The litter size (LS), or its equivalent the number of kids born in the litter (NB), of Creole goats in Guadeloupe was studied by two procedures. The first approach considered LS as a single trait and as a characteristic of the mother of the litter, and was studied by an univariate animal model (UAM). The second procedure treated NB, the individual birth weight (BW) and loss of kids (LK) as traits belonging to the animals born in the litter and their dam, in a multitrait animal model (MAM). The heritability for genetic direct effect (h
a) for LS estimated by UAM (0·14) was 40% lower than the corresponding value for NB estimated by MAM. The most appropriate of the 6 MAMs tested estimated heritabilities (h
a) of 0·24, 0·22 and 0·17 for NB, BW and LK, respectively, while maternal effects (h
m) were 0·20, 0·24 and 0·09 for the same characters. The genetic correlations between direct and maternal effects (r
am) were negative –0·611 and –0·725 for NB and LK, respectively, and not significantly different from zero for BW. This study explored the possibility of using the information on NB, BW and LK recorded in each animal born in the litter in order to analyse the genetic variability of these traits.