The influence of non-genetic factors on preweaning mortality of kids, litter size at birth (LSB) and at weaning (LSW), and kidding interval (KI) in Red Sokoto goats at the National Animal Production Research Institute was studied. Birth weight, type of birth, parity, season and year significantly influenced the mortality rate (38%) of kids. Generally, mortality tended to decrease with birth weight, but decreased as parity increased. Kiddings occurring in the wet season were associated with heavier mortalities than those in the dry season of the year. LSB (1.8 kids) was significantly affected by parity, season and year, but LSW (1.7 kids) was influenced by parity and year only. Litter size increased with parity, with the largest litters at the fifth parity. Kiddings occurring in the early wet season (April–June) had the largest litter sizes. Parity and year had significant effects on KI (215 d). As parity increased, KI decreased. The study shows that adequate management measures taken to curb mortality of the kids, coupled with selection for heavier weights and larger litters at birth and at weaning, could improve the productivity of Red Sokoto goats. In comparing different does with respect to mortality of their kids and reproductive performance, adjustments should be made for the effects of environmental factors identified in this study.
Small Ruminant Research 10/1999; 34(2-34):161-165. DOI:10.1016/S0921-4488(99)00058-9