International Journal of
Livestock Production

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Livest. Prod.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2448
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 287

Full Length Research Paper

Morphological characterization of indigenous sheep population in their production system for developing suitable selection criteria in central zone of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

H. H. Tesfay
  • H. H. Tesfay
  • Tigray Agricultural Research Institute(TARI), Abergelle Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 44 Abi-Adi, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar
A. K. Banerjee
  • A. K. Banerjee
  • Haramaya University, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar
Y. Y. Mummed
  • Y. Y. Mummed
  • Oda Bultum University, Chiro, P. O. Box 266, Oromia, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 23 November 2016
  •  Accepted: 27 January 2017
  •  Published: 30 April 2017


The aim of this study was to characterize the phenotype of the indigenous sheep population in central zone of Tigray. A total of 450 mature sheep were sampled randomly for collect qualitative data. Based on dentition adult sheep were classified into four age categories (from one pair of permanent incisor to four pair of permanent incisor). Coat colour, tail type, ear orientation and presence of wattle were significant (p<0.05) between districts studied. Among the three districts only within Tanqua-Abergelle district attributes of coat colour type, tail form, horn and wattle were found to be significant (p<0.05). Majority of the sheep population in Tanqua-Abergelle district had a dark red coat colour type (50.2%), while in Kola-Tembien and Adwa districts sheep were dominated by gray coat colour type (30.1 and 40.8%) respectively. Most of the sampled sheep population across the three districts were short fat tailed followed by short thin and rumped fat tail type. Multiple correspondence analysis indicated that the sampled sheep population in the study districts were clustered into two groups based on their unique characteristics; Kola-Tembien and Adwa sheep together as one group while Tanqua-Abergelle district sheep as the other group, based on their unique characters. Based on the present result on characterization of sheep in the study area one may develop selection criteria and productivity schemes of the local sheep.


Key words: Adwa, Kola-Tembien, Tanqua-Abergelle, qualitative traits, suitable selection criteria.