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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


ALI, A.; JAVED, K.; ZAHOOR, I.  and  ANJUM, K.M.. Determination of the best non-linear function to describe the growth of Kajli sheep. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2020, vol.50, n.3, pp.452-459. ISSN 2221-4062.

The aim of the present study was to determine the best non-linear growth function to describe the growth of Kajli sheep. For this aim, the Brody, von Bertalanffy, Logistic, and Gompertz models were used to describe the sigmoidal relationship between bodyweight and age of the Kajli sheep. The records obtained from the Livestock Experiment Station, Khushab, were collected between 2007 and 2018. The records comprised 9864 age-weight observations (300 for male, 9564 for female, 7392 for single, 2388 for twin, and 84 for triplet lambs), which extended from birth to 12 months old. Candidate non-linear functions were fitted and the curve parameters were estimated by nlsfit (fit non-linear models) function in R statistical package, version 3.6.1. Goodness of fit criteria that were used to evaluate predictive performances of candidate models were adjusted coefficient of determination (R2adj), Akaike's information criterion (AIC), Bayesian information criterion (BIC) and root means square error (RMSE). The Brody model was the best non-linear function that described the biological growth pattern of all, male, female, single, twin, and triplet lambs. Differences in curve parameter estimates between male and female suggested a definite pattern of sexual dimorphism. Moreover, a higher estimate of rate of maturity in female lambs reflects their early maturity compared with male Kajli lambs. Similarly, the single-born Kajli animals with highest maturity rate were maturing at an earlier age than twins and triplets. This is the first report on the non-linear pattern of visible changes in bodyweight of Kajli sheep from birth to 12 months old.

Keywords : age; bodyweight; growth curves; regression; sheep.

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