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International Journal of Morphology

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9502

Resumen

BRAVO, Silvana  y  SEPULVEDA, Néstor. Zoometric Indices in Araucanas Creole Ewes. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.2, pp.489-495. ISSN 0717-9502.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022010000200025.

The Araucano Creole sheep of the Araucanía region in Chile is currently threatened with the cross-breeding of its genetic material with meat-producing breeds like the Suffolk. In order to characterize the breed, 94 females from different flocks from the Araucanía region were evaluated. The live weight was determined, and 9 zoometric indices were calculated from 14 morphological measurements: cephalic (ICE), pelvic (IPE), corporal (ICO), proportionality (IPRO), relative depth of the thorax (IPRP), dactyl-thoracic (IDT), transversal pelvic (IPET), longitudinal pelvic (IPEL) and relative thickness of the cannon bone (IERC). In addition, the morphological and phaneroptic features were obtained from each animal. It was observed from the descriptive analysis that of the evaluated zoometric measurements, there was a range of variation between 4.97% (for the ALC) and 14.9% (for the AGP), reflecting that the sample evaluated presented a medium to high degree of homogeneity. With respect to the zoometric indices, the Araucano sheep were characterized as being brevilineal (ICO=75.40±6.27), large-sized according to the dactyl-thoracic index (10.63±0.91) and presented hindquarters with a convex curve (IPE<100). According to the IPET and IPEL indices, there is a tendency toward the development of muscle tissue in the area of the most valuable cuts. Of the morphological and phaneroptic features, it is noteworthy that Araucano sheep have a straight cephalic profile, generally black mucous membranes, medium-sized horizontal ears, are pot-bellied with a small udder without pigmentation and have extremities with dark hooves. The results obtained provide high zoometric indices with respect to other ovine genotypes, and the Araucano sheep has a tendency to meat aptitude, a capacity that could ensure its conservation when allowing selective criteria to be applied that lead to a lower variability in the ethnological and functional characters.

Palabras clave : Araucana sheep; Conservation nucleus; Morphostructure; Zoometric indices.

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