Concluding Summary and Recommendations Highlights of the Research by cgz15130

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									         Himachal Pradesh possesses a vast range of flora and fauna, large variety of plants,
livestock and avian speciesare found in the state. Livestock rearing is a subsidiary occupation
of most of the small and marginal farmers of Himachal Pradesh having small land holdings,
whereas, the farmers of the high mountain ranges take up full time occupation of rearing sheep
and goats for their livelihood sustainability. Keeping in view the need of the hill farmers the
Department of Animal Breeding, Genetics and Bio statistics has been actively involved in the
research activities in the field of animal breeding and regularly getting research projects on
various aspects involving different species of livestock. The research mainly concentrated on
characterization and conservation of livestock species of the state as well as the improving
productivity of these animals through breeding interventions. The outcome of the research
conducted in the department is utilized to frame future breeding policies for improving the
productivity of the livestock species of the state to meet out nutritional requirements and
enhancement of livelihood status of the farmers of this hill state. Yak, Local hill cattle, Sheep
and goat, Spiti horse and the rabbits (Angora as well as broiler) have a great potential for the
improvement in the production and reproduction traits trough using advance breeding
techniques. The department has already taken up the work of characterizing and conserving the
important animal genetic resources of the state viz. Yak, Gaddi and Ranpur Bushair
Sheep,Gaddi & Chegu goat and Spiti horses. The work also focused to find out the ways and
means to improve the genetic potential of the livestock species of the state. The results of
various research projects revealed that there is a vast potential to bring about improvement in
the economic parameters of these livestock species. If the improved animals are managed
properly by providing better feeding and management interventions then these animal are not
less than any of the other animals maintained elsewhere. The results also revealed that there is
a need of following a systematic approach for exploiting and conserving the important genetic
resources of the state. The following are the concluding summary of some of the important
research projects taken up by this department so for.

         Studies on Genetic Aspects of Production and Reproduction Traits
                    of Yak in Himachal Pradesh. (1988 to 1993)
         P.I.    Dr. N.K. Manuja
         Co- P.I Dr. O. P. Kaila                                                     Budget: 17.00 lakhs

         Yak is a multipurpose animal of the high mountain regions and found in Kinnaur and Spiti area of the
state. Yak belongs to bovin species and believed to be a cattle due to the number of chromosomes equal to that
of the cattle. It provides milk, meat, fiber and manure. Chauri made out of tail hair of yak are used in the
religious places like in temples and Gurudwaras. The milk of yak is very rich in fat and total solids. Yak is also
used as a pack animal in the high mountains area where horses and ponies do not work. It has a peculiarity of
climbing steep slops very fast and efficiently because of its surefootedness. The yak has double coat of course
and fine fibers which protect it from the cold climatic conditions of the high mountains. In addition to the
double coat of hair and pashmina fiber it has sub-cutaneous fat layer which provide heat during sub-zero
temperature conditions. It can sustain temperature up - 500 C. Yak is a very hardy animal and can remain with
out feed for days together.
         These animals are very docile but becomes ferocious on continues teasing. They are very social and
remain in groups. During nights they rest forming circles keeping the young calves in the center to protect them
from wild animals.
         The population of yak in Himachal is declining day by day because of the introduction of horticultural
crops coming up in those areas. Government intervention is urgently needed to protect and conserve this
important animal genetic resource of the state by establishing a state farm in the breeding tract of this animal.

          An ICAR funded research project was undertaken at Yak Breeding Research Station,
RRS, Sangla. Approximately 50 breedable females were maintained at the station and the data on
production, reproduction and behavioural parameters were generated over a period of five years
from 1988 to 1993. The yak stock were maintained purely on grazing in the alpine pastures
during summers, whereas, during winters they are provided with dry hay made up of cultivated
fodders and seasonal grasses and concentrate feed along with few hours of grazing.
        The genetic studies could not be taken up for want of desired population size of 100
breedable females and 10 male
yaks. Whatever parameters
could be recorded and analyzed
revealed as under.
        The Himachali yak is a
docile animal but become
ferocious on continuous teasing
and may attack and even kill
the persons. It is very hardy
and can remain with out feed
for days together. It can sustain
very harsh climatic conditions
of the high mountains. It has a
very specific quality of
surefootedness and can climb
to very steep slops. It is very
fast in movements. The female
are regular breeders with very less incidence of abortions and stillbirths. They have very good
mothering ability. Male yak do not graze with female stock and they only accompany female
during breeding season.
        Data on growth, production and reproduction parameters were generated and analyzed.
The analysis of the data
revealed that the Himachali
yak has smaller body
weighing on an average at
212.74 kg. on a grown up
stage. The Height at withers
was recorded as 106.63 cm.
and body length as 93 cm.
head length, horn length and
horn circumference were
38.32, 32.93 and 19.02 cm,
which is the lowest as
compared to the yak of other
locations. The Himachali yak
has wider head (20.21 cm.
between horns and 20.54
between eyes) than the yak
maintained at other locations.
        The yak calf weighs less at birth (9.0 to 10.50 kg.). Initial growth of the calf is governed
by the milk yield of the mother and time given to suckling as the calf mainly depends on
suckling during its initial growth period. The effect of year and season of calving and sex of the
calf was significant on six-month body weight. Year and season of birth and the sex of the calf
also affected the average daily gain in weight during first six month. Winters have adverse effect
not only on the growth of the calf but also on the body weight of the dam. Higher body weight
gain was observed in early years than the latter years.
        The average gestation period and inter-calving period of these yaks were 258 and 407
days respectively. In
yak      the     average
gestation period is 15 –
20 days less than the
cattle.         Average
lactation milk yield of
Himachali yak was
125.57 kg ranging
between 109.48 kg. for
the sixth parity to
138.62 kg. for the third
parity. The lactation
milk yield and average
peak      yield     were
significantly influenced
by year of calving. The
average lactation length
was observed as 172 days and it was higher for cows those have given birth to male calves. The
yak milk contains high milk fat (7.15 to 7.72 %). Season’s effect on fat percent may be due to
more fair weather and better availability of feed and fodders.

