Body weight prediction from linear body measurements in Awassi crossbred sheep of North Eastern Ethiopia

Mesfin Lakew, Zeleke Tesema, Asres Zegeye

Abstract


The study was conducted to investigate the relationship between body weight and morphological measurements and to estimate body weight from body measurements in Awassi x Wollo and Awassi x Tikur crossbreed sheep types in north eastern Ethiopia. For this purpose, data on body weight and body measurements such as heart girth, body length, wither height, hip width, ramp height, ear length, head length and body condition score were collected between 2015 and 2016 from 836 (287 male and 549 females) Awassi crossbred sheep at different ages of the two sheep types (447 Awassi x Wollo and 389 Awassi x Tikur). A correlation and regression analyses between body weight as a response variable and body measurements as predictor variable was conducted. A highly significant and consistent correlation coefficient was detected between body weight and heart girth (r=0.49 to r=0.85; p<0.001) in all age groups of both sexes of Awassi x Wollo and Awassi x Tikur sheep. Results on heart girth also supported previous results in literature. It was concluded in this study that body weight could estimated from heart girth with reasonable level of accuracy. It is recommended, therefore, to develop a simple chart that indicates heart girth and corresponding weights to be used by farmers and development agents to support genetic improvement, marketing, feeding and veterinary services.

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