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Botswana College of Agriculture
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Gaborone, Botswana
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University of Botswana
NFTRC
Botswana Government

Phenotypic characterization of indigenous Tswana goats and sheep in Botswana: Categorical traits

S.J. Nsoso 1#B.Podisi 2, E.Otsogile3, B. S. Mokhutshwane4 and B. Ahmadu4

1 Botswana College of Agriculture, Private Bag 0027, Gaborone. Botswana.

2 Department of Agricultural Research, Private Bag 0033, Gaborone. Botswana.

3 National Conservation Strategy Agency, Private Bag 0068 Gaborone. Bo tswana

4 Department of Animal Health and Production P. O. Box 17, Jwaneng. Botswana.

# Corresponding author e-mail snsons@bca.bw

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ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to phenotyically characterise categorical traits of indigenous Tswana goats and sheep countrywide.  Records were collected from 2783 goats and 1282 sheep kept by traditional farmers, covering all the six agricultural regions of Botswana. In each district except Tsabong and Ghantsi where sampling was not done, a total of 15 farmers with goats and sheep were randomly selected and records taken on a random sample of 4-12 animals per farm depending on average district flock size. Traits scored were presence or absence of horns, shape of horns, orientation of horns, presence or absence of wattles, types of ears, colour of pigmentation under the tail (goats only), colour of coat, texture of coat, presence or absence of cashmere/wool, colour of hoof, face profile, rump profile, back profile, orientation of ears, hair/wool distribution, coat type, score of hair length (shoulder, ribs and thigh) (goats only), presence or absence of beard (goats only) and tail type (sheep only) for each animal. The sex of each animal was also recorded. The data were analysed using the Procedure Frequency in Statistical Analysis System for both combined and separate sexes within species. For the first time a countrywide study has characterised incidences of various categorical traits in Tswana goats and sheep. Such incidences can be used to establish benchmark breed standards for each species, which farmers should adhere to if their animals are to be registered with respective breed societies.

Key words:  Goats, sheep, indigenous, categorical traits and Botswana

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