Prolificacy and Its Relationship with Age, Body Weight, Parity, Previous Litter Size and Body Linear Type Traits in Meat-type Goats

  • Haldar, Avijit (ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Tripura Centre) ;
  • Pal, Prasenjit (College of Fisheries, Central Agricultural University) ;
  • Rajesh, M. Datta (ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Tripura Centre) ;
  • Pal, Saumen K. (ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Tripura Centre) ;
  • Majumdar, Debasis (Faculty of Agriculture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya) ;
  • Biswas, Chanchal K. (Faculty of Agriculture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya) ;
  • Pan, Subhransu (Department of Livestock Production Management, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences)
  • Received : 2013.10.18
  • Accepted : 2013.12.17
  • Published : 2014.05.01


Data on age and body weight at breeding, parity, previous litter size, days open and some descriptive body linear traits from 389 meat-type, prolific Black Bengal goats in Tripura State of India, were collected for 3 and 1/2 years (2007 to 2010) and analyzed using logistic regression model. The objectives of the study were i) to evaluate the effect of age and body weight at breeding, parity, previous litter size and days open on litter size of does; and ii) to investigate if body linear type traits influenced litter size in meat-type, prolific goats. The incidence of 68.39% multiple births with a prolificacy rate of 175.07% was recorded. Higher age (>2.69 year), higher parity order (>2.31), more body weight at breeding (>20.5 kg) and larger previous litter size (>1.65) showed an increase likelihood of multiple litter size when compared to single litter size. There was a strong, positive relationship between litter size and various body linear type traits like neck length (>22.78 cm), body length (>54.86 cm), withers height (>48.85 cm), croup height (>50.67 cm), distance between tuber coxae bones (>11.38 cm) and distance between tuber ischii bones (>4.56 cm) for discriminating the goats bearing multiple fetuses from those bearing a single fetus.


