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A Comparison of Morphological and Morphometric Traits of Known and Lesser Known Sheep Populations of Karnataka in the Farmers’ Flocks*

Siddalingswamy Hiremath1 Vinoo R. Appannavar M. M. Muralidhar M. Venkataseshaiah Ch. Ramanipushpa R. N. Sudhakar Krovvidi
Vol 9(11), 122-131
DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20190813033613

This study is an attempt to characterize lesser known sheep genetic groups viz. Mouli and Yalaga, which are popular among farmers for its meat production and also to compare with Kenguri sheep which is considered as heaviest among Karnataka sheep breeds. Data on morphological and morphometric traits were recorded in these three genetic groups at 2 tooth, 4 tooth, 6 tooth and 8 tooth stage in both the sexes from farmer's flocks. Mouli sheep were taller, polled in both sexes, possess long tail, long drooping ears, convex face with roman nose when compared to Kenguri and Yalaga sheep. Analysis of variance revealed that Mouli sheep had higher values and found significantly (P<0.01) different from Kenguri and Yalaga sheep with respect to body length, height at withers, flank width, face length and body weight. Age wise analysis of morphometric traits in three genetic traits indicated higher values in Mouli sheep for all traits studied than Kenguri and Yalaga sheep.


Keywords : Farmers' Flocks Morphometric Traits Phenotypic Characterization Sheep

Documentation of existing genetic resources, including the description of the population phenotypic characteristics, cultural importance and genetic uniqueness is one of the main areas of the livestock conservation activities (Ruane, 1999; Duchev and Groeneveld, 2006) and Lanari et al. (2003) emphasized characterization of livestock breeds as the first approach to a sustainable use of animal genetic resources. The first phase of characterization involves the identification of populations based on morphological descriptors (Gizaw et al., 2007). The morphometric characterization of Indian sheep is limited to single breed/population. However, Yadav et al. (2012) have given a comparative analysis of morphometric traits of Muzaffarnagri sheep with Munjal sheep. Similarly, Jain et al. (2014) have given comparative analysis of morphometric traits of sheep breeds of Karnataka.

Karnataka state with tropical monsoon type climate, hosts four well adapted indigenous sheep breeds viz. Bellary, Kenguri, Hassan and Mandya. Deccani sheep are also seen in few districts of north Karnataka and Bellary sheep is the most closely related breed in appearance to Deccani breed (Acharya, 1982). These sheep reared primarily for meat, play significant socio-economic roles in the rural dwellers. Kenguri, a popular mutton breed is mainly distributed in Raichur, Koppal and Yadgir districts. The distribution, characteristics and management of Kenguri sheep is described by Jain et al. (2006a). Appannavar et al. (2010) studied growth pattern and meat characters of Kenguri sheep. Apart from these sheep breeds, there are two lesser known sheep populations viz. Mouli and Yalaga reared by farmers in Vijayapura and Bagalkote districts of Karnataka, respectively. These genetic groups could be outcome of several years of continuous natural selection and are very popular among local farmers for their adaptability. Further the meat of these animals is well cherished by the farmers. The morphometric characterization of Indian sheep is limited to single breed/population. Jain et al. (2014) compared the morphometric traits of sheep breeds of Karnataka in the farmers’ flocks and reported that Kenguri is heaviest among sheep breeds of Karnataka. The present study was aimed at characterization and comparison of morphometric traits of this heaviest Kenguri sheep with lesser known Mouli and Yalaga sheep genetic groups of Karnataka. Such phenotypic comparisons can provide a reasonable representation of genetic differences among populations to an extent. The information generated would enable inter-breed comparisons of morphometric traits that would assist in development of conservation and breed improvement programs of these genetic groups.

Materials and Methods

Data on morphological features, viz. coat colour, hoof colour, horn pattern, ear pattern, tail pattern, wattles, face/forehead pattern and morphometric traits, viz. body weight (in kilograms), body length, height at withers, chest girth, flank width, face length, ear length, horn length, distance between horns and tail length (in centimeters) were recorded in random on 265, 279, 278 ewes, and 82, 78 and 91 rams of Kenguri, Mouli and Yalaga sheep, respectively from different flocks distributed throughout the home tract (Fig. 1). The body weights (in Kg) were recorded with a weighing balance and the morphometric traits were measured (in cm) with a measuring tape after making the animal stand squarely on an even ground in the morning before the animals were let out for grazing.

