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Leveraging on Flock Dynamics and Farmers’ Production Constraints in Designing Flock Health Program for Accelerated Goat Production

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2023.1311017, PP. 193-220

Keywords: Flock Dynamics, Flock Health Program, Goat Production, Albertine Graben

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Abstract:

Compliance with appropriate flock health program is vital for preventing introduction and minimizing impact of diseases in goat farms. Unfortunately, most goat farms in Uganda, especially in the Albertine Graben Zone lack flock health program. The associated frequent outbreaks slow down effort aimed at commercializing goat production. In this study, we documented flock dynamics, identified and prioritized pressing challenges experienced by goat farms during the year 2022 and generated appropriate flock health program and packaged it for dissemination to farmers. Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, semi-structured questionnaire, data were collected and analyzed with MS Excel 2013. The data included: location and socio-demographics of household, farming system, flock dynamics, housing, feeding system, health management, challenges encountered by goat farm and suggested solutions. Results: Beginning January 2022 to December 2022, the number of goats reared in all the 45 sample farms increased from 2128 to 2220 goats. Results showed that 884 kids were produced and 88 breeding goats were introduced into the farms. Three hundred ninety-nine goats died due to mainly diseases and 435 goats got withdrawn through nondeath. The average farm level and overall mortality rate were 21 goats per 1000 goatmonths and 15 goats per 1000 goatmonths respectively. The most pressing challenges encountered by sample farms were death of goats especially due to diseases, poor access to veterinary extension services, high cost of inputs and feed scarcity. Solutions suggested by sample farms were improved access to veterinary services, improved housing, enhanced vaccination of goats against diseases, and enhanced grazing land management and feed conservation, all of which were incorporated into the flock health program. Conclusion and Recommendations: An appropriate flock health program was generated based on flock dynamics and production constraints which reveal high mortality and limited access to veterinary services respectively. Actors are recommended to promote adoption and adherence to the flock health program so as to increase goat production and access to wider market.

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