• I. J. JAMES




Udder traits, WAD goats, WAD sheep


Udder traits of extensively managed 229 West African Dwarf (WAD) goats and 143 three West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep in Southwestern Nigeria were evaluated and factors affecting them were determined. Traits evaluated were udder and teat morphometrics including udder length (UL), udder width (UW), udder circumference (UC), distance between teats (DT), teat length (TL), teat width (TW) and teat circumference (TC). Udder and teat shapes and teat placement were also evaluated. In WAD goats, the average UL, UW, UC and DT were significantly (p<0.05) influenced by age, parity and physiological status (pregnancy and lactation status) but age alone significantly (p<0.05) influenced TL, TW and TC. In sheep, age, pregnancy and lactation status significantly (p<0.05) influenced TL and UC respectively. In both species, all udder and teat dimensions increased with age and parity while largest and smallest udder and teat dimensions were observed for lactating and non-lactating (dry) animals respectively. The average UL, UW, UC, DT, TL, TW and TC of WAD goats were 12.44 ± 0.15 cm, 8.81 ± 0.11 cm, 26.81 ± 0.32 cm, 8.27 ± 0.09 cm, 2.40 ± 0.02 cm, 1.22 ± 0.02 cm and 3.11 ± 0.03 cm respectively. The average UL, UW, UC, DT, TL, TW and TC of WAD sheep were 11.30 ± 0.15 cm, 8.78 ± 0.13 cm, 26.21 ± 0.36 cm, 9.02 ± 0.12 cm, 2.10 ± 0.02 cm, 1.19 ± 0.02 cm and 3.06 ± 0.03 cm respectively. It is evident that WAD goats had larger udder size than WAD sheep, thus, indicating greater milk production potentials. Udder shapes found in WAD goats and sheep were bowl, cylindrical and funnel with the latter not found in sheep. Bottle, cylindrical and funnel shaped teats were found in both species while vertical and oblique teat placements were recorded in both species. In both goats and sheep, bowl shaped udder was the most predominant with 57.20% and 83.92% occurrence respectively. Cylindrical shaped teat was most prevalent in both species with 64.43% and 83.91% occurrence respectively. Oblique (tilted) teat placement was the most frequent in both species with 77.73% and 95.10% occurrence respectively in goats.   High positive significant (p<0.05) phenotypic correlations were found between UL and UW (r = 0.68), UL and UC (r = 0.62), UL and DT (r = 0.42), UW and UC (r = 0.73), UW and DT (r = 0.59), UC and DT (r = 0.53). In sheep, high positive significant (p<0.05) phenotypic correlations were also found between UL and UW (r = 0.74), UL and UC (r = 0.65), UL and DT (r = 0.53), UW and UC (r = 0.72), UW and DT (r = 0.65), UC and DT (r = 0.54). In essence, this could be a basis for selecting udder traits of WAD goats and sheep as an indirect response in multiple traits selection programme especially for milk production .



Agbede, J.O., Alokan, J.A., Ologun, A.G., 1997. Udder size and milk production potentials of goats and sheep in South-West Nigeria. Nig. J. Anim. Prod., 24(2):175-179.

Akpa, G.N., Duru, S., Dim, N.I., Alawa, J.P., Jokthan, G.E. 1998. Sources of variation in udder traits of Red Sokoto goats In: Oduguwa, O.O., Fanimo, O.A., Osinowo, O.A., (eds.). Animal in Agriculture: The Sustainability question. Proc. of 22nd Annual Conference of Nig. Soc. For Anim. Prod./West African Soc. For Anim. Prod. Inaugural Conf. held on March 21-26, 1998. Nigeria. Pp. 638.

Amao, O.A., 1999. Evaluation of udder traits in West African Dwarf and Red Sokoto goats. M. Agric. Dissertation. Department of Animal Production and Health, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria Pp 116.

Anderson, R.R., Harness, J.R., Snead, A.F., Salah, M.S. 1981. Mammary growth pattern in goats during pregnancy and lactation. J. Dairy Sci., 64: 427- 432.

Anderson, R.R., Wahab, I.M. 1990. Changes in parenchyma and stroma of goat udders during pregnancy, lactation and involution. Small Rumin. Res., 3: 605.

David, C., Geoff, P. 1994. Planned sheep production in the tropics. Blackwell Scientific Publication. 2nd edition. Pp. 30.

Devendra, C., Burns, M., 1983. Goat production in the tropics. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Slough, U.K. Pp. 7-49.

de la Fuente, L.F., Fernandez, G., San Primitivo, F., 1996. A linear evaluation system for udder traits of dairy ewes. Livest. Prod. Sci., 45: 171-178.

Dijkstra, J., France, J., Dhanoe, M.S., Maas, J.A., Hanigan, M.D., Rook, A.J., Beever, D.E. 1997. A model to describe growth patterns of the mammary gland during pregnancy and lactation. J. Dairy Sci., 80: 2340 - 2354.