Fig. 1: Home tracts of Kenguri, Mouli and Yalaga sheep

In the case of adult ewes, body weight was taken only in non-pregnant animals. The measurements were taken by same individual in order to avoid inter-individual error. Since the particulars of the exact date of birth of animals were not possible in the field conditions, the eruption of permanent incisor teeth was taken as an indicator of age of the animal. All the animals having two permanent incisors were considered as one and half to two-year-old, four incisors as three-year-old, six incisors as four-year-old and those with eight permanent incisors were regarded as five years and above in age (Banerjee, 1991). The mean differences between traits of the breeds were tested using one-way ANOVA procedure with Tukay’s HSD as implemented in SPSS (V.20).

Results and Discussion

In Kenguri sheep, four types of coat colors are observed. Majority of the animals were brown in color with a white patch on forehead (80.49% of rams and 56.98% ewes), followed by brown coloured body and white patch on forehead and extremities (30.49 % ewes), brown colored (13.41 % rams and 29.43 % ewes) and brown & black belly (6.09% of rams and 4.15 %). In Mouli sheep, coat colour of majority of rams (85.90%) and ewes (86.37 %) is white with brown patches. However, few (12.82% of rams and 13.62% of ewes) were having pure white coat colour and 1.28% of the rams were white with black spots all over the body. In case of Yalaga sheep, a large proportion of animals were completely white in color (81.31% of rams and 80.21% of ewes). Animals with white coat color with black rings around eyes and ear (3.29% of rams and 3.23 % of ewes), white coat with black extremities (7.69% of rams and 7.55% of ewes), white coat color with brown patches (2.19% of rams and 2.51% of ewes) and white coat color with brown extremities (5.49% of rams and 2.88% of ewes). Males in general were horned and females were polled in Kenguri and Yalaga sheep, whereas the Mouli sheep were polled in both sexes. A small button like structure in place of horns was observed in few Mouli males. With regard to face/head pattern, typical convex face/bowed forehead with Roman nose was observed in Mouli sheep. The Kenguri and Yalaga rams and ewes were having straight face/forehead or nose line. The details about other morphological features of three genetic groups are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Morphological traits of Kengu Mouli and Yalaga sheep

Trait Observations Kenguri Mouli Yalaga
Male Female Overall Male Female Overall Male Female OverAll
(N=82) (N=265) (N=347) (N=78) (N=279) (N=357) (N=91) (N=278)  (N=369)
N % N % % N % n % % N % n % %
Hoof Black 73 89 226 85.3 86.16 4 5.12 19 6.81 6.44 86 94.5 255 19.78 92.41
Colour White 14 18 56 20.1 19.6 5 5.49 23 8.27 7.59
  Black and White 9 11 39 14.7 13.83 60 76.9 204 73.1 73.95
Horn pattern Horned 73 89 261 98.5 96.25 87 95.6 3 1.07 24.39
Polled 9 11 4 1.5 3.75 78 100 279 100 100 4 4.39 275 98.92 75.6
Ear Long & Drooping 78 100 277 99.3 99.44 91 100 274 98.56 98.91
Pattern Medium  drooping 81 98.8 265 100 99.71
  Short & tubular 1 1.21 0.28 2 0.71 0.56 4 1.43 1.08
Tail Short 82 100 265 100 100   82 90.1 274 98.56 96.47
Pattern Long 78 100 279 100 100 9 9.89 4 1.43 3.52
Wattles Present 45 54.9 177 66.8 63.98 46 59 173 62 61.34 60 65.93 202 72.66 71
Absent 37 45.1 88 33.2 (%) 32 41 106 38 38.65 31 34.06 76 27.33 28.99

The pooled (over different ages and sexes) averages for different morphometric traits in Kenguri, Mouli and Yalaga adult sheep are presented in Table 2. Mouli had higher values and found significantly (P<0.01) different from Kenguri and Yalaga sheep with respect to body length, height at withers, flank width, face length and body weight. With respect to chest girth, no significant difference was observed among three genetic groups. Significant difference (P<0.01) was observed among three genetic groups with respect to ear length, ear width and tail length. For these traits also, Mouli had higher values than Kenguri and Yalaga sheep. Mouli sheep were polled in both sexes; however, few sheep had rudimentary button like structures and distance between them, taken as poll length, was found to be 7.08±0.05cm. No significant difference seen between Yalaga and Kenguri sheep for distance between horns. Horn length was found to be more in Yalaga sheep (33.22±1.50 cm) than Kenguri sheep (24.43±1.56 cm). Mouli sheep had longer tail than Kenguri and Yalaga sheep, although no significant difference is seen among three genetic groups. Body weight of Mouli sheep was significantly (44.39±0.45kg) more than Kenguri (41.59±0.41 kg) and Yalaga (41.20±0.53kg).

