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Functions and performances of goat breeding systems in the tropical zone

INRA Prod Anim 25(3) 305-316


1 INRA, UR143, Unité de Recherches Zootechniques, F-97170 Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe

2  INRA, UE1294, Plateforme Tropicale d’Expérimentation sur l’Animal, F-97170 Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe


The increase of milk and meat goat populations follows the expansion of human populations in the tropical area. Thanks to their great adaptability, goats can be reared in a wide range of agro-environmental conditions and within traditional farming systems. Many scientific publications underline the potentialities of this model. In the present review paper, breeding techniques are proposed for a sustainable and low input development. The “buck effect” induces estrus and ovulation and increases global fertility in the flock. Since reproduction is a key point for driving the farming systems, this technique improves flock productivity. Feeding supplementation strategies with non conventional resources are proposed. A major threat to small ruminant production in the humid tropics, gastrointestinal parasitism, can be controlled with integrated techniques modifying the equilibrium between the host and parasite populations with moderate recourse to drenching. Finally, the authors emphasise the importance of the choice of genotypes adapted to farming systems and their major constraints.

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