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Austral journal of veterinary sciences

Print version ISSN 0719-8000On-line version ISSN 0719-8132

Austral j. vet. sci. vol.51 no.2 Valdivia May 2019

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0719-81322019000200061 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Comparison of yield characteristics of Damascus and Kilis goats in dry climatic conditions

Ali Murat Tatar1 

Selcuk Seckin Tuncer2 

Halit Deniz Sireli1 

1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Dicle, Diyarbakir, Turkey.

2 Department of Crop and Animal Production, Ozalp Vocational School, University of Van Yuzuncu Yil, Van, Turkey.

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to compare the reproductive traits, lactation milk yield, and body measurements of the Damascus (Shami) and Kilis goats raised as dairy goats in the dry climatic conditions of the Southeastern Anatolia region of Turkey. The study was perfomed using 596 Damascus goats and 82 Kilis goats between 3-5 years old. It was observed that the lactation milk yield, lactation period, withers height, and leg circumference of the Damascus goats (175.86 kg, 227.48 days, 72.67 cm, and 74.10 cm, respectively) were significantly higher (P<0.05) than those of the Kilis goats (107.48 kg, 170.39 days, 69.70 cm and 71.83 cm, respectively). This analysis indicated that the Damascus goat may be a good breed for dry climatic conditions. It is suggested that focusing on growing Damascus goats could increase productivity in the Southeastern Anatolian region of Turkey.

Keywords: goat; body measurements; reproductive; lactation traits

Introduction

As of 2017, although the total number of goats in Turkey (11,010,590 heads) was close to that of the entire European Union (12,615,362 heads), the annual milk production of Turkey (463,270 tons) is one-quarter of the volume of milk produced in the countries of the European Union (1,931,676 tons) (FAO 2017). The low goat milk production in Turkey is due to an overwhelming majority of its stock, as high as 98%, consisting of the hair goat (TUIK 2017), while only 2% are Cashmere goats (Angora) and dairy goats, such as the Damascus and Kilis goats (Tuncel and Bayindir 1983, Ilgar and Kircan 2016). This is an indicator of the shortcomings of the milk yield-oriented goat breeding studies carried out in Turkey since the 1960s (KaymakCi et al 2005, Atay 2016).

The Southeastern Anatolia region holds important potential for goat breeding. According to 2016 data, the region provides 22.6% of the goat stock and 24.1% of the goat milk production in Turkey (TUIK 2017).

In Turkey, the Damascus (Keskin 2000) and Kilis goats (Keskin and Tüney 2015) are bred in the Mediterranean and Southeastern Anatolia regions. The most prominent features of the Damascus goats include its adaption to high temperatures and suitability for breeding in plain areas (lowlands); it has an advantage over sheep in terms of its reproductive ability to benefit from arid pastures (BaritCi and Adigüzel 2017).

As in all economic activities, the goal of goat breeding is to earn profits. In order to increase profitability, it is necessary to increase fertility. An increase in goat farm production can be achieved by increasing the number of births and the number of kids at birth (Erten and Yilmaz 2013). Fertility is the most important yield trait in con tinuing the lineage, commencing milk production, and providing stock for meat production (Keskin et al 2016).

Reproductive traits are determined by environmental conditions, rather than genotypic factors. Therefore, the progress achieved with genetic selection alone is reduced. On the other hand, following some simple rules while selecting a breeding animal will contribute to an increase in reproductive yields, albeit at a slower pace than that of selection. While selecting breeding animals, giving priority to twin does or bucks and being careful to select animals among the progenies of twin parents, or selecting the breeding animals from families with high reproductive yield will lead to a slightly increased reproductive yield in the next generations (Cam et al 2012, Tozlu and Oflaz 2015).

In this study, the reproductive traits of the Damascus and Kilis goats of varying ages were investigated to deter mine their potential for use in the breeding studies carried out in the important goat-breeding region of Southeastern Anatolia in Turkey.

Material and methods

The study was carried out on an experimental goat farm (370 50’ 55’’ N 400 39’ 57’’ E) in Bismil. The lowest altitude (546 m), Bismil district, in Diyarbakir province, where the study was carried out, was found to have moderate dry climate conditions during the study period. Diyarbakir is a city in the Southeastern Anatolia region of Turkey with an average temperature of 15.8 °C according to long-term meteorological data (1929-2016) (Anonymous 2017). The animals used in the study consisted of 3 to 5 year-old Damascus (n=596) and Kilis goats (n=82).