Table 2: Pooled averages for different morphometric traits in Kenguri, Mouli and Yalaga adult sheep

Genetic group N Body length (cm) Height at withers (cm) Chest girth (cm) Flank width (cm) Face length (cm) Ear length (cm) Ear width (cm) Horn length (cm) Tail length (cm) Body weight (kg)
Kenguri 347 69.50±0.26a 76.21±0.25a 82.16±0.28 16.15±0.09a 22.10±0.11a 15.47±0.06a 8.35± 0.03a 24.43±1.56 (77) 10.50±0.08a 41.59±0.41a
Mouli 357 76.24±0.28b 80.18±0.27b 82.41±0.31 16.95±0.10b 26.02±0.12b 18.70±0.09b 9.23± 0.05b Polled 18.48±0.10c 44.39±0.45b
Yalaga 369 70.19±0.31a 77.03±0.31a 81.68±0.4 16.35±0.09a 22.42±0.10a 15.19±0.07c 8.02± 0.05c 33.22±1.5 (95) 11.99±0.09b 41.20±0.53a

Means with different superscripts within a column indicate significant difference for the trait (P<0.01); Values in parenthesis for horn length and distance between horns indicate number of observations.

Mean and standard errors for different morphometric traits of rams and ewes belonging to three genetic groups studied are presented in Table 3 & 4, respectively. It is to be noted that Mouli ewes had higher values and found significantly different (P<0.01) from Kenguri and Yalaga ewes with respect to body length, height at withers, flank width, face length and body weight. With respect to chest girth, no significant difference was observed among Kenguri and Mouli ewes. Significant difference (P<0.01) was observed among three genetic groups with respect to ear length, ear width and tail length and body weight. Mouli ewes had higher values for all these parameters compared to Kenguri and Yalaga ewes. The adult body weight of Mouli ewe was 41.72±0.37 kg whereas the adult body weight of Kenguri and Yalaga ewe was 38.86±0.27 kg and 36.93±0.34 kg, respectively. But same trend is not seen in rams of three genetic groups. Significant difference (P<0.01) was observed among three genetic groups with respect to body length and height at withers. Yalaga rams had significantly more chest girth than Kenguri and Mouli rams.  Mouli rams had significantly higher values compared to other genetic groups with respect to flank width, face length, ear length, ear width and tail length. With respect to body weight of rams, the Mouli (53.92±1.01 kg) and Yalaga (54.28±1.02 kg) had significantly (P<0.01) higher body weight than Kenguri (50.43±1.03 kg). However, in a comparative study conducted by Jain et al. (2014) considering Kenguri, Bellary, Hassan and Mandya sheep of Karnataka, Kenguri has been recorded significantly higher body weight.

Table 3: Mean and Standard errors of morphometric traits for three genetic groups at different ages for rams

