Performance and physical body measurement of Abergell sheep breed in traditional management system of Tigray Regional State, northern Ethiopia
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The study was conducted to observe the performance and physical characteristics of Abergell sheep breed. The survey was made by selecting 110 households found in six peasant association from the Tanqa Abergelle Tigray regional state district using systemic random sampling procedure. Each household was interviewed by semi-structured questioner developed to gather information on feed and feeding, disease and parasite, reproduction and breeding. The physical characteristics of the breed was identified by selecting 222 sheep for the measurements of height at withers, girth circumference, ear length, body weight and physical observation for hair color and horn was recorded. Prior to analysis the sampled sheep are classified in to three groups based on availability of permanent incisors as one, two, and three pair of permanent teeth. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were applied to develop and predict equations for body weight of animals using each of the linear body measurements separately or in combination. The Study result showed that in the district on average 14.02 sheep 3.4, cattle and 11.65 goats are owned by the sampled households and in the last 10 years the average livestock per household is decreasing. the sampled farmers hold relatively greater female (72.5%) sheep than male sheep and the ratio of male to female animals having age greater than 12 months was 1:4.87. breeding in most of the case is uncontrolled breeding and sheep give birth on average 2 lambs per year and first lambing was found to be occur at 13 – 16 month of age. The study on morphological characteristics of the breed showed that 66.2 %have dark red hair color 13.1 % white and the remaining 20.7 % have a color of spotted with red white and black. The average height at withers and live body weight of males is greater than females in all age categories, but the variability is not statistically significant. A positive correlation coefficient of body weight and linear body measurement (height at withers and girth length) was obtained in this breed.
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