Preweaning performance and mortality of camel calves on two commercial ranches in Kenya
Kigode, J M
MetadataShow full item record
Data on 1068 Camel calves covering the years 1977 to 1989 were made available by two privately owned ranches in Kenya; Galana and 01 Maisor, for this study. The aim was to provide some information on camel calf performance to bridge gaps in the knowledge of camel production. Calf traits studied were birth and weaning weights, preweaning growth rate and calf survival. Annual and seasonal variations of these traits were examined; estimates of heritability and dam performance repeatability were obtained and the main causes of preweaning calf mortality were identified and quantified. Average calf weights and standard deviations obtained were 39 ± 7 kg and 211 ± 32 kg for birth weight (BW) and adjusted weaning weight (AWW), respectively. Average daily gain from birth to weaning (ADG) was 394 ± 78 g/day. A paternal half-sib analysis using a model in which sires were cross-classified with fixed effects gave heritability estimates of 0.10 ± 0.08, 0.29 ± 0.21, 0.31 ± 0.22 and 0.28 ± 0.09 ·for BW, AWW, ADG and Preweaning calf mortality, respectively. A dam performance repeatability estimate of 0.20 ± 0.06 was obtained for birth weight. The sire significantly affected AWW, ADG and Preweaning calf mortality. Year and season of birth of the calf did not significantly affect the growth traits studied, emphasizing the adaptability of the camel to the arid conditions. Preweaning calf mortality was 22.38%, the largest proportion (36.82%) of which was due to unknown causes. From the evaluation for genotypes would progeny-testing towards analyses study it was concluded that venture more relevant than preweaning growth performance crossbreeding and upgrading of be a more worthwhile. Future research should geared towards analyses of productivity components that are more relevant than preweaning performance.