Effect of Drought Adaptation Strategies on Goat Performance in NE-Brazil
Christoph Reiber, Karin Stock de Oliveria Souza, Sangeun Bae, Kebede Kefenie Kefelegn
University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute), Germany
Extensive small ruminant production is an important livelihood strategy for the rural poor in the semi-arid NE Brazil. However, recent studies indicated that frequent droughts along with forage shortage and degradation of the natural Caatinga rangeland were main problems perceived by livestock keepers threatening the sustainability of the farming and eco-systems. Farmers' most frequently suggested drought adaptation strategies were forage production, corralling animals and irrigation. Therefore, this study examined the effect of these drought adaptation strategies on livestock performance parameters such as drought mortality rate, live weight, body condition score (BCS), birth rate, age at slaughter and flock size dynamics of goats. Interviews were conducted with 120 goat farmers. Four systems were distinguished, i.e. goat farms 1. with corralling and irrigation (intensive), 2. with corralling and without irrigation (semi-intensive), 3. without corralling and with irrigation (semi-extensive), and 4. without corralling and irrigation (extensive). Data was analysed using GLM-ANOVA.
Keywords: Caatinga, drought adaptation, goat husbandry, goat performance
Contact Address: Christoph Reiber, University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute), Garbenstrasse 17, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: C_Reiberuni-hohenheim.de