The goats were grouped according to their milk yields and daily feed requirements were determined by taking their milk yields into account. Vetch fodder grown by the establishment was used as roughage and as a concentrate feed. The sheep and goat milk feed, a mixture also pre pared by the establishment that contains 17.9% crude protein and 3 Mcal/Kg metabolic energy was comprised of barley, soybean meal, bran, mineral-vitamin premix, ground limestone, and salt (Table 1). The mixture was provided twice daily, in the morning and evening. Fresh and clean water was provided for the animals. Milking was performed two times a day (early in the morning and towards the evening). Attention was given to taking an 8-hour break on average between two milking processes. The milking process was carried out with the aid of an automatic milking machine and all the data for milk were recorded in the herd registry system.

Table 1 Composition and nutrient contents of the feed used in the research. 

The births occurred from February to March. The live weights of the goats and kids after birth were determined using precision scales sensitive to 50 g. The kids were kept with the dams during a 15-day period after birth and then were separated from the dams and transferred to a separated kid pen. Within the pen, the kids were allowed to suckle the dams two times a day until weaning.

The milk records were obtained from the herd man agement program maintained at the goat farm.

Of the body measurements of interest in the study, withers heights (WH), body length (BL), chest depth (CD), and chest width (CW) were measured using a measurement stick, and chest girth (CG) and leg circumference (LC) were measured using a measuring tape (Cengiz et al 1989).

Birth rate, infertility rate, litter size, and single, twin or triplet birth rate, as reproductive features, were all calculated by the method proposed by KaymakCi and Sonmez (1996).

Statistical evaluation was performed using SAS (2018). Multivariate Anova was used to evaluate the effect of gender, type of birth and age on birth weight. Independent t-test was used to obtain the differences between the goat breeds on birth weight.

Results

(Table 2) shows the descriptive values for reproductive traits obtained in this study. According to the table, there is no statistical difference in point of reproductive perfor mance between goat breeds.

Table 2 The descriptive values for the reproductive traits of the Damascus and Kilis goats. 

(Table 3) shows the birth weights of the Damascus and Kilis kids. The birth weights of the male kids of both the Damascus and Kilis goats were significantly higher (P<0.05) than those of the female kids. The highest (P<0.05) birth weight was observed in single-birth type in Damascus goats, while the lowest birth weight was found in the 5-year age group. In Kilis goats, the highest (P<0.05) birth weight was found in single and twin births and in the age group of 3 years.

Table 3 The birth weights (kg) of the Damascus and Kilis kids. 

(Table 4) shows the descriptive values for the lactation milk yield and lactation period of the Damascus and Kilis goats. The lactation milk yield of 5-year-old Damascus and Kilis goats and the length lactation period of 5-year-old Kilis goat were lower than the other age groups (P<0.05). The lactation milk yield and lactation period of the Damascus and Kilis goats were 175.86 kg and 107.48 kg, and 227.48 days and 170.39 days, respectively. It was found that the average milk yield and lactation period of Damascus goats were higher than Kilis goats (P<0.05).

Table 4 The lactation milk yields (kg) and lactation period (day) of the Damascus and Kilis goats. 

(Table 5) shows the descriptive values for the body measurements of the Damascus and Kilis goats As seen in Table 5, WH and LC of the Damascus goats were higher (P<0.05) than those of the Kilis goats.

Table 5 Body measurements of the Damascus and Kilis goats. 

As shown in (Table 6), in the Damascus goats, there were high correlations (P<0.01) between LW and CD (0.693), LW and CG (0.742), LW and LC (0.600), WH and LC (0.517), CW and CG (0.670), CW and LC (0.573), and CG and LC (0.572).

Table 6 The relationships between the live weight and body measurements of the Damascus goats. 

In the Kilis goats (Table 7), there were high correla tions (P<0.01) between LW and BL (0.660), LW and CD (0.566), LW and CW (0.629), LW and CG (0.673), LW and LC (0.597), BL and LC (0.485), CD and CW (0.496), CD and CG (0.707), CW and CG (0.739).

Table 7 The relationships between the live weight and body measurements of the Kilis goats. 

