Factors Affecting The Growth Of Sheep And Goats In Africa
MetadataShow full item record
Phenotypic weight of mature females from a representative sample of African environments range from 30-45 kg for ewes and from 20-35 kg for does. Growth rates for the same sample range from 75-140 g/day for lambs and 50-100 g/day for kids, from birth to three months of age. This drops to between 30 and 75 g/day for both species at 3-12 months. Transformation of these to specific growth rates shows that much of the variation is due to differences in mature size. Sexual dimorphism is similar to that in temperate environments at birth, but less at maturity. Susceptibility to heat stress varies greatly within species and possibly between species. Seasonal differences have large and complex effects that often interact with other performance parameters. Differences between owners show that the human influence may be as important as any other factor. Compensatory growth may be affected by the stage of growth at which compensation is occurring.