Genetic and Non-genetic Causes of Variation in Gestation Length, Litter Size and Litter Weight in Goats

  • Hoque, M.A. (Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Bangladesh Agricultural University) ;
  • Amin, M.R. (Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Bangladesh Agricultural University) ;
  • Baik, D.H. (Department of Animal Resources and Biotechnology, Chonbuk National University)
  • Received : 2001.06.05
  • Accepted : 2002.01.14
  • Published : 2002.06.01


This study was made with 631 does of 3 genetic groups and 1,112 of their kids allocated into 3 different locations to examine gestation length, litter size and litter weight in goats. Attributes studied were genetic group, parity, age of dam at kidding, weight of dam at breeding, season and location. Genetic group of dam affected significantly (p<0.01) size of litter but not gestation length and weight of litter. Selected Black Bengal (SBB) genetic group performed better in litter size and litter weight than random bred Black Bengal (RBB) and its crossbreds with Jamunapari ♂ (JBB). Litter size and weight were significantly affected by age of dam at kidding (p<0.01), weight of dam at service (p<0.001) and parity (p<0001). Size and weight of litter were found highest in SBB does, or does having 35-40 months of age at kidding, or does with 19-20 kg live weight at service, or at 4th parity. Season, location and parity also affected significantly (p<0.05) gestation length. Shortest gestation length was found in 5th parity or in summer season, whereas the longest was in 2nd parity or in winter season.


Genetic Group;Parity;Litter Biomass;Season;Gestation Length


  1. Abdelsalam, M. M., A. S. Heider, N. M. Abdelaziz and M. Eissa. 1997. Alexandria J. Agric. Res. 42(3):21-32.
  2. Amin, M. R., S. S. Husain, A. B. M. M. Islam and M. Saadullah. 2001. Direct selection response to growth and correlated response to lactational traits in Black Bengal goats. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 14:899-904.
  3. Devenrda, C. and M. Burns. 1983. Goat production in the tropics. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, UK.
  4. Garci, B. O., B. E. Garci, J. Bravo and B. Kennedy. 1996. Analysis of a crossbreeding trial with Criollo and imported goats. 2. Litter weight. Revista de la Facultad de Agronomia, Universidad del Zulia. 13:417-428.
  5. Hafez, 1993. Reproduction in Farm Animals. 6th Edition. Lea and Febige. Philadelphia. USA. pp. 320-321.
  6. Harvey, W. R. 1990. Mixed Model Least-Squares and Maximum Likelihood Computer Program PC-2 Version. Mimeograph. Ohio State University, Ohio, USA.
  7. Husain, S. S. 1993. A study on the productive performance and genetic potentials of Black Bengal goats. Ph.D. thesis. Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh.
  8. Saithanoo, S., B. J. Restall and W. A. Pallie. 1988. The relationships between reproduction rate and production traits of Australian Cashmere goats. Prodeedings of the Australian Association of Animal Breeding and Genetics. 7:528-531.
  9. Singh, D. K., C. S. P. Singh and H. R. Misra. 1991. Factors affecting growth of Black Bengal and its crossbreds with Jamunapari and Beetal goats. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 61:1101-1105.
  10. Ageeb, A. A. 1992. Production and reproduction characteristics of a flock of Baggara goats of South Kordofan, Sudan. Sudan J. Anim. Prod. 5:1-24.
  11. Shil, R. N. and S. C. Debnath. 1995. An introduction to the theory of statistics. Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. p. 286.
  12. Bradford, G. E. 1985. Selection for litter size. J. Anim. Sci. 49:66-74.
  13. Wilson, R. T. and D. Light 1986. Livestock production in central traditionally managed goats and sheep. J. Anim. Sci. 62:557-567.
  14. Husain, S. S., M. R. Amin and A. B. M. M. Islam 1998. Goat production and its breeding strategy in Bangladesh. Proc. 1st National Workshop on Animal Breeding. Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh pp. 17-34.
  15. Horst, P. and S. S. Husain. 1991. Animal genetic resources. In: Goat Husbandry and Breeding in the Tropics. International Seminar carried out by German Foundation for International Development. University of Malaya, KualaLumpur. p. 141.
  16. Husain, S. S., P. Horst and A. B. M. M. Islam. 1995. Effect of different factors on pre-weaning survivability of Black Bengal kids. Small Rum. Res. 18:1-5.
  17. Devendra, C. 1985. Profilic breeds of goats. In: Genetics of Reproduction in Sheep (Ed. R. B. Land and D. W. Robinson). Butterworths, London. pp. 69-80.
  18. Dickson, U. L., G. H. Torres, C. P. Becerril, F. C. Gonzalez, M. A. Osorio and O. B. Garcia. 2000. Comparison of Alpine and Nubian goats for some reproductive traits under dry tropical conditions. Small Rumin. Res. 36:91-95.
  19. Karua, S. A. 1989. Some performance indicators os Malawi indigenous goats under village and ranch conditions. African Small Rumin. Res. Devel. 12:243-249.
  20. Mourad, M. 1996. Estimation of repeatability of litter size of common African goats and crosses with Alpine in Rwanda. Small Rumin. Res. 19:263-266.
  21. Amoah, E. A., S. Gelaye, P. Guthrie and C. E. J. Rexroad. 1996. Breeding season and aspects of reproduction of female goats. J. Anim. Sci. 74:723-728.
  22. Aegelika, S. 1991. Husbandry and kid raising methods. In: Goat Husbandry and Breeding in the Tropics. International Seminar carried out by German Foundation for International Development. University of Malaya, Kualalampur. pp. 151-161.
  23. Morand-Fehr, P. 1981. Goat Production, (Ed. C. Gall). Academic Press, London. p. 124.
  24. Kale, M. M. and O. S. Tomer. 1999. Reproductive performance of crossbred goat flock under stall-fed conditions. Indian J. Small Rumin. Res. 5(1):20-24.
  25. Husain, S. S., P. Horst and A. B. M. M. Islam. 1996. Study on the growth performance of Black Bengal goats in different periods. Small Rumin. Res. 21:165-171.

Cited by

  1. Birth weight, birth type and pre-weaning survivability of West African Dwarf goats raised in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana vol.39, pp.2, 2007,
  2. Effect of Non-Genetic Factors on The Reproductive Performance and Milk Yield Characteristics of Hair Goats pp.1308-1594, 2019,