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Evaluation of reproductive performances and survival rate of Washera sheep under farm and station management systems in Amhara region, Ethiopia

Mengistie Taye, Shigdaf Mekuriaw, Zeleke Mekuriaw, Getnet Mekuriaw, Hailu Mazengia, Aynalem Haile

Abstract


Reproductive performance and survival rate of Washera sheep was evaluated in western highlands of Amhara region. Data collected from 2007 to 2010 in Farta and Lay Gaint districts with farmers management system and at Adet Washera sheep breed improvement sub-center were used for the study. The effect of different fixed effects like management system, lamb sex, parity of dam, season of birth/lambing, year of birth/lambing and lamb birth type on reproductive performance and survival rate were analyzed. The effect of management system and birth year on weight at first lambing were significant that Ewes under station management system had lower weight than their farm managed contemporaries (20.03±1.7 kg vs. 23.79±1.4 kg, p<0.01). The least squares mean lambing interval and annual reproductive rate of Washera sheep under farm and station management were 303 days & 1.46 and 263 days & 1.40, respectively. Management system, lambing year, lambing season and ewe parity affected lambing interval and annual reproductive rate of Washera sheep. The overall least squares mean survival rate (%) of Washera sheep from birth to one month, three months, six months, nine months and yearling of age were 93, 86, 78, 72 and 67%, respectively. Management system, lambing year, lambing season and ewe parity were found to affect survival of Washera sheep to all ages considered. The lower performances of sheep in most of the traits considered (eg., weight at first lambing, EPPWt and survival), in the station indicated the substandard management level followed in the station which needs great attention by the center. On the other hand, the better performance on the farmer management level shows the wider environmental adaptation of Washera sheep which can be used in similar agro-ecological condition to the study areas. Different fixed effects influenced both reproductive performances and survival rates in the study and needs to be considered whenever there is a need to improve the performances of Washera sheep breeds both under farm and station management system in the highlands of Ethiopia.


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