Regional differences in growth parameters between two impala populations

Author: I. du Plessis, C.C. van der Waal, R.R. van Wyk, E.C. Webb, B. Kritzinger and J. van den Berg
Year: 2006
Issue: 5
Volume: 36
Page: 90 - 94

The origin of differences in growth parameters between impala from the Mara Research Station (Mara) and the Messina Experimental Farm (Messina) was investigated. Impala from both localities were harvested, and body weights (BW) and cold carcass weights (CCW) were measured. The impala were classified into three age classes, young, sub-adult and adult. In all age classes and for both sexes BW, CCW and dressing percentage (Dres%) were higher at Mara than at Messina. The ratio between actual BW and mature body weight (RBW) was similar for animals in the young age class, but was higher for animals from the sub-adult class at Mara compared to sub-adults from Messina. Differences in the genetic composition or parasitic infestation are highly unlikely to be the causes of the differences in the growth parameters between the two sites. Seasonal effects in forage supply could not be determined. The results suggest that differences in the growth parameters between animals from Mara and Messina were mainly due to differences in maternal effects (pre-weaning) and differences in the nutritional environment (post-weaning).

Keywords: : Growth, Aepyceros melampus, body weight, carcass weight, game
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