Murciano-Granadina Goat: A Spanish Local Breed Ready for the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
The present chapter describes all the initiatives, ready or in progress, which have been and/or are being implemented to ensure the competitiveness of the Murciano-Granadina goat breed, so as to maintain its leadership in Spain, as the most representative dairy goat breed of the country at a national and an international level. After an intense introduction concerning the history and the present status of the breed, we started with the description of the presently ongoing official breeding program. Selection objectives and their associated criteria are presented together with a summary of the information used in the last genetic evaluation. This information is accompanied by the genetic parameters of the main selection criteria, i.e., milk production and content (fat, protein, and usable dry matter), and morphology, (through official milk yield control and linear morphological qualification, respectively) and an evaluation of the genetic response selection over 15 years of experience. In a different section, we present the results on the meat productivity with the aim to characterize all the process of meat production of the breed. Kid performance (daily gains, commercial weight, carcass characteristics, and quality) is defined under intensive, semi-intensive, and extensive management systems. A special interest is paid to the fatty acid profile of the meat from each tested management system. We conclude the chapter describing the future ongoing challenges to maintain the efficiency of the breed. On the one hand, we describe the study of lactation curve parameters, especially peak and persistence, as candidates for the selection criteria of the breed with the intention to increase the maximum production and its maintenance in an enlarged lactation. On the other hand, we described our dedication to develop the improvement of the case in profiles by using marker-assisted selection.
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