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Getachew T.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Gizaw S.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Lemma S.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Taye M.,Andassa Livestock Research Center
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2011

On-farm survey of farmers' breeding practices, breeding objectives, and selection criteria and on-station feedlot performance evaluation of Washera sheep were undertaken in Ethiopia. The survey revealed that most (79.8%) of the farmers had no breeding ram. The mating system was predominantly uncontrolled. A majority (75.5%) of the sheep owners reported that they herded their sheep flock by mixing with other livestock species mainly with cattle. During grazing, 44.6% of the farmers mix their sheep flock with neighboring sheep flocks. The major sheep production objective was to generate income from the sale of live sheep. Fast growth, appearance, coat color, and pedigree performance were important ram selection criteria, respectively. Ability to breed at early age, pedigree information, mothering ability, and lambing interval were important selection criteria for ewe, respectively. The on-station performance study involved evaluation of feedlot gains and carcass production under five levels of feeding regimes (300, 400, 500, 600, and 700 g day -1 of concentrate feed) for a period of 93 days. The results indicated that the feedlot growth and carcass performance of Washera sheep were very high, with average daily weight gains of up to 126 g and carcass weight of 16 kg, with the optimal level of supplementation for Washera sheep being at 500 g of concentrate per day for a period of 93 days. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Getachew T.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Getachew T.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Gizaw S.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Lemma S.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of crossbreeding on reproductive performance. A village based sheep crossbreeding project has been implemented since 1998 in three villages in the South Wollo, Menz and Chacha districts in Ethiopia. Crossbred rams (3/4 Awassi × 1/4 Local) were supplied to a group of farmers aiming to upgrading the indigenous genotype through backcrossing. The combined levels of location and genotype, year, season and parity had significant effects on the reproductive performance of ewes. Generally, local genotypes showed better (p<0.05) reproductive performance except for number of lambs weaned per ewe per year. The interaction of genotype and location was significant for age at first lambing and lambing interval. In Wollo, Corriedale × local crossbred ewes had similar reproductive performance to that of the local breed. The variation in reproductive performance among locations indicated the importance of delineating crossbreeding areas depending on environmental situation and farmers' capacity.


Taye M.,Andassa Livestock Research Center | Taye M.,Hawassa University | Abebe G.,Hawassa University | Gizaw S.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2010

A study was conducted to evaluate growth performances of Washera sheep under smallholder production systems in the Yilmanadensa and Quarit districts of the Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia. Data were collected and analysed on the growth of 690 lambs owned by 110 households from October 2004 to September 2007. Weight (kilograms) of Washera lambs at birth, 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age was 2.69 ± 0.02, 7.10 ± 0.16, 12.42 ± 0.11, 16.12 ± 0.91, 20.05 ± 0.55 and 23.47 ± 0.68, respectively. Birth weight was significantly (P < 0.05) affected by district, year of birth, parity of the dam, birth type and sex of lamb and by the interaction effect of parity by birth type and parity by sex of lamb. Weaning weight was also affected by year of birth, type of birth and sex of lamb. Yearling weight was affected by only year of birth and sex of birth. The average daily weight gain (ADG; grams) from birth to 30 days, birth to 90 days, 90 to 180 days and birth to 1 year of age was 143.37 ± 13.46, 107.09 ± 2.67, 39.78 ± 9.73 and 60.13 ± 1. 89, respectively. Growth rates from birth to 30 and 90 days of age were significantly (P < 0. 05) affected by birth year, birth type and sex. ADG from birth to 1 year of age was affected by lamb sex and district. The indigenous Washera sheep had faster growth rate than those sheep breeds of Ethiopia extensively studied thus far. Integrated efforts combining improved nutrition, health and participatory community-based breeding would help the smallholder farmers to utilise and conserve this immense sheep genetic resource of Ethiopia. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Tibbo M.,International Livestock Research Institute | Tibbo M.,International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas | Aragaw K.,Hawassa University | Aragaw K.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2010

