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Sheep Cross Breeding and Reproductive Management Dr Talaat Refaat

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الجمعية المصرية للأغنام والماعزوالحيوانات الصحراوية
EGYPTIAN ASSOCIATION OF SHEEP, GOATS & DESERT ANIMALS

1ST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
ENHANCEMENT OF SMALL RUMINANT PRODUCTION
المؤتمر الدولى الأول لتنمية المجترات الصغيرة
7-9 فبراير 2006
SHEEP CROSS BREEDING AND REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT AS TOOLS TO ENHANCE FLOCK PRODUCTIVITY






By

Dr TALAAT HARB M REFAAT
Eng ABDULLAH TALAAT REFAAT



(7-9 FEB, 2006)

Published in: Technology
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Sheep Cross Breeding and Reproductive Management Dr Talaat Refaat

  1. 1. ‫والماعز‬ ‫لألغنام‬ ‫المصرية‬ ‫الجمعية‬‫الصحراوية‬ ‫والحيوانات‬ EGYPTIAN ASSOCIATION OF SHEEP, GOATS & DESERT ANIMALS 1ST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENHANCEMENT OF SMALL RUMINANT PRODUCTION ‫الصغيرة‬ ‫المجترات‬ ‫لتنمية‬ ‫األول‬ ‫الدولى‬ ‫المؤتمر‬ 7-9‫فبراير‬2006 SHEEP CROSS BREEDING AND REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT AS TOOLS TO ENHANCE FLOCK PRODUCTIVITY By Dr TALAAT HARB M REFAAT Eng ABDULLAH TALAAT REFAAT (7-9 FEB, 2006)
  2. 2. 2 1. GETTING STARTED : Our project has started on 20/8/1998 with 20 Barki ewes from American University of Cairo (AUC), Khartoum branch, which is located near our farm at South of Tahreer, Sadat city. AUC has long experience in animal production, especially with Barki breed. At the same time we brought two Barki rams from Animal Production Research Institute (APRI), Borg Al-Arab station. One of the main objectives of this station is to keep the pure original characteristics of Barki breed, since it has the best carcass specification in Egypt. On 17/7/1999 we brought 80 Osimi ewes from Abu-Kabeer Sharkiya, with the help of an experienced staff member of APRI. He made a good job in selecting the ewes. Simultaneously we brought two Finn rams from APRI, Sakha Station. 2. BUSINESS STRATEGY : 2.1. WHY BUSINESS STRATEGY: Since animal production was not our original career, and there was no previous experience in this area, we preferred to follow a scientific approach in tackling any subject concerning animal production rather than to follow a traditional disciplinary approach. “A Systems Approach to research and development is now generally recognized as being the most appropriate for gaining knowledge of and designing technology for the improvement of agricultural performance and for the subsequent putting into practice of the knowledge and technology. A Systems Approach, unlike the more traditional disciplinary approach considers the effects that changes in one component or subcomponent of a whole farm or environment may have on other components.” “1”. It is stated in “ Production Systems in the Near East Region ,A Training Manual for Characterization & Analysis” produced by the FOA Regional Office for the Near East page 7 : A properly applied systems approach should:  Begin with no preconceptions about the nature of the system ;
  3. 3. 3  Be geared towards improvement of the system ;  Examine the interactions and relationships between the internal and external factors affecting production goals and levels of performance and , from these , attempt to identify constraints to better performance ;  Interactions must be adequately understood and constraints correctly identified ;  Involve the farmers and their families in the process at all stages ; and  Evaluate “solutions” for their effects on productivity, equity, stability and sustainability. Systems research means researchers must be open to problems at farm and household level as well as to working with farmers and willing to learn from rural wisdom and indigenous knowledge. Therefore, setting a strategy “2, 3 &4”for our project was a must at least for the following reasons:  To formulate the Mission Statement for the project.  To formulate the Vision Statement for the project.  To set the Goals & Objectives for the project.  To devise an appropriate organization capable for the achievement of these Goals and Objectives.  To allocate new resources to the organization in stages “4&6”.  To comply with the imposed requirements set by new customers.  To reposition the project relative to the similar competitors organization especially in the frame of the new changes.  To form a basis for making action decision-now! Since immediate action decision is a must regarding the new changes in marketplace. MISSION STATEMENT : The MISSION of our project is: To encourage and enable All farm manager at the three
  4. 4. 4 Managerial levels To improve The decision making process For all types of decisions Strategic, tactical & technical. VISSION STATEMENT : The VISSION of our project is: Quantitative Approaches, DSS, TQM, HRM, Advanced S/W & H/W & different Methodologies Become Common tools that All farm managers can use To help them To achieve their objectives 3. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: GOALS of our project are: G0, G1, ..., G4. G0 is a temporary goal especially during the building stage. The other four goals are permanent goals. In the frame of the characteristics of the current situation of the farm; the mission and the vision statements; and environment of the farm / our project have five goals: GOAL # 0 To establish Mission statement, vision statement, goals, policies, Procedures & adequate organization; Objectives, scope of work“2, 3 ,4 &5”, And Job analysis and description For the required manpower.
