Haemoglobin types and their effects on morphometric traits of indigenous cattle, sheep and goats in Nigeria
This study focused on polymorphisms of haemoglobin in some indigenous ruminants. Blood samples were collected from a total of 2400 ruminants (600 cattle, 900 goats and 900 sheep) and analyzed. Body Weight (BW) and Nine linear body measurements viz: Height at withers (HW), Body length (BL), Heart girth (HG), Face length (FL), Neck length (NL), Neck width (NW), Rump width (RW), Ear length (EL), Tail length (TL) and shoulder width (SW) were measured on each animal prior to blood sample collection. The results revealed that animals with heterozygotes genotype Hb AB had higher values for body weight (313.42 kg), body length (158.23 cm), shoulder width (28.21 cm) and heart girth (150.39 cm) in cattle. In goats,
individuals with Hb BB and Hb AB had similar heart girth (69.33 and 66.16 cm), body weight (21.08 and 20.92 kg), and shoulder width (10.43 and 10.23 cm), though they were better than those with Hb AA genotype. In conclusion, while Hb AA is an adaptation genotype in sheep, Hb AB is the genotype of choice for both adaptation and meat traits in cattle and goats.
Keywords: cattle, sheep, goats, haemoglobin, body, measurements