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Effect of breed and some environmental factors on body weights till weaning and litter size in five goat breeds in Mexico

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Effect of breed and some environmental factors on body weights till weaning and litter size in five goat breeds in Mexico
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  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:Meza-Herrera,C.A.,etal.,EffectofbreedandsomeenvironmentalfactorsonbodyweightstillweaningandlittersizeinfivegoatbreedsinMexico.SmallRuminantRes.(2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2014.07.006 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model RUMIN-4763;No.ofPages5SmallRuminantResearchxxx(2014)xxx–xxx ContentslistsavailableatScienceDirect Small   Ruminant   Research  journalhomepage:www.elsevier.com/locate/smallrumres Effect   of    breed   and   some   environmental   factors   on   bodyweights   till   weaning   and   litter   size   in   five   goat   breeds   inMexico C.A.   Meza-Herrera a , ∗ ,    J.M.   Serradilla b ,   M.E.   Mu˜noz-Mejías b ,F.Baena-Manzano b ,   A.   Menendez-Buxadera b a UniversidadAutonomaChapingo,UnidadRegionalUniversitariadeZonasAridas,Bermejillo,Durango35230,Mexico b UniversidaddeCórdoba,DepartamentodeProducciónAnimal,CtraNIVkm396,Cordoba14014,Spain a   r   t   i   c   l   e   i   n   f   o  Articlehistory: Received15December2013Receivedinrevisedform21June2014Accepted7July2014Availableonlinexxx Keywords: GoatsBreedsGrowthtraitsLittersizeEnvironmentaleffects a   b   s   t   r   a   c   t The   aim   of    this   study   was   to   determine   the   possible   effects   of    breed   andsome   non-geneticfactors   onweights   at   birth   (BW   n =17,857),   one   month   of    age   (MW   n =14,409),   weaningweight   (WW   n   =   2629)   litter   size   (LS   n =   17,910)   in   five   breeds   of    goats   in   Mexico.   Data( n   =   52,805)   were   collected   at   the   National   Goat   Center,   Tlahualilo,   Durango,   Mexico   fromtheNubian   (N),   Granadina   (G),   Saanen   (S),   Toggenburg   (T)andAlpine   (A)   breeds.   The   modelincludedthe   fixed   effects   of    breed   (BR),   gender   of    kid   (GK,   1,2),   type   of    birth   (TB,   1,   2,   3),yearof    birth(YB,   1–21),   season   of    birth   (SB,   1–4)age   of    dam   (AD,   1–10)   and   their   interactions.Overall   least   square   means   for   BW,   MW,   WW   andLS   were   3.03   ±   0.06   kg,   7.17   ±   0.08   kg,13.2   ± 0.30kg   and   1.67   ± 0.01   kg,   respectively.   All   the   traits   studied   were   affected   (  p   <0.01)bybreed,   year   and   season   of    birth   and   age   of    dam.   The   three   weights   studied   were   alsosignificantly   affected   bygender   and   type   of    birth.   In   addition,   the   phenotypic   expressionof    LS   was   affected   (  p <   0.01)   by   BR,   YB,   SB   and   AD.   In   general,   neither   BW   nor   MW   wererelated   to   either   AD   or   SB;   LSwas   negatively   correlated   (  p <0.01)   with   both   BW   and   WW,irrespective   of    genotype.   