Item Details

Title: Productivity and morphology of Ankole cattle in three livestock production systems in Uganda

Date Published: 2011
Author/s: D.R. Kugonza1, M. Nabasirye, D. Mpairwe, O. Hanotte and A.M. Okeyo
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks: FAO
Journal Publisher:
Affiliation: MUKONO ZONAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE - MUZARDI, FAO, 1Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; 2Department of Crop Science,
Faculty of Agriculture, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; 3International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi 0100, Kenya;
Current address of O. Hanotte: School of Biology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Keywords: morphometric, characterization, reproductive performance, Ankole cattle


Phenotypic characterization is critical in breed improvement and conservation. To determine the performance and morphological features
of Ankole cattle in three livestock production systems (LPS) of Uganda, 248 farms were studied. Height at withers (HW), heart
girth (HG), body length (BL), ear length, horn length (HL), distance between horn tips (HS) and body weight (BW) were then
measured on 120 bulls and 180 cows. Data were analysed using LPS (crop livestock, agropastoral, pastoral), county (Gomba,
Kazo, Kiboga, Mawoggola, Nyabushozi) and sex (females, males) as main factors. In the results, age at sexual maturity was 23.6
± 0.5 months for bulls and 22.7 ± 0.5 months for cows. Age at first calving was 33.2 ± 0.5 months, whereas calving interval was
12.9 ± 0.8 months. Lactation length differed between LPS (5.5 ± 0.4, 6.3 ± 0.3 and 7.4 ± 0.2 months in agropastoral, crop livestock
and pastoral, respectively). Mean daily milk off take was 2.2 ± 0.1 kg/cow whereas preweaning calf survivability was 90.0 ± 6.5%.
Sex and LPS significantly influenced HW, HL and HS. Positive correlations were observed between BW and HG, BL and HL.
Correlation coefficients were much lower in females than in males, except for BW vs HG and BW vs HW. Results show wide variations
both in performance and morphology suggesting that within breed selection scheme and/or management improvement may lead
to productivity improvements.