Variability in body morphometric measurements and their application in predicting live body weight of Mubende and Small East African goat breeds in Uganda.
Kugonza, Donald R.
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A study was conducted in three districts (Sembabule, Soroti and Arua) to determine the variability in body morphometric measurements and their application in determining economic value of goats in Uganda. Data on live body weight (LBW), Corpus length (CL), Height at withers (WH), Height at rump (RH), Heart girth (HG), Shoulder width (SW), Hip bone width (HBW) and Chest depth (CD) were collected from (n=198) Mubende, (n=188) SEA/Teso and (n=188) SEA/Lugware goats kept by traditional farmers. Regression analysis was carried out for LBW with all the linear body measurements. The data were classified on the basis of breed, age, sex and coat colour pattern. Breed, Age and sex significantly (P<0.05) influenced all the body measurements. Coat colour had no significant (P>0.05) influence on any measurement. Older animals were superior (P<0.05) to young ones in all measurements. Across age, sex significantly (P<0.05) influenced live body weight and linear body measurements with males showing supremacy. All measurements were significantly higher for the Mubende goats (P<0.05) implying that this breed is bigger than the two contemporaries. All linear body measurements and live body weight were highly (P<0.001) and positively correlated for all ages except for the group with two pairs of permanent incisors. From the regression analysis, live body weight could be predicted with accuracy from linear body measurements especially; heart girth, height at wither, corpus length and rump height. Pooling of body measurements in a multiple regression, improved the R-squared value to 0.91. It was concluded that, there is variability in body measurements across sex, age and breed/ecotype and that these measurements can be exploited in predicting live body weight and hence the economic value of goats.