  5. 5. 5 GOAL # 1 To facilitate collection, keeping, Updating for all information related To animal production, cross breeding, reproductive management, nutrition,.etc. On different media, and To avail these information to all farm candidates. GOAL # 2 To establish Systems assurance function, product Assurance function, and process assurance In the meantime To build and to improve: i a quality control system To all parts of the project ii a training system To all involving candidates. GOAL # 3 To assist projects, managers To perform The four key stages of the project: Initiation, establishment, implementation, And project completion. GOAL # 4 To perform Professional system studies, Feasibility studies In the meantime To devise systematic means for Attaining objectives
  6. 6. 6 4. CROSSBREEDING: 4.1. INTRODUCTION: Genetics and animal selection is of extreme importance. Consumer preferences, the individual sheep producer’s selection criteria, and suitability to a production management scheme need to be evaluated. Unhealthy sheep cannot be profitable and as such lend to a poorly managed program. It should be understood that both individual animals as well as whole flock preventative health care programs are needed. As these factors are portrayed, it is important to understand that no one management tool can be emphasized over another. Quality assurance requires that all facets must be understood and managed. It is important that the producer utilize all available information resources: nutritionists, feed salesmen, animal science faculty of universities, animal production research institutes and practicing local veterinarians. This will allow the formation of a complete sheep management program. “7” 4.2. GENETICS AND SELECTION: BREEDS: There are many recognized breeds of sheep world wide. Each breed has strengths and weaknesses, and your choice of breed or breed combination should be matched to the goals of your sheep enterprise (meat/carcass quality, fine wool, milk production, reproductive efficiency, show lambs, colored fleece, etc.). Breeds should also be chosen based on their adaptability to your environment, their mature size, and the availability of quality breeding stock in your region. “7”. BREEDING CONCEPTS: Selection is the process that increases the frequency of desirable genes, which leads to the genetic improvement of your flock. You must decide what trait(s) are important to your specific sheep enterprise, and have some method to measure the trait(s). You can then compare the sheep in your flock and select those that are superior in terms of the desired trait(s) to be the parents of the next generation. Develop a system that works for your flock. It can be as simple or complex as You want to make it. Numbering systems commonly include a code for The order in which the lamb was born, and the year in which it was born (ex. 9801, or 98-1 might signify the first lamb born in your flock in 1998). Tags
  7. 7. 7 May be colored coded to represent year of birth or sire line. Lambs can be tagged within the first week of life. Breed associations can assign registration numbers to individual sheep within purebred, registered flocks. Many breed associations will also help provide genetic evaluation information on your sheep. Ear tattoos are a permanent method of sheep identification, but may not be as convenient to read as ear tags. Paint brands are commonly used for short-term identification until an ear tag or tattoo can be applied. In order to make accurate selection decisions, you need to obtain or develop a record-keeping system. Utilize those production records in combination with visual evaluation to make your selection decisions. Keeping records is just the first step. The important step is actually using those records to make selection and culling decisions to improve the overall genetic make-up of your flock.”7” To understand selection, there are some basic genetic concepts that need to be explained. The phenotype (physical appearance) of a sheep is the result of the interaction of two factors, genotype (genetics) and environment (climate, health, feeding & management system). Keep in mind that parents cannot pass “environment” on to their offspring, but they do pass their genes on to their offspring. To make improvement, we must separate genotype from environment, and select those individuals that are genetically superior. Performance records help us compare the traits of lambs of similar breed, age, sex, birth type, and management system. Heritability is defined as the portion of variation due to genetics. Growth, carcass, and fleece traits tend to be moderately or highly heritable, so significant progress through selection is possible. Most reproductive traits are low in heritability, which means it is much more difficult to make genetic progress by selecting for these traits. Traits that are low in heritability can be improved more by changing your management system (i.e. reproductive traits can be improved more by altering your feeding and health programs than through genetic selection). The steps for developing a successful selection program are: 1. Determine the goals for your sheep enterprise. 2. Select a breed or breeds that are suited for your goals. 3. Determine which traits are most important for meeting your goals. 4. Identify and keep records on all your sheep. 5. Evaluate your ewe flock based on the important traits to determine where improvement is needed.