A 3-year longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate the effects of strategic anthelmintic dosing on communally grazed village sheep in Gera Keya district in the central highlands of Ethiopia. Ewes were stratified by weight and randomly allocated to three treatment groups: untreated control (TG1), twice-dosed per year (TG2; for both nematodes and trematodes in mid-January and mid-June) and four-time-dosed per year (TG3; in June for nematodes, in August-September for nematodes and adult Fasciola, in November-December and January-February for immature liver flukes). The fixed effect of treatment, lamb sex, dam parity, season and year of birth on mortality from birth to 90, 180, 270 and 365 days was analyzed. Least square means of lamb mortality from birth to 90, 180, 270 and 365 days were 11.3, 16.8, 18.0 and 19.5%, respectively. Anthelmintic treatment had significant effect (P < 0.05) on mortality of lambs at all ages: lambs in TG3 had consistently higher mortality than lambs in TG2. The lambs in TG3 were worse in terms of survival from birth to 180 days even when compared with the control group (TG1). Mortality rate in male lambs was twice as high compared to their female contemporaries at all ages (P < 0.001). Season of birth had significant (P < 0.01) effect on lamb mortality at all ages. Lambs born during rainy season had the lowest mortality in the first 6 months (0-90 and 0-180 days) of age than those born during short rainy or dry seasons. Instead of frequent mass drenching, discriminatory drenching on a case-by-case basis should be considered to improve lamb survival. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Aragaw K.,Hawassa University | Aragaw K.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Teferi M.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Haile A.,International Livestock Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2011

A three-year longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate effects of strategic anthelmintic treatment regimes on age at first lambing (AFL), weight at first lambing (WFL) and lambing interval (LI) of 356 communally grazed ewes and 675 lambs owned by 10 smallholder farmers in the central highlands of Ethiopia. The ewes were stratified by weight and randomly allocated to three treatment groups as untreated control (TG1), twice-dosed per year (TG2) for both nematodes and trematodes in mid-January and mid-June and four-time-dosed per year (TG3) in June for nematodes, in August-September for nematodes and adult Fasciola, in November-December and January-February for immature flukes. The fixed effect of anthelmintic treatments, parity, season and year of lambing on AFL and LI was evaluated. Mean ± standard error (SE) of lambing interval was 292 ± 3. days. Both anthelmintic treatments (TG2 and TG3) shortened (P<0.01) LI by about 23. days compared to non-treated ewes (TG1). Season and year of lambing had a significant (P<0.001) effect on LI. Mean ± SE of AFL and WFL was 598 ± 10. days and 17.2 ± 1.37. kg, respectively. Anthelmintic treatments and parity of dam of the ewe lamb did not affect AFL (P>0.05). Birth and lambing seasons of the ewe lamb had significant (P<0.05) effect on AFL. On the other hand, lambing season of the ewe had significant (P<0.05) effect on WFL. Ewe lambs born in the long rains lambed more than 50. days earlier than the ewe lambs born in short rainy and dry seasons. Lambing occurred year-round with two peaks in August-September and December-January, each 5. months after the two rainy seasons. Anthelmintic treatment at the beginning of the two rainy seasons should improve reproductive performance of Menz ewe lambs in similar agro-ecology in the central highlands of Ethiopia. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Getachew T.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Getachew T.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Alemu B.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Solkner J.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 4 more authors.
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2015

The aim of this study was to evaluate the relative resistance of Menz and Washera sheep breeds to artificial infection with Haemonchus contortus. The challenge trial was conducted at the Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center in Ethiopia. A total of 39 (Menz = 21, Washera = 18) lambs of about 6 months old were used for the trial. All lambs were initially treated against internal parasite using albendazole and Fasinex to free them from internal parasites and kept indoors. H. contortus third-stage larvae (L3) were prepared according to standard procedure from adult female parasite collected from abattoirs and recovered using the Baerman technique. Approximately 5000 infective larvae were inoculated to the experimental lambs at about 5 weeks after deworming. Fecal egg count (FEC), packed cell volume (PCV), FAffa MAlan CHArt (FAMACHA) score, lamb body weight, and survival of lambs were recorded at 28, 35, and 42 days after challenge. Breed effect was not significant (P > 0.05), whereas time of measurement and the interaction of breed and time had significant (P < 0.05) effects on FEC and PCV. At 28 days after challenge, Menz sheep had lower FEC than Washera sheep, whereas at days 35 and 42, the Washera sheep had lower FEC than Menz lambs. The PCV decreased significantly throughout the post-challenge period. Despite their parasite burden, Menz sheep were able to maintain live weight during the 42 days of challenge. Chi-square tests for breed differences in lamb survival were not significant at any time (28, 35, and 42 days after challenge). Lower FEC at 28 days and delayed rise in FEC after infection in Menz lamb would allow in delaying anthelmintic treatment. In addition to maintain body weights during the infection period, sheep of both breeds exhibited substantial variability in PCV and FEC, suggesting opportunity to consider parasite resistance in selection program. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Getachew T.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Getachew T.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Gizaw S.,International Livestock Research Institute | Wurzinger M.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 5 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2015

