Phenotypic Characteristics of Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus)

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Published on International Journal of Agriculture & Agribusiness
Publication Date: June 18, 2019

Ekeocha, A. H., Aganga, A. A., Odumboni, A. A. & Fatoba, I. E.
Federal University Oye Ekiti
Ekiti State, Nigeria

Journal Full Text PDF: Phenotypic Characteristics of Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) (West African Dwarf [WAD] Goat in Three [LGA] of Ekiti State, Nigeria).

Abstract
Studies were carried out in Ado, Oye and Ikole LGA in Ekiti state to determine the phenotypic characteristic of West African Dwarf goats (WAD). 132 West African Dwarf Goats comprising 66 females and 66 males were randomly selected for the study. The aim was to document the body characteristics of the WAD goats in three Local governments in Ekiti State, Nigeria and also to determine the effect of sex on the body characteristics. The experimental design: Randomized complete block design (RCBD) and means were separated using Tukey’s test. Results from body linear measurements for male and female goats varied between 64.00cm, 50.00cm, 46.00cm, 52.00cm, 11.00cm, 10.00cm, 7.00cm for females and 44.00cm, 43.00cm, 35.00cm, 37.00cm, 9.00cm, 8.00cm, 4.00cm for males on heart girth (HG), body length (BL), wither height (WH), rump height (RH), Tail length (TL), Ear length (EL), and Horn length (HL) respectively. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) for the seven quantitative traits considered in this study showed different levels of significance ranging from P= 0.05 to P= 0.01. Two traits (BL, TL) showed significant (P<0.05) difference among the goats. There is highly significant (P<0.01) difference between the male and female goat for HG. Location showed no significant difference (P<0.05) for HG, BWT, WH, RH, EL and HL. Sex showed highly significant (P<0.05) difference in the male and female goats. Location and sex interaction showed no significant difference (P>0.05) in all the quantitative traits measured. Coefficient of variation (CV %) of all the traits resulted from low (10%) to high (41%). Pearson correlation analysis showed that body weights could be predicted accurately from HG, and BL, WH and RH. The study indicated that the HG was successfully used for predicting BWT of WAD goats measured in the three LGA’s and the information obtained in this research would be useful for phenotypic characterization of West African Dwarf (WAD) goats.

Keywords: Body weight, linear measurements, & West African Dwarf Goats.

1. INTRODUCTION
Goats are of great economic importance in many developing countries, most especially for the rural farmers as majorly a source of income, and in developed countries, for the production of high-quality products and also for sustainable development of rural areas (Pariset et al. 2009). Goat production in Nigeria majorly plays an important role in the economic improvement of rural farmers and has also help in reducing the poor state of rural dwellers. The protein intake of an average Nigeria is estimated at 45.5g per head per day, this is lower compared with the Food and Agricultural Organization’s recommended minimum intake of 70g per head per day, of which 50% (35g) should be of animal source (FAOSTAT, 2008).
There is this problem of inadequacy in the supply of animal protein across the nation due the inadequacy in production of live stocks such as: poultry, goat, cattle, pig, sheep, rabbit etc. Thus, there is therefore, the need to increase their production so as to enhance the supply of animal protein through meat consumption, and this could be accomplished through maximum use of promising indigenous animals such as goat. Gambo et al. (2004) reported that among the cheapest and mostly affordable protein source for this ever increasing population is mainly the poultry products and chevrons (goat meat).
Goat belongs to the family Bovidae, and there are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. Goats are known to be one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, and have been useful for various purposes such as milk, meat, hair, and skins over much of the world. In 2011, there were more than 924 million live goats around the globe, according to the UN Food and Agriculture 2 Organization. In 15 countries of the West humid zone, 38 percent of about 38 million goats are considered to belong to the WAD (Gall, 1994).
The West African Dwarf (Capra aegagrus hircus [L])”) WAD goats are the predominant breed of goats in Ekiti state; they are widely distributed across the rainforest belt of Southern and western Nigeria which serves as source of living to many impoverished family, most especially local/rural communities of West Africans. Raising West African dwarf goats serve as one of the major animal husbandry practice and in turn a source of income to the rural farmers. West African dwarf goat (WAD) as also help to reduce the level of rural dwellers poverty, only the production has not been really encouraging due to finance, proper management and adequate skills for their production. The WAD has variations in their coat colours usually black, although patched; pied, and occasionally all-white and all brown animals can be seen. The breed is well adapted to humid environment and are resistant to trypanosomiasis because it can survive well in tsetse fly areas. They are mostly found among households and small-scale farmers in varying numbers where they serve as a source of employment, food and income generation. The breed displays wide phenotypic variations in both quantitative and qualitative traits (Odubote, 1994). Characterization is necessary to realize the potential of native breeds of animals (Alderson, 1999). Improvement programmes are therefore necessary to increase and sustain the productivity of goats in the humid tropics in order to meet the demand of ever increasing human population for animal protein.
The growth performance of an animal is a function of its genetic merit and the environment. It is therefore a pre-requisite that knowledge of environmental influences and magnitude of their effects should be known in genetic improvement and decision making that can enhance Productivity. This study therefore seeks to examine the growth performance of WAD goats reared in three local government areas in Ekiti-state. (Birteeb et al, 2015).