  8. 8. 8 6. Choose rams that are superior in the traits that your ewe flock needs improvement. 7. Select replacement ewes that are above your flock average for the important traits. The fewer traits you select, the more rapid the progress that can be made. This is due to the fact that it is harder to find individuals that are superior in many traits, than it is to find individuals that are superior in a few traits. This is also related to the correlation between traits. Sometimes the correlation is good, and sometimes it isn’t. For example, if you select for increased weaning weight, you will also tend to increase 90-day weight and 120-day weight, which may be positive. However, selecting for increased weaning weight may also increase lamb birth weights. If lamb birth weights are increased too much, it could lead to an increase in difficult births, which is obviously not desirable. Since rams have a much greater influence on the genetics of each lamb crop it is critical to place the most selection emphasis on your rams. The rams and ewes in your flock each contribute 50% of the genetics of the next generation; however, since there are often many more ewes in a flock than rams, the genetic influence of each individual ram is far greater than that of each individual ewe. The ram’s importance is compounded if you keep replacements out of him. A poor quality ram is the most expensive sheep you’ll ever own! Good rams are key for any breeding program MATING SYSTEMS: Purebreeding is the mating of rams of a particular breed to ewes of the same breed. Breeders of registered sheep must use a purebreeding system. Sheep producers who sell breeding stock (especially rams) to other producers generally use a purebreeding system. Some commercial producers use a purebreeding system in cases where a particular breed is best suited to their management system and environment. There are two basic types of purebreeding systems; outbreeding (the mating of individuals less closely related than the average of the breed), and inbreeding (the mating of individuals more closely related than the average of the breed). Most purebred producers utilize outbreeding; however, inbreeding can be a useful tool to detect the presence of genetic recessive defects in
  9. 9. 9 certain bloodlines. The elite seedstock producers also utilize inbreeding because they may not be able to find unrelated rams that are superior to their own rams. Crossbreeding is the mating of rams of one breed to ewes of a different breed. Crossbreeding is a common practice for commercial sheep producers because it allows the producer to take advantage of the desirable traits of more than one breed. For example, many large commercial producers maintain a fine- wool flock of ewes (to take advantage of the wool quality and hardiness of those breeds), and mate them to a meat-type ram (to take advantage of the growth and carcass quality of those breeds). Some breeds may be included in a crossbreeding system to improve prolificacy or out-of-season breeding. Systematic crossbreeding involves the mating of rams and ewes of specific breed types to produce offspring of a specified type. Many of these systems rely on purebred flocks to supply replacement rams, and in some cases replacement ewes. The two advantages to systematic crossbreeding are to take advantage of complimentary breeds, and heterosis (hybrid vigor). Heterosis is defined as the superiority of the crossbred individual relative to the average of the purebreds used in the cross. In general, crossbreds tend to be more vigorous, more fertile, and faster growing than the average of the purebreds used in the cross. The effects of heterosis tend to be large for traits that are low in heritability (such as reproductive traits), and small for traits that are higher in heritability. Suffolk rams are often used as terminal sires in crossbreeding programs as they provide growth and muscle which compliments the wool quality of many white faced breeds. In general, unless you are selling breeding stock, you should probably be taking advantage of a crossbreeding system. A crossbreeding system is not just mating rams and ewes of several different breeds. Rather, a crossbreeding system specifically targets two or three breeds that compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses to best fit your production goals. “7” 5. REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT: 5.1. INTRODUCTION: Reproductive rate is defined as the number of live lambs born per ewe exposed for breeding. Optimal reproductive rates are essential to profitable sheep production. “8”
