Participatory definition of breeding objectives for sheep breeds under pastoral systems – Red Maasai and Dorper sheep in Kenya
May 11, 2016 Editor 0
Crossing local breeds with exotic breeds may be an option for increased livestock productivity. However, there is a risk for endangerment of the local breeds. One such case is in Kenya where the imported Dorper breed is used for crossbreeding with Red Maasai sheep.
The aim of this study was to investigate farmers’ trait preferences as a basis for determination of breeding objectives for Red Maasai and Dorper sheep at two sites, Amboseli and Isinya, in Kenya.
Within their own flock, each farmer identified three ewes representing the best, average and poorest within each breed group: Red Maasai, Dorper and Crosses. Farmers gave reasons for their ranking. Body measurements and weights were also taken. At the harshest site, Amboseli, differences between breed groups in body weight were small and breeds were equally preferred. In Isinya, where environmental conditions are better and farmers are more market oriented, Dorper and Crosses had significantly higher body weights and market prices and were thus preferred by the farmers. Red Maasai were preferred for their maternal and adaptive traits. Breeding objectives should emphasize growth traits and milk production in both breeds at both sites. Body condition needs to be specifically considered in the breeding objectives for sheep in Amboseli, whereas adaptive traits need to be generally emphasized in Dorper.
View the open access article:
Zonabend Koning, E., Mirkena, T., Strandberg, E., Audho, J., Ojango, J., Malmfors, B., Okeyo, A.M, and Philipsson, J. 2016. Participatory definition of breeding objectives for sheep breeds under pastoral systems—the case of Red Maasai and Dorper sheep in Kenya. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 48(1): 9-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0911-7
- Sustainable breeding strategies for Red Maasai sheep in Kenya
- Review of sheep crossbreeding in Ethiopia
- Africa RISING Ethiopia local partners join hands to scale farmer-preferred technologies
- Expert group plans small ruminant genetics and breeding to the next level in Ethiopia
- Comparison of different poultry breeds under station and on-farm conditions in Ethiopia
- Smallholder farmers in Ethiopia review successes and challenges in sheep fattening
Subscribe to our stories
- Giving Francophone African incubators the keys to accelerate growth entrepreneurship February 13, 2018
- Is acceleration the panacea for scaling growth entrepreneurs? Reflections from XL Africa February 13, 2018
- Why providing pre-seed and seed capital is the essential step to bringing West Africa and Sahel’s entrepreneurs to the next level February 13, 2018
- Global Investment Competitiveness: New Insights on FDI February 2, 2018
- BioInnovate Africa phase II launched February 2, 2018