Evaluation of Growth Performance of Local and Dorper × Local Crossbred Sheep in Eastern Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

1 Sirinka Agricultural Research Center, North Wollo, EthiopiaCollege of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia

2 College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia

Abstract

The present study was performed to evaluate the on-station growth performance of local and Dorper × local crossbred sheep in eastern Amhara region, Ethiopia. Data on 302 lambs collected over a 4-year period (2009 to 2012) on local and Dorper × local crossbred sheep at Sirinka breeding, evaluation and distribution site were used in this study. Fixed effects considered were breed, lamb sex, birth season, birth type and birth year. Results revealed that breed was a significant source of variation that crossbred lambs consistently weighed more than the local sheep lambs at all ages. The mean birth weights of local and crossbred lambs were 2.36 ± 0.05 and 3.24 ± 0.04 kg, respectively. Sex was an important source of variation at weaning, six months and yearling of ages in which male lambs were superior over their female contemporaries. Lambs born in dry season were heavier than lambs born in wet season at six months (20.51±0.34 kg vs. 16.74±0.59 kg) and at yearling (31.12±0.38 kg vs. 27.72±0.82 kg). Single-born lambs were heavier (P<0.0001) than their multiple-born contemporaries. There was also significant (P<0.0001) difference on average daily gain of lambs between the crossbred (129.97±2.23 g/day) and local sheep (67.78±1.60 g/day) lambs from birth to weaning age. Males had higher pre-weaning average daily gain than females (125.83±3.38 vs. 116.93±3.13 g/day, P<0.05). Single-born lambs grew faster than their multiple contemporaries between birth to 30 days (179.85±3.15 vs. 127.27±6.82 g/day, P<0.0001) and birth to weaning (123.96±2.55 vs. 107.49±5.04 g/day, P<0.0001) of age. The crossbred lambs also gained higher (64.69±1.74 g/day) than the local sheep lambs (37.94±1.19 g/day) after weaning. Breed was found to have significant (P<0.0001) effect on overall growth rate, where crossbred lambs had higher growth rate than the local sheep lambs. There were generally crossbred lambs had better growth performance and higher growth rates than the local sheep lambs.

Keywords


Abegaz S. (2007). In situ characterization of Gumuz sheep under farmer’s management in north-western lowlands of Amhara region. MS Thesis. Haramaya Univ., Ethiopia.
Awgichew K. (2000). Comparative performance evaluation of Horro and Menz sheep of Ethiopia under grazing and intensive feeding condition. Ph D Thesis. Humboldt Univ., Germany.
Benyi K., Norris D., Karbo N. and Kgomo K.A. (2006). Effects of genetic and environmental factors on pre-weaning and post-weaning growth in West African crossbred sheep. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 38, 547-554.
Duguma G., Schoeman S.J., Cloete S.W.P. and Jordan G.F. (2002). The influence of non-genetic factors on early growth traits in the Tygerhoek Merino lambs. Ethiopian J. Anim. Prod. 2(1), 127-141.
Ebangi A.L., Nwakalor L.N., Mbah D.A. and Abba D. (1996). Factors affecting the birth weight and neonatal mortality of Massa and Fulbe sheep breeds in a hot and dry environment. Cameroon. Revue d’Elevage et de Medecine Veterinaire des Pays Tropicaux. 49, 349-353.
Gardner D.S., Buttery P.J.,Daniel Z. and Symonds M.E. (2007). Factors affecting birth weight in sheep: maternal environment. Reproduction. 133(1), 297-307.
Gizaw S. (2002). Genetic evaluation of Menz and Awassi × Menz crossbred sheep in Ethiopia. MS Thesis. Deemed Univ., Karnal, India.
Gizaw S. (2008). Sheep resources of Ethiopia: genetic diversity and breeding strategy. Ph D Thesis. Wageningen Univ., Netherlands.
Hassen Y., Sölkner J. and Fuerst-Waltl B. (2004). Body weight of Awassi and indigenous Ethiopian sheep and their crosses. Small Rumin. Res. 55, 51-56.
Hassen Y., Sölkner J., Gizaw S. and Baumung R. (2002). Performance of crossbred and indigenous sheep under village conditions in the cool highlands of central-northern Ethiopia: growth, birth and body weights. Small Rumin. Res. 43, 195-202.
Hirpa A. and Abebe G. (2008). Economic significance of sheep and goats. Pp. 2-24. in Sheep and Goat Production Handbook for Ethiopia. A. Yami and R.C. Markel, Eds. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Lemma S. (2009). Phenotypic classification and description of indigenous sheep types in the Amhara national regional state of Ethiopia. MS Thesis. Haramaya Univ., Ethiopia.
Mekuriaw S. (2011). Performance evaluation of Washera, Farta and their crossbred sheep in western highlands of Amhara region, Ethiopia.MS Thesis. Bahir Dar Univ., Ethiopia.
Olivier J.J. and Cloete J.A.N. (2006). Evaluation of different breed crosses in the development of a white-wool mutton sheep. South AfricanJ. Anim. Sci. 14, 105-109.
Richard K. (2010). Dorper Sheep and the Production of Lean Lamb in Arid Australia. International Specialised Skills Institute. Melbourne, Australia.
SAS Institute. (2003). SAS®/STAT Software, Release 9.1. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC.
Schoeman S.J. (2000). A comparative assessment of Dorper sheep in different production environments and systems. Small Rumin. Res. 36, 137-146.
Sebsbie A. (2008). Sheep and goat meat characteristics and quality. Pp. 325-340in Sheep and Goat Production Handbook for Ethiopia. A. Yami and R.C. Markel, Eds. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Taye M., Abebe G., Gizaw S., Lemma S., Mekoya A. and Tibbo M. (2009). Growth performances of Washera sheep under small holder management systems in Yilmanadensa and Quarit districts, Ethiopia. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 42(4),659-667.
Tibbo M. (2006). Productivity and health of indigenous sheep breeds and crossbreds in the central Ethiopian highlands. Ph D Thesis. Swedish Univ. Agric. Sci., Uppsala, Sweden.
Tibbo M., Ayalew W., Awgichew K., Ermias E. and Rege J.E.O. (2004). On-station characterisation of indigenous Menz and Horro sheep breeds in the central highlands of Ethiopia. FAO/UNEP Anim. Gene. Reso. Inf. 35, 61-74.
Tuah A.K. and Baah J. (1985). Reproductive performance, pre-weaning growth rate and pre-weaning lamb mortality of Djallonk´e sheep in Ghana. Trop. Agric. Trinidad. 68, 66-70.
Yilmaz O., Denk H. and Bayram D. (2007). Effects of lambing season, sex and birth type on growth performance in Norduz lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 68, 336-339.