Goat types of northern and western Ethiopia and Eritrea
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Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/50616
Characterization is important in genetic resources conservation and utilization, but few information about indigenous livestock types are available. In the present study data from 22,934 goats were collected by a rapid survey method to characterize goats of Eritrea and northern and western Ethiopia. Nineteen morphological measurements were recorded for individual goats observed. This survey forms the last part of the national goat breed survey of Ethiopia and Eritrea, 1990-1993. Multivariate analyses were employed in the classification and the tracing of the ancestry of the indigenous goats. Eleven goat types were identified and three ancestral lines traced. The identified goat types were described according to the FAO (1986) standard descriptor lists. Management practices and the performances of these goat types were also assessed by information obtained from questionnaires. The highland of Ethiopia was found as a center of origin for the most goat types identified in the survey area. The primary base for the diversity of the goat types was agroclimatic variation. As a result body size and others qualitative characters were significantly affected by climatic factors to a place where the particular goat type adapted. Human selection breeding also contributed for the phenotypic variation of goat types. The high value of standard deviations in some of the measured variables for each goat type may indicate the still existing potential genotypic diversity. This could make the study region as the gene pool of the goat genotypes. Flock size, demographic structures and management problems were more related to the purpose of goat keeping and to the general farming systems.