Full Length Research Paper
The aim of the study is to characterize Begait cattle using morphometric and qualitative traits. The breed was kept under farm and ranch management systems in Western Tigray, Ethiopia. A total of 368 Begait cattle which included 24 male Begait cattle were selected using simple random sampling method and the data were analyzed using statistical packages for social sciences and statistical analysis software. Begait cows exhibited chest girth of 152.8±0.40 cm, height at withers of 129.1±0.28 cm, backline length (loin length + back length) of 88.4±0.26 cm and tail length of 96.2±0.44 cm. Whilst Begait breeding males showed chest girth of 170.7±1.35 cm, height at withers of 145.1±1.18 cm, backline length of 90.0±1.13 cm and tail length of 108.2±1.29 cm. The skeletal measurements of Begait cattle are good indicators of the breed as a potential dual-purpose breed and the gene could be improved through selection. Humera ranch should own superior male Begait cattle for genetic improvement of the breed. The correlation was significant (P<0.01) among most of the morphometric traits of Begait cows. The most frequently observed coat color patterns of Begait cows were pied (42.4%) and spotted (33.1%) whilst the body coat color types of the cows were combination of black and white (34.6%) and brown (29.7%). All males were humped and majority of Begait cows (88.1%) were humpless. Begait cows had concave face profile (72.1%) and roofy rump profile (69.2%). The information generated from this research work will be used for planning Begait cattle genetic resources management in sustainable manner for the development of Regional and National economy.
Key words: Characterization, Begait cattle, qualitative traits, morphometric traits.
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