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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
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View the document1. Intensive sustainable livestock production: an alternative to tropical deforestation.
View the document2. Utilization of the african giant land snail in the humid area of nigeria.
View the document3. Important issues of small-holder livestock sector worldwide.
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View the document9. Sheep. Pigs.
View the document10. Strategies to increase sheep production in East Africa.
View the document11. Alternatives to imported compound feeds for growing pigs in solomon islands.
View the document12. Economic analysis of on-farm dairy animal research and its relevance to development.
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View the document14. Fish-farming in sub-Saharan Africa: case studies in the francophone countries - proposals for future action.
View the document15. Research and education for the development of integrated crop-livestock-fish farming systems in the tropics.
View the document16. Goats/fish integrated farming in the philippines.
View the document17. The sustainability of aquaculture as a farm enterprise in Rwanda.
View the document18. Double-cropping malaysian prawns, macrobrachium rosenbergii, and red swamp crawfish, procambarus clarkii.
View the document19. Rice/fish farming in Malaysia: a resource optimization
View the document20. Biotechnology in fishfarms: integrated farming or transgenic fish?
View the document21. Agricultural engineering in the development: tillage for crop production in areas of low rainfall.
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10. Strategies to increase sheep production in East Africa.

In: FAO Animal Production and Health Paper 58; FAO, Rome, Italy; pp. 118-123

Sheep in eastern Africa are managed in traditional systems. The end product is almost entirely meat, either for home consumption or to an internal or external market through sales. In parts of Sudan, sheep are also kept to provide milk.

In most traditional societies, first lambing occurs at 15-18 months when ewe weights are 80-85 per cent of mature size. Control of age at first breeding usually means delaying this and may result in first lambing not taking place until 2 years or older.

Total lifetime production of young can be increased by encouraging first lambing at early ages.

The growth rate is an important factor in livestock productivity. In traditional systems, because of overstocking, genetic potential is rarely expressed. Growth rates vary from as little as 40 g per day in Kenya Masai sheep to as much as 70 g per day in Sudan Desert type from western Sudan.

As an example of the potential for increased growth under improved conditions of nutrition and management, the "Mouton de Case" sheep in West Africa achieves a growth rate of 117 g per day to 40 weeks of age compared with only 60 g for its range-reared contemporaries.

Management practices in many traditional societies are such that the best adapted sheep or those with superior genetic potential are not used as breeding stock. This is because of the cultural or religious requirements for large fat sheep for slaughter at social and sacrificial occasions.

Pre-weaning mortality has been shown to be an extremely important constraint on productivity of sheep. Levels of up to 30 or even 40 per cent losses before weaning are not uncommon.

The standard approach to improving the supposedly unproductive indigenous African sheep types has been to import exotic breeds, usually of European origin.

There have rarely been successful transfer of these breeds to traditional systems. In East Africa, successes have almost entirely been confined to those cases where modern management practices can be assured and high levels of veterinary and nutritional inputs maintained.

Identifying these practices and abilities and extending them to other owners would lead to overall improvement. A plan for improvement of a traditional flock with the minimum of outside and costly interventions is shown in this paper.

1079 92 - 3/129

Integrated systems

Pacific, Solomon Islands, pig production, compound feeds, pig feeds

THORNE, P.J.

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