  10. 10. 10 PUBERTY: Puberty is when ewe first exhibits estrus (heat). Puberty is influenced by age, breed, genetic selection, body size, nutrition, and season of birth. Most ewe lambs reach puberty between 5 and 12 months of age. Ewe lambs will tend to reach puberty their first fall. For this reason, spring-born ewe lambs tend to exhibit puberty earlier than fall-born ewe lambs. Lambs born early in the season reach puberty earlier than those born late in the season, due to their increased age and body weight. High levels of feed pre- and post- weaning reduce the age at puberty. Single lambs cycle at a younger age than twin and triplet-born ewe lambs, due to their size advantage. Ewe lambs from fine-wool, coarse wool, and late-maturing medium-wool breeds reach puberty later than many of the meat (Suffolk, Dorset, etc.) and hair sheep (Katahdin, St. Croix, and Barbados Blackbelly) breeds. Finnsheep and Romanov ewe lambs and their crosses reach puberty at an early age. Crossbred ewe lambs cycle at a younger age than purebred ewe lambs. “8” 5.2. THE ESTRUS CYCLE In sheep, the length of the estrus cycle ranges from 13 to 19 days and averages 17 days. The phases of the estrous cycle are proestrus, estrus, metestrus, and diestrus. Estrus is the period of time when the ewe is receptive to the ram and will stand for mating. It lasts approximately 24 to 36 hours. Ovulation (release of eggs by the ovary) occurs in mid to late- estrus. Metaestrus begins with the cessation of estrus and lasts for about 3 days. Primarily it is the period of the formation of corpus luteum (CL). The corpus luteum produces progesterone and maintains pregnancy in the ewe. Diestrus is the period of the estrus cycle when the CL is fully functional. Proestrus begins with the regression of the CL and drop in progesterone and extends to the start of estrus. Rapid follicular growth is occurring during this period. It usually extends from day 4 to day 13-15 of the cycle. Anestrous refers to a state where the normal cycle stops. “8” Estrous cycles are usually affected by the seasons. The number of hours daily that light enters the eye of the animal affects the brain, which governs the release of certain precursors and hormones. Most sheep are seasonally polyestrus and short-day breeders. They will begin to exhibit estrus when length of day begins decreasing. They will come into heat every 16 to 17 days until they are bred or return to anestrus. Thus, the most natural time for sheep to breed in the U.S. and Canada is the fall (Oct-Nov). Some sheep
  11. 11. 11 breeds are less seasonal. They breed almost year-round or have an extended breeding season. The less seasonal breeds include Dorset, Rambouillet, Merino, Finnsheep, Romanov, and hair sheep. The most seasonal breeds are the British long wool and meat breeds. The closer the flock is located to the equator, the longer the breeding season and the less complete and shorter will be the seasonal anestrus. “8”. The signs of estrus in the ewe are much less pronounced than in the cow or doe and can usually not be detected unless a ram is present. When mature ewes are in heat, they will seek out the ram and stand still for him to mount them. Sometimes they wag their tails vigorously. They may nuzzle the ram around the belly or scrotum and even try to mount the ram. Young ewes rarely exhibit these behaviors. There is evidence to suggest that rams and ewes prefer to mate with their own breed, but when there is no alternative ewes will mate with almost any breed of ram. “8”. PRE-BREEDING: Prior to breeding, ewes should be treated for internal parasites and have their hooves trimmed. If there is a history or risk of abortions in the flock, ewes should be vaccinated prior to breeding. It goes without saying that only healthy, reproductively sound ewes should be exposed to rams for breeding. The udder of every ewe should be examined. Those with hard lumps, abscesses, or unresolved should be culled. Ewes that prolapsed should not be kept for breeding, because there is a high probability for reoccurance. Ewes that did not raise a lamb should be culled. Ewes that are in poor body condition due to age and/or missing teeth should be culled. Ewes with chronic hoof problems (e.g. foot rot) should be culled. “8”. GESTATION: The average gestation length in sheep varies from 144 to 151 days. The average is 147 days. Individual pregnancies may vary from 138 to 159 days. There are breed differences in gestation length. The earlier maturing breeds (e.g. Finnsheep) tend to have shorter pregnancies than the late maturing breeds (e.g. Rambouillet). Ewes carrying multiple births tend to have shorter gestations. “8”. The period of early gestation most critical to success during the lambing season is the first 30 days after fertilization. The first 21 to 30 days after breeding is when embryonic implantation occurs. This first 30 days is when most embryonic mortality occurs. Thus, anything that can be done to reduce
