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Identification and phenotypic characterization of goat ecotypes in the Bench Maji zone, southwestern Ethiopia

Fantahun, Tegegn, Alemayehu, Kefyalew, Abegaz, Solomon
Animal genetic resources 2013 v.53 pp. 19-26
body length, body weight, chest, chi-square distribution, cluster analysis, data collection, descriptive statistics, ecotypes, horns, linear models, males, nannygoats, phenotype, quantitative traits, wattles, withers, Ethiopia
The aim of the study was to identify and characterize the phenotype of goat genetic resources in the Bench Maji zone, south western Ethiopia. Focus group discussions, observation of physical attributes and morphology, and morphometrical measurements were employed for data collection. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, general linear model (GLM) and two-step cluster analysis were employed to analyse the data. The results of the analyses revealed that 90.7 percent of the female and 88.4 percent of the male goats have straight facial profile. Horns in the majority of females (85.7 percent) and males (73.4 percent) are straight with backward direction in 72.6 percent of females and 84.2 percent of males. In most cases the female goats lack ruffs (88.2 percent), wattles (73.8 percent) and beards (68.3 percent). Averaged quantitative traits of the female population were 56.97 ± 0.21 cm; 70.15 ± 0.27 cm, 60.08 ± 0.17 cm and 26.36 ± 0.21 kg for body length, chest girth, height at withers and body weight, respectively. The corresponding values of the male population were 60.81 ± 0.35 cm, 75.04 ± 0.50 cm, 64.47 ± 0.32 cm and 31.02 ± 0.50 kg, respectively. Goats from the different districts have shown significant (P < 0.01) differences in body length, height at withers and body weight of female and chest girth and body weight of males. 48 and 52 percent of the goat populations were distributed under two clusters indicating that the goat populations can be classified into two ecotypes (Meanit and Sheko).