Production of Hair Sheep Using Accelerated Lambing and an Extensive Management System in the Tropics

St. Croix White and Barbados Blackbelly hair sheep ewes were managed using accelerated lambing in an extensive management system. Ewes grazed guinea grass (Panicum maximum) in a rotational grazing system throughout the year. Single sire breeding took place during 35-d periods in February, June or October with each flock producing three lamb crops every 2 years. Lambs were weaned at 63 d of age. Overall ewe fertility was 89.8% and prolificacy was 1.77 lambs per ewe lambing. Ewes that were bred in October had higher prolificacy (P < 0.0001) than ewes that were bred in February or June (1.87 vs 1.64 vs 1.73 lambs per ewe lambing, respectively). Ewes bred during October produced more triplets and fewer singles (P < 0.0001) than ewes bred at other times of the year. Ewe productivity, expressed as the ratio of litter weaning weight to ewe body weight, increased (P < 0.0001) from 41.6 to 50.3%) during a 10-yr period. These results show that hair sheep productivity can be sustained and enhanced using accelerated lambing and extensive management in the tropics.

Issue Date:
Jul 19 2004
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
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 Record created 2017-04-18, last modified 2018-01-23

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