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Selective breeding is simply choosing the best goats for breeding, in the expectation that the offspring will resemble them, and therefore be better than average. If applied to successive generations, then steady progress will be made towards . Individual goats may make more or less progress towards this goal. It is even possible for an individual goat to ‘go backward’, i.e. to be worse than its parents, but taken over all the goats on the programme, the average will be improving.
Selection is most efficient when all the animals are kept under identical conditions,
so that the choice is ‘fair’. This is only possible if the animals are kept on a
research station, an option which is not normally economically feasible for medium
and large livestock. As well as the cost, the other problem with on-
Because the goats will generally be ‘hand-
Many of the females born will be kept for breeding. This is particularly so during
the early stages of the programme, when the number of cross-
A farmer whose goats all give less milk than average needs firstly to try to improve
feeding and general management, especially if the goats are also slow growing. If
this does not help, then the farmer should considering selling one or more of his
goats in order to purchase a kid from a high-
If a farmer with one of the best does needs to sell it, the should find a way whereby this female can be retained in the village, and a less productive goat sold in its place.