Reproductive Performance and Mortality Rate in Local and Dorper × Local Crossbred Sheep Following Controlled Breeding in Ethiopia


The reproductive and lamb mortality data (n = 187) of the Local and crosses of Dorper × Local ewes following natural controlled breeding in Ethiopia were analysed. Data were collected during 2009-2011 at Sirinka breeding, evaluation and distribution site, eastern Amhara region of Ethiopia. Breed, lamb sex, birth season, birth year, birth type and ewes’ parity were considered as fixed effects. Data analyses were performed using general linear model procedures. Breed was a significant source of variation: the local sheep attained faster the age at first lambing than the crossbred ewe lambs (469 ± 8.45 vs. 555 ± 6.25 days, p < 0.0001), whereas the crossbred ewes weighed more than the local sheep ewes at the age of first lambing (32.7 ± 0.63 vs. 22.8 ± 0.43 kg, p < 0.0001). Birth year had also important influence on the age and weight at first lambing of ewes. Ewes showed better performance during the later study years, differences attributed due to the improved management advantages in later years. The crossbred and local ewes were comparable in their litter size, despite the fact that the lambing interval of crossbred ewes was longer than the local ewes (306 ± 4.62 vs. 287 ± 2.38 days). Additionally, there was no significant difference in mortality rate between the two breeds. This study confirms that the local ewes had higher annual reproductive rate than that of the crossbred sheep ewes (1.49 ± 0.02 vs. 1.37 ± 0.01 lambs) under the same environmental conditions. The present results suggested that better management and breeding program probably will increase the productivity of the local sheep.

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Lakew, M. , Haile-Melekot, M. , Mekuriaw, G. , Abreha, S. and Setotaw, H. (2014) Reproductive Performance and Mortality Rate in Local and Dorper × Local Crossbred Sheep Following Controlled Breeding in Ethiopia. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 4, 278-284. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2014.45035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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