Discussion

Almost all the reproductive traits of the Damascus goats were higher than those of the Kilis goats (Table 2). The birth rate of the Damascus goats (99.30%) was similar to that reported by Keskin et al (2016) in Damascus goats, while the birth rate of the Kilis goats (93.90%) was higher than that reported in the same literature for the Kilis x Hair goat crossbreeds. The multiple birth rates of the Damascus and Kilis goats were lower (Gül et al 2016) or higher (Keskin and BiCer 1997, Keskin 2000) than those reported in some studies of the Damascus and Kilis x Hair goat crossbreeds. In this study, the litter sizes of Damascus and Kilis goats (150.7% and 140.3%) were lower than those reported by Keskin et al (2016) in Damascus goats and Kilis x Hair goat crossbreeds (180% and 162.5%), but higher than those reported by Kutlu (1990) in AkkeCi x Kilis and Saanen x Kilis goat crossbreeds (124.2% and 132.9%). The Damascus goat is recommended as a fertile goat breed in view of its good adaptability (BaritCi and Adigüzel 2017); the favorable results obtained in this study and also previous studies show that it has a higher litter size than that of the Nubian, Pygmy, American Alpine, French Alpine, Saanen, and Toggenburg goats (Amoah et al 1996), which are among the most fertile goats in the world.

A comparison of birth weights of the Damascus and Kilis kids (Table 3), in terms of their sex and birth types, revealed that the birth weights of the male kids were sig nificantly higher (P<0.05) than those of the female kids, and the birth weights of the kids from single births were slightly higher than those of the kids from multiple births. This result is compatible with those reported in other lit erature (CimCek et al 2007, AkbaC et al 2013, Keskin et al 2016). The mean birth weights of the Damascus and Kilis goats were higher than those of the Saanen X Hair goat F: and Gj crossbreeds (CimCek et al 2007), Saanen (AkbaC et al 2013), Damascus, and Kilis x Hair goat crossbreeds (Keskin et al 2016 ). A comparison of birth weights with respect to the ages of the dams showed that the birth weights of kids of 3- and 4-year-old dams in Damascus and the birth weights of kids of 3-year-old dams in Kilis goats were slightly higher than kids of the dams at other ages.

The data showed (Table 4) that the lactation milk yield and lactation period of the Damascus and Kilis goats were lower than those reported by Keskin (2000), Keskin et al (2004), ÖZuyanik (2004), KaymakCi et al (2005) and Keskin et al (2016) in Damascus goats.

(Table 5) shows the descriptive values for the body mea surements of the Damascus and Kilis goats. The average WH of the Damascus and Kilis goats were higher than those reported by Aktepe (2009) in Kilis goats and by Bingol et al (2011) in Norduz goats, but similar to those reported by BaritCi and Adigüzel (2017) in Damascus and by Ünalan and Ceyhan (2017) in Kilis goats. The average BL of the Damascus and Kilis goats (75.10 cm and 73.87 cm, respec tively) were higher than those of Kilis goats (Aktepe, 2009, Alizadehasl and Ünal 2011, Ünalan and Ceyhan 2017), and similar to those of Damascus goats (BaritCi and Adigüzel 2016). The average CD of the Damascus and Kilis goats (33.06 cm and 32.58 cm, respectively) were higher than those reported by Aktepe (2009), Alizadehasl and Ünal (2011), and Ünalan and Ceyhan (2017) in Kilis goats, by Bingol et al (2011) in Norduz goats, and by KarakuC (2016) in Hair goats and Saanen goats. The average CW of the Damascus and Kilis goats (20.50 cm and 20.40 cm, respectively) were higher than those reported by KarakuC (2016) in Hair goats and Saanen goats and by BaritCi and Adigüzel (2017) in Damascus goats, but similar to those reported by Bingol et al (2011) and Ünalan and Ceyhan (2016)in Kilis goats. The LC of the Damascus and Kilis goats (74.10 cm and 71.83 cm, respectively) were higher than those of the Norduz goats (Bingol et al 2011).

As seen in (Table 6), in the Damascus goats, there were high correlations (P<0.01) between LW and CD (0.693), LW and CG (0.742), and LW and LC (0.600), which agree with results from the studies that reported high correlations (P<0.01) between the live weights and body measurements of the Sanen, Kilis, and Hair goats (Pesmen and Yardimci 2008, Cam et al 2012, Alizadehasl and Ünal 2011).

As shown in (Table 7), the high and significant correlation (P<0.01) between CW and CG, CD and CG, and CW and CG in the Kilis goats agrees with results reported in the scientific literature (Cam et al 2010, Sariyel 2013, KarakuC 2016).

It is concluded that the litter size, lactation milk yield, lactation period, WH and, LC of the Damascus goats were significantly higher than those of the Kilis goats. This analysis indicates that the Damascus goat may be better than Kilis goat breed for the dry climate of the important goat-breeding region of the Southeastern Anatolia region in Turkey. Based on the findings in that particular region of Turkey, it may be beneficial to compare the raising of Damascus goats in other parts of Turkey, or the world, with similar climates.

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Received: April 19, 2018; Accepted: November 23, 2018

*Corresponding Author: SS Tuncer; selcukseckintuncer@gmail.com.

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