This study was conducted on 810 goats in three agro ecological zones (Highland, Midland and Lowland) of Loma district in southern Ethiopia were considered with sex and age groups factor to characterize morphologically Woyto Guji goat types in their home tract. A pre-tested questionnaire was used for recording morphological features, body weights and linear body measurements. Both qualitative and quantitative traits were recorded on randomly sampled goats from three agro ecologies and the data were analyzed using SPSS and SAS software. The goat type in the study area was characterized by higher proportion of plain coat patterns (91.2%) with brown coat color (45.7%), straight head profile (80.6), semi pendulous ear formation (69.8%) and long ear type (97.3%). The horns were characterized by backward orientation with a straight shape. Body weight of the goats’ changes at increasing rate at 0PPI to 3PPI and gradual increase was observed at older ages. Sex, age, agro ecological zones, sex by age and age by agro ecologies interaction had a significant (p<0.05/p<0.01) effect on body weight and many of the linear body measurements. The mean live body weight (BWT), heart girth (HG), height at wither (HW), chest width (CW), pelvic width (PW), rump height (RH), rump length (RL), ear length (EL), and horn length (HL) of females were 26.53±2.91 kg, 57.48±0.64 cm, 70.20±0.21 cm, 64.12±0.18 cm, 13.74±0.07 cm, 13.20±0.19 cm, 66.04±0.52 cm, 11.97±0.13 cm, 13.74±0.16 cm and 11.20±0.10 cm, respectively. The corresponding values for male counterpart were 27.16±0.70 kg, 60.13±1.17 cm, 74.98±0.33 cm, 68.34±0.05 cm, 14.48±0.41 cm, 13.25±0.37 cm, 68.37±0.50 cm, 12.83±0.43 cm, 14.02±0.020 cm and 13.22±0.47 cm respectively. Heart girth had the highest correlation with body weight at various ages and in both sexes compared with other parameters, except in females of zero dentition was not significant. The regression equation for pooled overall age groups was estimated as Y = (-28.20) + 0.74 X; (where X stands for HG), with R2 value of 0.68 for female and Y = (-39.12) + 0.88 X; (where X stands for HG), with R2 value of 0.78 for male goat in the present study. The result indicated that phenotypic characterization, body weight and linear body measurement description could help as an input for efficient utilization, conservation and designing improvement strategy for this genetic resource in the community.
Key words: Age, agro ecology, body weight, linear body measurements, sex.
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