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Genetic characterisation of northern Cameroon goats


Genetic characterisation of goats based on visible genetic profiles was carried out on 1081 animals at 28 sites in northern Cameroon. All colour patterns identified in goat species were found in the area although three of them, namely golden, wild and brown were the most common. Phenotypes such as eye spots and brown and red were rare. The brown type was either black or mixed. A goatee was found in one-fifth of the population and wattles were rare. Horn length was variable and horn type was different from the types described so far. Ears were of a horizontal upright type without buckle, while pedunculated and drooping types were rare. Hair was generally short. Primarity indexes were 0.77 and 1.0 for segregation locus primarily index (IPs) and agouti locus primarily index, respectively. This confirms that goats in northern Cameroon are of a primary type. Analysis of variance for height at withers and slenderness and auricular indexes showed no significant differences between sites. A study of bar charts revealed that there was only one goat population in the study area. The goats in that population are short with a mean height at withers (HG) of 48.6 cm, an average substernum slenderness index of 0.87 and a mean auricular thorax index of 0.49. Given the large variability in height, it should be possible to increase this parameter through selection of animals adapted to this environment.

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