Growth performances of Washera sheep under smallholder management systems in Yilmanadensa and Quarit districts, Ethiopia
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Mengistie Taye, Abebe Girma, Solomon Gizaw, Sisay Lemma, Mekoya Abebe, Markos Tibbo. (1/4/2010). Growth performances of Washera sheep under smallholder management systems in Yilmanadensa and Quarit districts, Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 42, pp. 659-667.
A study was conducted to evaluate growth performances of Washera sheep under smallholder production systems in the Yilmanadensa and Quarit districts of the Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia. Data were collected and analysed on the growth of 690 lambs owned by 110 households from October 2004 to September 2007. Weight (kilograms) of Washera lambs at birth, 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age was 2.69 +/- 0.02, 7.10 +/- 0.16, 12.42 +/- 0.11, 16.12 +/- 0.91, 20.05 +/- 0.55 and 23.47 +/- 0.68, respectively. Birth weight was significantly (P < 0.05) affected by district, year of birth, parity of the dam, birth type and sex of lamb and by the interaction effect of parity by birth type and parity by sex of lamb. Weaning weight was also affected by year of birth, type of birth and sex of lamb. Yearling weight was affected by only year of birth and sex of birth. The average daily weight gain (ADG; grams) from birth to 30 days, birth to 90 days, 90 to 180 days and birth to 1 year of age was 143.37 +/- 13.46, 107.09 +/- 2.67, 39.78 +/- 9.73 and 60.13 +/- 1.89, respectively. Growth rates from birth to 30 and 90 days of age were significantly (P < 0.05) affected by birth year, birth type and sex. ADG from birth to 1 year of age was affected by lamb sex and district. The indigenous Washera sheep had faster growth rate than those sheep breeds of Ethiopia extensively studied thus far. Integrated efforts combining improved nutrition, health and participatory community-based breeding would help the smallholder farmers to utilise and conserve this immense sheep genetic resource of Ethiopia.
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