Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 789–795 | Cite as

Economic values for production and functional traits of Small East African goat using profit functions

  • Samuel Mbuku
  • Isaac Kosgey
  • Mwai Okeyo
  • Alexander Kahi
Regular Articles


Economic values for production traits (milk yield, MY, g; 12-month live weight, yLW, kg; consumable meat percentage, CM, %) and functional traits (mature doe live weight, DoLW, kg; mature buck live weight, LWb, kg; kidding frequency, KF; pre-weaning survival rate, PrSR, %; post-weaning survival rate, PoSR,%; doe survival rate, DoSR, %; and residual feed intake, RFI, kg) were estimated using profit functions for the Small East African goat. The scenario evaluated was a fixed flock size, and the resultant economic values (Kes per doe per year) were 34.46 (MY), 62.35 (yLW), 40.69 (CM), 0.15 (DoLW), 2.84 (LWb), 8.69 (KF), 17.38 (PrSR), 16.60 (PoSR), 16.69 (DoSR) and −3.00 (RFI). Similarly, the economic values decreased by −14.7 % (MY), −2.7 % (yLW), −23.9 % (CM), −6.6 % (DoLW), −98 % (LWb), −8.6 % (KF), −8.2 % (PrSR), −8.9 % (PoSR), −8.1 % (DoSR) and 0 % (RFI) when they were risk rated. The economic values for production and functional traits, except RFI, were positive, which implies that genetic improvement of these traits would have a positive effect on the profitability in the pastoral production systems. The application of an Arrow-Pratt coefficient of absolute risk aversion (λ) at the level of 0.02 resulted in a decrease on the estimated economic values, implying that livestock keepers who were risk averse were willing to accept lower expected returns. The results indicate that there would be improvement in traits of economic importance, and, therefore, easy-to-manage genetic improvement programmes should be established.


Breeding goal Economic values Small East African goat Pastoral production systems 



The fieldwork for this study was supported by joint funds from the Kenya Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (KASAL) programme through the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and Kenya’s National Council for Science and Technology. We are also grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for providing the first author with a sandwich scholarship in collaboration with Universität Kassel, Germany. Our gratitude is to the many pastoralists who shared with us their experiences and plight.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there are no actual or potential conflicts of interest among the authors and other people or organisations that could inappropriately bias their work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Mbuku
    • 1
    • 4
  • Isaac Kosgey
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mwai Okeyo
    • 3
  • Alexander Kahi
    • 4
  1. 1.Division is National Beef Research CentreKenya Agricultural Research InstituteNakuruKenya
  2. 2.Laikipia UniversityNyahururuKenya
  3. 3.International Livestock Research InstituteNairobiKenya
  4. 4.Animal Breeding and Genetics Group, Department of Animal SciencesEgerton UniversityEgertonKenya

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