A survey of the meat goat industry in Queensland and New South Wales. 2. Herd management, reproductive performance and animal health

Nogueira, D.M., Gummow, B., Gardiner, C.P., Cavalieri, J., Fitzpatrick, L.A., and Parker, A.J. (2016) A survey of the meat goat industry in Queensland and New South Wales. 2. Herd management, reproductive performance and animal health. Animal Production Science, 56 (9). pp. 1533-1544.

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An interview-based questionnaire survey was conducted on 31 goat properties in New South Wales and Queensland in 2013. This study has gathered information on goat herd management, reproductive performance and animal health, and has identified constraints that may limit goat productivity. Producers from high-rainfall regions reported having full blood Boer goats for stud breeding. In contrast, producers from pastoral regions had rangeland goats and Boer-cross goats. Overall, 87% of the producers identified a natural breeding season in goats and 61% separated kids from their mothers at weaning. The weaning age varied between 3.0 and 6.0 months. A total of 52% of producers castrated male kids. Only 10% of producers used ultrasound to conduct pregnancy diagnosis on their goats. The reported pregnancy rate was 60% for the pastoral regions and 94% for the high-rainfall regions. The average prolificacy was 1.4 kids/doe and the kidding interval was 12 months. Overall, 68% of producers fed their goat herd with supplements, with the exception that most producers from western New South Wales and south-western Queensland did not use supplements. Producers considered gastrointestinal parasites (61%) and body lice (48%) as the main diseases associated with their goat herds, although only 52% mentioned drenching the animals with anthelmintics. In general, properties in the pastoral regions showed low pregnancy and kidding rates, early age at first mating, high mortality rates, poor performance of Boer bucks and lower weights and weight gain compared with properties in the high-rainfall regions. The survey has highlighted areas that require further study to validate the observations of producers, for instance, factors that may be limiting the fertility of Boer goats in rangeland environments, the incidence of diseases, the use of Kidplan and management activities to improve goat productivity.

Item ID: 38731
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-5787
Keywords: goats, diseases, reproduction, meat, rangelands
Funders: James Cook University, Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2015 23:37
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3003 Animal production > 300302 Animal management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830304 Goats @ 100%
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