Monitoring On-Farm Sheep Fattening Performance in Fogera District, Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia

Getachew Molla


The study was conducted in Fogera district with the objectives to monitor on-farm fattening performance, and to determine profitability of sheep fattening farmers.  A partial budget analysis method was employed to determine profitability. Twenty lambs with initial body weights of 27.1±0.71kg (mean ±SE) were used to monitor farmers’ sheep fattening performance for 90 days feeding. These experimental sheep were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments which were T1 = grazing + hay + grass pea straw as basal fed; T2= T1+ (201g atela and 99g rice bran); T3= T1+ (99g atela and 201g rice bran); T4= T1+300g rice bran. On-farm fattening sheep weight changes were regularly monitored in Quhar Michael kebeles. Feed dry matter (DM) intake of sheep was determined on daily basis. Data analyses were carried out using SAS software. On-farm monitoring result showed that sheep assigned in supplement diet had significant (P<0.05) average body weight change and daily gain than the control (T1). However, no statistical difference (P>0.05) was observed among supplemented groups. Moreover, there was no difference in supplement DM intake among T2, T3, and T4. Similarly, all supplemented groups were similar (P>0.05) in feed conversion efficiency. Economically all sheep in supplemented treatment groups (T2, T3, and T4) had returned a higher net income (390.25 ETB) as compared to the non-supplemented once (T1). This indicates that supplementary feeding of rice bran and atela could have significant contribution to the development of sheep fattening business in the study area. As an opportunity, however, at present sheep population are at increasing rate and farmers are also looking for the availability of seasonal feed resource like grass pea residue, rice bran and other crop residues. Hence, detail studies on suitable sheep breed, chemical composition and digestibility of the major available supplement feeds are further required to plan a sustainable sheep fattening program at smallholder level.

Keywords: agro-industry by product, live weight change, profit analysis, dry matter intake

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