Breeding objectives and selection criteria of farmers keeping indigenous cattle populations in north-west Ethiopia

Andualem Tenagne*, Mengistie Taye, Tadelle Dessie, Bekalu Muluneh, Damitie Kebede, Getinet Mekuriaw Tarekegn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This study was conducted to identify farmers’ breeding objectives and trait preferences for indigenous cattle in north-west Ethiopia. Multistage purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select study districts, and smallholder farmers. The required data were collected through structured questionnaires from 320 households, personal observations, and focus group discussions. The chi-square (χ2) test, least squares mean, and ranking index were statistical methods used for data analysis. The least squares mean analysis showed a difference (p < 0.001) and the mean herd size was 10.9 heads. Based on ranking index results, milk production (0.35) and draught power (0.25) were the main cattle production purpose/objectives of farmers. The chi-square (χ2) test results of mating practices showed a significant difference (p < 0.001) and 63.8% of farmers used controlled mating. According to the ranking index result, large body size (0.35), colour (0.26), and good traction (0.18) were considered the most important traits in selecting a breeding bull. High milk yield (0.4), colour (0.19), large body size (0.16), and calf growth (0.13) were the preferred traits/criterias for cow selection. Prioritizing farmer trait preference and breeding objectives in this study was critical for the design and implementation of breeding programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-694
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Research
Issue number1
Early online date2 Nov 2023
Publication statusFirst published - 2 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Breeding objectives
  • controlled mating
  • indigenous cattle
  • north-west Ethiopia
  • trait preference


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