Introduction

In a meat production system reproductive performance is of vital importance since productivity is largely a function of pregnancy rate, the number of offspring born and weaned, and the frequency with which kids are produced. The aim of meat goat reproductive management must therefore be a high level of fertility (greater than 90%), and an optimum litter size (2 kids) with a high survival to weaning. Understanding reproductive processes in the goat will help producers to manage their herd more efficiently, and breed their does to produce kids that will fit a specific market niche to command a maximum price. Major constraints to reproductive management of goats are the seasonal nature of breeding, and a lack of data on the reproductive performance of domestic meat goat breeds.

This instructional module will introduce the reader to the fundamental concepts of goat reproduction and how they can be applied towards improving reproductive performance. A glossary explaining some of the terms associated with reproduction in goats can be found at the end of this module.

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