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Direct Research Journals
Vol.3 (3), pp. 48-56, March, 2015
ISSN:2354-4147

On-farm phenotypic characterization of native sheep types in North Wollo zone, Northern Ethiopia
Article Number: DRJA17085600
DOI:

Original Research Article


Tassew Mohammed1, Kefelegn Kebede2, Yoseph Mekasha2 and *Bosenu Abera3


1Mersa Agricultural Technical Vocational Educational and Training College, Ethiopia.
2College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.
3College of Dryland Agriculture, Jigjiga University, Ethiopia.


date Received: February 9, 2015     date Accepted: March 8, 2015     date Published: March 30, 2015

Abstract

The study was conducted to generate organized information on physical characteristics of native sheep types in North Wollo Zone. The study was performed based on field measurements and body measurements were taken from 450 sheep of both sexes. Majority of the sheep have plain brown coat color (40.9%) and they are docile in temperament. Average observed heart girth, wither height, body length and scrotal circumferences for male sheep were 73.4, 63.5, 59.7 and 22.7 cm, respectively, while that for female sheep, was 67.5 for heart girth, 57.4 for wither height and 55.9 for body length. Male sheep in the Habru district weighed about 28.1kg where as female sheep weighed about 24.0 kg. About 87.5% of rams have curved horns with backwards as the dominant horn orientation while ewes are usually hornless. Average observed heart girth, wither height, body length and scrotal circumferences for male sheep were 70.0, 64.7, 57.4 and 24.5 cm, respectively, while that for female sheep it was 66.6 for heart girth, 61.8 for wither height, and 53.2 cm for body length and male sheep weighed about 25.9 kg where as  female sheep weighed about 22.6 kg. The present phenotypic information could be complemented with genetic analyses; and serve as a basis for designing appropriate conservation, breeding and selection strategies for sheep.


Key words: Body measurement, characterization, native sheep, qualitative trait.