                       Conclusion and Recommendation

   1.   The yak is a very docile multipurpose animal reared for milk, meat, fiber,
        transportation, hide and manure. It becomes very ferocious on
        continuous teasing.
   2.   It is a very hardy animal and can remain without feed and fodder for
        days together. It can sustain very harsh climatic conditions of the high
   3.   It has a quality of surefootedness and can climb very steep slops with a
        very high speed.
   4.   Himachali yak is smaller than the yak reared at other locations. Its calf
        weighs less at birth (9.00 – 10.5 kg.)
   5.   Female yak (Brame) is regular breeders with very less incidence of
        abortions and stillbirths.
   6.   The gestation period in Himachali yak is generally 15 – 20 days shorter
        then the cattle.
   7.   Himachali yak also have small head length, horn length and horn
        circumference, but it had wider head (between horn to horn & between
        eyes to eyes).
   8.   The female yak in Himachal is a poor milk producer (average lactation
        yield as 125.57 kg.) with high milk fat (7.15 to 7.72 %).

        Studies on Some Aspects of Broiler Rabbits Production on Sub-
               Mountainous Regions of Palampur (1988 to 1990)
   PI    Dr. N.K.Manuja
   Co-PI Dr. K. Gupta and Dr. C. L. Marwaha                             Budget: Rs. 17.13 lacs.

        Keeping in view the agro – climatic conditions of Himachal Pradesh suitable for rabbit
rearing ICAR has sanctioned an ad hoc. research project to study the production parameters of
the broiler rabbits. The studies have also worked out the possibility of maintaining broiler rabbits
in sub- mountainous region and to recommend the package of practices.
        Kindling and growth records of about 800 rabbits of different genetic groups have been
recorded. The effects of different weather conditions of these traits have been studied. This rabbit
unit consisting of various breeds of broiler rabbits from various locations has been established
with following objectives.
    i)      To study the growth performance of various breeds/ crosses of broiler rabbits at
            different intervals.
    ii)     To evolve profitable meat rabbit strain employing 4 x 4 diallel crossing.

    The growth performance of rabbits belonging to four different breeds viz. New-Zealand
white, soviet chinchilla, white giant and Grey Giant and their crosses in all possible
combinations have been studied
from birth to 6 weeks and weaning
to 24 weeks of age, respectively at
two weeks interval. Stud matting
system was followed and the
pregnant females were shifted to
kindling cages after 25th day of
pregnancy. Weaning was done at
six weeks of age and the young
were kept in separate cages
afterwards. The growth records
were taken at two weeks interval
up to 24 weeks of age. The rabbits
were fed concentrate and fodder
according to their age and
according        to        nutritive
requirements. The concentrate feed
was offered in pellet form containing 18 % crude protein and 15 % crude fiber.
    Least square analysis revealed the effect of genetic groups and season of kindling on various
reproductive and growth traits. Genetic groups were significant source of variation for litter size
at birth and weaning. The highest litter size at birth (8.07± 0.42) has recorded when NZW female
is crosses with GG male and the lowest (5.62 ± 0.42) for NZW X WG. Most of the genetic
groups differ among themselves for litter size at weaning.
    The season of kindling has significant effect on these traits. Pre-weaning mortality was the
highest in kits born during the rainy season as there was more humidity in that season,
consequently there was more disease problems. Season of kindling also had significant effect on
the growth in the early weeks. Kits born in winter season had the best growth rate up to 20 weeks
of age and afterwards the differences among seasons were non-significant.
         Heterosis was significant for litter size at birth and non-significant for litter size at
weaning. Existence of variance in pure- bred was non-significant for litter size at birth and
significant litter size at
weaning. General combing
abilities, maternal abilities and
sex- linked effects were
significant for litter size at
birth and weaning. Specific
combining abilities were non-
significant for these traits.
     Analysis     of     variance
representing heterosis and
combining abilities for post
weaning body weight at two
weeks interval up to 24 weeks
revealed that heterosis was non
significant at all the stages of
growth. General combining
abilities for post weaning body
weight at two weeks interval up to 24 weeks revealed that heterosis was non significant at all the
stages of growth. General combining abilities were significant source of variation for body
weight at these stages. There was very little role of dominance or non-additive gene action for
these growth traits and improvement for this post-weaning body weight cannot be achieved by
way of simple crossing.
         The medium to high estimate of heritability for litter size at birth and weaning showed
that improvement in these traits is possible through selection. The heritability estimates for litter
weight at birth was high whereas, heritability for individual weight at weaning was low had
shown poor management, which can be improved by adopting better management practices. The
heritability for body weight
at different ages were
medium to high, indicated
that      additive      genes
controlled these traits.
         The       genotypic
correlation between litter
size at birth and litter
weight and size at weaning
were positive and low
which       indicates     that
increase in litter size may
affect weaning weight
adversely. Heterosis for
litter size at birth was
significant and the cross of
New Zealand White female
with Grey Giant males had shown the highest combining ability and highest heterosis for litter
size at weaning. Individual weight at weaning and weight gain subsequently was influenced
more by environmental factors and can be improved by better management and feeding. The
general combining ability for weight gain at weaning and subsequent weight gain were
significant, thus, these can be improved by selection.


