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					PART- I                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

          SHEEP AND GOAT

                  Bakht Baidar Khan
                      Arshad Iqbal
                 Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa

            Department of Livestock Management
           University of Agriculture Faisalabad

PART- I                                                                                   SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

The past more than half a century is a witness to the fact that except a few, no serious attempts have been made to write books even on a few of the so
many wide open aspects of the field of animal sciences. Among other factors that keep the animal science sector lagging behind, utter lack of relevant
books of local origin is probably the most important. The dearth of documented information concerning various species of our farm animals adversely
affects the learning potential of our students, who have been reported to complain about the non-availability of professional books written in Pakistan. I
personally feel that as animal scientists we cannot exonerate ourselves of this responsibility. Of course, not all of us would have the aptitude to write
books. However, those who opt to take up this tiresome and time-consuming job, their efforts must be appreciated. We must not forget that beginnings
are always small.

It is really encouraging to learn that sheep and goats being the victims of a long neglect, have attracted the attention of experienced animal scientists and
teachers of long standing to write a book on them. A look into the contents of the book ‘Sheep and Goat Production’, makes me believe that it would
adequately serve the purpose for which it has been produced. Its made-easy format would be rather more helpful to the students, field workers and
progressive farmers. A collection of over 650 questions along with their answers should more than suffice to cover the discussion on important topics in
relation to sheep and goat production.

                                                                                                                     Sajjad Zaheer Malik
                                                                                                                      Director General (Ext.)
                                                                                                                    L & DD Dept., Punjab

Innumerable publications on sheep and goat farming/production are there in the world market. More than 98% of them are of foreign
origin and are thus either not available here or their prices are beyond the means of a common man. The book under discussion has not
been produced to burden the market with another such publication rather it has been brought out employing a novice format to meet
the requirements of beginners who venture to plan a small ruminant enterprise, but are found confronted with a series of questions.
Answers to many of such questions are already embodied in this ‘easy to read and understand’ book. In addition, feasibilities in
respect of keeping sheep and goats (pertaining to one breed of each spp.) have been outlined herein to facilitate the solution of their
input: output dilemma.

Another section of society most pertinent to books is professional students community. It often happens that even at the end of an
academic session/semester, many students in a class, would not know what type of questions, relevant to a course, may be asked in the
Exam. This book, for sure, would create an awareness in them as to the type of Exam. questions and as to the manner of answering
them. Among other features of the book are: the discussion on behaviour and welfare of small ruminants and clues on the application
of biotechnology in animals. A comprehensive review on terminology related to various aspects of small ruminants is also a part of
this book. Most of the answers to the questions included in this book have been picked up as such from various sources of literature
listed under references at the end. We feel highly obliged in sharing the fruit of hardwork of those so many authors/editors. Under the
circumstances it does not seem possible for us to individually convey to them our grateful thanks, but indeed we remain indebted to all
of them.

No book will ever be complete and this one is no exception since knowledge about sheep and goats is increasing so rapidly that no
book can be an absolute ultimate. We feel no hesitation to mention here that at places details of a few most sophisticated techniques
used abroad in small ruminant production have been intentionally avoided simply because farmers/producers here have yet to go a
long way to enable themselves to take full advantage of such costly tools and techniques.

We would like to record our thanks to our colleagues, namely Drs. Muhammad Younas, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Yaqoob,
Syed Hassan Raza and Prof. William Hohenboken, a friend from USA; all of them provided us a lot of useful literature for this book.
Special thanks are extended to Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Dr. Akhter Saeed and Dr. Asad Saeed for arranging recent literature for the
purpose from abroad.

Suggestions in black and white from any quarter to effect further improvement and to remove any omissions in the contents of this
book will always be welcome.

March, 2003                                                                                Bakht Baidar Khan
                                                                                           Arshad Iqbal
                                                                                           Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa

PART- I                        SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

PART- I includes following contents of the book:

   •   Introduction

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      What does the term small ruminants denote?
The term small ruminants denotes sheep and/or goats. This term can be interchangeably
used with sheep and goats. The buffalo, cattle and camel (a special ruminant) are
considered as large ruminants, whereas sheep and goats, because of their smaller size, are
called small ruminants. However, they all are polygastric animals.
Q.      Why small ruminant development is important for rural economy in
Sheep and goats, being small-sized ruminants, are capable of integrating themselves into
dissimilar socio-economic situations prevailing in countries like ours. Despite
indiscriminate slaughter of small ruminants, their total population stands at about 76
million in 2002. Sheep population in Pakistan had only marginal increase of 0.9 million
between 1996 and 2001 but goat population has shown a perceptible increase. This is
because of its prolificacy in producing more than one kid at a time and because of its
unique ability of kidding twice in about 18 months and of producing six female kids in
seven years, which most probably cannot be achieved either by a buffalo or cow in their
normal life period.
The importance of small ruminants in rural economy is evidenced by their economic
traits particularly of goats. Their ability to get acclimatized under diversified agro-
climatic conditions, high fertility and short generation interval make them popular among
farming community. Economically they are ideally suited for poorer rural folk especially
for marginal and landless labourers by their low cost maintenance, short-term return on
capital with low risk capital investment. Mostly no involvement of hired labour, as such
the entire rural family members, especially women folk and children are brought into the
gamut of activity; thereby the health status is bound to improve with availability of cheap
and quality protein through mutton and goat meat and milk. Small ruminants thrive and
contribute to rural economy even in areas where it is difficult to raise buffaloes or cows.
Small ruminants contribute nearly 33.3% of total meat production, 2.3% of total milk
production, 39 million skins, 40 and 19 thousand tons of wool and hair respectively, and
50 million tons of excreta (faeces and urine) annually (2002). Coming again to goats they
are energetic, inquisitive and versatile in the art of searching feed. They have a greater
tendency than sheep to easily change their diet, with changing seasons. Goats spend over
half of their total grazing time eating leaves and shoots of trees and bushes. The small
size, large surface area relative to their body weight and limited subcutaneous fat cover,
adapt them poorly to cold climates, but make them relatively better adapted to areas of
high temperature. Goats have the ability to conserve water, travel well, graze selectively
and to take willingly a wide variety of vegetation. Areas with sparse vegetation, bushes
and shrubs cannot support buffalo or cattle but suit the browsing taste of goats even more
than sheep. Mountainous areas with steep slopes cannot be used safely by cattle or sheep,
but goats can have easy access there.
Sheep by nature are gregarious animals and unlike goats they are generally uniparous.
Sheep play an important role in the animal production and rural economy in arid and
semi-arid regions and largely in marginal and sub-marginal holdings. The production
potential of sheep in Pakistan in monetary terms is estimated to be around Rs. 14393
million. This is based on yearly (2002) production of about 40 thousand tons of wool,

PART- I                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

0.20 million tons of mutton, 10 million pieces of skins and 16 million tons of manure.
Role of sheep rearing in improving the rural economy is well established. In the event of
failure of seasonal rains, the rearing of sheep gives a helping hand to the farmers at the
time of crisis arising from crop failure.
Sheep farming by small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourers will
provide employment opportunities for most of the unemployed or under-employed in the
rural areas. Sheep raising can be recommended as a subsidiary occupation. When mixed
farming is practised, sheep form an effective complementary component in improving the
economy of the farm. Sheep can thrive well in all agro-climatic conditions except in
rainfall areas. Sheep can subsist on low set and sparse vegetation because of their
inherent capacity to graze very close to the roots of herbage. Sheep manure excels cattle
manure and penning of sheep in harvested fields enhances the fertility of the soil by the
richness of nutrients in their droppings. Sheep rearing under the extensive system does
not warrant any large investment in buildings and equipments.
Sheep have carved a niche in the agricultural economy of the country by effective
utilization of the uncultivable wastelands and unwanted shrubs and weeds from the fields.
In fact, what has been said concerning sheep or goats is equally applicable to both of
these species except some points specific to either of the species.
Q.       Write down the factors that appear to be favourable to sheep and/or goat
The following natural advantages are in favour of sheep and/or goat production:
     •      They are able to convert weeds, bushes, grass and other plants on rangeland
            and pastureland to useful products, including meat, milk, fibre, leather and
            pharmaceuticals. They are excellent scavengers for gleaning fields.
     •      Compared to buffaloes or cattle, they produce more liberally in proportion to
            what they consume.
     •      Their returns come quickly. Their youngones, if properly fed, may be
            marketed when about a year old.
     •      They are unexcelled in the utilization of the more arid types of grazing.
     •      The wool clip from sheep and hair/mohair from goats are easily stored and
     •      Their energy requirements (except dairy goats) are lower than those for other
            livestock enterprises. Also, the energy requirements for fibre production by
            sheep are lower than those for synthetic fibres.
     •      Sheep and goats are highly adaptable and non competitive with humans for
     •      Their low purchase price is conducive to their farming.
     •      Goats reproduce at an early age and have more young than buffaloes or cows.
     •      They reduce risks of losses to owners by being cheaper to replace.
     •      Subsistence farmers keeping goats or sheep need very small amounts of
            purchased animal feed because their stock can manage on very poor quality
            roughage if required.
     •      With a 20% death rate a farmer with five sheep or goats will still have four
            animals, whereas a farmer with one buffalo or cow is likely to be left with

PART- I                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

     •     Marginal farmers may or may not own buffaloes or cows but invariably they
           possess sheep or goats or both.
     •     Sheep and goats are a source of employment for landless farmers who may be
           hired to shepherd sheep/goat flocks for extensive grazing and then return them
           to the owners at evening.