FAOSTAT, 2006. Sheep and goat population. http://faostat.fao.org/default.aspx

Horak, F., 1971. Evaluation of the morphology of udder characters in the goats. Hodnoceni tvatrovych vlastnosti. Vemen koz. Chovatel 10: 162.

Hurley, W.L., 1989. Mammary gland function during involution. J. Dairy Sci. 72: 1637-1646.

Hurley, W.L., 2006. Mammary gland development during pregnancy. In: Mammary Development Resources. http://classes.aces.uiuc.edu/AnSci308/mammary development.html.

James, I.J. 2000. Changes in udder traits of West African Dwarf, Red Sokoto and Sahel goats during pregnancy and lactation and their effects on partial daily milk yield. M. Agric. Dissertation. Department of Animal Production and Health, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. Pp. 102.

James, I.J., Osinowo, O.A., 2004. Changes in udder size and liveweight of West African Dwarf, Red Sokoto and Sahel goats during lactation and their phenotypic relationship with partial daily milk yield. Nig. J. Anim. Prod., 31(1): 119-129.

James, I.J., Osinowo, O.A., Oni, O.A., 2006. Relationship between teat dimensions and milkability of West African Dwarf and Red Sokoto goats. In: Muhammad, B.F., Muhammad, F., Bibi-Farouk, Y., Shehu, Y., (eds.). Application of appropriate technology in overcoming environmental barrier in Animal Agriculture in Nigeria. Proc. of the 31st Annual Conf. of Nig. Soc. for Anim. Prod. held on 12th-15th March, 2005 at Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.

Johansson, I., Rendal, J. 1968. Genetic and Animal Breeding. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh and London. Pp. 265.

Kim, S.W., Hurley, W.L., Han, I.K., Easter, R.A. 1999. Changes in tissue composition associated with mammary gland growth during lactation in sows. J. Anim. Sci., 77: 2510-2516.

Knight, C.H., Wilde, C.J. 1993. Mammary cell changes during pregnancy and lactation. Livest. Prod. Sci., 35: 3 - 19.

Labussiere, J. 1988. Review of physiological and anatomical factors influencing the milking ability of ewes and the organisation of milking. Livest. Prod. Sci., 18: 253 - 274.

Lamorde, A.G. 1997. Research priorities for sustainable women empowerment and development. A paper presented at the National conference on research as backbone for sustainable development held at Abuja, Nigeria on 11th - 15th August, 1997. [cited by Abubakar, M.M., 1998. In: Osinowo, O.A., (Ed.). The commemorative book: 25 years of the Nig. Soc. Anim. Prod. 1973 - 1998.

Lufadeju, E.A., Otchere, E.O., Mijindadi., N.B., Oyebanji, O.O., Oyedipe, E.O., Maisamari, B. 1995. On-Farm adaptive research methodologies for livestock. Federal Agricultural Coordinating Unit, Abuja, Nigeria. [cited by Abubakar, M.M. 1998. In: Osinowo, O.A., (Ed.). The commemorative book: 25 years of the Nig. Soc. Anim. Prod., 1973 - 1998.

Mikus, M. 1978. Study of the mutual relationship between dimensions of the udder with regards to the improvement of sheep for machine milking. In: Proc. 2nd Int. Symp. Machine Milking Small Ruminants. INTRA-ITOVIC, Alghero, Italy, p.102 - 112.

Misra, R.K. 1995. Dentition studies in goat. Indian Vet. J., 72: 1088-1089.

Montaldo, H., Martinez-Lozano, F.J. 1993. Phenotypic relationship between udder and milking characteristics, milk production , and California mastitis test in goats. Small Rumin. Res. 12: 329-337.

Osinowo, O.A., 1992. Small ruminant statistics, Nigeria. Mimeograph p. 1- 5.

Ovesen, E. 1972. Milking ability in relation to teat size and shape of teats. Anim. Prod. 15: 251-257.

Prajapati, K.B., Singh, D.V., Patel, J.P., Patel, J.B. 1995. Dimensions of various types of udder and teat and milk yield in Kankrej cows. Indian J. Dairy Sci. 48(ii): 654-656.

Radcliff, R.P., Vandehaar, M.J., Chapin, L.T., Pilbeam, T.E., Beede, D.K., Stanisiewski, E.P., Tucker, H.A. 2000. Effect of diet and injection of bovine somatotropin on prepubertal growth and first lactation milk yields of Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci., 82: 23-29.

Singh, R.P., Gupta, R., Tomar, S.S. 1993. Udder shapes and their relationship with milk production in crossbred cows. Indian J. Dairy Sci., 46(7): 288-291.

Strange, R., Li, F., Saurer, S., Burkhardt, A., Frii, R.R. 1992. Apoptotic cell death and tissue remodeling during mouse mammary gland involution. Development, 115: 49-58.

SYSTAT, 1992. Systat Computer Package, version 5.02. Systat, Inc. 1800 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL USA, 6021, 708:864-5670.
Tucker, H.A., 1966. Regulation of mammary nucleic acid content by various suckling intensities. Am. J. Physiol., 210: 1209.




Original Manuscript

Most read articles by the same author(s)