           1.     Genetic group and season has its role on litter size at birth
                  and weaning. New Zealand White has more kits per litter.
           2.     Season of kindling has its impact on litter traits and there
                  is high mortality in kits born during rainy season due to
                  high humidity.
           3.     Season of kindling effect initial growth of broiler rabbit.
                  Kits born in winter season have best growth rate.
           4.     Medium to high heritability estimates for litter size at birth
                  and weaning indicates possibility of improvement in these
                  traits through selection.
           5.     Positive and low genetic correlation between litter size at
                  birth and waning indicate that litter size at birth may
                  affect weaning weight adversely.
           6.     The general combining ability for weight gain at weaning
                  and subsequent weight gain were significant thus these can
                  be improved by selection

  Studies on the Comparative Performance of Crossbred and graded-up Cows under
  Field Conditions in Agro-climatic Zones I & II of Himachal Pradesh. (1995 – 1997)
  P.I.    Dr. Sanjeet Katoch
  Co-P.I. Dr. G. D. Vashist, Dr. Y.P.Thakur and Dr. N.K.Vashist             Budget: 4.97 lakh

        This project was undertaken during 1995-1997 in 48 villages covered by four artificial
insemination centers in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh falling under agro climatic zone II
of the state which served as the project area and also in 12 villages in adjoining district of
Hamirpur in agro-climatic zone-I of the state which served as control or non-project area. The
impact of cross breeding programme was adjudged over the earlier survey conducted by the
IASRI, New Delhi during the period 1981 to 1983 in same areas but retaining only 50% of the
villages covered under the earlier survey.
The present study was undertaken with the following major objectives:
    1. To study the impact of crossbreeding and grading up programme in cattle in improving
        the genetic potential for various economic traits in project area.
    2. To evaluate the reproductive efficiency of crossbreds and non-descript cattle in the
        project and non-project areas.
    3. To assess the impact of crossbreeding on socio- economic status of cattle breeders in
        project and non-project areas.
    The study revealed that the households engaged in animal husbandry activities in project as
well as non project areas were mostly marginal farmers. The proportion of crossbred or
improved cattle had increased from 15.35% to 41.96% of the total livestock population in the
project area while it constituted 32.40% of the total livestock population in non-project area.
Keeping buffaloes as milch animal this area also gaining popularity increasing from 11.25% to
16.55% during this period in project area and accounting for 20.12% of total livestock in non
project area. The sheep, goat and equine husbandry has, however, shown a declining trend.
Majority of the household (approx. 80%) were maintaining up to 3 animals with remaining 20%
keeping 4 or more animals showing a decline in the number of households keeping larger herds.
    The reproductive performance of crossbreds and graded up cows were observed to be better
than the non-descript cows as reflected by the lower age at first conception and first calving. The
averages for two traits were 35.58±1.65 months and 44.83± 0.94 months in Jersey x Non-
descript x Red-Sindhi and 52.25± 1.12 and 60.22± 2.90 months in Non-descript cows in project
area. These traits had shown improvement over the performance recorded in the earlier study,
however, the number of inseminations required per conception were higher (3.25± 0.06) in
improved cows including both the crossbreds and graded up than the non-descript (2.97± 0.06) in
the project area while the reproductive efficiency in terms of number of inseminations required
per conception was better in improved cows (2.98± 0.03; 3.26± 0.07) than non-descript
(3.48±0.05) in non project area. The calving interval was observed lesser in Jersey x Non-
descript cows ranging from 404.11± 5.97 days to 460.90± 22.78 days across the lactation orders
than three breed crosses of Jersey x Red Sindhi x Non-descript (452.90 ±3.85to 458.43 ± 13.9
days) as well as non-descript (423.75 ± 39.63to 540.00 ± 24.49 days). Further the calving
interval has shown improvement over the earlier estimates reported by IASRI.
    Similar trend among the genetic groups was observed for lactation milk yield with Jersey x
Non – descript half- breds performing far superior (lactation yield ranging from 1499.7 ±53.09
Kg to 1709.2± 51.3Kg) than Jersey x Red Sindhi x Non – descript (1000.7 ±32.8 to 1031.7±
51.3Kg). The lactation milk yield of non – descript cattle was observed as 472.3 ± 70.9to 507.5±
27.1Kg. The performance of Jersey x Non – descript as well as non – descript cows was
observed better in non project areas suggesting better quality of livestock and keeping practices
in these areas which falls in agro – climatic zone. However, a significantly, positive increase in
milk yield over the earlier study was observed in the field conditions indicating that management
practices for maintaining improved cattle have improved leading to higher milk production. The
frequency distribution of cows in different milk yield classes revealed that among Jersey x Non–
descript maximum proportion (19.57%) was in 1400-1600 Kg milk yield class; whereas in Jersey
x Red-Sindhi x Non–descript approx. 90% of the cows were in 1000-1200kg class (47.40%) and
800-1000kg class (41.23%). The milk yield per day of lactation length and milk per day of
