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Effect of litter size and sex in the birth weight of newborn kids and in the behaviour of primiparous goats before, during and after the parturition

Otal, J., Martinez, M., Quiles, A., Hevia, M.L., Ramirez, A.
Canadian journal of animal science 2010 v.90 no.4 pp. 483-490
parity (reproduction), animal behavior, goats, goat breeds, kidding, neonates, litter size, females, birth weight
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of litter size (46 single birth and 32 double birth) and sex (44 male and 66 female) of newborn kids on the puerperal behaviour of primiparous Murciano-Granadina goats (N = 78). The highest frequencies were grunting, with 124.9 ± 166.5, and butting conspecific, with 7.0 ± 8.7. Frequencies of the remaining variables considered (standing, kicking, moving head and neck, licking their back and pawing the earth) were lower than 3.0. The majority of variables were significantly greater for single births than for twin births (P < 0.01). Goats that gave birth to twins spent more time lying down, and less time walking than those that gave birth to one kid (10.1 ± 6.7 min vs. 6.8 ± 7.0 min, P < 0.05 and 2.9 ± 1.1 min vs. 6.0 ± 5.5 min, P < 0.01, respectively). Parturition was longer and birth weight heavier for singleton than twin-born kids (64.5 ± 15.7 min vs. 41.9 ± 10.7 min and 2.9 ± 0.2 kg vs. 2.3 ± 0.1 kg, respectively). In conclusion, primiparous goats showed objective signs of discomfort that were more evident for singleton than twin birth kids.