  1. Abdelgafar, R. M., A. O. Bakhiet, and B. H. Ahmed. 2007. B-mode real-time ultrasonography for pregnancy diagnosis and fetal number in Saanen goats. J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 6:702-705.
  2. Acharya, R. M. 1982. Sheep and goat breeds of India, FAO animal production and health paper 30, pp. 1-190. FAO, United Nations, Rome.
  3. Aliyari, D., M. M. Moeini, M. H. Shahir, and M. A. Sirjani. 2012. Effect of body condition score, live weight and age on reproductive performance of Afshari ewes. Asian J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 7: 904-909.
  4. Constantinou, A. 1989. Genetic and environmental relationships of body weight, milk yield and litter size in Damascus goats. Small Rumin. Res. 2:163-174.
  5. Amoah, E. A., S. Gelaye, P. Guthrie, and C. E. Rexroad. 1996. Breeding season and aspects of reproduction of female goats. J. Anim. Sci. 74:723-728.
  6. An, X. P., D. Han, J. X. Hou, G. Li, J. G. Wang, M. M. Yang, Y. X. Song, G. Q. Zhou, Y. N. Wang, L. Ling, Q. M. Yan, and B. Y. Cao. 2009. GnRH gene polymorphisms and their effects on reproductive performance in Chinese goats. Small Rumin. Res. 85:130-134.
  7. Chu, M. X., Z. H. Wu, T. Feng, G. L. Cao, L. Fang, R. Di, D. W. Huang, X. W. Li, and N. Li. 2011. Polymorphism of GDF9 gene and its association with litter size in goats. Vet. Res. Commun. 35: 329-336.
  8. Feng, T., C. X. Geng, X. Z. Lang, M. X. Chu, G. L. Cao, R. Di, L. Fang, H. Q. Chen, X. L. Liu, and N. Li. 2011. Polymorphisms of caprine GDF9 gene and their association with litter size in Jining Grey goats. Mol. Biol. Rep. 38:5189-5197.
  9. Gaskins, C. T., G. D. Snowder, and M. K. Westman. 2005. Influence of body weight, age and weight gain on fertility and prolificacy in four breeds of ewe lambs. J. Anim. Sci. 83: 1680-1689.
  10. Gonzalez, R. E., D. Labuonora, and A. J. E. Russel. 1997. The effects of ewe live weight and body condition score around mating on production from four sheep breeds in extensive grazing systems in Uruguay. Anim. Sci. 64:139-145.
  11. Hall, D. G., A. R. Gilmour, and N. M. Fogarty. 1994. Variation in reproduction and production of poll dorset ewes. Australian J. Agric. Res. 45:415-425.
  12. Hassan, M. M., S. M. Niaz Mahmud, S. K. M. Azizul Islam, and O. Faruk Miazi. 2007. A comparative study on reproductive performance and productivity of the Black Bengal and crossbred goat at Atrai, Bangladesh. Univ. J. Zool. Rajshahi Univ. 26:55-57.
  13. Luo, M. F., G. R. Wiggans, and S. M. Hubbard. 1997. Variance component estimation and multitrait genetic evaluation for type traits of dairy goats. J. Dairy Sci. 80:594-600.
  14. Karen, A., B. E. Amiri, J. F. Beckers, J. Sulon, M. A. M. Taverne, and O. Szenci. 2006. Comparison of accuracy of transabdominal ultrasonography, progesterone and pregnancy-associated glycoproteins tests for discrimination between single and multiple pregnancy in sheep. Theriogenology 66: 314-322.
  15. Khanum, S. A., M. Hussain, and R. Kausar. 2007. Assessment of reproductive parameters in female Dwarf goat (Capra hircus) on the basis of progesterone profiles. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 102: 267-275.
  16. Laster, D. B., H. A. Glimp, and G. E. Dickerson. 1972. Factors affecting reproduction in ewe lambs. J. Anim. Sci. 35:79-83.
  17. Mellado, M., R. H. Foote, and E. Borrego. 1991. Lactational performance, prolificacy and relationship to parity and body weight in crossbred native goats in north Mexico. Small Rumin. Res. 6:167-174.
  18. Mellado, M., J. Mellado, M. Valencia, and W. Pittroff. 2008. The relationship between linear type traits and fertility traits in high-yielding dairy goats. Reprod. Domest. Anim. 43:599-605.
  19. Moallem, U., A. Rozov, E. Gootwine, and H. Honig. 2012. Plasma concentrations of key metabolites and insulin in late-pregnant ewes carrying 1 to 5 fetuses. J. Anim. Sci. 90:318-324.
  20. Perry, R. C., L. R. Corah, R. C. Cochran, W. E. Beal, J. S. Stevenson, J. E. Minton, D. D. Simms, and J. R. Brethour. 1991. Influence of dietary energy on follicular development, serum gonadotropins, and first postpartum ovulation in suckled beef cows. J. Anim. Sci. 69:3762-3773.
  21. Rahman, M. A., S. M. M. Rahman, M. A. Jalil, S. Nasiruddin, and M. M. Rahman. 2006. Molecular characterization of Black Bengal and Jamunapari goat breeds by RAPD markers. Am. J. Anim. Vet. Sci. 1:17-22.
  22. Smith, J. F. 1985. Protein, energy and ovulation rate. In: Genetics of Reproduction in Sheep (Ed. R. B. Land and D. W. Robinson). Butterworth, Boston, MA, USA. pp. 349.
  23. Royal, M. D., J. E. Pryce, J. A. Woolliams, and A. P. F. Flint. 2002. The genetic relationship between commencement of luteal activity and calving interval, body condition score, production, and linear type traits in Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 85:3071-3080.
  24. Sahoo, A. K., S. Pan, M. S. Tantia, and S. P. S. Ahlawat. 2005. Bengal Goat. West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Kolkata and National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, India.
  25. SAS 9.3., 2012. Foundation for Microsoft Windows, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
  26. Snowder, G. D. 2002. Composite trait selection for improving lamb production. Sheep Goat Res. J. 17:42-49.
  27. Tummaruk, P., W. Tantasuparuk, M. Techakumphu, and A. Kunavongkrit. 2007. Age, body weight and backfat thickness at first observed oestrus in crossbred Landrace Yorkshire gilts, seasonal variations and their influence on subsequence reproductive performance. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 99:167-181.
  28. Wiggans, G. R. and S. M. Hubbard. 2001. Genetic evaluation of yield and type traits of dairy goats in the United States. J. Dairy Sci. 84:E69-E73.
  29. Yakubu, A., A. E. Salako, I. G. Imumorin, A. O. Ige, and M. O. Akinyemi. 2010. Discriminant analysis of morphometric differentiation in the West African Dwarf and Red Sokoto goats. South African J. Anim. Sci. 40:381-387.
  30. Zeshmarani, S., K. C. Dhara, A. K. Samanta, R. Samanta, and S. C. Majumder. 2007. Reproductive performance of goats in eastern and north-eastern India. Livest. Res. Rural Dev. 19(8): no. 114. Accessed January 27, 2014.

Cited by

  1. Body linear traits for identifying prolific goats vol.7, pp.12, 2014,
  2. Genotyping of Novel SNPs in BMPR1B, BMP15, and GDF9 Genes for Association with Prolificacy in Seven Indian Goat Breeds vol.27, pp.3, 2016,
  3. Polymorphisms of caprine GnRHR gene and their association with litter size in West African Dwarf goats vol.45, pp.1, 2018,
  4. The effects of PPR on the reproductive health of Black Bengal goats and the possible role played by oxidative stress vol.50, pp.7, 2018,