The   large   data   set   provided   estimates   with   low   standard   errors.Sincegenetic   change   depends   not   onlyongenetic   estimations   but   also   on   the   observedphenotypic   variation,   estimation   of    non-genetic-environmental   factors,   must   be   consideredwhen   building   statistical   models   designed   for   estimation   of    genetic   parameters   and   geneticevaluation   in   goats.©   2014   Elsevier   B.V.   All   rights   reserved. ∗ Correspondingauthorat:Galeana585Poniente,ColoniaCentro,Lerdo,Durango35150,Mexico.Tel.:+528714452691;fax:+528727760043. E-mailaddresses: cmeza2020@hotmail.com,cmeza2000@gmail.com(C.A.Meza-Herrera). URL: http://www.researchgate.net/meza-herrera(C.A.Meza-Herrera). 1.Introduction Indifferentgoatproductionsystemsaroundtheworld,theproductionofearlyweanedkid(30–40daysofage)allowsmilkinggoatsforashort-lactation(i.e.90–120days);bothcommoditiesconstituteanimportantsourceofincomeinfluencingtheprofitabilityofthegoatindus-try(Mohammadietal.,2012;Burrenetal.,2013;Escare˜noetal.,2013).Importingexotichighlyproductivedairybreedsofgoatsisanoptiontakenbymanystockbreed-erstoincreasemilkyields.However,besidesahighmilk http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2014.07.0060921-4488/©2014ElsevierB.V.Allrightsreserved.  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:Meza-Herrera,C.A.,etal.,EffectofbreedandsomeenvironmentalfactorsonbodyweightstillweaningandlittersizeinfivegoatbreedsinMexico.SmallRuminantRes.(2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2014.07.006 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model RUMIN-4763;No.ofPages52 C.A.Meza-Herreraetal./SmallRuminantResearchxxx(2014)xxx–xxx production,mostbreedsfromtemperatelatitudesalsodepictasignificantseasonalbreeding(Gonzalez-Bulnesetal.,2011).Inaddition,thekilogramsofkidsweaned,aparameterhighlyinfluencedbydoe’sfertilityandprolifi-cacy,aswellasthegrowthrateofkidsalsoinfluenceinasignificantfashion,theprofitabilityofthegoatindus-try(Melladoetal.,2011).Thisisparticularlyimportant whenaimingtoimproveinasustainablewaytheproduc-tivityoflow-andmedium-inputgoatproductionsystems(Escare˜noetal.,2013;Mandonnetetal.,2013),specially undermarginalsubtropicalaswellasaridandsemi-aridconditions(Gonzalez-Bulnesetal.,2011).Therefore, whenevaluatingthesuccessofintroducingspecializedbreeds,comparisonofthebreedsforthesetraitsunderthesameenvironmentalandmanagementconditionsisof paramountimportance.Theaimofthisstudywas   todeter-minethepossibleeffectsofbreedandsomenon-geneticfactorsupontheexpressionofweightsatbirth,onemonthofage,weaningweightandlitterssizeinfivegoatbreedsundersubtropical,semi-aridconditions. 2.Materialsandmethods  2.1.Location,environmentalconditions,animalsandtheirfeeding  DatarecordsconsideredinthisstudywereobtainedfromtheNationalGoatCenterofTlahualilo,Durango,locatedinnorthernMexico,at(26 ◦ N,103 ◦ Wand1092mabovesealevel).Meanannualtemperatureis21 ◦ C.The   coldestmonthsareDecember,JanuaryandFebruary,withmeansrangingfrom12 ◦ Cto15 ◦ CwhilethehottestmonthsarefromMay   toSeptemberwithmeantemperaturesover25 ◦ C.Annualrainfallaverageis186mm,   with74%fallingbetweenJuneandOctober.Thisclimateisclassifiedaswarmandextremelydrywithrainsinsummerandfall.Theherdwas   