Characterization of the goat population and breeding practices of goat owners
Due to their naturally endowed physiological adaptation and general lower husbandry requirements, goats form an integral part of livestock production in the tropics and subtropics. According to the Ethiopian sheep and goat productivity improvement programme, there are key identifying physical characteristics that distinguish a breed. The fact that Ethiopia has many different goat breeds, a diverse agro-ecology ranging from cool highlands to hot lowlands and diverse goat production systems, indicates that undertaking characterization studies of the goat populations in various agro-ecologies is very important, as it would provide a benchmark for genetic improvement and biodiversity conservation. This study was also intended to have an input into a sire selection and exchange scheme planned for the Gumara-Maksegnit watershed. Therefore, this study was conducted with the objective of characterizing the goat population of the Gumara-Maksegnit watershed area based on physical appearance traits and body measurements.