Wednesday, May 12, 2010

UNRE goats tagged



Goats at the University of Natural Resources and Environment’s Vudal farm have all been tagged to secure more-permanent identification of individ­ual goats.

The ear tagging and numbering kit was donated by a New Zealand sup­ply company through an arrangement made by Volunteer Services Abroad volunteer Bill Kingan.

The kit consisted of tags, an applica­tor and marker pens which are used to secure permanent identification of indi­vidual goats.

Mr Kingan said the ear tags and the markers were of high quality and the inked numbers should last longer than printed numbers.

The goats are now increasing in number so that provision of such re­sources is crucial to daily manage­ment, routine husbandry practices, stocktaking and recording of weights and breeding success.

The current population is 40 animals: 19 are breeding females, six young females, six males selected for breed­ing and nine marketable males.

It is planned that the herd should reach and be maintained at 30 breed­ing females and six males at any one time, plus animals not yet weaned.

A suitable market weight is reached after about six months of growth.

Marketable animals are sold at K3 per kg liveweight.

Young female goats give birth for the first time at about nine months and thereafter at six to seven month inter­vals.

About half of the births give single kids and half give twins.

With the assistance given by Mr Kin­gan, the goats will be monitored and the breeding programme maintained to ensure continuous reproduction and a steady flow of animals, eventually both male and female, for sale.

While there have been many enquir­ies for female goats for breeding, the farm will not sell be selling any female goats as yet.

All females will be kept until the num­bers reach the target for a viable herd.

Some losses due to dog attack and misadventure have occurred but these problems can be overcome.

The efforts of people like Mr Kingan are helping to create good resources for teaching, research and income gen­eration for the University.

This contribution to the academic livestock section and the farm is great­ly appreciated.

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