Survival analysis applying proportional hazards models was used to investigate genetic and non-genetic factors affecting ewe longevity and lamb survival of sheep in Ethiopia. Data were obtained from an on-station closed nucleus breeding program of Menz sheep and an on-farm Awassi×Menz sheep crossbreeding project. A total of 695 ewes and 1890 lambs born from the nucleus population of Menz sheep were used for the analysis of ewe productive life and lamb survival to yearling age respectively. In addition, 5530 lamb records of purebred local and crossbreds with proportions of ~25-50% Awassi, collected from three locations were used for the analysis of lamb survival from birth to weaning age. The effects of year, ewe parity and litter weight at weaning were significant (. p<0.05) for ewe productive life. On-station lamb survival to yearling was affected by year and breeding value of yearling weight of the lamb, indicating that faster growing animals had substantially higher survival rates. Animal model heritability estimates for lamb mortality ranged from 0.02 to 0.10. While there was a strong genetic trend for growth rate, as evidenced by estimated breeding values for different birth years, estimated breeding values for lamb survival were variable across years with decreasing trend. These results indicate no antagonism between growth rate and survival under conditions prevailing in the nucleus system. Routine genetic evaluation for survival is suggested. Under farmer conditions, the effects of year, season, sex and location effects were significant (. p<0.05) on lamb survival to weaning age whereas breed composition (local versus crossbred) of dam as well as of the lamb were not significant. This seems to indicate that crossbreeding of local animals with Awassi sheep does not have an adverse effect on the survival of lambs under farmer conditions typical for the Ethiopian highland regions included in this study. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Getachew T.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Haile A.,International Livestock Research Institute ILRI | Tibbo M.,International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas | Sharma A.K.,Indian Veterinary Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
African Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2010

An exploratory survey was undertaken to understand sheep production system, breeding practices and selection criteria for Ethiopian Menz and Afar sheep breeds in their home tract as a step towards developing sustainable sheep breeding strategies. The mean sheep flock size was 31.6 in Menz and 23.0 in Afar area. Half of the pastoralists (Afar) and one-fifth of smallholder farmers (Menz) do not have a breeding ram. Mating was predominantly uncontrolled. Higher chance of mixing sheep flocks was reported in most of the seasons. Menz and Afar rams were castrated at 1.7 and 1.5 years old, respectively. Castrates were kept for longer period of time, on average for 1.9 years in Menz and 3.1 years in Afar. Appearance/conformation was the most important trait in choosing a breeding ram for both Menz and Afar sheep owners. Breeding ewes are chosen based on lambing interval and mothering ability in both crop-livestock and pastoral systems; and milk yield in pastoral system. Afar ewes produce mean daily milk yield of 224 ml. In Menz area sheep are kept for income, meat, manure, coarse wool and as means of saving, in that order. In Afar area, sheep are kept for milk, meat and income. Livestock improvement programs targeting smallholder farmers need to incorporate existing traditional herding and breeding practices, trait preferences and the multiple roles of sheep. © 2010 Academic Journals.


Admas S.,Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Center | Belay G.,Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center
African Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2011

Tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] occupies two million hectares of land each year, which accounts for 28% of the total acreage. However, its productivity is constrained by drought. Development of drought resistant variety through inter-specific conventional crossing is crucial. Twenty five recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of E. tef var Kay Murii and Eragrostis pilosa were evaluated against the standard check and two parental lines to assess drought resistance trait variability under low moisture-stressed and nonstressed conditions using randomized complete block design of three replications. The experiment was conducted under rainout shelter at Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. Significant (p<0.05) differences were observed among genotypes for days-to-panicle-emergence, days-to-mature, tiller number, root length, root number, root biomass, shoot biomass and grain yield. All traits had shown high level of phenotypic and genotypic coefficients of variation, high estimates of heritability and genetic advance. Most RILs were early maturing and resist the moisture stress effect (<20% yield reduction), while key murii and few other RILs were strongly affected. Under stressed condition, RIL-16 and RIL-290 were superior in grain yield to all genotypes and most RILs had shown high value of water use efficiency. Based on drought susceptible index, 17 drought resistant RILs were identified. The result demonstrated wide variability among RILs for drought resistance traits and the potential of E. pilosa to widen tef gene pool. © 2011 Academic Journals.

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