Q.      Discuss that goats are not really responsible for destroying
Goats have often received a bad press because they are sometimes associated with
destroying vegetation, overgrazing and hastening soil erosion, particularly in the more
arid regions of the world. However, this is often a misreading of the situation because it is
frequently the case that the goats are surviving in areas that are already degraded and they
are kept because they are the only animals that will survive under those conditions. This
shows that the goats are merely blamed for being the finisher of all vegetation and
inducer of soil erosion. Without any bias towards the goat when the above fact is
analysed, it would be revealed that the goat should be blamed less for their grazing
behaviour than the persistent overstocking of ranges/pastures by goatkeepers. Reduction
in the number of goats according to the available feed and grazing area is equally
important. By counteracting the dangers of overstocking goats and by mobilizing the
multifold production potential of goat in a shorter time with low cost technology, goat
keeping especially in rural parts of Pakistan will be a complementary animal husbandry
system to crop production and will constitute a special function in the integrated rural
Q.      What are the various features that serve to differentiate the goat from the
Goats may be distinguished from sheep by the presence of a beard, strongly odouriferous
tail-glands of the male, the absence of face glands and lachrymal pits in the skull, the
absence of foot glands at least in the hind feet. Domestic goats generally carry their tails
up, while these are hanging in sheep. The body covering differs between the two species,
hair in case of goats and hair-wool or wool in sheep (Barbados Blackbelly sheep are hair
sheep). Horn direction and spirals also exhibit variation in goat and sheep. Skeletal
differences also exist.

Q.      What type of environments are preferred by goats and sheep?
Worldwide distribution of goats reflects their ability to adapt to a variety of
environments. However, the preferred environment is on the lighter sandy soils in the
drier tropics, rather than in the wet humid tropics. They perform best and thrive in large
numbers in the dry tropics. There are, however, reports about 5 to 8 times more goats
than sheep in all the eastern states of India where the rainfall is high and plenty of grazing
material is available. The inherent characteristics of goats such as resistance to
dehydration, preference for browse and wide-ranging feeding habits, enable them to
thrive in regions that receive less than 750 mm of rainfall. In Pakistan, approximately
60% of all goats are found in low rainfall areas. However, there are goat breeds that
thrive in humid tropics such as dwarf goats and dairy goats in temperate zones. They
must be specially adapted to such environments.

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Paradoxically, sheep as individuals and breeds are more sensitive to environmental
changes than other domestic animals but as a species they thrive everywhere.
Proliferation of sheep has provided breeds or types adapted to almost every climate, from
snow-covered hills to semi-desert, but sheep are essentially graziers and prefer to graze
short plants. As a result they thrive best on rangelands with a low-growing plant
population that usually occur in the drier, but not the driest areas.
As is the case with goats, sheep adapted to the humid environments, appear to be smaller
in size on average than those adapted to the drier climatic regions.
Q.      Discuss very briefly the distribution of sheep and goats in the world.
There are around 1790 million sheep and goats in the world in 2000. India and China
possess the largest goat population, each of these having more than 120 million goats.
The goat population of Pakistan stands next to these countries, the number being about 50
million (2001). The world population of sheep stands at 1071 million (FAO, 2000). China
has the largest sheep (128 million: FAO, 2000) population, followed by Australia and
New Zealand, having around 120 and 46 million ovines, respectively. Some time back
USSR and Australia were at the top in respect of sheep population. There are around 24.5
million sheep (2002) in Pakistan. Population-wise Pakistan ranks 9th among the sheep
producing countries of the world.
A major part of the goat population of the world is distributed in the continents of Asia
and Africa. Most of the goat owners in various countries of these continents are in the
nomadic sector or landless farmers with flocks ranging from 1 to 15, being kept per
family. Organized goat rearing in these countries is almost non-existent except on
government farms. The continents of Europe and USA possess a much smaller
population of goats than Asia and Africa. The production of dairy goats and Angora is
becoming more popular in several European countries and parts of America. In the
Oceania, goats are comparatively a recent introduction, which mostly comprise European
milch breeds and Angora. Of course, feral goats still exist their and are mainly used for
meat purposes.
Pakistan possessed 8 million sheep in 1955, which gradually increased to 30 million in
1995. In contrast, the population of goats stood at 7.6 million in 1955, but it steadily rose
to 45.6 million in 1995, showing an average increase of 0.95 million per year over a
period of 40 years. The trend in annual growth rate (which was earlier in favour of sheep)
reversed in favour of goats in late sixties, thus the population of goats increased by
almost one million over that of sheep (14.5 vs 13.4) in 1970. This happened in spite of
the Goat Restriction Order, imposed in the then West Pakistan, against keeping and
movement of goats in several districts of the province. Later on this legislation became
void because of being ineffective and unnecessary.
Since late sixties, the rate of annual growth among ruminant animals in Pakistan has been
the highest in goats. This partly seems to be due to the introduction of Teddy goat here
and partly because of enhanced consumption of goat meat as well as more liking for
large-sized male goats for sacrificial slaughter on the Muslim Festival of Eid-ul-Azha.
The present ratio of sheep to goats in Pakistan is 1:2. Numerically, the goats are also
more important than sheep in several other countries such as China, India, Bangladesh,
Chad, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Devendra and
McLeroy (1982) reported that sheep and goat populations between 1970 and 1979

