The study was conducted in Erob district eastern Tigray, Ethiopia to phenotypic characterize Maefur goat based on physical body feature and linear body measurements. Six hundred (297 male and 303 female) goats were randomly selected and grouped into four age groups of 0, 1, 2 and ≥3 PPI. General Linear Model (GLM) procedure of SPSS version 16.0 and descriptive statistical analysis were were used to summarize the collected data. Short ear size (12.3 cm for male and 11.8 cm for female), long and thick horn, medium body size (42.8 kg for male and 32.7 kg for female), and large heart girth (82.1 cm for male and 73.4 cm for female) are the major body characteristics of Maefur goat breed. There was a significant (P< 0.05) effect of sex and age on live body weight and linear measurements. Mean± SE of live body weight, heart girth, body length and height at wither in male were 34.7±0.57 kg, 75.3±0.53 cm, 64.3±0.61 cm and 64.7±0.46 cm, respectively while in female 28.9±0.35 kg, 70.0±0.33 cm, 60.0±0.40 cm, and 59.3±0.31 cm, respectively. For heart girth in these age groups were 61.1±0.53, 69.4±0.33, 70.6±0.4 and 77.7±0.39 cm, respectively while body length were 50.3±0.43, 56.8±0.42, 59.3±0.58 and 68.2±0.42 cm, respectively. For height at wither in these age groups were 54.0±0.45, 59.1±0.35, 58.4±0.32 and 66.5±0.40 cm, respectively. Heart girth and height at wither were significantly (P<0.05) different among the age groups except between 13-18 and 19-24 months. The study revealed that large heart girth is a unique characteristic of the Maefur indigenous goat. The study concluded that Maefur goat breed is identified as one of the potential goat breed in Tigray, Ethiopia.
Key words: Indigenous goat, Maefur goat, phenotypic characterization, body measurement.
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