Optimum crossbreeding systems for goats in low-input livestock production system in Kenya
This study in the Small Ruminant Research, aimed to maximize the amount (kg) of high value meat arising from surplus males and females per kilogram of the goat population and, maximize weight gains to turnoff age. Subsequently, the study aimed to decrease turnoff age, maximization of reproduction rates and minimization of the mature weight of does in the low-input livestock production system in Kenya. Three crossbreeding systems and a synthetic breed development were evaluated. A model was developed to compare these crossbreeding systems, and showed the optimum numbers required in each stage of a cross to maximize production. The findings showed that a multi-breed composite is required to form an optimum cross that would productively and efficiently perform in the low-input livestock production system. Generally, the information presented in the current study could provide an avenue for planning and successful execution of community-based goat genetic improvement initiatives in the slowly changing pastoral production circumstances in tropical environments.