The effect of season and feeding management on production and reproduction of Etawah grade goats kept by smallholder farmers in an upland area of Yogyakarta province of Indonesia
A series of studies aimed to improve reproductive efficiency and milk production by smallholders’ Etawah Grade goats. A survey was conducted from February to April 2000 in the villages of Girikerto, Girimulyo and Srandakan, where Etawah Grade goats were most concentrated. The aim of the survey was to know the contribution of Etawah Grade goat to the farmer income, evaluating factors, which were suspended to influence goat productivity, such as feed availability and goat management conducted in the villages. The result showed that Etawah Grade goat production in the villages was conducted in a small-scale farming enterprise, with the average number of 5 to 9 goats/farmer. In general, Etawah Grade goats contributed towards the income for the farmers by producing replacement stock, manure and milk. The agricultural and forages products varied from village to village. In the dry season feed was less available about 50% of that in the wet season (P<0.05). To solve the problem of feed shortage in the dry season, farmers either used by-products or purchased forage. The main reproductive problem in the villages was long period of post-partum anoestrus and low litter size, which might be associated with feed availability and management of weaning where the kids were separated from the doe after 3 to 5 months. An observation in an on-farm was conducted to see if seasons, by their effect on the availability, quality and consumption of feed or practical management, affected the reproductive performance, milk and kid production. Observation was conducted for the Etawah Grade goats under smallholder conditions during the dry (April to October 2000) and the wet seasons (November 200 to April 2001). Season was found to influence on the duration of post-partum anoestrus of goat in the villages (106 vs. 88 days, P<0.01) and birth weight of kids (3.8 vs. 3.2 kg, (P<0.05)). Litter size, kid mortality and weaning weight were not affected by season, but weaning weight varied by villages location (P<0.05).