Genetic and phenotypic parameter estimates of body morphometric traits of West African dwarf lambs in a humid tropical environment. (165)
Keywords:Genetic, Phenotypic, correlation, bodyweight, linear body parameters, West African Dwarf lamb
AbstractGenetic and phenotypic correlations of body weights and linear body measurements of five hundred and sixty five West African dwarf lambs generated from mating one hundred and eight ewes and eighteen rams were studied and data obtained were analyzed using the Mixed-Model Least Squares and Maximum Likelihood Computer Program. At birth, phenotypic correlation estimates obtained for body weight and linear body measurements ranged from 0.51 to 0.92 and were positive. Similarly, genetic correlations were also positive. Heritability estimates were high for heart girth (0.71), neck circumference (0.69) and body length (0.67). At 12 weeks, phenotypic and genetic correlations between body weight and linear body measurements varied between moderate to high and were generally positive. High phenotypic and genetic correlations existed between body weight and heart girth. Phenotypic correlations and genotypic correlations for body weight and linear body measurements were positive between birth and at weaning, though the values were not high which implied that there was no strong relationship between growth performance of lambs at birth and at weaning among West African breed of sheep. The high heritability estimates for body weight and other linear body measurements at weaning is an indication that an appreciable genetic progress can be achieved through selection in this breed of sheep.