  12. 12. 12 embryonic mortality and should result in more lambs born. Shearing, vaccinating, working ewes, pronounced changes in feeding practices should be avoided during the first 30 days of gestation. Ultrasonic pregnancy scanning can be done on ewes from 35 to 60 days after breeding, depending on equipment used and operator skill. Nutrition during early gestation is quite simple. Ewes need only slightly above maintenance levels of nutrition for the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Late gestation (last 4 to 6 weeks) is a critical period for ewe reproduction. This is when the majority of fetal growth is occurring, placing increasing nutritional demands on the ewe. Ewes consuming inadequate diets are prone to pregnancy toxemia and milk fever. Nutrition in late-pregnancy affects the size and vigor of lambs and the milk producing ability of the ewe. “8”. 5.3. PARTURITION: There are three stages to parturition (lambing): 1) dilation of the cervix; 2) expulsion of the fetus(es); and 3) expulsion of the placenta. Stage one usually takes 3 to 4 hours. The birth of a lamb usually occurs within an hour of less from the rupture of the first water bag. A ewe lambing for the first time or with multiple births may take longer. If labor takes over an hour for mature ewes and over 2 hours for ewe lambs, assistance may be required. The placenta is passed 2 to 3 hours after delivery is finished. In multiple births, there are separate afterbirths for each lamb. After the lamb is born, the ewe will lick and nuzzle it to begin the bonding process. “8”. BREEDING EWE LAMBS: Ewe lambs should not be bred until they achieve approximately 70 percent of their mature size (weight). At the same time, care should be taken not to overfeed replacement ewe lambs. Research has shown that overfeeding pre- pubertal females (2 to 4 months of age) has a detrimental effect on mammary development (they deposit excess fat in their udders) and affects subsequent milk producing ability. Replacement ewe lambs should be fed separately than market lambs or ram lambs being fed for market. Pregnant and lactating ewe lambs should be kept separate from mature ewes. Ewe lambs require extra nutrition because they are still growing. They will not compete well at the feed bunk with mature ewes and will not gain weight properly. Ewe lambs that are forced to run with the ewe flock will lose weight in late gestation and lactation. Single-births are common with ewes
  13. 13. 13 lambs, but twins and triplets are not uncommon with the more prolific breeds. Even when management and nutrition are practices, more lambing problems will be encountered with ewes lambing for the first time at 12 to 14 months of age. “8”. While breeding ewe lambs increases their lifetime productivity, it may not be economically advantageous for all producers. Intensively managed sheep operations usually benefit from breeding ewe lambs. “8”. Hormonal Control “8” A common method of inducing estrus in non-cycling ewes is progesterone- based therapies. Progesterone prevents the ewe from returning to estrus and ovulating. It is produced by the corpus luteum (CL) of the ovary following ovulation and sustains pregnancy. When progesterones are introduced artificially, they fool the body into thinking it is pregnant and the animal will not ovulate or come into estrous (heat). When the progesterone source is totally removed, the body realizes it is no longer pregnant and will ovulate within a very predictable period. Progestins refer to the synthetic compounds with the properties of progesterone. These substances mimic the function of the CL. Progestogens (synthetic analogs of progesterone) can be provided by feeding (MGA), implants under the skin (Synchro-Mate B®), sponges (or pessaries) inserted into the vagina, or plastic delivery devices inserted into the vagina (CIDR). Intravaginal sponges (or pessaries) have been the traditional method of inducing and/or synchronizing estrus in ewes. They contain progestagens that are effective at lower doses than natural progesterone. Two types of sponges are Chronogest (FGA) and Veramix® (MAP). Intravaginal sponges are usually inserted over periods of 9 to 19 days and are used in conjunction with PMSG, injected at the time of sponge removal or 48 hours prior to sponge removal. Intravaginal sponges have high retention rates (>90%) and females usually exhibit estrus 24 to 48 hours after removal. Responses to intravaginal sponges have varied according to breed, protocol, co-treatment, management, and mating system. CIDR™ (controlled internal drug release) devices are made of progesterone- impregnated medical silicone elastomers and were developed in New Zealand. Protocols for the use of CIDR™ devices is usually identical to protocols for intravaginal sponges. Research has shown that CIDR™ devices and intravaginal sponges yield similar results.
