Pedigree charting and inbreeding estimation in N’Dama cattle herd at Fashola stock farm
The insufficient and mostly inconsistent record keeping practices usually on Livestock farms in Nigeria and the need for the animal breeder to know the pedigree of individual animals in order to determine their level of inbreeding and relationship has been a challenging task. A computer-based pedigree charting and inbreeding coefficient computation software was developed with Nantucket Clipper ® 5.01 and Nantucket Tools II ® for Clipper 5.01 to take care of animals with minimal parental information as usually recorded in most Nigerian farms. The program finds, charts and saves the pedigree information up to the seventh generation on all calves with born on the farm with both parental information. The new database file is then used to calculate the inbreeding coefficient of that individual animal using Wright's formula. The speed and capacity of the computer program is basically determined by available computer resources. Records of 4184 N'Dama calves born between 1947 and 1984 at Fashola Stock Farm, Oyo State, Nigeria was used to test the efficiency and efficacy of the computer program. Only 273 of 4184 calves (6.53%) were inbred with an average inbreeding coefficient of 9.71%, while five out of 293 sires (1.71%) with inbreeding coefficient of 9.25% and 43 out of 1849 dams (2.33%) with inbreeding coefficient of 9.95% were inbred. The inbreeding coefficient for the entire population was 0.63%; for males the mean was 0.70% and 0.58% for females. The study shows that although inbreeding was low in the N'Dama population at Fashola Stock Farm as the number of inbred animals in the population is relatively low, however the inbreeding level of these animals is high, which may be as a result of non-compliance with consistent breeding policy on the farm, and lack of proper, consistent and adequate registration system on the farm which all may be responsible for the inbreeding observed in the N'Dama population at farm.
Keywords: N’Dama, Cattle, Software Development, Pedigree Charting and Inbreeding Coefficient Estimation
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