composedofgoatsproducedbycrossing,inarecurrentway,localgoatsofanon-definedbreedwithimportedsiresofNubian,Alpine,SaanenandToggenburgbreedsuntilreachingaminimumof31/32partsof    theimportedgenotype.Inmostanimals(72%)theleveloftheimportedgenotypeisevenhigher.TheGranadinabreedwas   obtainedfrommatingof    localanimalssimilarinappearancetothestandardofthisbreed.Goatsandkidswereidentifiedwitheartagsandtattoos;regardingnewbornkids,theumbilicalcordwascutanddisinfectedatbirthandkidshaddirectaccesstocolostrumfromtheirmother.Onday15afterbirth,kidswerevaccinatedagainst Clostridium and Pasteurella ,   receivedvitaminsA,DandE(i.m.)andweretreatedagainstinternalandexternalparasites.Goatswerekeptunderstall-feedingconditionswithanuncov-eredareaof2–10m 2 pergoat.Feedingconsistedofgreenalfalfa,alfalfahay,sorghumsilage,groundsorghumgrainandaconcentratemixturecontaining14%CP;duringthepre-weaningperiod,allkidshadaccesstoalfalfahayandconcentrate.Bodyweightsofkidswereregisteredwithin24hofbirthandonemonthafter;subsequently,kidswereweanedatanaverageageof90days.Allthemanagementandpracticesweredoneinaccordancewithacceptedinternationalguidelines.  2.2.Databasemanagementandstatisticalanalyses Dataconsideredrecordsoutof52,805productiontraitscollectedfrom1979to2000.DataincludedinformationforBW( n =17,857),MW   ( n =14,409),WW( n =2629)andLSatbirth( n =17,910)fromtheGranadina,Nubian,Saanen,ToggenburgandAlpinebreeds.Datawereclassifiedaccordingtogenotype(fivebreeds),genderofkid,typeof birth(single,twins,triplets),ageofdamatkidding(1–10years),yearof    birth(1979–2000)andseasonofbirth[spring( March ,  April , May ),sum-mer   (  June ,  July ,  August  ),fall( September  , October  , November  )andwinter( December  ,    January , February )],inadditiontoweights,littersizeatbirthwas   alsorecorded.Animalswithinconsistentdataweredeletedtoper-formfinalstatisticalanalyses;alltheanimalswereraisedunderthesamemanagementandenvironmentalconditions.Thestatisticalanalysiswascarriedoutwithagenerallinearmodelincludingthefixedeffectsof breed,gender,typeofbirth,yearandseasonofbirth,andageofdamandfirstorderinteractions.Dataediting,descriptivestatistics,inferentialstatisticalanalysesforfixedeffectswereperformedbyusingtheproce-duresoftheSASsoftwarepackage(SAS,2009). 3.Resultsanddiscussion Leastsquaresmeansandstandarderrors(LSM ± SE)of theconsideredproductivetraitsaccordingtovariousnon-geneticfactorsandlevelsareshowninTables1and2.Inaddition,least-squaremeansforBW,   MWandLSforthedifferentlevelsoffirstorderinteractionsacrossgeno-typeareshowninTable3.Alltheconsideredweight traitswereaffected(  p <0.01)bybreed,gender,typeof birth,yearofbirth,seasonofbirthandageofdoe.Effectsofgender,typeofbirth,andageofdoefollowthetrendthoroughlyreportedinthisspecies.Certainly,foralltheevaluatedgrowthtraits,malekidswerecon-stantlyheavier(  p <0.01)thanfemales.SuchtrendhasbeenpreviouslyreportedbyBarazandehetal.(2012)and Moghbelietal.