  14. 14. 14 Synchro-mate-B® is a cattle implant that contains 6 mg of the synthetic progestagen norgestomet. One-third or one-half of the Synchro-mate-B® implant is typically used in ewes. Implantation periods range from 9 to 14 days. Two days before the end of the implantation period, injections of PMSG and /or PGF2a are usually given. Melengesterol acetate (MGA®) is an orally active, synthetic progestagen developed and used to suppress estrus in feed lot heifers. The use of this product requires the feeding of a supplement containing MGA® once or twice daily for a duration of 8 to 14 days. Protocols usually include co- treatments with PMSG, P.G. 600® or Ralgro® (zeranol). Ralgro® is a commercially available growth promotant for cattle and sheep with estrogen- like effects on LH and FSH concentrations. P.G. 600® is the only veterinary grade source of PMSG readily available in the U.S. Estrus responses to MGA feeding vary, but are usually higher with co-treatment. Prostaglandin-based protocols are only applicable to cycling ewes and are restricted to use during the breeding season. The two commonly used products are Lutalyse™ (PGF2a) and Estrumate® (cloprostenol). Prostaglandins cause regression of the CL, telling the body than no pregnancy exists. The ewe will ovulate within a very predictable time. When a single treatment of prostaglandin is given to a flock of cycling ewes, 60 to 70 percent of the flock will exhibit a synchronized estrus beginning 30 to 48 hours later. A double injection system (11 days apart) is most common in sheep. Melatonin treatments have been shown to be an effective method of inducing estrus in non-cycling ewes. Melatonin is called the "hormone of darkness," because it is released by the pineal gland during the night. Treatment with melatonin therefore mimics the short days of fall and induces estrus after a minimum of approximately 35 days of treatment. Light Control Controlled lighting can be used to initiate estrus. Short-day breeders like sheep may be programmed to cycle if they are maintained in a light-tight building where the photoperiod is reduced gradually over an 8 to 12 week period. Rams should be exposed to the same light regiment to obtain high fertility. Light control is usually impractical for most producers.
  15. 15. 15 Ram Effect The "ram effect" is when non-cycling ewes are stimulated to ovulate by the sudden introduction of a ram or "teaser." Rams produce a chemical substance called a pheromone, the smell of which stimulates the onset of estrus. When ewes and rams are in constant contact (sight or smell), the pheromones are much less effective at inducing estrus. Ewes that are not cycling when a ram (or teaser) is introduced will ovulate in 3 to 4 days. This first ovulation will be a "silent" heat, which cannot be detected by the ram. Following this silent heat, there will be two normal estrus peaks, with some ewes cycling around day 18 and the remainder around day 25. Ewes that do not conceive at either of these times may return to heat in another 17 days. It is expected that 60 to 70 percent of the ewes will conceive at the first normal estrus. Of the remaining ewes, 60 to 70 percent should conceive at the second estrus. Although recommendations vary, rams should be isolated from ewes for at least 6 weeks in order for the ram effect to work. Ewes must have no contact with rams by either sight or smell, which means that they must be separated by distance. The ram effect is not as effective with ewe lambs. The ram effect is most effective during the transitional period when ewes have not begun to cycle, but are almost ready to. Breed of ram can affect ewes' response to the ram effect, with the less-seasonal breeds being more effective at bringing non-cycling ewes into estrus. The great value of the ram effect is the synchronization of estrus activity which will result in large numbers of ewes ovulating, conceiving, and lambing in a relatively short period of time. To be effective, it is important to have adequate numbers of young, healthy rams. Teaser (vasectomized) rams or testosterone-treated weathers can also stimulate the ram effect. 6. PROGRESS REPORT: 6.1. BREEDING: Consumer preferences, our selection criteria, and suitability to a production management scheme were evaluated. During initiation phase we concluded to follow two directions:  First: Pure breeding since a particular breed is best suited to our consumer preferences and environment, it is Barki breed.
