Genetic and Relationship Estimations of Body Weight and Morphometric Traits in the Red Sokoto Goat
Data on body weight (BW) and body measurements of 1000 Red Sokoto kids comprising 570 males and 430 females collected from smallholder herds in Kano, Nigeria, were used to evaluate the genetic and relationships estimates amongst growth traits. The records were taken at birth, 1, 3, 6, and 9 months of age for body weight, height-at-wither (HW), body length (BL) and chest girth (CG). Both correlation and regression analyses were carried out on the growth traits. Heritability estimates were computed using paternal half sib analysis, while the repeatability estimates were calculated using the variance components. The model used was the fixed effect of sire. The average birth weight, BW, HW, BL, and CG at 1, 3, 6, and 9 month of age were 1.8, 4.5, 7.6, 10.6, and 12.8 kg; 32.6, 40.2, 45.9, and 51.5 cm; 33.6, 40.8, 49.0, and 52.1 cm and 35.2, 43.6, 52.3, and 56.0 cm, respectively. The heritability estimates for body weight at various ages ranged between 0.91 and 0.97. The heritability estimates for body measurements were between 0.70 and 0.83, while their repeatability was between 0.70 and 0.89. Birth weight significantly (p<0.01) and positively correlated with body weight and body measurements at the different age categories (0.313-0.983) except for BL and CG at 6 month of age. A combination of HW and CG best estimated body weight in Red Sokoto kids. The high heritability and repeatability estimates for the growth traits and their positive relationships are indications that selection for improved body weight and size, early in life of these goats is possible.