1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT
It has being discovered that most of the farmers rearing west African goat in Ekiti state mostly engage in free-range, this affect the production and growth of the animal because the animal are exposed to adverse effect such as predators and stealing. More-so it makes it difficult to carry out experimental or research work on the animal most especially during the day because the animal is on free-range. Little progress has been recorded in the breed improvement.

1.2 HYPOTHESIS
Ho: There is no significant different in all the traits observed
Ha: There is significant different in the traits observed
Ho: The traits does not show significant based on sex of the animal
Ha: The traits show significant different based on the sex of the animal

1.3 JUSTIFICATION
Knowledge of the phenotypic characteristics is of great importance in goat production. The growth performance of an animal is a function of its genetic merit and the environment. It is therefore a pre-requisite that knowledge of environmental influences and magnitude of their effects should be known in genetic improvement and decision making that can enhance productivity. The ability of the producers and buyers to relate the live animal’s measurement to Growth characteristics is essential for optimum production and value-based trading system. This ability will also adequately reward livestock farmers Rather than the middlemen that tend to gain more profit in Livestock production business, especially in developing countries (Afolayan et al., 2006). This study therefore seeks to examine the phenotypic characteristics of West Africa dwarf goat.
Body measurements have been used in animals to contrast variation in size and shape and to estimate body weight. Weight is a very important factor in selection and production of goats. Morphological characters provide useful information to detect genetic structure and individual breed’s potentiality due to the intrinsic relationship among all biological characters. The knowledge of the extent of genetic variation in populations is essential for the development of appropriate breeding goals and programmes of goat populations (Dossa et al. 2007). Morphological and physiological animal selection can constitute an effective system to the breed preservation and improvement (Nsoso et al. 2004; Araujo et al. 2006; Sowande et al. 2010).
Specific objectives; The objective of this study therefore, is to investigate the extent of variation in phenotypic characteristics of the West African dwarf goat in three towns in Ekiti state which were the following: To determine different body measurements of male and female WAD Goat in the three (3) Local Government Areas (LGA); to determine the effect of sex on body weight of west African dwarf goat; to know the economic importance of west African dwarf (WAD) goats; and to determine goat measurement using measuring tape and the heart girth measurement.

3. MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1 Research site
The study was conducted in three local government areas (LGA’S) in Ekiti-state, (Ikole, Ado and Oye Ekiti local governments), mainly markets and from small scale farmers. Ekiti state is a tropical climatic zone with two major seasons: raining season (from April to October) and the dry season (from November-march). The temperature ranges between 21° and 28°C with High relative humidity. Ikole is located on latitude/longitude: 07° 47153.76″N 05°30‘52.l7″E, Decimal coordinates: 7.798266 5.514493 (7.7983 N, 5.5145 E) and Altitude of 557.O6n’1. Oye is located on latitude/longitude: O70 47’52.55″N 05°19‘42.78“E Decimal coordinates: 7.797931 5.328551 (7.7979 N, 5.3286 E) and Altitude of 546.9lm. Ado is located on latitude/longitude: 07° 37′ l5.9996“N05°13‘17.0004“E Decimal coordinates: 7.612411 5.237139 (76124 N, 5.2371 E) and Altitude of431m.

3.2 Care and handling of goat at the research locations
Since the system of production for West African dwarf goat in Ekiti state is mostly the free- range system, there is little to which management is taken to consideration except for the runts that were managed intensively. Goat pens are mainly stalls with floors either concrete or sandy soil. Care in handling goat at the market.

3.3 Research animal
One hundred and thirty-two (132) West African Dwarf (WAD) goats was randomly selected and allotted into three treatment groups. Animals were randomly selected from around the study area. Only healthy and non-pregnant animals were included in this study. All the animals were selected using phenotypic parameters.

3.4 Data collection
Data was collected on phenotypic characteristics. Also, the live weight, body length and heart girth was measured on 132 adult goats comprising equal number of males and females using measuring tape. Data was collected from the individual animals. Ten (10) body traits were taken, including the body weights (kg) and linear body measurements (cm), from the animals.
The morphometric criteria generally used to classify West African dwarf goats are: Body weights, height at wither, body length, rump height, heart girth, horn length, ear length, tail length, sex and the colours of each animal examined. (Dossa et al., 2007 and Sam et al., 2016).
Live body Weights was gotten with the use of the heart girth while other body measurement was taken with the use of simple tape rule. Data’s were taken in the morning before animals were fed so as to avoid feed and water interference in the record. All measurements were taken according to the method described and adopted by Rotimi et al. (2015).

