On-farm phenotypic characterization of Mursi cattle in its production environment in South Omo Zone, Southwest Ethiopia
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Endashaw Terefe, Tadelle Dessie, Aynalem Haile, Wudyalew Mulatu, Ally Okeyo Mwai. (19/8/2015). On-farm phenotypic characterization of Mursi cattle in its production environment in South Omo Zone, Southwest Ethiopia. Animal Genetic Resources, 57, pp. 15-24.
This study was conducted to characterize the morphological peculiarities and performance characteristics of Mursi cattle in its production environment managed by Bodi and Mursi pastoral communities in Southern Ethiopia. A structured questionnaire survey, group discussion, cattle morphological measurements and morphological descriptions were used to collect data. One hundred and two household heads were selected to administer the questionnaire and 201 adult cattle were selected for morphological description and body measurements. The Mursi cattle population was found to have variable coat colour type (85.9 percent) and coat colour pattern (51.3 percent). Body length, chest girth, withers height, rump width and rump length of Mursi cattle were 122.1 ± 0.9, 144.5 ± 0.9, 113 ± 0.1.1, 36.9 ± 0.3 and 20.4 ± 0.3 cm, respectively. Morphological measurements of most linear traits show no difference in the two locations but all measurements vary (P < 0.001) between males and females. Estimated age at first calving was 4.6 years and was significantly (P < 0.0001) higher in the Mursi area, while the calving interval (14.5 months) and cow reproductive life (14.2 years) were the same in both locations. Average daily milk yield (2.1 litres) and lactation length (7.8 months) of Mursi cattle in the two locations were similar. Cattle production was constrained by high disease prevalence, seasonal feed availability, and water shortage, with frequent drought. Trypanosomosis, black leg, anthrax and skin diseases are major cattle diseases reported in the two study areas. Because of its peculiar morphological characteristics, including large body frame, higher production performance, and survivability in the harsh environment, the Mursi cattle can be used as an alternative genetic resource for production improvement programs
Mwai, Ally Okeyohttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2379-7801