Husbandry Practices and Productivity of Sheep in Lallo-Mama Mider Woreda of Central Highlands of Ethiopia
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A study of traditional sheep production was undertaken from February,1998 to January,1999 in Lallo-Mama Mider woreda, Northern Shewa, Ethiopia. For this study 90 flocks of the Menz sheep from three peasant associations were included. Data were collected on management practices, composition of livestock mix, ownership patterns, flock demography, and production constraints that need to be tackled in the area. For the study of reproduction and growth performance, mortality and offtake rates, 36 flocks were further selected and monitored year round. In this woreda, sheep were kept at marginal situations as far as housing, lamb rearing, feeding and feed management and disease control practices were concerned. Sheep constituted 80% of the total livestock mix. The mean numbers of sheep in small, medium and large flocks were 11.7, 26.8 and 34.1 heads respectively. Over 51.68% of small flocks were owned by two persons. Of the total sheep considered 67.4% were females, 28.1% males and 4.6% castrates. Age at first lambing ranged from 15-22 months. Lambing interval (n=485) was 286Â±13 days. Annual reproduction rate (n=297) was 1.36Â±0.02 lambs per ewe per year. Individual flock and season sigltificantly influenced both lambing interval and annual reproduction rate. Average litter size (n=392) was 1.03Â±0.01 lambs per ewe per lambing and only season significantly affected litter size. Lambing occurred through out the year with peaks during the big rain and dry season. Lambs weighed on the average 1.76 kg at birth, 3.87, 6.02, 7.74,9.03,10.13 and 11.06 kg at 30,60,90,120,150 and 180 days of age respectively. Weight gain from birth to 30, 60,90,120,150 and 180 days of age ranged from 51.45 to 70.57 grams per day. Except birth weight, both mean weight and weight gain were significantly affected by season, sex, parity, postpartum weight and individual flock. The mean body weight of sheep that had 1 to 4 pairs of permanent incisors ranged from 16.98 to 20.96 kg and annual weight gain was less than 0.05 grams per day. The sex, season and individual flock effects were significant in all age groups. Mean flock mortality rate was 16.84%. The sex, age group, season and individual flock had significant effect. Pre-weaning mortality rate was 17.71 % and was influenced by season of birth, parity and individual flock effects. The total offtake rate was 27.96% per annum. The ratio of entry to exit was 1:1 and the total flock size during the year stayed fairly balanced. Production constraints as perceived by the flock owners were feed shortage, disease problems, lack of improved genotype, lack of capital, low price of sheep and sheep products and inadequate extension services.
Livestock breed typesMENZ
- DAGRIS