Influence of farming system and production purpose on the morphostructure of Spanish goat breeds

Ana Gonzalez-Martinez, Mariano Herrera, Manuel Luque, Evangelina Rodero


The aim of this study was to examine the possible influence of farming systems, based on the morphostructure of 1,571 female goats drawn from 40 flocks containing seven Spanish breeds (Blanca Andaluza, Blanca Celtiberica, Negra Serrana, Pirenaica, Payoya, Murciano-Granadina and Malagueña) raised under four different farming systems. Analysis of morphometric variables showed that the morphostructure of native Spanish goat breeds was linked to the farming system used and thus to the production purpose. The morphostructure of grazing breeds may be more influenced by natural selection within the physical environment and less by human selection. That of stall-fed breeds, by contrast, reflects intense artificial selection aimed at achieving a highly-productive dairy type. For this reason, morphological evaluation systems used in breeding programmes for meat or dual-purpose goat breeds farmed extensively or semi-extensively should be specific, and should reflect the influence of the environment in which these goats are farmed.


morphologic traits; caprine; discriminant; aptitude

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014121-4673