Age Genetic group N Body length (cm) Height at withers(cm) Chest girth (cm) Flank width (cm) Face length (cm) Ear length (cm) Ear width (cm) Horn length# (cm) Tail length (cm) Body weight (kg)
2T Kenguri 23 69.26±1.30a 76.95± 0.83a 82.13± 0.95a 16.73± 0.43a 23.69± 0.25a 15.91± 0.17a 8.04± 0.14a 21.81±1.82 (21) 12.39±0.31a 39.58±1.11a
Mouli 22 81.45±0.72c 85.52± 0.80c 86.20± 0.75c 18.02± 0.21a 27.95± 0.37b 18.95± 0.21b 9.54± 0.18b Polled 19.97±0.43b 48.38±2.26b
Yalaga 24 74.79±1.34b 80.87± 1.03b 86.12± 1.04b 16.68± 0.51a 23.16± 0.41a 15.04± 0.44a 8.04± 0.22a 21.02±2.38 13.25±0.46a 43.60±2.16ab
4T Kenguri 20 77.50±1.28a 81.95± 1.25a 88.75± 1.59a 18.05± 0.38a 24.15± 0.43a 15.85± 0.33a 8.62± 0.13a 21.25±3.69 12.05±0.29a 53.70±2.12a
Mouli 19 83.31±1.05b 87.26± 0.87b 90.05± 0.67a 19.26± 0.31b 28.15± 0.42b 19.10± 0.20b 9.63± 0.19b Polled 20.15±0.30b 54.21±1.61a
Yalaga 25 75.64±0.61a 84.48± 0.66ab 92.20± 0.86a 18.04± 0.26a 24.18± 0.21a 15.10± 0.30a 8.14± 0.18a 40.02±0.74 12.70±0.26a 54.12±0.99a
6T Kenguri 18 77.00±0.65a 84.27± 0.87a 91.13± 0.58a 18.11± 0.22a 24.44± 0.38a 14.05± 0.41a 7.97± 0.21a 33.66 ±3.38 (15) 11.66±0.36a 54.82±0.97a
Mouli 15 83.33±1.18b 87.33± 1.15a 91.53± 1.05a 19.40± 0.56b 28.60± 0.66b 18.93± 0.55b 9.26± 0.31b Polled 20.73±0.61b 58.13±1.95a
Yalaga 19 78.94±0.89a 85.84± 0.75a 93.68± 0.96a 18.05± 0.24a 24.47± 0.23a 15.42± 0.39a 8.31± 0.24a 37.27±3.05 (18) 13.05±0.38a 58.94±1.38a
8T Kenguri 21 75.21±0.56a 83.28± 0.47a 90.85± 0.95a 17.14± 0.17a 25.14± 0.24a 15.26± 0.19a 8.28± 0.15a 26.11±3.24(21) 13.14±0.14a 55.42±1.25a
Mouli 22 84.95±0.82c 88.38± 0.72b 90.77± 0.71a 19.52± 0.53b 29.22± 0.49c 19.38± 0.38b 9.29± 0.19b  Polled 20.47±0.27b 56.36±1.50a
Yalaga 23 82.13±0.66b 87.34± 0.70b 94.21± 0.37b 18.73± 0.25b 26.52± 0.41b 15.21± 0.22a 7.95± 0.30a 41.63±3.00(22) 12.82±0.42a 61.73±0.80b
Pooled Kenguri 82 74.49±0.63a 81.40± 0.54a 87.95± 0.67a 17.46± 0.17a 24.34± 0.17a 15.32± 0.15a 8.23± 0.08a 25.36±1.57(73) 12.34±0.15a 50.43±1.03a
Mouli 78 83.25±0.47c 87.10± 0.44c 89.45± 0.45a 19.01± 0.21b 28.48± 0.24b 19.10± 0.16b 9.44± 0.10b Polled 20.30±0.20b 53.92±1.01b
Yalaga 91 77.74±0.55b 84.53± 0.47b 91.41± 0.54b 17.86± 0.18a 24.56± 0.21a 15.18± 0.17a 8.10± 0.11a 34.74±1.46(89) 12.95±0.19a 54.28±1.02b

Means with different superscripts within a column indicate significant difference for the trait (P<0.01); Values in parenthesis for horn length and distance between horns indicate number of observations; #Since some of the individuals are polled, the ‘N’ is different for the horn length and is indicated in parenthesis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 4: Mean and Standard errors of morphometric traits for three genetic groups at different ages for ewes

Genetic group N Body length (cm) Height at withers (cm) Chest girth (cm) Flank width (cm) Face length (cm) Ear length (cm) Ear width (cm) Horn length (cm) Tail length (cm) (kg)
Kenguri 62 67.75±0.50b 73.58±

0.44b

73.71± 0.28c 15.12±0.21a 21.01±0.26a 15.57±0.13a 8.37±0.06b 9.98± 0.12a 34.96± 0.45b
Mouli 71 73.16±0.40c 76.05± 0.39c 78.78± 0.39b 15.79±0.17b 24.21±0.20b 17.93±0.21b 9.14±0.17c 17.97±0.22c 37.9± 0.58c
Yalaga 68 64.99±0.44a 71.40±