3.5 The descriptions are:
 ‘1’ Body Weight (BWT): Body weight of the animal was obtained using the heart girth to estimate the Weight in kilogram (KG).
 ‘1’ Heart Girth (HG): The height girth was measured as the circumference of the body, slightly behind the shoulders and perpendicular to the body axis in centimeters (CM).
 ‘1’ Withers height (WH): This Was measured at the highest point on the dorsum of the animal to the platform at the level of the forelegs while the animal was standing in centimeters (CM).
 ‘1’ Rump height (RH): This was measured as the distance from the ground level to the base of the tail in centimeters (CM)
 ‘1’ Body Length (BL): Measured from the tip of the scapula close to the neck region to the pin bone of the tail region in centimeters (CM).
 ‘1’ Ear Length (EL): This was measured from the point, where the ear is attached to its tip in centimeters (CM).
 ‘1’ Horn Length (HnL): The point of attachment of the horns to the head up to its tips in centimeters (CM).
 ‘1’ Tail Length (TL): This was measured as the distance between the beginnings of the caudal vertebrae to its tip in centimeters (CM).
 ‘1’ Coat colour (CC): The coat was observed based on visual appraisal and was recorded as white, black, brown, white/black, white/brown.
 ‘1’ Sex: the sex of the goats in the three locations was observed and noted, the males possesses testes and presence of udder in females.

3.6 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
The experimental design used is Randomized completely block Design (RCBD). Of which the (3) treatment groups represent the three locations the experiment was conducted. The treatment has forty-four (44) replicates each. Individual data collected from the experimental animal was analyzed using descriptive statistics and are subjected to Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA) test using the General Linear Model (GLM). Tukey’s Honesty Significant Difference Test at 5% probability level was used to separate the differences between treatment means

3.6.1 Statistical model
The data collected on each animal were analyzed using the General Linear Model Procedure to evaluate the significance of sources of variation affecting measurements of each animal. The fixed effects considered were sex and location.

4. RESULTS
4.1 Analysis of variance summary for all the quantitative traits measured (CM) and the body weight (kg)
The analysis of variance(ANOVA) for the eight quantitative traits considered in this study showed different levels of significance ranging from P= 0.05 to P= 0.01. Two traits (BL, TL) showed significant (P<0.05) difference among the goats. There is highly significant (P<0.01) difference between the male and female goat for trait heart girth. Location showed no significant difference for heart girth, bodyweight, wither height, rump-height, ear length and horn length and body length, there is significant (P<0.05) difference in the tail length of goats measured in the three locations. Sex showed highly significant (P<0.001) difference in the male and female goat for the following traits heart girth, bodyweight, wither height, rump height, body length, tail length and ear length but horn length shows no insignificant difference. Location and sex showed insignificants in all the quantitative traits measured. Coefficient of variation (CV %) for all the traits ranges from low (10%) to high (41%). The CV% was low for rump height (9.81%), wither height (10.20%). Body length (12.61%), height girth (13.84%), ear length (14.83%), and tail length (16.58%). The CV% was high for the body weight (37.40%) and horn length (41.39%). On the ANOVA table, the highest mean was recorded for heart girth (55.56cm) followed by body length (45.61cm), rump height (43.30cm), and withers height (41.12cm). The lowest mean was recorded for horn length (5.36cm), tail length (8.24cm), ear length (8.99cm), and body weight (18.65kg). 4.2 Result on mean separation for body measurements and the body Weight (KG) according to location From table (4.2) below, Ado has the highest heart girth (56.34cm) with standard error of mean (11.64), followed by Ikole (55.97cm) with standard error of mean (±1.72), while Oye had the least (54.36cm) with standard error of mean (11.40), and there is no significant difference between the three locations. For body weight Ikole had the highest (19.46kg) with standard error of mean (11.56), however the lowest is from Oye (17.37kg) with standard error of mean (±1.27), and Ado had (19. 12kg) with standard error of mean (±l .53), and there is no significant difference in the body weight measured across the three locations. For wither height there is no significant difference across the three locations, Ado had the highest (41 .84cm) with standard error of mean (±O.89), followed by Ikole (4l.34cm) with standard error of mean (±0.87), and Oye had the lowest (40.18cm) with standard error of mean (il.0.91). Ado had the highest rump height (43.84cm) with standard error of mean (±0.89), and Ikole had (43.25cm) with standard error of mean (±O.88), while Oye had the least (42.2Ocm) with standard error of mean (±l .28). There is no significant difference across three locations. From the table below, the highest body length measurement is from Ado while the least is found in Oye, the body length showed significant difference between Ado (46.86cm) with standard error of mean (11.29) and Oye (43.84cm) with standard error of mean (±1.27), but there is no significant difference between the goat in Ado and Ikole, and also no significant difference between Ikole (46.1lcm) with standard error of mean (±l.22) and Oye (43.84cm) with standard error of mean (±l.27). The tail length showed significance difference between Ikole (8.68cm) with standard error of mean (±0.28) and Oye (7.86cm) with standard error of mean (i0.28), while there is no Significance difference between Ikole and Ado, and also for Oye and Ado. For ear length, Ikole has the highest (9.27cm) with standard error of mean (±0.28), followed by Oye (8.95cm)with standard error of mean (i0.28), while the least ear length is from Ado (8.75cm) with standard error of mean (±0.26), however there is no significance difference across the three location. For horn length, Ikole has the highest measurement (5.75cm) with standard error of mean (±0.48). While Oye had the least measurement (4.70cm) with standard error of mean (±0.47) and Ado had measured horn length as (5.6lcm) with standard error of mean (±0.45).