Phenotypic Variation and Correlation of Some Carcass Traits in Indigenous Matebele Goats Kept on Range in Zimbabwe
Slaughter data on 619 castrated males and 423 does of three year of age were analyzed to evaluate the variabilities in heart girth measurement and carcass traits in local Matebele goats. There was a significant (p<0.01) difference between heart girth in does and castrated males. The does had lower (p<0.01) mean (13.64 kg) hot carcass mass and the castrated males had the higher (p<0.01) mean (16.16 kg) hot carcass mass, however there were no difference (p<0.01) between does and castrated males in condition score. Castrated males had a higher proportion of non-carcass components such as head, feet, empty gut, etc. It was found that heart girth was positively correlated with most carcass traits. The correlation of heart girth with fat score and front barrel was low, positive and non-significant in castrated males, while correlation of heart girth with fat score was negative and significant in does. The correlation of hot carcass mass with empty gut, cold carcass mass with fat score and hearth girth with fat score were negative and reason for the negative association remained unclear. It was evident that major carcass parameters were more highly correlated in does than castrated males.