calving interval were observed 3.89 kg and 3.25 kg in Jersey x Non – descript and 2.56 kg and
2.43 kg in Jersey x Red Sindhi x Non–descript against 1.55 kg and 0.94 kg in Non descript hill
cows. These traits have also shown improvement over the earlier study. Similar was the trend for
lactation length and dry period. The lactation length was observed higher (360.97 ±8.3 days and
361.28± 5.49 days) in improved cows than non – descript (290.44± 4.53 days) but lower than
452 and 384 days reported in the earlier survey. The dry period had also declined to 58.33±11.30
to 77.85 ±8.44 days in Jersey x Non – descript cows against 103 days reported in earlier study.
The dry period was far lesser than that observed in Non – descript cows (131-195days).
    The simple correlation coefficients were positive and significant between age at first calving
and calving interval (0.362± 0.067) and lactation length and calving interval (0.574± 0.176) in
graded up cows.
    The extent of exotic Jersey inheritance best suitable for keeping under farmer conditions in
these areas was adjudged by comparing the different exotic grades for important economic traits.
For lactation milk yield Jersey x Non – descript cows with 75% and 87.5% Jersey inheritance
showed superior performance (1685.04± 18.38kg and 1689.66± 26.74kg) than half-breds
(1521.53±23.36kg) with similar age at first calving; lactation length and dry period. Inclusion of
red Sindhi blood to reduce the non descript component to minimum level had not yielded results
with Jersey (50%) x Red Sindhi (25%) x Non descript (25%) cows performing poorest for
lactation milk yield but having earlier age at first calving (40.38 months).
    The incidence of abnormal calving was observed negligible (less than 1%) in improved cows
and similar to non – descript. The sex-ratio was also observed around 50% for all the genetic
groups. The maximum calving in improved cows occurred in rainy season (42-60%) and winter
season (38 –70%) similar to the non-descript cows (43.50% and 46.80%). Significantly lesser
calving occurred in summer months.
    The mortality pattern revealed more deaths in younger stocks of less than 6 months in
improved calves (42.05%) similar to non-descript (46.67%), which declined subsequently.
Among the milch stock maximum mortality (21.67%) in improved cows occurred after
completing first lactation against second lactation observed in non -descript cows (20.87%).
The feeding strategy adopted in survey areas had also revealed more feeding of concentrate to
improved cows (1.22kg and 1.15kg per days) than non descript (0.38kg per day) and the
concentrate availability to improved cows has further improved over the earlier survey (0.80kg
per day) while keeping same for non descript cows as 0.36kg per day. A crossbred cows in milk
obtained 33% of its DCP from concentrates; 41% from green fodders and 26%through dry
fodder while the contribution of three fodder resources to TDN availability was 12%; 39% and
49% respectively. About 55% of the cattle breeders in the areas are utilizing AI facilities for
breeding; 16% prefer natural service and 29% have equal preference for both the AI and natural
        To summarize, the performance of improved cows comprising Jersey x Non – descript
and Jersey x Red Sindhi x Non Descript were observed far superior to non descript for most
production / reproduction traits, with Jersey x Non descript showing better performance than
Jersey x red Sindhi x Non descript whereas the adaptability and survival performance of
improved cows was similar to non descript. The lifetime production index of progenies of 100
normal calving revealed approx. ten fold (9.9 times) lifetime milk production in improved cows
(370.2 tones) than non-descript (38.4 tones), which was 5.5 times in the previous survey in the
same areas about a decade ago.

                1. C ross-bred animals increased from 15.35 % to 41.96% in
                   project area whereas, they are 32.40 % in the non-project
                2. Reproductive performance of cross-bred and graded
                   animals was observed better than the non-descript cows.
                3. Half-breds were found to be superior to non-descript for
                   all the milk production traits.
                4. More milk yield was obtained in cows having higher (75%
                   & 87.5%) exotic inheritance.
                5. Incidence of abnormal calving was negligible in improved
                6. Mortality in younger stock less than 6 months of age was
                   low in improved calves than the non-descript.
                7. The improved cows require better feeding and
                   management for enhanced productivity.
                8. The lifetime production of improved cows was
                   approximately 10 times more than the non-descript cows.

  Characterization and Conservation of Important Sheep and Goat Breeds
                        of Arid Zone (2000 – 2004)
 P.I.    Dr Kamlesh Gupta.
 Co-P.I. Dr. S . Katoch,C.L. Marwaha and Dr. O.P. Kaila                Budget: Rs. 23.7Lakh

        NATP funded project has been under taken for the characterization and conservation
of Gaddi breed of sheep and goat. An extensive survey of the breeding tract viz. Kangra,
Chamba and Kullu has been done. Data on approximately 3000 animals has been collected on
various morphological, production and reproduction parameters. Data on the performance
traits like milk yield wool/ fiber yield and quality had also been studied. Physiological
parameters like rectal temperature, pulse and respiration rate and incidence of disease were also
recorded. The analysis of the results of the study is summarized as below.

