DNA Testing in Goats

With the growing popularity of genomic evaluations and the importance of documenting accurate pedigrees, the use of DNA testing is growing in most livestock and breed associations, including goats. However, limited information is available on gene markers in goats, and very few genes have been identified to be related to production traits in dairy, fiber, or meat goats at this time. Researchers are working on identifying the goat genome, as has been done in other species.

In addition to genomic …

Practical Mating Systems for Meat Goat Producers

There are two kinds of decisions that meat goat breeders must make. They first must make decisions such as which individuals become parents, how many offspring they may produce, and how long they remain in the breeding population. Meat goat breeders then must also decide which bucks to breed to which does. That is a mating decision.

Mating decisions fall into two general categories, inbreeding and outbreeding. Inbreeding is most often practiced by purebred breeders who are producing the parent …

Selection Methods

Selection Methods.

Selection for a single trait is the quickest way to make progress in that individual trait. However, because animals and the economics of livestock production are complex, this simple method is generally not practical. Correlated responses between traits can also cause problems in this type of selection. For example, if we simply selected for individual weaning weight alone, we would most often select kids born and raised as singles, reducing fertility and twinning rate in the herd.

Multiple …

Traits to Consider

Traits to consider when selecting.

Producers have a number of traits they can utilize to select their breeding stock. These traits include breed information– horns, color, body type — birth type, birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk production and mothering ability.

The key to success is to concentrate on one or a few traits that have the greatest economic impact to your herd. In most cases these are traits related to growth and include birth, weaning and yearling weight. …

Principles of Selection

Principles of selection.

Goats, like other types of livestock, can benefit from controlled breeding and selection to improve specific traits. To achieve this improvement and realize increased performance, it is critical that producers have an understanding of some of the basic principles behind genetics and how to utilize performance records to make progress.

The first step is to remember that there are two components to all traits that we see: genetics and environment. Producers have some control over both of …

Genetic Selection

Basic Principles of Selection

Traits of Importance in Selection

Selection Methods


In each generation of animals in his herd or flock, the breeder must select those to be saved for breeding from those to be used for other purposes. Perhaps he will also select animals from other herds for use as breeders in his. These are the most important things he does.” Breeding Better Livestock. Rice, Andrews, and Warwick 1953. Selection of breeding stock is critical to the success