Performance of village sheep flocks in Central Anatolia II. Fertility and productivity of ewes


Abstract: Performance data on fertility of ewes, pre-weaning mortilaty of lambs and productivity were collected during two years from 24 village flocks in Cnetral Anatolia. The data included flocks with sheep from the Akkaraman and Merino breeds and their crosses. The overall means for lambing rate, weaning rate, twining rate and pre-weaning lamb mortality were 92.1%, 89.8%, 4.8% and 6.9%, respectively. The fertility traits were significant effected by genetic group, area were the flock was located and age of ewe and the lamb mortality by the first two effects. Merino ewes had a significantly higher fertility and twinning rate than the Akkaraman breed. Three types of productivity indices relating the litter weight at weaning to the weight of the dam were calculated and analyzed by the least-squares method. Systematic effects of flock, sex of litter and age of dam were highly significant (p<0.001) for all three indices. Despite their higher fertility the productivity of Merino ewes was not significantly different from Akkaraman or crossbred. Highly significant productivity differences between flocks from the same area indicate influence. of management and feeding and opportunities for an effective extension programme to reduce these differences.

Keywords: Lambing rates, Pre-weaning lamb mortality, Weaning rates, Productivity

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