Livestock value chain: Prediction of liveweight and cut yield of three indigenous breeds of cattle in Nigeria
Problems associated with prediction of saleable meat yield, price haggling and monetary worth of cattle purchased due to difficulties in accurately relating visual appearance of animals and the weight with their price have always been in existence. This study was carried out to determine the accuracy in the use of heart girth tape as an alternative to the use of weighing bridge and crush, dressing percentage and expected cut yield from three indigenous breeds of cattle in Nigeria using linear body measurement. Thus, a total number of 51 healthy and mature White Fulani (n=17), Sokoto Gudali (n=17) and Red Bororo (n=17) cattle breeds were randomly purchased from Ilesha Baruba cattle market Kwara State, Kotangora cattle market, Niger State and Akinyele cattle market, Ibadan, Oyo state and were subjected to heart girth measurements. The study lasted for 32 weeks. Live weights of animals were determined at the point of purchase using a specialized measuring tape (girth tape) calibrated in kilogram (kg) and centimeter (cm).The live weights were recorded in kilogram which was used in price negotiation at the market. The live weight of the cattle ranged from164 – 463 kg. The mean girth tape values were White Fulani (286.53 51.06)kg, Sokoto Gudali (293.35+77.51)kg and Red Bororo 261.88+60.65)kg respectively. Post slaughtering data collected were dressing percentage, weight of head (kg),neck (kg), shanks (kg), forearm (kg), thigh(kg),skin(kg),liver(kg),heart(kg), intestine(kg)and kidney(g).The study revealed that heart girth measurement had high correlation coefficient with live weight (r=0.99, p<0.001). This implies that the use of heart girth tape in weight prediction is accurate and reliable. There were significant (p<0.05) differences in the dressing percentage among the breeds (43.55-46.52) %. Significant (p<0.05) differences were observed in the cut yield percentage between Red Bororo (33.16 4.12) and other breeds but none between White Fulani (37.14 4.50)% and Sokoto Gudali (34.53 5.26)%.There were significant (p<0.05) differences in the head (13.52-13.42)kg, Neck (14.70-18.07)kg, left thigh (27.92-29.41)kg, right forearm (22.91-27.24)kg, left forearm(24.84-27.57)kg, liver (3.60 – 3.84)kg, skin (15.03 -15.39), shank (2.20-2.41)kg, tail (5.23-5.92)kg but none for right thigh, kidney and lungs among the breeds. The variations in the yield may be as a result of genetic, management, weight and age of the animals. It can be concluded that heart girth tape may be used where weighing crush is not available because of its accuracy and reliability. The study also revealed thatWhite Fulani has higher meat yield than Sokoto Gudali and Red Bororo and will therefore be more profitable to cattle sellers, abattoir centers, slaughter houses and meat shops.