(2013)inRainiCashmeregoats,nonethe-less,averagesforBWandWWineithermalesorfemaleswereinferiorstothoseobservedinourstudy.Genderhadmajoreffectsonbodyweight(males>females),adiposity(females>males),leptinemia(females>males)andinsu-linemia(males>females)throughthe90firstdaysoflife(Adametal.,2013).Typeofbirth(  p <0.01)affectedallgrowthtraits.ThenegativerelationshipbetweenBWandTBhasbeenprevi-ouslyreportedingoats(BoujenaneandElHazzab,2008; Jafaroghlietal.,2010;Barazandehetal.,2012;Moghbelietal.,2013).Nonetheless,whilenodifferenceswereobservedforMWbetweentwinsortriplets,thelargestaverageatWWwasobservedintriplets,followedfromsimplesandtwins.Thisbiologicaltrenddenotesacom-pensatorygrowthexertedbytriplets,suggestingahigherabilityfromhighorderlitterstoincreasenotonlythefre-quencyofsucklingbutalsopromotinganincreasedmilkyield;suchtrendhasbeenpreviouslyreportedinsows(Auldistetal.,2000).Inaddition,lambswithlowBWcaused byintrauterinegrowthrestriction(asimilarscenariofacedbytriplets),hadanincreasedsucklingactivity,indicativeofanincreasedappetite(DeBlasioetal.,2007).Ourresults differfromthatpreviouslyreportedbyBoujenaneandElHazzab(2008), Jafaroghlietal.(2010)andBarazandehetal. (2012).IncreasesinBWandWWoccurredastheageofthedamincreasedupto6years,thereafter,agradualdecreaseinbothBWandWWoccurredasgoatsbecameolder.SuchtrendagreeswithBarazandehetal.(2012),andMoghbeli etal.(2013).ThisrelationshipbetweenBWanddam’sagesuggestsametabolicconflictbetweenfetalandmater-nalrequirementsforbodygrowthinyoungerdamsthatdidnotreachtheirmaturebodyweight(Gonzalez-Bulnesetal.,2011;Meza-HerreraandTena-Sempere,2012).Alltheevaluatedgrowthtraits,BW,   MWandWW,   wereaffectedbyyearofbirth.ThelastagreeswithreportsinDraagoats(BoujenaneandElHazzab,2008)inBoergoats (Mohammadietal.,2012)andinRainiCashmeregoats (Barazandehetal.,2012;Moghbelietal.,2013).Regardingbreeddifferencesforgrowthtraits,thelargestBW,   MWandWWweredepicted(  p <0.01)bySaa-nenandAlpine.Theobservedgrowthtraitsinourstudy  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:Meza-Herrera,C.A.,etal.,EffectofbreedandsomeenvironmentalfactorsonbodyweightstillweaningandlittersizeinfivegoatbreedsinMexico.SmallRuminantRes.(2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2014.07.006 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model RUMIN-4763;No.ofPages5 C.A.Meza-Herreraetal./SmallRuminantResearchxxx(2014)xxx–xxx 3  Table   1 Least-squaremeans ± s.e.forbirthweight(BW,kg),weightatonemonth(MW,   kg),weaningweight(WW,   kg,90days)andlittersize(LS,units)accordingto   breedgenderofthekidandlittersize,fromgoatsinnorthernMexico( n =52,805,26 ◦ N).Effects a BW(kg)( n =17,857)MW(kg)( n =14,409)WW(kg)( n =2629)LS(units)( n =17,910)Breed-Nubian2.88 ± 0.01c7.22 ± 0.05c13.27 ± 0.37b1.77 ± 0.01a-   Granadina 2.43 ± 0.01d 7.23 ± 0.05d 13.15 ± 0.38b1.70 ± 0.01b-   Saanen3.05 ± 0.01a7.39 ± 0.05a13.51 ± 0.39a,b1.57 ± 0.01d-   Toggenburg2.99 ± 0.01b7.30 ± 0.06b13.09 ± 0.40c1.66 ± 0.01c-   Alpine3.07 ± 0.01a7.36 ± 0.05a13.46 ± 0.37a1.58 ± 0.01dGender-   Male3.00 ± 0.01a7.40 ± 0.05a13.76 ± 0.37a–-   Female2.77 ± 0.01b7.22 ± 0.04b12.83 ± 0.36b–Littersize-   Simple3.19 ± 0.01a7.58 ± 0.04a13.34 ± 0.36a–-   Twins 2.86 ± 0.00b 7.16 ± 0.04b 13.13 ± 0.36b–-   Triplet2.61 ± 0.01c7.19 ± 0.06b13.41 ± 0.43a– a Allthemaineffectsincludedinthemodelwerefoundtohaveasignificanteffectonthestudiedvariables;leastsquaresmeanswithdifferentliteralwithinineachfixedeffectaresignificantlydifferent(  p <0.01). arequitesimilartothosereportedbyGopaletal.