Goat meat production systems

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Goat production systems have been developed to adapt to the specific needs of the producer but can be grouped into several general categories. Intensive production systems are usually on smaller plots and require daily attention to management practices, while extensive systems have morereliance on goats grazing over large areas. Goats may be raised for subsistence, to generate capital, for profit or for production through communal, nomadic, transhumance and sedentary pastoralism, primitive herding and largeholder commercial farms. Small-scale goat farms are influenced by infrastructure, social systems, land tenure, economics and marketing. Production systems are dependent on climate, geography, diet, breed, reproductive capacity, diseases and goat behaviour. Goat production systems must match the desires of the producers with the many factors influencing the growth and productivity of meat goats for success of the enterprise. Commercial meat-goat enterprises account for an overwhelming majority of the meat-goat production systems and herd sizes range from five to several thousand does. Well-managed production systems can generate weaned kid crops in excess of 130% per year, so the prolificacy, milk production and pre-weaning growth contributions by does are important in achieving this level of productivity. Goats represent a small niche in many developed countries, but they contribute significantly to the livelihoods of rural people across the globe. The different goat production systems and the factors that influence goat production are discussed in this chapter. © CAB International 2012.

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Goat Meat Production and Quality

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