Genetic Improvement and Crossbreeding in Meat Goats Lessons in Animal Breeding for Goats Bred and Raised for Meat

Will R. Getz - Fort Valley State University

Unit Objective

After completion of this module of instruction the producer should be able to use breeding terminology and concepts and distinguish between facts and old wives tales for the development of a genetic based breeding program that over time will improve the genotype of your goat operation. The producer should be able to evaluate the individual goat herd and select bucks that will improve and enhance the financial structure of the goat program. The producer should be able to complete all assignments with 100% accuracy and score a minimum of 85% on the module test.

Specific Objectives

After completion of this instructional module the producer should be able to:

  1. Match specific terms associated with animal breeding to the correct definition.
  2. State the purpose of genetic change in meat goats.
  3. State the key component of a breeding goal.
  4. Identify key life-time doe productivity traits.
  5. State the purpose of keeping accurate production records.
  6. Define breed. State the basic characteristics of each of several breeds used in producing market goats.
  7. Identify the basic tools for making genetic improvement.
  8. Identify the two aspects of artificial selection.
  9. Identify some observable traits within the meat goat.
  10. Identify some measurable traits within the meat goat.
  11. Name the person that gave us an understanding of basic genetics.
  12. Identify the number of chromosomes in goat body cells.
  13. Distinguish between homozygous and heterozygous genotype.
  14. Identify Mendel’s two fundamental biological laws as applied to inheritance.
  15. Identify the two exceptions to the law of independent assortment.
  16. State the percentage of chromosomes contributed by the doe and the buck.
  17. Distinguish between additive and non-additive gene action.
  18. Match the degree of dominance to the correct definition.
  19. Distinguish between simply-inherited and polygenic traits.
  20. Match the basic genetic model for quantitative traits to their definition.
  21. Match terms related to statistics and their application to quantitative traits, to the correct definition.
  22. Select the three basic aspects of covariation.
  23. Distinguish between heritability and repeat ability.
  24. Match selected traits to their heritability value.
  25. Identify factors affecting the rate of genetic change.
  26. Select some factors that influence birth weight.
  27. Select several factors that influence weaning weight.
  28. Identify the four factors which are involved in determining rate of genetic change through selection.
  29. Identify factors affecting accuracy of prediction.
  30. State the meaning of multiple-trait selection.
  31. Match the different mating systems to the correct definition.
  32. Select the two bases of mating strategies.
  33. Distinguish between random mating and planned assortive mating.
  34. Select mating strategies which are based on pedigree relationships.
  35. Identify the two most important genetic reasons to outbreed.
  36. Identify criteria that should be used to evaluate a crossbreeding system.
  37. Distinguish between a rotational crossbreeding system and a two-breed rotational system.
  38. State the meaning of composites.

Module Contents

  • Why Are You Interested in Breeding and Genetic Change?
    • Seeing the whole picture
    • Purpose of genetic change in meat goats
    • Breeding goals
    • Records
    • The showring
    • Role of pedigrees
    • Goal setting and breeding objectives
  • Available Genetic Resources – Breeds
  • How Are Meat Goat Populations Improved Genetically?
    • Selection
    • What traits?
  • The Genetic Model for Quantitative (Polygenic) Traits
    • Fundamental genetics for understanding what is happening in cells
  • Simple Statistics and Their Application to Quantitative Traits in Meat Goat Breeding
    • Normal distribution
  • The Concepts of Heritability and Repeatability
  • Factors Affecting the Rate of Genetic Change in a Herd or Breed
    • Selection and genetic change for breeders
    • Accuracy of selection
    • Selection intensity
    • Genetic variation
    • Generation interval
  • How to Select for Several Traits at the Same Time
  • Practical Mating Systems for Meat Goat Producers
    • Rotational crossbreeding systems
      • Two-breed rotational system
      • Three-breed rotational system
    • Terminal sire systems
      • Static terminal sire crossbreeding system
      • Rotational/terminal systems
  • Summary of the Essentials in Meat Goat Breeding
    • Knowledgeable and understanding
    • Use good information
    • Slow down and take time to think
    • Be consistent
    • Simplicity; keep it simple
    • Have patience
  • Ethics in Merchandizing Meat Goat Genetics
  • Learning Objectives for the Breeding and Genetics Module
  • PDF Versions

    You may download this module in PDF format.

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