(2011)in Sirohigoats,althoughsuperiorregardingRainiCashmeregoats(2.3 ± 0.02and9.98 ± 0.12)(Barazandehetal.,2012). Reproductiveperformanceisaparamountfactordefin-ingherdproductivityanditishighlyaffectedbythenumberofweanedkidsrelativetothenumberofdoesexposedtomales.Onthisrespect,littersize(LS)iscon-sideredoneofthemostimportantcomponentsdefiningreproductiveperformancebecauseofitshighandsignifi-cantcorrelationwiththenumberofkidsweaned(Melladoetal.,2011).Inourstudy,single,twinsandtripletsrep-resented38.7%,58.7%and5.8%ofthepopulation;suchdistributiondoesnotagreewiththatof87.13%forsinglesand12.87%fortwinsreportedbyGopaletal.(2011)in Sirohigoats,althoughsimilartothatreportedbyKebedeetal.(2012);46.5%,50.57%and2.8%,respectively,inArsi-Balegoats.Littersizewasaffectedbyyearofbirth,withrangesfrom1.36to2.03kidsperkiddingacrossyears.Suchvariabilitysuggestsdifferencesintheprevailingclimaticandenviron-mentalconditions,mainlythoserelatedtofeedingquantityandqualityaswellastothegeneralmanagementpracticesacrossyears(BoujenaneandElHazzab,2008;Kebedeetal.,2012).TheageofdamalsoaffectedLS,withmiddleagedamsdepictingthelargestLSascomparedtoyoungerandolderdoes;suchtrendwas   alsomentionedbyKebedeetal.(2012)inArsi-Balegoats.ThelargestLSvaluesoccurredinsummerandfall,withintermediatevaluesinwinterwhilethelowestwas   observedinspring,atrendalsoreportedinArsi-BalegoatsbyKebedeetal.(2012).ThelargestLSwere observedintheNubiansandGranadinas.TheeffectoftheinteractionsofgenotypewithbothtypeofbirthandbreedingseasonwassignificantonBWandMWbutnotonWW.   Asexpected,singlekidswereheavierthantwinswhichinturnwereheavierthantriplets.How-ever,themagnitudeofthedifferencesvariedacrossbreeds,beingalldifferent,exceptinthecaseoftwinsandtripletsintheNubians.SimilarresultswereobservedforMW,  Table2 Least-squaremeans ± s.e.forbirthweight(BW,kg),weightatonemonth(MW,   kg),weaningweight(WW,   kg,90days)andlittersize(LS,units)accordingto   yearofbirth,birthofseasonandageofdamfromgoatsinnorthernMexico( n =52,805,26 ◦ N).Effects a BW(kg)( n =17,857)MW(kg)( n =14,409)WW(kg)( n =2629)LS(units)( n =17,910)YearofbirthSeasonofbirth-   Spring2.90 ± 0.00b7.33 ± 0.04b12.78 ± 0.36b1.65 ± 0.00b-   Summer2.81 ± 0.02c7.19 ± 0.09c14.24 ± 0.46a1.61 ± 0.02c-   Fall2.93 ± 0.01a7.56 ± 0.05a13.13 ± 0.41b1.69 ± 0.01a-   Winter2.91 ± 0.00b7.16 ± 0.04c13.04 ± 0.36b1.67 ± 0.00aAge   ofdam12.61 ± 0.01e7.27 ± 0.06a13.51 ± 0.40a1.28 ± 0.01e2   2.77 ± 0.01d7.36 ± 0.05a13.52 ± 0.37a1.50 ± 0.01d3   2.94 ± 0.01b7.40 ± 0.05a13.53 ± 0.36a1.63 ± 0.01c4   2.99 ± 0.01a,b7.39 ± 0.05a13.51 ± 0.37a1.72 ± 0.01b5   3.01 ± 0.01a7.37 ± 0.05a13.48 ± 0.37a1.75 ± 0.01a,b6   3.02 ± 0.01a7.30 ± 0.05a13.57 ± 0.37a1.78 ± 0.01a7   2.99 ± 0.01b7.32 ± 0.06a12.99 ± 0.41a1.76 ± 0.01a8   2.91 ± 0.01c7.37 ± 0.06a13.13 ± 0.49a1.72 ± 0.02a9   2.87 ± 0.02c,d7.11 ± 0.07b12.68 ± 0.52a1.75 ± 0.02a10   2.74 ± 0.02e7.25 ± 0.10b12.62 ± 0.69a1.66 ± 0.02bRegressionWW/BW0.660 ± 0.06RegressionWW/MW0.716 ± 0.03 a Allthemaineffectsincludedinthemodelwerefoundtohaveasignificanteffectuponthestudiedvariables;leastsquaresmeanswithdifferentliteralwithin   ineachfixedeffectaresignificantlydifferent(  p <0.01).  