  16. 16. 16  Second: Crossbreeding, Fenn rams to Osimi ewes. It allows us to take advantage of the both desirable traits of the two breeds. In general, crossbreds tend to be more vigorous, more fertile, and faster growing than the average of the purebreds used in the cross.  Crossbred ewes tend to have an advantage over purebred ewes in reproductive traits. 6.2. IMPORTANT TRAITS MEETING OUR GOALS:  Meat/carcass quality,  Reproductive efficiency, and,  Adaptability to our environment (climate, health, feeding & management system). WHY FINNSHEEP:  The Finnsheep is an ancient breed, native to Finland, also known by the names of Finnish Landrace or Finn. It is one of several North European short-tailed Landrace breeds. “9”  NewZealand Finn animals have a long lean carcasses. A proportion of Finn genes within a composite ewe breed will generally decrease fatness in lamb carcas, a desirable trait. “9”  Gestation The average gestation length in sheep varies from 144 to 151 days. The average is 147 days. Individual pregnancies may vary from 138 to 159 days. There are breed differences in gestation length. The earlier maturing breeds (e.g. Finnsheep) tend to have shorter pregnancies than the late maturing breeds (e.g. Rambouillet). Ewes carrying multiple births tend to have shorter gestations. “8”.  In “9” it is stated that 11 good reasons for changing to New Zealand Finnsheep (High fertility; Fast lamb growth; Long, lean carcasses; Fine, lustrous wool; Good mothering ability ;Facial eczema resistance; Easy lambing ;Early sexual maturity; Highly intelligent; Profitability ;Constitution.) 6.3. RECORDKEEPING SYSTEM:
  17. 17. 17  Measuring traits and comparing animals requires an identification and recordkeeping system. We selected the most common method of individual sheep identification which is ear tags.  Record keeping systems commonly start with the birth of the lamb. Lamb ID, birth date, birth type (single, twin, triplet), sire, and dam are recorded along with other information critical to our sheep enterprise (other items that may be found in production records include: birth weight, weaning weight, post-weaning weight, average daily gain, medication records, fleece traits, information on difficult births, comments about the dam’s disposition or mothering ability, comments about the lamb’s physical appearance, and more). Keeping records is just the first step. The important step is actually using those records to make selection and culling decisions to improve the overall genetic make-up of your flock.  In order to make accurate selection decisions, you need to utilize those production records in combination with visual evaluation to make your selection decisions.  With our own numbering system, we developed a system that works for our flock.  But actually after implementation our system needs to be modified by adding codes and colors that can facilitates measuring of traits and comparing animals. 6.4. OVERCOMMING DIFFICULTIES IN GOALS ACHIEVEMENT:  Satisfactory results were not obtained under natural breeding conditions.  We were about to end our project several times, since the project expenditure was much greater than the project income. Thousands of pounds were lost.  In spite of the money losses , it was obvious that we achieved a technical contribution in purebreeding, crossbreeding as well as reproductive management regarding the pre selected target traits.  Therefore it was not easy to end our project. We decided to discuss , analyze, and solve our problem.  Through a seminar held by our EASGADA we concluded that the reasons for our money losses were : the high nutrition cost for the flock and the low rate in lamb reproduction.
