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Comparison of non-linear growth models to describe the growth curve in West African Dwarf sheep

  • A. B. Gbangboche (a1), R. Glele-Kakai (a1), S. Salifou (a2), L. G. Albuquerque (a3) and P. L. Leroy (a4)...

The objectives of this study were to compare the goodness of fit of four non-linear growth models, i.e. Brody, Gompertz, Logistic and Von Bertalanffy, in West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep. A total of 5274 monthly weight records from birth up to 180 days of age from 889 lambs, collected during 2001 to 2004 in Betecoucou breeding farm in Benin were used. In the preliminary analysis, the General Linear Model Procedure of the Statistical Analysis Systems Institute was applied to the dataset to identify the significant effects of the sex of lamb (male and female), type of birth (single and twin), season of birth (rainy season and dry season), parity of dam (1, 2 and 3) and year of birth (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004) on the observed birth weight and monthly weight up to 6 months of age. The models parameters (A, B and k), coefficient of determination (R2), mean square error (MSE) were calculated using language of technical computing package Matlab®, 2006. The mean values of A, B and k were substituted into each model to calculate the corresponding Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC). Among the four growth functions, the Brody model has been selected for its accuracy of fit according to the higher R2, lower MSE and AIC. Finally, the parameters A, B and k were adjusted in Matlab®, 2006 for the sex of lamb, year of birth, season of birth, birth type and the parity of ewe, providing a specific slope of the Brody growth curve. The results of this study suggest that Brody model can be useful for WAD sheep breeding in Betecoucou farm conditions through growth monitoring.

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