Phenotypic Characterization of the Bunaji Cattle Breed in Oyo State, Nigeria
Nine body measurements of 859 (401 females and 458 males) Bunaji cattle of various ages (1 - >4 years) were collected over a period of 4 months (July - October) at the Bodija livestock and Akinyele international livestock markets in Ibadan, Oyo state of Nigeria. The parameters measured were head to shoulder (HTS), shoulder to tail drop (STD), body length (BLT), heart girth (HTG), height at withers (HTW), canon circumference (CCR), tail length (TLT), horn length (HLT) and ear length (ELT). Phenotypic traits such as dewlap, coat color, horn type, ear type, hump type and navel flap were also examined by visual assessment. The means and standard deviations obtained for the body measurements were 120.18 ± 7.94, 145.99 ± 14.28, 47.31 ± 6.71, 117.35 ± 12.36 and 37.08 ± 14.11 for HTW, HTG, HTS, STD and HLT respectively. The coefficient of variation of the body dimensions were high ranging from 6.60% for HTW to 39.44% for HLT. Sex of the animal had no significant (p>0.05) effect on the body dimensions. Correlation coefficients for the relationship between body measurements ranged from 0.06 (HTS and STD) to 0.89 (STD and BL) for the males and 0.04 (HTS and STD) to 0.89 (STD and BL) for female. The high and significant relationship (p<0.01) between HTW, BLT and HTG indicates that the total size of an animal is a function of length, height and circumference measurements and selection for one could lead to selection for the other resulting in animals with good beef conformation. The phenotypic traits observed indicated that Bunaji breed of cattle were predominantly white (78%) in color, while grey and pied are less common (2 and 1% respectively). Ear type was medium and erect with dewlap and penile sheath being prominent.
Keywords: Phenotypic, characterization, Bunaji cattle
Sahel Journal of Veterinary Science Vol. 6 (1) 2007: pp. 51-55