International Journal of
Livestock Production

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Livest. Prod.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2448
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 263

Full Length Research Paper

Relative economic value estimates of grasscutter production traits

S. Y. Annor
  • S. Y. Annor
  • Department of Animal Science Education, College of Agriculture Education, University of Education, Winneba, P.O. Box 40, Mampong-Ashanti, Ghana.
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B. K. Ahunu
  • B. K. Ahunu
  • Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG 571, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
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G. S. Aboagye
  • G. S. Aboagye
  • Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG 571, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
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K. Boa-Amponsem
  • K. Boa-Amponsem
  • Animal Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, P.O. Box AH 20, Achimota, Accra, Ghana.
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J.P. Cassady
  • J.P. Cassady
  • Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7621/232B Polk Hall, Raleigh NC 27695-7621, North Carolina, USA
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  •  Received: 02 September 2013
  •  Accepted: 01 July 2014
  •  Published: 11 August 2014

Abstract

The study was conducted to estimate relative economic values (REVs) of survival, body weight, growth rate, reproduction, docility and food intake. Data were obtained from records of grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus) kept at the grasscutter section of the Department of Animal Science Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. Average values of production inputs and outputs parameters were computed from records of 502 kids born between 2006 and 2010. Relative economic values of traits were computed by using computer models in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of Windows 2007. When feed intake was included in the breeding objective and economic evaluation was based on genetic standard deviation, mature body weight emerged as the most important trait. Ranking order of traits was body weight > survival > reproduction > growth rate > feed intake > docility. The ranking order was maintained when feed cost was set to zero. The use of coefficient of variation to estimate REVs changed the ranking order of traits: Growth rate > reproduction > docility > survival > body weight > feed intake. It was concluded that post-weaning growth rate, litter size at weaning and docility should be selected to be included in the breeding objective of grasscutter breeding programmes in Ghana.

 

Key words: Breeding objective, docility, food intake, growth traits, reproduction, survival.