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:Meza-Herrera,C.A.,etal.,EffectofbreedandsomeenvironmentalfactorsonbodyweightstillweaningandlittersizeinfivegoatbreedsinMexico.SmallRuminantRes.(2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2014.07.006 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model RUMIN-4763;No.ofPages54 C.A.Meza-Herreraetal./SmallRuminantResearchxxx(2014)xxx–xxx  Table3 Least-squaremeansforbirthweight(BW),weightatonemonth(MW)   andlittersize(LS)forthedifferentlevelsoffirstorderinteractionsacrossgenotypesfrom   goatsinnorthernMexico( n =45,852,26 ◦ N).LevelsNubianGranadinaSaanenToggenburgAlpineBirthweight-   Singles3.12 ± 0.02a2.67 ± 0.02a3.34 ± 0.04a3.22 ± 0.05a3.26 ± 0.03a-   Doubles 2.88 ± 0.02b 2.37 ± 0.02b 2.97 ± 0.04b 2.86 ± 0.05b 2.89 ± 0.03b-   Triplets 2.59 ± 0.03b2.21 ± 0.04c2.69 ± 0.07c2.56 ± 0.07c2.68 ± 0.05cBirth   weight-   Spring2.08 ± 0.02a2.43 ± 0.03a3.02 ± 0.03a2.92 ± 0.03a3.02 ± 0.02a-   Summer2.86 ± 0.07ab2.41 ± 0.06a2.83 ± 0.07b2.82 ± 0.12a2.81 ± 0.05b-   Fall2.96 ± 0.03a2.40 ± 0.02a3.13 ± 0.13a2.85 ± 0.15a2.97 ± 0.12ab-   Winter2.83 ± 0.02b2.42 ± 0.02a3.03 ± 0.03a2.93 ± 0.03a3.01 ± 0.02aMonthlyweight-   Singles7.66 ± 0.07a7.26 ± 0.07a7.66 ± 0.12a7.71 ± 0.14a7.51 ± 0.09a-   Doubles 7.34 ± 0.07b 7.04 ± 0.06b 7.16 ± 0.11b 7.23 ± 0.13b6.92 ± 0.09b-   Triplets7.33 ± 0.09b7.26 ± 0.11a7.09 ± 0.19b7.38 ± 0.20b6.68 ± 0.14cMonthlyweight-   Spring7.32 ± 0.06b7.17 ± 0.08b7.37 ± 0.09a7.29 ± 0.09a7.28 ± 0.06a-   Summer7.61 ± 0.20a6.80 ± 0.18c7.24 ± 0.18ab7.68 ± 0.31a7.05 ± 0.14ab-   Fall7.73 ± 0.09a7.54 ± 0.06a7.47 ± 0.36ab7.59 ± 0.39a6.75 ± 0.31ab-   Winter7.11 ± 0.05c7.24 ± 0.06b7.13 ± 0.08b7.22 ± 0.08a7.06 ± 0.05bLitter   size-   Spring1.78 ± 0.02a1.60 ± 0.03a1.41 ± 0.02b1.55 ± 0.03a1.50 ± 0.02b-   Summer1.50 ± 0.08b1.72 ± 0.06ab1.54 ± 0.07b1.52 ± 0.12ab1.45 ± 0.05b-   Fall1.73 ± 0.03a1.70 ± 0.02b1.71 ± 0.14a1.79 ± 0.15ab1.46 ± 0.12ab-   Winter1.75 ± 0.01a1.67 ± 0.02b1.52 ± 0.02a1.64 ± 0.03b1.58 ± 0.01a Note .LSmeanswithdifferentliteralswithincellsaresignificantlydifferent(  p <0.05). butnodifferences(  p >0.05)wereobservedbetweentwinsandtripletsofmostbreeds.ConcerningtotheinteractionsacrossbreedswithSBwithrespecttogrowthtraits,theToggenburgshowedlessseasonaleffectuponbothBWandMW,   withtheGranadinasdepictingnoseasonaleffectuponBW.   Summerwasinmostcasestheseasonwiththelow-estweights(Table3).Thesignificantinteractionbetween breedandLSmustbehighlighted.NubianandGranadinagoatsshowedthelargestLSvalues.Thesetwobreedsalsoshowedananticipatedbreedingseasonincomparisontotheimportedbreeds,whichpromoted,aswell,higherLSduringsummerandfall.Breeddifferencesaremultifactorialinoriginwhiledefinedbyseveralcharacteristicsincludingfood-to-weightconversionefficiency,behavioralpatterns,physiologicalresponsestoenvironmentalchallengesaswellasthegenomeitself,amongothers.Allthesevariablescon-tributeindifferentdegreetopromotesuchvariabilitywhilealsointeractinacomplexfashionatdifferentlevels,includinggene-to-environment,gene-to-dietandgene-to-gene,generatingdifferencesnotonlybetweenbreeds,butalsowithinbreeds(Gonzalez-Bulnesetal.,2011;Meza-HerreraandTena-Sempere,2012).Forthesereasons,when