        The sheep is mainly reared for meat, wool, skin and manure. Approximately 30 per cent
of the flock in the state are migratory which remain away from their home place throughout the
year and rest are stationary grazing on alpine pastures during summer and in and around home
during winters.
        Migratory flocks moves from 300-3000 meters above MSL with various resting points in
between the migratory
route. They remain in
open through out the
year and depend upon
the vegetative cover of
the area. No extra
feeding is done. Lambs
are reared on suckling
and then on grazing.
The flock size ranges
from 100 to 250
breedable ewes. Natural
breeding once in a year
is followed during April
to July. Wool shearing
is done twice in a year
during March -April
and September – October.
        Gaddi sheep are medium in size with body weight of lamb at birth is 3 kg. Average body
weight of adult male and female sheep was 34 and 32 kg respectively. The finisher lamb at
slaughter weight approximately 30 kg with 50 per cent dressing percentage. Head is convex with
mostly pendulous ear and wattles absent. 60 percent of the sheep have small to medium straight
horns.     They     have
medium        to    long
pendulous ears. Beard
absent and have small
        Gaddi      sheep
matures approximately
16 to 18 months and the
estrus cycle of 21 days
and estrus duration 28
hours with lambing
intervals as 375 days
and mostly produce one
lamb per lambing.
                 Most of
the Gaddi sheep wears
long lustrous wool of
white colour but patches of black and brown are not uncommon. Head and bally covered with
wool. Annual wool production is 1 to 1.5 kg. The type of wool is of carpet type with staple
length, fiber diameter and modulation as 4.23 cm.; 30.89μ and 14.32 % respectively.

        The goat is reared for
r hair, skin, fur, manure,
milk, transport, meat and
blood         as         food.
Approximately 60 per cent
Gaddi goats are white in
colour but pure black and
brown are also found. Body
coat is hairy type. These
goats are also medium in
size. The body weight of kids
at at birth is 3 kg and the
adult weight of male and
female is 38 and 36 kg
respectively. Head is convex
with long pendulous ear.
Wattles       are      absent.
Approximately 50 percent of
goat have small to medium straight horns. Approximately half the population have beard.
Goat is used for meat and milk purpose. The slaughter weight of 30 kg with 50 percent dressing
percentage.           Skin
percentage is around 8%.
Average milk yield is
approximately 350 gm
per day with 5.21 % fat
and 6.91 % SNF.
        Goat       matures
between 1.5 to 2.0 years.
Gaddi goat has breeding
season twice in a year i.e.
in the month of April –
May and October –
November. The estrus
cycle is of 21 days and
estrus duration is 30
hours.      The    kidding
interval is 378 days. They mostly produce single kid per kidding.

        1. There is a vast variation in production and reproduction
           parameters of these sheep and goats, which suggests great
           scope in the improvement of their productivity status of the
        2. Selection of elite rams/ Bucks from the farmers’ flocks for
           breeding purpose and to be exchanged with other breeders may
           reduce the chances of inbreeding and lowering its effect on
           production and reproduction traits.
        3. The breeders should be made aware of the importance of the
           breeds and its sustainability, towards disease aspect and the
           nutritional status in the present farming system of the state.
        4. Training of the breeding for machine sharing to save time and
           minimize the sharing losses to improve the quantity and
           quality of wool.
        5. Open Nucleus Breeding farms to produce improver rams and
           bucks are set up in the state to bring about genetic
           improvement in the productivity traits in these species.

    Improvement of Migratory Sheep Production Programme for Tribal
                 Farmers of North- West. (2000 – 2005)
   P.I. Dr. O. P. Kaila.
   Co-P.I. Dr. Kamlesh Gupta, Dr. Alok Sharma, Dr. Rajesh Katoch         Budget: 25.15 lakh

         The improvement of migratory sheep production programme for the tribal farmers of
North – west was undertaken to improve the livelihood and nutritional status of the tribal
sheep breeders through available breeding, nutritional and health technologies. These migratory
sheep breeders graze their flocks in the Alpine pastures during summers and in the low hills
during winters. It takes at least three months to reach them at the other location. During
migration these flocks undergo considerable loss in the production parameters due to migration
stress, limited grazing resources and stress due to region specific infections and infestations. To
minimize this loss the project was undertaken with following objectives.
         To improve productivity of migratory sheep by application of breeding, nutrition and
         health technologies.
         To provide livelihood security round the year by improving the productivity of sheep
         To provide nutritional security to the tribal community of hilly and backward
         communities of the state.

        To fulfill the objectives the flocks selected for the work were grouped in to four groups to
work out the minimum level of critical breeding, nutritional and health in puts as the available
technologies. The losses due to
migration stress and nutritional
deficiencies were minimized by
providing different combination of
these interventions to these flocks
and increased the productivity of
the migratory sheep. Increase in
the productivity of these flocks has
improved the economic status of
the sheep breeders. 15 to 20%
increase    in      the   production
parameters have been achieved
through the use of different
combination of interventions. The
increase has also improved the
livelihood status and the nutritional
security of the migratory sheep

