ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 60 Number 1
Note on the effects of body weight and lambing interval on the reproductive performance of West African sheep raised under tree crops
The reproductive performances of Nungua Blackhead x West African Dwarf ewes (NW) and West African Long-legged x West African Dwarf ewes (WW), raised under tree crops in Ghana, were Investigated. Two groups of 20 ewes with an Initial average weight of either 18.5 kg or 27.5 kg were used, and were mated to lamb either at 6-month or at 8-month intervals. Lambs of WW ewes had a higher pre-weaning growth rate (83.6 g day-1) and were heavier at weaning (8.91 kg) than NW lambs (73.6 g day-1. 8.03 kg). NW lambs, however, made faster gains after weaning (62.9 g day-1)) than WW lambs (55.6 g day-1). The heavy ewes had bigger litter sizes (mean 1.46) and higher multiple birth and weaning rates (46.3 and 64.7%, respectively) than the light ewes (mean 1.23, and 23.4 and 31.2%. respectively) and within 4 years weaned 57.4 kg lamb live weight compared with 44.3 kg weaned by the light ewes. Differences due to lambing interval were in-significant for any of the parameters studied.
Keywords: Sheep; Weight; Reproduction