0.48a

76.93± 0.45a 14.87±0.21a 21.34±0.20a 15.09±0.15a 7.86±0.09a 11.48±0.16b 31.89± 0.51a
Kenguri 68 67.91±0.43a 75.16±

0.44a

80.83± 0.33a 15.92±0.18a 21.02±0.24a 16.23±0.18b 8.34±0.07a 12.0±0 (1) 9.88± 0.18a 39.97± 0.48b
Mouli 65 73.39±0.55b 78.53±

0.47b

81.10±

0.65a

16.38±0.17a 24.72±0.23b 18.26±0.24c 9.20±0.12b 17.74±0.24c 40.89± 0.88b
Yalaga 63 68.56±0.53a 74.07±

0.47a

78.20±

0.45a

16.04±0.17a 21.50±0.21a 15.02±0.20a 7.96±0.15a 2.0±0(1) 11.37±0.21b 35.46± 0.51a
Kenguri 66 68.69±0.43a 75.46±

0.35a

82.18±0.50a 15.53±0.12a 22.18±0.15a 15.01±0.09a 8.46±0.06b 9.95±

0.14a

40.64± 0.50a
Mouli 69 75.11±0.49b 78.25±

0.33b

81.72±

0.54a

16.47±0.17b 25.55±0.16b 19.02±0.20b 9.21±0.12c 18.05±0.20c 44.43± 0.72b
Yalaga 76 68.65±0.39a 75.94±

0.41a

81.54± 0.41a 16.18±0.13b 21.98±0.14a 15.25±0.16a 8.09±0.09a 11.83±0.23b 39.37± 0.55as
Kenguri 69 67.51±0.33a 74.19±

0.35a

79.60±0.29a 16.36±0.16a 21.41±0.21a 15.27±0.10a 8.39±0.08b 9.94±

0.16a

39.58± 0.46a
Mouli 74 75.35±0.38b 80.09±

0.36c

82.02±0.48b 16.83±0.22a 26.74±0.22b 19.09±0.19b 9.16±0.10c 18.09±0.21c 43.60± 0.56b
Yalaga 71 68.60±0.39a 76.60±

0.43b

81.80± 0.40b 16.26±0.16a 22.00±0.14a 15.40±0.16a 8.02±0.12a 11.97±0.17b 40.44± 0.59a
Kenguri 265 67.96±0.21a 74.61±

0.20a

80.37± 0.20b 15.75±0.091a 21.41±0.11a 15.52±0.07b 8.39±0.03b 7.5±2.32 (4) 9.94± 0.07a 38.86± 0.27b
Mouli 279 74.28±0.23b 78.24±

0.21b

80.44± 0.29b 16.37±0.096b 25.33±0.11b 18.58±0.11c 9.17±0.06c 17.97±0.11c 41.72± 0.37c
Yalaga 278 67.72±0.23a 74.57±

0.25a

78.50± 0.33a 15.85±0.092a 21.72±0.08a 15.20±0.08a 7.99±0.05a 10.75±1.81(6) 11.68±0.10b 36.93±

