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Research Journal of Animal Sciences
Year: 2012 | Volume: 6 | Issue: 3 | Page No.: 47-55
DOI: 10.3923/rjnasci.2012.47.55  
Community-Based Characterization of Simien Sheep Based on Growth Performance and Farmers’ Breeding Objectives in Simien Mountains Region, Ethiopia
Surafel Melaku , Zeleke Mekuriaw , Solomon Gizaw and Mengistie Taye
 
Abstract: This study was aimed at characterizing Simien sheep based on growth characteristics and farmers’ breeding objectives and selection criteria. A total of 63 households and 600 lambs from Miligebsa and Dara districts of Debark and Dabat woredas of North Gondar Zone in Amhara region, Ethiopia were registered and monitored. About 1 year and 5 months monitoring data on growth performance of the sheep was used for the study. Besides, group discussion and proportional piling tools of PRA were used to identify and prioritize farmers’ breeding objectives and selection criteria. The overall least square mean birth weight of Simien sheep was 2.976±0.030 kg. The overall least square mean weights of Simien sheep at 3 and 6 months of age were 11.761±0.161 and 15.787±0.330 kg, respectively. The overall average daily gain in g/day between 0-90 days of age was found to be 97.364±1.735; birth to 6 months of age was 72.089±1.729 and weaning to 6 months of age was 52.843±4.662. Parity was significant (p<0.05) source of variation on body weight measurements. Birth type affected only birth weight and weaning weight. Body weight gains at early age were significantly affected by district, parity and birth type. Sex showed no significant effect (p>0.05) on most of weight traits of Simien sheep except on 6 months weight and ADG between birth to 6 months. The leading farmers’ breeding objective was as source of cash income. Family performance took the 1st rank to select breeding rams and wider back area (shint) was considered as the most important criteria for selecting breeding ewes. The facts that the breed is superior to most of the sheep breeds in the country in terms of weight at early age and declines at later age signify that the sheep has good potential but there are influences by management and environmental factors. Thus, improvement of the general management condition can support the breed to express its full genetic potentials consistently at later stages of its growth. Further study on the reproductive performance of the sheep is suggested to investigate more details about the breed. Since, there exists high variations in body weight measurements at different ages within the breed, improvement by selection can be considered as good breeding strategy for Simien sheep.
 
How to cite this article:
Surafel Melaku, Zeleke Mekuriaw, Solomon Gizaw and Mengistie Taye, 2012. Community-Based Characterization of Simien Sheep Based on Growth Performance and Farmers’ Breeding Objectives in Simien Mountains Region, Ethiopia. Research Journal of Animal Sciences, 6: 47-55.
DOI: 10.3923/rjnasci.2012.47.55
URL: http://medwelljournals.com/abstract/?doi=rjnasci.2012.47.55