        The migratory sheep breeders are forced to take single lamb crop in a year due to harsh
climatic conditions and passing through difficult terrains of the state. They are helped in
increasing their lamb crop through the use of proper number of improved breeding males
breaking inbreeding in their flocks by replacing the breeding male after two three years. Using
nutritional and health technologies have improved the body weights at various intervals. The
birth weight of lambs has been
increased by 12.29% in the
group of ewes getting all the
inputs. The body weight of the
adult animals has also been
increased by 27.26% in the same
group of animals. Higher body
weight does not only helps in
getting higher price of the
animals at marketing but also
effect the other production
parameters such as wool
production and reproduction
directly or indirectly. The
cumulative effect of these
interventions      on     all     the
production       parameters      has
provided extra income to the sheep breeders and helped in improving the livelihood and
nutritional status of these tribal people.
        An increase of 47.79 and 29.48% in the annual wool production of the animals of group
getting all the three inputs was recorded during the period of four years of interventions. The
individual contribution of the interventions was 1.18, 29.50 and 17.11% in young and -7.15,
21.02 and 15.61% in the annual wool yield of adult animals due to nutritional, health and
breeding interventions.
        The total animals available for sale depend on the replacement rate of the flock as well as
the total births during the year. More is the number of live lamb born during a year more will be
the male lambs available for sale. The number of live lamb depends on the conception rate,
lambing percent and total abortions during a lambing period. If the factor responsible for the
reduction in these traits are taken care of the more lambs per lambing season can be obtained.
Number of breedable ewes conceiving
during a season depends on the general
health of the flock and the number and
potential of the breeding males in the
flock.      With the intervention of
breeding,      nutrition      and     health
technologies the conception rate of the
migratory sheep flocks, which was
61.48% in the 2001, has been increased
to 70.11% in 2004. An increase of
14.03% in the conception rate of these
flocks has been observed. The other
deciding factor for increasing the
productivity and income is the abortion
rate in the flocks. If there is more
number of abortions the lambing percent
will be less. The cases of abortion have been reduced from 7.02% in 2001 to 4.89% in 2004, a
reduction of 30.44% in abortion cases has been observed. The individual contribution of
nutrition, health and breeding interventions towards the reproductive parameters was observed as
3.62, 4.69 and 11.27% in conception rate, 4.96, 5.25 and 16.93% in lambing percentage
respectively. A reduction of 14.59, 28.76 and 37.57% due to the intervention of nutrition, health
and breeding technologies was observed in abortion cases.
        The improvement in the production parameters will not be of much help if there is high
                                                               mortality in the flock. Poor health,
                                                               migration stress and unavailability
                                                               of the veterinary help during
                                                               migration are the main cause of
                                                               high mortality in the migrating
                                                               sheep flocks. Producing healthy
                                                               lambs though breeding, nutritional
                                                               and health intervention the
                                                               mortality rate has been reduced
                                                               from 10.5 in 2001 to 9.13% in
                                                               2004 in the young lambs. Whereas,
                                                               the mortality in the adult animals
                                                               has been reduced from 9.27% in
                                                               2001 to 7.62 in 2004 by using
                                                               recommended              production
                                                               techniques.      The      individual
contribution of the three interventions was observed as 3.59, 17.10 and 11.94% in young and
9.71, 14.84 and 9.86% in adult due to nutrition, health and breeding interventions.
        Linkage for the feedback established
has been utilized for incorporating the impact
of the project on the migratory sheep breeders.
The breeders were approached either
telephonically or whatever means was available
and recorded the information regarding the
residual effect of the interventions provided
during the project period and the possibility of
the continuation of these critical interventions
for future by these breeders to enhance the
productivity of their sheep flock.
        Although some of the breeders were
reverting to their old zero input practices but
some had shown their interest in continuing the
technologies as demonstrated to them during
the time of five years. They have shown keen
interest as they have realized that the
productivity of their flocks have certainly
increased by adopting breeding, nutritional and
health technologies. All the flocks could not be
approached due to shortage of time whatever
data could be collected revealed that the trend
reported earlier has continued its reflection on growth parameters. The observations have
revealed that if the migratory flocks are subject to normal six monthly drenching and dipping
schedules and are treated for area specific infections they produce healthier lambs, which grow
faster then the lambs born in flocks following traditional practices.

            1.     One male for every 50-60 adult ewes should be kept to
                   increase the breeding efficiency of the ewes.
            2.     Breeding males should be replaced every 3-4 years to
                   minimize effect of inbreeding on productivity parameters.
            3.     There should be a gap of at least 15 days between two
                   flocks migrating on the same route to minimize feeding
            4.     Approximately 8-10 gms. of mineral mixture/ week/
                   animal mixed with common salt should be provided to the
                   migratory sheep flocks.
            5.     The sheep breeders should follow complete health coverage
                   viz. vaccination against various diseases and six monthly
                   drenching and dipping for controlling endo and ecto-
            6.     Any incidence of sickness should immediately be noticed
                   and thoroughly examined and treated by a qualified

 Characterization and Conservation of Chegu Goats (2000 to 2004)
 P. I.    Dr. Y. P. Thakur
 Co-P. I. Dr. Kamlesh Gupta                                          Budget: 19.55 lakh

