Chagga

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Origin and distribution: Chagga are a dwarf breed belonging to the Tanganyika Zebu. Owned by the Wachaga tribe (Epstein 1971; Maule 1990), they are found on the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, around Moshi, Upase and Usambara areas.

Physical characteristics: Their specific visible trait is their dwarfness and small body size. They are light-boned and their coat colour varies. They are horned.

Peculiarity: Inhabit the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in close proximity to the tsetse fly belt; dwarf and poor body condition due to the difficult environment - sub-humid climate and poor level of nutrition (DAGRIS, 2005).

Breed status: Their risk status is critical (Rege 1999). Their number does not exceed 1000 heads with 300 breeding females and 50 bulls. The population is further decreasing. The main causes of threat are crossbreeding and interbreeding (Rege 1999). A part from the molecular characterization work reported by Gwakisa et al. (1994; 1997) and Gwakisa (2001), there are no other characterisation report on this breed [CS 1.10 by Okomo]; [CS 1.11 by Gwakisa].

Utility: They are kept for milk and meat. Manure is also a valuable product. Adult live weight ranges from 170-240 kg in males and from 155-190 kg in females. No data is available on their performance.

References

DAD-IS, 2005: http://dad.fao.org/en/home.htm

DAGRIS, 2005: http://dagris.ilri.cgiar.org

Epstein H. 1971. The origin of the domestic animals of Africa Volume I. Africana Publishing Corporation. New York. London. Munich. 799pp.

Gwakisa P.S., Kemp S.J. and Teale A.J. 1994. Characterization of zebu cattle breeds in Tanzania using random amplified polymorphic DNA markers.Animal Genetics 25: 89-94.

Gwakisa P. S., Barendse W. and Teale A. J (1997). Genetic diversity in indigenous cattle breeds of Tanzania. Proceedings of Tanzania Society for Animal Production 24: 242-252.

Maule, J.P., 1990. The cattle of the tropics. Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Great Britain. 225 pp.

Rege, J.E.O., 1999. The state of African cattle genetic resources I. Classification framework and identification of threatened and extinct breeds.FAO/UNEP Animal Genetic Resources Information Bulletin 25:1-25.

Rege, J.E.O. and Tawah, C.L., 1999. The state of African cattle genetic resources II. Geographical distributions, characteristics and uses of present-day breeds and strains. FAO/UNEP Animal Genetic Resources Information Bulletin 26:1-25.

Related websites

http://www.safariweb.com/tanzania/facts.htm

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~puk/cow/cowworld.html

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