Indigenous Goat Populations in Northwestern and Western Zones of Tigray Region, Ethiopia: Characterization of Major Husbandry Practices and Kidding Patterns

Teweldemedhn Mekonnen *

Tigray Agricultural Research Institute; Humera Begait Animals Research Center, Tigray, Ethiopia.

Shishay Markos

Tigray Agricultural Research Institute; Humera Begait Animals Research Center, Tigray, Ethiopia.

Kibrom Esak

Tigray Agricultural Research Institute; Humera Begait Animals Research Center, Tigray, Ethiopia.

Tesfay Ataklti

Tigray Agricultural Research Institute; Humera Begait Animals Research Center, Tigray, Ethiopia.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The survey was conducted before the war (before October 2020) in Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Goats are highly concentrated in the lowland areas than in the highlands of Ethiopia. Sample households of Begait (102), Hassan (106) and Arado (181) goats were randomly involved in the face-to-face interview. Statistical Package for Social Sciences software was used for data analysis. Illiterate respondents were in Begait (42%), Hassan (29%) and Arado (55%). Cattle and goats were the major economic sources in Begait (10.19±9.1 Tropical Livestock Unit (TLU), 4.30±2.8 TLU) and Arado (4.77±3.2 TLU, 1.27±0.9 TLU) respondents. The mean flock size of Arado goat population (12.65±9.9) was significantly (P<0.005) lower than the mean flock sizes of Begait (43.02±28.1) and Hassan (70.29±52.6) populations. Animals went to water source in most respondents (100.0% of Begait, 67.0% of Hassan and 87% of Arado), and river was the major water source for the animals of about 47% of Begait, 43% of Hassan and 79.0% of Arado respondents. Animals of about 56% of Hassan and 57% of Arado respondents travelled a distance of 1-5 Kilometer (Km) to obtain water, and dry season daily watering frequency of once a day was dominantly practiced in about 88% of Begait and 83% of Hassan respondents. Diseases and external parasites were reported in Begait (96%, 85%), Hassan (98%, 90%) and Arado (67%, 87%) respondents which affected indigenous goat productivity. There was no access to veterinary service centers (VSCs) in about 47% of Begait, 65% of Hassan and 93% of Arado respondents, and some respondents in about 24% of Begait and 17% of Hassan travelled a distance of greater than 10 Km to reach VSCs. Own buck use for mating and buck birth in own flocks were exhibited in Begait (93%, 85%), Hassan (95%, 76%) and Arado (38%, 35%) respondents, respectively. Uncontrolled mating and buck use outside of own flock were practiced in Begait (70%, 73%), Hassan (43%, 65%) and Arado (100.0%, 100.0%) respondents due to most goats graze in communal lands, respectively. Unknown buck to does ratio was practiced in 41% of Begait and 39% of Hassan respondents. Unknown buck to does ratio and a ratio of one buck to all does in the flock were practiced in Arado (8%, 67%) respondents, respectively, and crossbreeding was highly practiced in Begait respondents (41%). The dominant kidding months of Begait and Arado goat populations were in September up to November whilst that of Hassan goat population were in October up to December. Castration and traditional castration method were practiced in Begait (54%, 54%), Hassan (39%, 37%) and Arado (70%, 64%) respondents, respectively. Community education, access to water, access to VSC, buck to doe ratio, kidding pattern improvement and castration to control inbreeding need critical attention.

Keywords: Characterization, indigenous goat, husbandry practices, watering practice, mating practice, kidding patterns


How to Cite

Mekonnen, T., Markos, S., Esak , K., & Ataklti , T. (2024). Indigenous Goat Populations in Northwestern and Western Zones of Tigray Region, Ethiopia: Characterization of Major Husbandry Practices and Kidding Patterns . Journal of Applied Life Sciences International, 27(3), 32–48. https://doi.org/10.9734/jalsi/2024/v27i3645

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