         The Chegu, like most other breeds of mountains goats, is believed to have originated
from Capra sibirica, commonly known as Himalayan Ibex. It is believed that the local farmers
and traders from Kinnaur and Spiti areas of Himachal Pradesh used to visit the adjacent Tibetan
territories along the border and ladakh in summer through the mountain passes for the purchase
of woolens, pashmina and pashmina goats. This breed of goats is reared at an elevation of above
12000 feet. This resembles to changthangi breed in body confirmation and other characteristics
but is smaller in size with lower pashmina yield. Chegu goat is also known as Chayangra /
pashmina and is mainly reared for ‘pashmina’ the valuable textile fiber course hair, manure, hide
& skin and milk to a limited extent. The average population of Chegu goats is 6800 to 7000 out
of which 3500 are adult. The population in Himachal Pradesh has declined in recent years.
         The important characteristics of Chegu breed include adaptation to high altitude
topography, harsh cold climate, tough mountainous migration and survival on scarce forages.
The Chegu is a sturdy, highly active but docile, curious, inquisitive and intelligent animal. The
body confirmation is typical with small sized low set, sturdy body and short legs as an adaptation
for the mountains. The body is
covered with thickly grown long
hair beneath pashmina undercoat
as winter protection against
extreme cold.
         Pashmina goats are short
eared with twisted horns. The
coat colour, as expressed by the
main hair coat, is highly variable.
The animals are having both
patched and solid colours. About
26 to 14 percent of these goats
are pure white and pure black in
colour respectively and the rest
are in combination of reddish
brown, black- brown, black & white, tan and white spotted. White strip on the forehead is a
distinct mark on the face. The head is slightly convex with concave forehead. The ears are erect.
Approximately 93 % of the population has large straight upward and backward horns.
         The birth weight of Chegu kid is found to be 1.96 kg. in females whereas it is 2.04 kg. in
male kids. The male and female Chegu goat at one year of age weighs about 14.73 and 12.96
kilograms respectively. The body weight of an adult female at first kidding is about 19.60 kg.
         The average weight at slaughter of a male is 19.4 kilograms With 46.18 as dressing
percentage. The skin is 8 percent. The combing is done at the age of 12 months with 58.39 gram
of fiber per combing. The hair clipping is done annually with 10 to 15 centimeter hair length. A
Chegu goat mature at the age of 17 months and the oestrus cycle is 18 days.
                Conclusion – Highlights

1. Chegu goats are originated from Capra sibirica and
   mainly reared for pashmina fiber, meat and to some
   extend milk also.
2. This resemble changthangi goat in body confirmation but
   smaller in size with lower pashmina yield.
3. These goats are sturdy highly active, docile, inquisitive
   and intelligent animals.
4. The body confirmation is small, low set with small legs.
5. The body is covered with thickly grown long hair beneath
   which is an undercoat of pashmina.
6. They have both spotted and solid colours.
7. They have short ears with twisted horns.
8. They yield about 58 – 65 grams of fiber per combing.

     Network Project on Animal Genetic Resources Survey and Characterization of
                             Spiti Horses (2000-2004)
     P.I.      Dr. Sanjeet Katoch
     Co- P.I. Dr. Kamlesh Gupta, Dr. Y. P. Thakur                  Budget: Rs. 20.76 Lakh

         Net-work Projects for survey and Characterizing various livestock species has been taken
up by National Bureau of
Animal             Genetic
Resources, Karnal. This
Institution    has    been
selected for the survey
and Characterization of
Spiti Horses. The main
breeding tract of Spiti
horses is the Pin Valley
region        in      Spiti
subdivision of Lahaul and
Spiti district. The Spiti
horses migrate from
Lahaul and Spiti to
Kangra district at altitude
of 2000 – 4000 feet MSL.
Breed name Spiti is
derived from the name of
breeding tract and they
are also called Chamurthi horses. Its scientific name is Equus caballus. Estimated population is
approximately 4000 horses in its breeding tract. They can be reared both in closed and open
houses. On an average the number of breeding females are 0.80 and number of replacement
female are 0.12 / family /
household. Mating methods
is completely natural.
         Body colour is
mostly grey and then black
and brown. There are no
marks and no spots found
on the head and body. Lip
colour pattern have also no
marks. Fore limbs and hind
limbs are also same as
body colour. Tail colour is
60 percent same with body
colour. Whorls are absent.
Erect ears with small black
eyes. Heavy set of head,
deep chest, and slightly
sloped      shoulder,    low
withers with short and sturdy legs. Mammary glands are flattened and approximately 2-5 cms. in
length during lactation. Spiti horses are used for different purposes like transportation, riding,
and both. Approximately 50 percent Spiti horses are used for transportation as well as riding
both. Near about 75 percent horses have medium capacity for work per day. The breeders
practice symptomatic treatment (both local and allopathic) against the commonly prevalent
        The average thickness of the skin of the Spiti pony was 1.7 mm. The skin of the dorsal
wall of the body and trunk was thicker than that of the ventral wall. The nuchal ligament is the
most powerful elastic apparatus, which assists the extensor muscles of the head and neck. It is
longer in comparison to other breeds of horses, which helps the animal to walk and carry load in
steep mountains.
        Body weight at birth in male and female is 31 and 29 kg respectively. Weight at one year
is 97 kg male and 77 kg female. Body weight above 3 year in male and female is 227 and 203 kg
respectively. Tail length of young male and female is 29 and 35 cm respectively.
Body length, chest girth
and height at withers of
an adult horse are 124,
141     and      131     cm
respectively. In case of
male, age at training of
the stallion is 12-24
months; age at first
ejaculation is 21 to 26
months and age at first
service is 28-32 months
whereas, female come in
to oestrus first time at the
age of 15-24 months.
Average oestrus cycle is
of 19-23 days and oestrus
duration is 144 -240
hours. Age at first foaling is 41-46 months. Gestation period is 326-340 days. Age at first
covering is 30-34 months.
                   Conclusion – Highlights