  18. 18. 18  The solution was to transfer from the natural breeding to artificial manipulating of the reproductive cycle of sheep.  We applied progesterone-based therapies through sponges inserted into the vagina , then hormonal Control When the progesterone source is totally removed, the body realizes it is no longer pregnant and will ovulate within a very predictable period.  Appendices 1&2 show the obtained results after overcoming problems. REFERENCES 1- FAO (Food Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations) “Production Systems in the Near East Region, A Training Manual for Characterization & Analysis”, Cairo, 2002. 2 -William G.F. Cornish with Board of Directors of the Saudi Computer Society (SCS), “Strategic Plan for SCS”, Riyadh, KSA, 1993 3 - Talaat Harb M Refaat, “Information & Computer Systems Department Business Plan”, United Projects for Maintenance & Operation Company (UPMOC), Riyadh, KSA, 1993. 4- Talaat Harb M Refaat, “Job Description for UPMOC”, Technical Report, Riyadh, KSA, 1992. 5 - William H., Roetzheim, “Structured Computer Project Management”, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1988. 6 - FAO, “Food and Agriculture Organization of UN - Vacancy Announcements”, Rome, 1993. 7- S.R.R. Haskell, J.M. Geske, and D.J. Resch,“ Sheep care and management” , University of Minnesota Extension Service, 8- Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, “Reproduction in the Ewe”, Western Maryland Research & Education Center, Maryland Cooperative Extension, Date of last revision: 19-Aug-2005 9- The New Zealand Sheep breeders' Association “The New Zealand Fennsheep” 10- Marlon Knights, Todd Hoehn, Deborah Marsh, Paul Lewis, Joy Pate,Alison Dixon and Keith Inskeep, “Reproductive management in the ewe flock by induction OR synchronization OF ESTRUS” West Virginia, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Morgantown. 11- David L. Thomas, “Breeding Ewe Lambs or Getting the Most out of Ewe Lambs”, Department of Animal Sciences University of Wisconsin- Madison.
  19. 19. 19 ‫والنوو‬ ‫واألياا‬ ‫العديية‬ ‫واألنتايية‬ ‫والكواءةالتناسلية‬ ‫تقديرالخصوبة‬ 1 ‫الملحق‬ ‫الخصوبة‬ ‫نسبة‬= = = ‫المخصبة‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ 46 % 80.70 / / ‫الملقحة‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ 57 * * 100 100 ‫الكوا‬‫التناسلية‬ ‫ءة‬= = = ‫المولوية‬ ‫الحمالن‬ ‫عدي‬ 73 % 158.70 / / ‫الوالدة‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ 46 * * 100 100 ‫العديية‬ ‫اإلنتايية‬ ‫للمربي‬ = = = ‫المولوية‬ ‫الحمالن‬ ‫عدي‬ 73 % 128 / / ‫الملقحة‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ 57 * * 100 100 ‫اإلياا‬ ‫نسبة‬= = = ‫المجاضة‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ 0 % 0 / / ‫الملقحة‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ 57 * * 100 100 ‫النوو‬ ‫نسبة‬= = = ‫الوطام‬ ‫قبل‬ ‫النافقة‬ ‫الحمالن‬ ‫عدي‬ 0 % 0 / / ‫المولوية‬ ‫الحمالن‬ ‫عدي‬ 73 * * 100 100 ‫الرابعة‬ ‫المجموعة‬ ‫الثالثة‬ ‫المجموعة‬ ‫الثانية‬ ‫المجموعة‬ ‫الألولى‬ ‫المجموعة‬ 10(5+5) 21(19+2) 14(14+0) 12(7+5) )‫بدريات‬ + ‫(نعاج‬ ‫العدي‬ 20-03-2005 22-11-2004 06-06-2004 28-03-2004 ‫األسون‬ ‫تركيب‬ ‫تاريخ‬‫جة‬ 03-04-2005 07-12-2004 19-06-2004 11-04-2004 ‫ال‬ ‫و‬ ‫النزع‬ ‫تاريخ‬‫حقن‬ 05-04-2005 09-12-2004 21-06-2004 13-04-2004 ‫التلقيح‬ ‫تاريخ‬ 15-07-2005 09-03-2005 21-09-2004 03-07-2004 ‫الجس‬ ‫تاريخ‬ 05-09-2005 09-05-2005 21-11-2004 13-09-2004 ‫المنتظر‬ ‫الوالية‬ ‫تاريخ‬ 8 16 11 11 ‫الوالدة‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ 2 5 3 1 ‫تل‬ ‫لم‬ ‫التى‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬‫د‬ 5 [4x2+1x3] 7 [6x2+1x3] 6 [4x2+2x3] 5 [5x2] ‫ولدت‬ ‫التى‬ ‫النعاج‬ ‫عدي‬ ‫توائم‬
  20. 20. 20

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