Changes in size and shape of Ghanian donkeys
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Keywords:Body dimension, Donkey, Factor analysis
Live weight and 10 body-dimensions of 69 donkeys were recorded. The data were classified into 3 age categories to characterize and describe changes in size and shape using principal components analysis. Differences in sexes were not significant for live weight and body dimensions. Linear skeletal growth matured earlier than growth in thickness or girth although girth was important in predicting live weight at young ages. Three principal components extracted for each age category data accounted for between 68.6 and 89.4% of the variation in live weight. As distinguishing characteristics, different body features were prominent at different ages. The most important factor in all 3 data sets was general body size. Factors of stature and muscularity were successively important in young donkeys while in both intermediate and mature donkeys a factor of compactness was the second most important factor. A factor for leg was the third factor extracted in intermediate donkey data while girth was the third factor in mature donkey data. These 3 factors accounted for between 50.7 and 94.4% of the variation in live weight in a step-wise regression equation.
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