1. The spiti horses are found in the Spiti valley of Lahaul & Spiti
2. The body colour is basically grey but black and brown are also
   not uncommon.
3. They are best pack animal for high mountains with medium
   working capacity.
4. In spiti horse the skin of the trunk is thicker than the ventral
5. The baby foal weighs approximately 30 kilogram at birth
   whereas the body weight of adult male and female house is 227
   and 203 kilogram respectively.
6. Average age at training of the stallion is 12 to 24 months
   whereas, the age at first ejaculation is 21 to 26 months and age
   at first service is 28 to 32 months.
7. Female comes in heat first time is 15 to 24 months with oestrus
   cycle of 19 to 23 days and oestrus duration of 144 to 240 hours

            Network Project on Animal Genetic Resources - Rampur Bushair Sheep
       P.I.     Dr. Sanjeet Katoch
       Co- P.I. Dr. Kamlesh Gupta, Dr. Y. P. Thakur                          Budget: Rs. 21.79 Lakh

         The Rampur Bushair is a prominent sheep breed of north temperate region of the country,
reputed for medium apparel/fine carpet wool production. The breeds has its home tract in
southern region of Himachal Pradesh with distribution from high hills to low hills/valleys
regions of the state as well as the adjoining hilly areas of Uttaranchal. The breed is highly
suitable to the migratory sheep and goat production system prevailing in the area.
         The main breeding tract
is distributed with in 30°22’ to
33°12’N latitudes and 75°45’ to
79°04’E        longitudes.       This
comprises the entire revenue
districts of Shimla, Kinnaur,
Sirmour and parts of Kullu,
Solan, Bilaspur, Mandi and
Lahaul Spiti revenue districts of
Himachal Pradesh. Previously,
about three decades ago farmers
in the entire districts like Solan,
Bilaspur, were rearing this
breed, but with time period most
of them left the sheep rearing
due to cheap and easy
availability of synthetic wool
with the fast development of hosieries using imported yarn in adjacent states like Punjab and
Haryana, shrinking of grazing land and obnoxious growth of weeds like lantana in traditional
pastures and lack of interest due to economical reasons. The farmers in Spiti, Kinnaur, and
Shimla are keeping sheep both migratory and stationary. In rest of the areas the flocks are
mostly migratory.
         Though the breed is listed among the recognized sheep breeds of the country, yet comprehensive
description of the breeds, in terms of morphological characteristics, performance parameters and demographic
patterns of distribution was still lacking.
         The current population of animals confirming to true breed type is still more than 90
thousands in the breeding tract. But the indiscriminate crossbreeding with exotic fine wool
breeds like Rambouillet carried on in the breeding tract particularly among the large sized flocks
with the objectives of improving the wool quality had lead to sharp decline in the breed
population recently. As such breed conservation strongly is required to be taken up particularly
in dense pockets of distribution so that the breed status can be improved.
         The comprehensive description of the breed based on the observation record on animals
of different age groups/sexes under farmer’s flocks has been carried on under the project. The
Rampur-Bushair sheep is a medium sized animal with variable fleece colour (brown, black,
white and admixture of different coloration) males invariably horned with thick, curved horns in
different orientation, females are usually polled and the extremities of limbs and face devoid of
wool, covering.
        The growth and body biometry of the animal has been recorded. The birth weight of the
lamb was averaged around 2.31
Kgs with wide range 1-4.5 Kgs.
The adult body weight was
approx. 25-26 Kgs with range
between 16 to 46.5 Kgs. Males
are slightly heavier than females.
The body length is 28.98 cms
with chest girth of 32.89 cms.
         The production potential
of the breed for reproductive and
wool production and quality
characteristics      has     been
evaluated based on observations
under farmer’s flock conditions.
The adult rams and ewes
matured at the age two years.
The fleece wt. was between 250-
500gm per shearing and animal is sheared twice a year. The staple length of wool fiber ranged
between 2.86 and 10.6 cms. The fiber diameter averaged 31.09 (μ ) with range between 22μ-48μ
.The high variability with the population suggests high scope for genetic improvement in wool
production both as quantitatively as well as qualitatively.
        A genetic improvement programme based on selective breeding within the existing
population can bring further improvement in wool traits.

                          Conclusion & Recommendation
 1.     Fine carpet wool breed found in high to low hills in H.P. and
 2.     Breed is suitable for migratory system of sheep production.
 3.     Animal are of medium size with variable fleece colour (black. Brown,
        white and admixture of different colouration).
 4.     Males are invariably horned with thick curved horns of different
        orientations and females are usually polled.
 5.     Extremities of limbs and face are devoid of wool covering.
 6.     Birth weight ranges from 1 – 4.5 kg and adult’s weight ranges from 16
        to 46.5 kg. males are slightly heavier then females.
 7.     Due to crossbreeding with exotic breeds the population is declining and
        needs attention for its conservation.
 8.     Intervention in marketing and improving the performance through
        selection by establishing a nucleus breeding farm is recommended.

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