Agricultural Science Digest

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Agricultural Science Digest, volume 41 special issue (april 2021) : 225-230

The Tunisian Barbary Sheep: Correlations among Morphometric Traits in Purebred Ewes Maintained under Arid Conditions

Sami Megdiche, Mohamed Ben Hamouda
1Département des Ressources Animales, Agroalimentaire et Développement Rural, Université de Sousse, Institut Supérieur Agronomique de Chott-Mariem, 47, 4042, Sousse, Tunisia.
Cite article:- Megdiche Sami, Hamouda Ben Mohamed (2020). The Tunisian Barbary Sheep: Correlations among Morphometric Traits in Purebred Ewes Maintained under Arid Conditions. Agricultural Science Digest. 41(2021): 225-230. doi: 10.18805/ag.D-250.
Background: The fat-tailed Barbary sheep are the main breed of Tunisia and their morphometry has not been deeply investigated. This study aims to estimate the degree of relationship between eight quantitative measures across eight age classes, from one to eight years.  
Methods: Pearson’s product-moment was calculated to evaluate the correlation among eight morphological measures, collected from 249 purebred Tunisian Barbary ewes reared under arid climate. 
Result: The magnitude of pairwise phenotypic correlation among morphological traits showed a strong positive correlation (r = 0.84, P ˂ 0.001) between the shoulder and rump height at 6-7 years. The body weight was highly correlated to the height at rump during the first five years of age, whereas, it becomes more correlated to the heart girth when the ewe reaches its heavyweight at 5-6 years and older. The results of this study indicated that the rump height is the most correlated parameter to BW during the early life of this fat-tailed breed and are encouraging to fit live body weight from morphometric traits with accuracy.
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