0.34a

On comparing the results of present study with other South Indian sheep breeds, it is understood that body length of Kenguri rams and ewes is in accordance with the earlier reports of Jain et al. (2006a). Body length of Mouli and Yalaga sheep is more than the other sheep breeds of Karnataka (Jain et al., 2014), Height at withers of three genetic groups (in both sexes) recorded in this study was more than the height at withers reported in Deccani and Nellore (Narasimham, 2002), Mandya (Jain et al., 2005b and Vasundaradevi, 2013), Bellary (Jain et al., 2005a), Hassan sheep (Jain et al., 2006b). Broader chest girth is observed in ewes of Macherla Brown (Choudhary, 2013), Madgyal (Yadav et al., 2015) compared to the ewes of three genetic groups under study. Smaller chest girth is reported earlier compared to the results of the present study in Nellore and Deccani (Narasimham, 2002), Mandya (Jain et al., 2005b; Vasundaradevi, 2013), Bellary (Jain et al., 2005a), Hassan sheep (Jain et al., 2006b). The face length of Vembur (Chandran et al., 2009; Selvakkumar et al., 2016), Macherla Brown sheep (Choudhary, 2013) is almost same as of Kenguri and Yalaga sheep. However, face length lesser than Kenguri and Yalaga sheep was also observed in Chevadu, Katchikatty, Kilakarsal and Ramnad White sheep (Ravimurugan et al., 2012). The ear length in both the sexes of Kenguri sheep is similar to the observation done by Jain et al. (2006a) and also in other South Indian breeds like Vembur sheep (Chandran et al.,2009), Macherla Brown sheep (Choudhary, 2013). However, the smaller ears when compared to Kenguri, Mouli and Yalaga were reported in Bellary (Jain et al., 2005a), Mandya (Jain et al., 2005b), Mecheri (Karunanithi et al., 2005), Hassan sheep (Jain et al., 2006b). The ear width in three genetic groups was more when compared to ear width in Coimbatore sheep of Tamil Nadu (Devendran et al., 2009). Kenguri and Yalaga ewes were polled. However, few ewes were with horns. Ewes belonging to Coimbatore (Devendran et al., 2009), Kilakarsal, Chevadu, Katchakatty, Pattanam (Ravimurugan et al., 2012) and Vembur sheep (Selvakkumar et al., 2016) were also polled. Longer horns were reported when compared to results of present study in Kenguri (Jain et al., 2006a), Ramnad White (Raja et al., 2012). The Mouli sheep were polled in both the sexes. Similar observations were made by Jain et al. (2005b) in Mandya sheep where both the sexes are polled. The average horn length of Kenguri and Yalaga rams was 25.36 ± 1.57 cm and 34.74 ± 1.46 cm, respectively. Horns of similar length were reported in rams of Bellary (Jain et al., 2005a), Kenguri (Jain et al., 2006a), Coimbatore (Devendran et al., 2009), Vembur (Chandran et al., 2009), Katchakatty (Ravimurugan et al., 2012) and Ramnad White sheep (Raja et al., 2012). Tail length of Mouli sheep in the present was more followed by Yalaga and Kenguri sheep. Such long tail is also reported in Madgyal (Yadav et al., 2015) and other North Indian breeds like Jaisalmeri sheep (Rams: 30.19 ± 0.27 and Ewes: 26.97 ±0.14 cm (Arora et al., 2007) and Muzaffaranagari sheep (Rams: 55.49 ± 1.07 and Ewes: 49.77 ±0.39 cm (Yadav et al., 2012). No increase in ear length, ear width and tail length was observed in all three genetic groups across both sexes. Similar observation was recorded by Jain et al. (2014) in his study on comparison of morphometric traits in Kenguri, Bellary, Hassan and Mandya sheep. Significant difference (P<0.01) was seen among ewes of three genetic groups with respect to body weight. The average body weight of Kenguri ewe is more than the earlier report of Jain et al.(2014) but more than the Bellary, Hassan and Mandya. Body weight of Kenguri rams was significantly (P<0.01) lower than Mouli and Yalaga rams. The average body weight of Kenguri ram is less than the earlier report of Jain et al. (2014) but more than the Bellary, Hassan and Mandya. The trends with regard to various morphometric measurements show some differences with respect to sex and also with respect to three genetic groups under study. The possible reason for this difference in trend could be huge difference among farmers towards selection and management of rams and ewes, also varying climatic conditions prevailing in their home tracts. Each genetic group is having its own importance in their respective socio-economic milieu. The observed differences in morphometric traits can be used for objective differentiation of animals of these sheep genetic groups. The results of such comparative studies will be helpful in understanding their importance in their respective habitats, also for selection, improvement and prioritization of breeds for conservation.

Conclusion

The present study showed that the lesser known sheep genetic groups of Karnataka i.e. Mouli and Yalaga sheep were phenotypically distinct with respect to their morphological and morphometric measures and can be distinguished from other breeds of the state. The present information on phenotypic comparison, if complemented with further genetic analysis may serve a basis for designing appropriate conservation, breeding and selection strategies of these mutton sheep populations of Karnataka. However, a comparative study on meat quality parameters of these sheep genetic groups may also give critical input in setting out conservation priority among them and framing breeding programs for their genetic improvement and sustainable use, thereby improving the farmers’ economy.

Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to authorities of Karnataka Veterinary Animal & Fisheries Sciences University, Nandinagar, Bidar and Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Tirupati for providing the facilities for carrying out the study. This work could not have completed without the help and support of many farmers who allowed the measurements of their sheep.

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