Phenotypic and genetic parameters in cattle populations in Ghana
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Aboagye, G.S. 2002. Phenotypic and genetic parameters in cattle populations in Ghana. AGTR Case Study. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/3582
This paper reviews phenotypic and genetic parameters in cattle in Ghana. Breeds include the Ghana Shorthorn (GSH), N’Dama, Sokoto Gudali, Sanga (indigenous breeds), Holstein–Friesian (exotic) and crosses between the indigenous breeds and exotics, including Jersey, Red Poll and Santa Gertrudis. A brief history of the dairy industry in Ghana is provided. Traits reviewed for the breeds, maintained in the coastal savannah zone and humid forest zone, include milk production, reproduction, calf growth, carcass parameters and adaptive traits. Even though exotic dairy breeds initially had higher milk production in Ghana than the indigenous breeds, none of the exotic breed programmes could be sustained. Both additive and heterotic effects were important in improving lactation traits in the GSH. Crossbreeding improved reproductive traits. Total heritability figures for birth and weaning weights indicated that selection would be effective in improving the two traits. Carcass parameters showed that crossing Red Poll or Santa Gertrudis with N’Dama improved weight at slaughter and warm carcass weight. Heat tolerance trials and mortality data indicated that while the Sokoto Gudali was the most adapted to heat stress, crossbred animals were better adapted than Holstein–Friesians in the hot humid coastal savannah zone.