Phenotypic Characteristics of Red Maasai Sheep in Arumeru and Monduli Districts in Tanzania

E. P. Chang’a *

Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), P.O. Box-6191, Uyole Mbeya, Tanzania.

G. L. Chasama

Tanzania Livestock Research Institute, P.O. Box-124, Mabuki Misungwi, Tanzania.

G. C. Kifaro

Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box-3004, Morogoro, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

This study was aimed at describing the phenotypic characteristics and assessing the effects of sex and location on body measurements of Red Maasai Sheep found in Arusha region of Tanzania. Samples of 281 adult Red Maasai sheep (165 from Arumeru and 116 from Monduli district) were involved for quantitative characteristics while for qualitative traits 497 sheep were involved. The result indicated that sheep colour type varied though reddish brown dominated, whereas main colour patterns were patchy and spotted. In most cases backward curved horns were observed in both sexes. Ears were medium sized and droopy. Sheep tails were also characterized as fat tailed and fat rumped types. Generally, sex did not significantly affect body weight, withers height, ear length, ear width and tail thickness. Likewise, location did not significantly (P > 0.05) influence most linear body measurements (LBMs). Among the studied LBMs, heart girth was the best predictor of body weight with R2 of 60 %. It was remarked that the breed is in danger of losing its identity as a result of dilution, which was mostly attributed to indiscriminate crossbreeding. Thus, further study on genetic diversity and adaptability of the breed is required. This will enable improvement, higher exploitation and conservation of the Red Maasai sheep pure lines for future. 

Keywords: Location, qualitative traits, quantitative traits, red maasai sheep, sex


How to Cite

Chang’a, E. P., G. L. Chasama, and G. C. Kifaro. 2023. “Phenotypic Characteristics of Red Maasai Sheep in Arumeru and Monduli Districts in Tanzania”. Asian Journal of Research in Animal and Veterinary Sciences 6 (3):295-305. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajravs/2023/v6i3256.

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