Udder and linear body measurement in ewes and does in relation to performance of their offspring under the traditional system of management
Forty-eight lactating does and ewes were used to study partial milk yield, udder dimensions, linear body measurement in ewes, does and performance of their offspring under the traditional system of management. Milk yield, udder dimensions, linear body measurements of dam and offspring were significantly superior in sheep. Average partial milk yield was 53.86 and 78.56 ml per week for goat and sheep respectively. There was no significant effect of parity on all variables measured. Udder circumference was the most related trait to partial milk yield (r=0.57) in goat. The highest correlation was observed between partial milk yield and teat length (r=0.39) in sheep. Partial milk yield was significantly correlated with weight (r=0.33) in kids. Milk yield was significantly correlated with lamb’s heart girth (r=0.49) followed by foreleg length (r=039) in lambs. Based on the results of the present study, it could be recommended that partial milk yield could possibly be determined based on udder size and teat length in extensively managed does and ewes respectively. Kid’s heart girth could be a good indicator of doe’s milk production.
Keywords: Udder, linear body measurement, ewes, does, performance, offspring and traditional system.