Reproductive and productive behavior of hair sheep under an intensive production system


Andrés G. Limas-Martínez
Javier Hernández-Meléndez
José V. Velázquez-Morales
César Cortez-Romero
Lizeth Vázquez-Rocha
Juan A. Quintero-Elisea


reproductive efficiency, productivity, fertility, weight gain


Objective: To evaluate the reproductive and productive behavior of four hair sheep breeds in an intensive production system.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Data recorded over 4 years (2016-2019) from a production unit that works with Blackbelly, Pelibuey, Dorper, and Katahdin breeds were analyzed. The following variables were evaluated: fertility, prolificacy, birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), weaned lamb yield (WLY), daily weight gain during lactation (DWGL), offspring born alive (OBA), male offspring (MO), and female offspring (FO). All information was analyzed using Chi-square tests and analysis of variance.

Results: The fertility, BW, WW, and WYL variables recorded different values between breeds (P<0.05). The greatest fertility and prolificacy were recorded by Blackbelly, while Dorper recorded the lowest values (P<0.05). BW and WW were highest in Dorper and lowest in Blackbelly (P<0.05). Finally, the sheep that recorded the highest WYL were the Blackbelly, while the Dorper registered the lowest values (P<0.05). BW and DWGL values reached maximum values (P<0.05) in Dorper rams, followed by Katahdin. The greatest number of OBA was observed in Blackbelly and Pelibuey (P<0.05).

Study Limitations/Implications: Further studies should be carried out to validate this research.

Findings/Conclusions: Blackbelly ewes produced more kilograms of weaned lambs per lambing ewe. The Dorper and Katahdin rams in the pre-weaning period recorded higher weight at weaning.

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