The objective of this study was to analyze nonlinear models between Brody, Von Bertalanffy, Richards, Logistic and Gompertz, that best fit to describe the growth of Santa Ines sheep in Valley Gurguéia and, after setting the best model, it was to evaluated the influence of environmental factors (season of birth, sex, type of birth and mother's age at birth) on the parameters of the curve. Data were obtained from 61 sheep weight development from birth to 350 days of age from January 2009 to December 2010. The parameters were estimated using the SAS NLIN procedure. The models of Von Bertalanffy, Richards, Logistic and Gompertz fit the data well for growth, however, greater variation in Mean Square Waste was seen for Brody and Richards models. Based on the scatter plot of the waste, it was found that the Gompertz model presented set slightly higher than the model of von Bertalanffy. The estimated rate of absolute growth showed increased up to 28 days old. The effect of sex was an important source of variation for the parameter A, as well as the effects of age of mother at birth to the parameters B and K. The estimated correlations between the parameters A and K, B and K were negative. Environmental effects were important factors influencing the parameters of the growth curve of Santa Inês sheep in the state of Gurguéia.
environmental effect; growth rate; hair sheep; non-linear model; weight maturity