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Flock Dynamics and Approaches for Reducing Mortality Rate among Mubende Goats at BuZARDI Semi-Intensive Farm, Hoima, Uganda

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2022.1211012, PP. 135-154

Keywords: Flock Dynamics, Mortality Rate, Lake Albert Crescent Zone

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Abstract:

Goats are globally very important domestic small ruminants being kept for meat, milk, skin, byproducts and several socio-cultural purposes. Goat farmers in the Lake Albert Crescent Zone (LACZ) of Uganda identified dry-season feed scarcity, poor breeds, diseases, informal marketing and theft as major constraints which underscore the scarcity of information on improved management technologies and the need for targeted decisions. At BuZARDI goat farm, a semi-intensive farm that is also experiencing similar challenges, we documented management practices and collected production related data for 2 years. We computed flock dynamics and mortality rates purposely to influence decisions aimed at increasing the farm’s productivity. Data were collected using pens and books, validated and analyzed using MS office 2013 and SPSS version 22. The flock size increased from 37 goats in July 2020 to 175 goats in June 2022. One hundred twenty-five goats were introduced into the farm as breeding stock, 89 kids were born on the farm and 61 goats died due to various causes. The average number of goats in the farm per month was 109.2 (SEM = 13.7), female 79.8 (SEM = 10.8) and male 29.4, (SEM = 9.9). Average population of goats at risk of death was 95 and the Mortality rate was 27 goats per 1000 goat months. The disaggregated mortality rate of 5 goats per 1000 goat months and 39 goats per 1000 goat months were obtained for the period FY 2020-2021 and FY2021-2022 respectively. The main contributors to the mortality of goats were worm infestation (33%), fracture and injuries arising from stampedes (18%), Ticks and tick borne diseases (18%), respiratory tract infections (11%) and malnutrition (10%). We recommend strict adherence to the flock health program; improved parasite management, separation & improved care for kids, vaccinations, safer feeding, and evidence based disease management, adoption of digital data collection tools and development of an appropriate app for more accurate determination of mortality rates.

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