CHARACTERISATION OF MULTIVARIATE TRAITS IN SWAZI INDIGENOUS GOATS
Swazi goats from two different regions in Swaziland kept in communal systems were characterised based on phenotypic measurements. Objective measurements for 200 goats included body weight (BW), abdominal circumference (AC), body length (BL), chest circumference (CC), face length (FL), neck circumference (NC), neck length (NL), rump height (RH) and height at withers (HW), while qualitative traits included coat colour, coat texture and presence or absence of horns. Seven coat colours were observed across both regions. Goats with straight coat texture (82%), short hair length (68%) and with horns (84%) were predominantly more. Goats in Manzini region had the lower BW, AC, BL and CC (51.77±1.32, 61.77±1.32, 62.49±0.66, 57.96±1.18) than Shiselweni goats (53.09±1.01, 71.09±1.00, 73.67±0.94, 53.83±0.90). The study provided a reference for phenotypic and genetic diversity for Swazi goats useful for designing genetic strategies for improved production, food security and sustainable utilisation.