|dc.description.abstract||The management practices, morphometric body measurements and disease profiles of local Zambian goats were studied with the main objectives of assessing the existing production system. The study was also aimed at gaining better understanding of
1) socio-economic characteristics of the goat keepers and their management practices
2) identification of important physical characteristics
3) biometry of body parts of local Zambian goats and
4) profile of important diseases of goats.
The flock population dynamics and the pattern of some selected production parameters for goats kept and maintained under traditional management in the Luangwa valley were studied using a monthly questionnaire survey between August 1996 and July 1997. This allowed monitoring of the flock inventory, kidding rate, mortality, slaughter, sales and purchases pattern in a group of twenty-five randomly selected farmers.
All the investigated parameters appeared to have been influenced by seasonal effects. The average annual flock composition was 516 goats which consisted of 26% suckling animals, 34% rearing animals, 35% breeding females, 1%) breeding males and 4% castrated males. The breeding male to breeding female ratio was 1: 36. Two peaks in kidding rates (31%, 30%) were observed during the hot, dry part of the year (August to October) and the warm, rainy season (February to April) respectively. The least kidding rates (15% and 18%) were in the hot, rainy season and the cool, dry season respectively. The average flock prolificacy and fecundity for the whole period was 1.36 and 1.28 respectively. The risk rate for seasonal mortality was highest (15.1%)) for all classes of animals during the hot, wet part of||en_US