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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 2 NO 2, JUNE, 2004

INFLUENCE OF GENOTYPE, SEASON AND SEX ON WEANING WEIGHT AND LINEAR PARAMETERS OF NIGERIAN GOAT BREEDS

OTUMA, M. O, UGWU L. L. C, UCHEWA E. N. AND ASOGWA M.O
DEOARTMENT OF ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND FISHERIES
EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY, P.M.B 053, ABAKALIKI, NIGERIA

TARGET AUDIENCE: GOAT FARMERS, BREEDERS EXTENSIONISTS

ABSTRACT
A six year (1995 – 2000) data generated from 600 weaner goats comprising 300 bucks and 300 does from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Abakaliki Campus of Small Ruminants Research and Multiplication Unit were analyzed for the effect of genotype, season and sex on weaning weight (kg) and linear parameters namely: Body length (BL), thigh (THC) and Neck circumferences (NC). The experimental animals were obtained from six crossbreeding designs involving: West African dwarf x West African dwarf does of Savannah ecozones – I, F1 backcrosses – II, West African dwarf x Red Sokoto buck – III, Red Sokoto x West African dwarf buck – IV, West African dwarf x West African dwarf does of coasted ecozones – V, and Red Sokoto x Red Sokoto does of Sahel ecozones – VI. 100 weaners (50 males and 50 females) were randomly selected from each of the six breeding groups for the analysis of variances. The result of the study showed that the crossbreds from genotypes III, IV and the Pure Red Sokoto had comparable weights superior to the pure WAD breeds of the Savannah and coastal ecozones (P<0.05), but were inferior to the F1 backcrossed genotype. The season of rearing significantly affected weaning weight with main rainy (July – September) having the most superior effect (P<0.05). Similarly, sex had a significant effect on the weaning weight (P<0.05). Weaning weight were much higher for the male than the female kids. Linear parameters viz. Body length, Thigh and Neck circumferences recorded higher mean values for animals raised by F1 backcrosses and genotype III and IV than those from pure WADs. Result also showed that Red Sokoto breeds excelled in body length that those other genotypes (P<0.05). Males were superior in all the linear parameters over its females (P<0.05). The result of the study suggests that the F1 backcrosses and the crosses of WAD with (RSG) enhanced high growth potentialities inherent in Nigerian goat breeds and could be exploited as useful improvement designs for increasing chevon yield instead of relying solely on exotic breeds.

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