carcass and meat quality of indigenous and Boer goats in South Africa

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Breeds for goat meat production in South Africa

South Africa has a variety of indigenous and improved goat breeds that used for meat production. Indigenous goats is a collective term for unimproved local varieties of goats. These varieties are not defined but they are usually associated with the geographical area where they are found or by the ethnic group who own them (Visser, Hefer, van Marle-Köster & Kotze, 2004). The indigenous goats exhibit a wide variation in their size, coat colour and other traits such as horns and ears.
In terms of numbers, the unimproved indigenous goats constitute about 63% of the total goats in South Africa (DAFF, 2012). They are found mostly in the communal areas where their productivity is usually constrained by poor management (Masika & Mafu, 2004). However these indigenous goats of South Africa are appraised for their ability to adapt to harsh climatic conditions and to efficiently utilise limited and poor quality feed resources (Webb & Mamabolo, 2004). The indigenous goats are mainly slaughtered in the informal market, thus the informal sector drives the chevon industry of South Africa (NAMC, 2005). In recent years, the commercialisation of indigenous goats has been of interest in the agricultural sector of South Africa (Ramsay & Donkin, 2000). Hence there is a need for more studies which explore the potential of these unimproved indigenous goats for commercial chevon production.
The commercial sector is dominated by improved goat breeds which were developed specifically for meat production. These include the Boer, Kalahari red and the Savanna goat breeds (Visser et al., 2004). Except for the variation in colour, these three varieties have similar characteristics (Pieters, van Marle-Köster, Visser & Kotze, 2009). The Boer goats constitute the bulk of goats marketed through the South African formal channels, thus it is estimated that only 0.55% is slaughtered in the commercial sector (DAFF, 2012). The Boer goat is a large framed breed characterised by good conformation, rapid growth and superior meat production traits. The breed standards specify a white body, a red head with an evident white blaze and red ears as shown in Fig. 2.1. Malan (2000) reviewed the history, origin and characteristics of the South African Boer goat breed.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
CHAPTER 3 MATERIALS AND METHODS
CHAPTER 4 RESULTS
CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION
CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS

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