evaluatingthesuccessofintroducingspecializedbreeds,productivetraitssuchaslittersizeandgrowthtraitsareofpreponderantimportancetomeasuredamproductionefficiencywhilebreedproductivity.RegardingthebreeddifferencesobserveduponLS,kisspeptins,theproductoftheKISS1gene,operatethroughoutitsG-protein-coupledreceptorGPR54,andhaveemergedasessentialupstreamregulatorsofGnRHneuronsmodulatingtheactivityoftheHHGaxis(Meza-HerreraandTena-Sempere,2012).Fragmentaryevidence suggeststhateitherKISS1orkisspeptinsarepresentindifferentreproductivetissuesincludingtheovary(Castellanoetal.,2006).Besides,polymorphismsof  theKISS1genewererecentlydetectedintheXinongSaanen,GuanzhongandBoergoatbreedsthroughoutDNApooling,PCR-RFLPandDNAsequencingmethodswhiletwo   SNPsweresignificantlyassociatedwithlittersize(Anetal.,2013a).Subsequentstudiesindicatedthatfour SNPsmay   playanimportantroleintheexpressionofLS,sincefemalegoatsexpressingtheSC1andBC7SNPsalsodepictedthelargestlittersize(Anetal.,2013b).Building onthatstudy,thesameresearchteamreportedthattheGNRH1andGDF9genescouldalsobeconsideredasgeneticmarkersforlittersizeingoats(Anetal.,2013c).These studiesconfirmthatdevelopmentsingenomicsalongwiththereductioningenotypingcostsshouldincreasethepotentialbenefitsofgenomicselectionregardingtheannualgeneticgainofsmallruminantsinthenearfuture.Nonetheless,implementationofsuchstrategies,requestsaseriousevaluationoffinancialinputswithrespecttotheexpectedgeneticgain(Shumbushoetal.,2013). 4.Conclusions Resultsofourstudyconfirmthatbreedandotherenvironmentalfactorsaffectinasignificantfashiontheexpressionofweighttraitsatbirth,onemonthofageandatweaning;suchgenotypeandnon-geneticeffectsalsoextendstheirinfluenceuponthephenotypicexpres-sionoflittersizeandseasonalbreeding.Sincegeneticchangedependsnotonlyongeneticestimationsbutalsoontheobservedphenotypicvariation,estimationandimprovementofnon-genetic-environmentalfactors,mustbeconsideredwhenbuildingstatisticalmodelsdesignedforestimationofgeneticparametersandgenetic  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:Meza-Herrera,C.A.,etal.,EffectofbreedandsomeenvironmentalfactorsonbodyweightstillweaningandlittersizeinfivegoatbreedsinMexico.SmallRuminantRes.(2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2014.07.006 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model RUMIN-4763;No.ofPages5 C.A.Meza-Herreraetal./SmallRuminantResearchxxx(2014)xxx–xxx 5 evaluationofgoats;thelastbeingofprimordialimportancetothegoatindustry. Conflictofinterests Theauthorsreportnoconflictofinterestsandtheyhavenodirectfinancialrelationwiththecommercialidentitiesmentionedinthepaper.  Acknowledgments ThisstudywascarriedoutwithintheoutlinedactionsoftheInternationalCollaborativeProjects“CONACYT-FOMIX-DURANGO,DGO-2008-C01-87559&CONACYT-DGO-2009-C02-116746”,fundedbytheNationalCouncilofScienceandTechnology,Mexico,aswellas“ALFA-III-ALAS,DCI-ALA/A9.09.01/08/19189/161-358/ALFA-III-82,supportedbytheEuropeanUnion.TheauthorsalsoacknowledgefinancialsupportfromChapingoAutonomousUniversity-GeneralDirectionforResearchandGraduatedStudies,UACH-DGIP,(Mexico)andUniver-sityofCordoba(Spain)duringanalysesandpreparationofthemanuscript.InlovingmemoryIng.SantosI.ArbizaAguirre(1927-2014). 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