Written Paper

Small Ruminant Productivity in the Central Ethiopian Mixed Farming Systems.  [1993]

Zelalem Alemayehu Fletcher Ian Ministry of Agriculture, Addis Abeba (Ethiopia) [Corporate Author]

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Among a total of 404 farms from 13 service cooperatives in Shewa and Gojam surveyed in 1987 and 1988, 43 percent kept small ruminants with an average number of 4.2 farm-1. Sheep comprised 88 percent of the small ruminants surveyed at higher altitudes, whereas goats comprised 62 percent at lower altitudes. Small ruminants respresented only 7 percent of the average total capital invested in livestock on these farms, but they accounted on average for 40 percent of the cash income and 19 percent of the total value of subsistence food obtained from all livestock production. Mature females comprised 60 percent of all sheep and 50 percent of all goats surveyed, which accounted partly for the difference between the net annual offtakes of 30 percent recorded from sheep and 16 percent from goats. Low average reproductive rates (55 lambs and 56 kids born/100 mature females per year) and high annual mortality in all classes of stock (on average 23 percent for sheep and 25 percent for goats) were the main constraints for increasing productivity.