The study was conducted to differentiate the Woyto-Guji and Central Highland goat breeds of Ethiopia and derive the most accurate linear regression equation for live body weight prediction. Morphological measurements were taken on randomly selected 531 adult female goats (263 from Woyto-Guji and 268 from Central Highland). Positive and highly significant (P<0.001) correlations were observed between body weight and most independent body measurement variables in both breeds. The highest relationship between chest girth and body weight were illustrated in both breeds (r=0.85 for Woyto-Guji and r=0.82 for Central Highland). The multiple regressions found five parameters to be significant (P<0.05) for Woyto-Guji (chest girth, body length, pelvic width, chest width and ramp length) and Central Highland (chest girth, body length, ramp length, horn and ear length) with R2 values of 84% and 79%, respectively. Body weight, body length, height at wither, chest width, ramp length, pelvic width, horn length and ear length had a significant (P<0.15) discriminating power on the breeds. Nearest neighbor discriminating function analysis shows that 93.23% of Woyto-Guji and 92.96% of Central Highland breeds were classified into their source population. The morphological variations obtained in this study should be consolidated with more evidence drawn from genetic analysis.
Key words: Central Highland, goat, multivariate, morphometric traits, Woyto-Guji.
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