up visits to the breeding centres, not just when the males are to be moved.

Herd book

As far as we know, no programme in Uganda keeps a comprehensive herd book, listing all the breeding goats and their grades. (Although some programmes have attempted it.)

In our project areas we want to record every cross-bred goat and the best of the local goats. At present, this task is decentralised, ideally to the parish level but this depends on the local situation.

For this, it is necessary to tag or otherwise identify each goat

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Future

Initially, because the concept of record keeping is new to most small-scale farmers, it is necessary to impose strict rules about it. Also, the groups that are set up are very local, and at first do not have any strong awareness of higher level structure.

As the village and parish level groups become more active, they will be increasingly linked until it is possible to bring them together in a national forum which will oversee the future of the record keeping.

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Record keeping training in Masaka District Sample herd book