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

increased at the rate of 0.4 and 2.2% in tropics. These rates are well below the rate of
increase of human population in the same area.
The overall variations in sheep and goat populations reflect differences between regions,
in the overall environment, farming systems and human preferences.
Q.       Write a note on the distribution of sheep and goats in Pakistan.
Of the total sheep population, 42.4, 9.6, 19.4, 26.8 and 1.8% sheep are found in the
provinces of Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan and Northern Areas and FATA,
respectively. The corresponding figures for goats are 39.5, 21.7, 13.5, 22.4 and 2.8%,
respectively. In terms of type of holding, the distribution of sheep and goats shows that
more than 29% producers are landless farmers, 20.0% have less than 2 hectares and
nearly 23% possess 2 to 5 hectares of land. This shows that more than 70% sheep and
goat producers are either landless farmers or those whose land holdings are very small.
The picture arising from the distribution of sheep by size of flock is not very encouraging
since over 80% flocks consist of 15 or less number of sheep. Over 90% goat flocks too
fall in the same category.
Q.       Why do we need to promote goat and sheep production?
Some of the major reasons are given below:
i)       Human population is growing very rapidly creating an increasing demand for
         additional animal protein foods.
ii)      This demand can be met easily by increasing the small ruminant population. Thus
         roughage feeds and crop by-products unsuitable for human consumption can be
         processed/converted by these animals into desirable human foods.
iii)     It is easier to increase the population of small ruminants such as sheep and goats
         than large ruminants such as buffalo and cattle. This is because the capital
         investment for the farm is relatively low, average land holdings are usually small,
         the reproductive turnover of sheep and goats is high and both species can be
         managed easily by family labour. In economic terms the opportunity costs are low
         for sheep and goat production at the semi-subsistence level.
iv)      The genetic variability within and between our sheep and goat breeds is so high
         that selection for improved animal productivity is possible and, if this is combined
         with improved feeding and health, overall production gains could be considerable.
v)       Little attention has been paid to the feeding, management and health of these
         species in the past so that relatively a little more inputs to improve feeding and
         health could produce relatively high gains in productivity.
vi)      Nearly half a million male sheep and goats are slaughtered every year on the
         occasion of Muslim Festival of Eid-ul-Azha, which further indicates the need for
         sheep and goat production.
vii)     The opportunity exists for the introduction of modern management practices as
         educational and research facilities and extension activities are improved in
         countries like ours.
Q.       Why sheep and goats are more important in rural areas?
In societies where livestock raising is still a subsistence activity, both sheep and goats
may be kept as a source of investment and as an insurance against disaster. They help to
diversify the sources of farmer’s income. They are used in ceremonial feasting and for
the payment of social dues. Sheep and goats have a special function as sacrificial animals

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

amongst the Muslims. In this context the live animal has an intrinsic value far exceeding
its value as a meat producer.
Sheep and goat droppings are prized as natural fertilizer in western and in South East
Asia including Indo-Pakistan. Indeed, in some areas this may be a primary reason for
keeping sheep and goats. The fat from fat-tailed sheep is specially valued in some
African and Asian countries for use as a cooking fat and is considered to impart flavour
to other foods. This fat is also used for manufacturing washing soap for domestic use. In
Himalayan region of the Indo-Pak subcontinent, local sheep and goats are also used for
pack purposes.
The rearing of sheep and goats provides a small yet significant supply of animal protein
in the form of milk and meat. This is particularly useful for families of low-income
farmers and landless labourers. It has been reported that in certain areas 20 to 40% of
farmer’s cash income comes from sheep and goats. In more remote semi-arid areas,
sheep/goat production is the only source of income for their producers.
Q.       Are sheep and goats important to the economy of Pakistan?
Sheep and goats contribute in a large measure to the economy of Pakistan. This fact is
substantiated simply by the sheep and goat population in Pakistan, the numerical figure
being over 75 million (Economic Survey, 2002). The goat population is almost 100%
higher than that of sheep. Together they account for over 0.66 million tons of meat which
is 33.3 % of the total meat produced in the country. Over 39 million skins are produced
annually which fetch more than Rs. 2000 million in foreign exchange through their
export besides providing raw material for the expanding leather industry. Annual
production of 39.5 thousand tons of wool results in production and export of hand-
knotted carpets worth about Rs. 15 to 16 billion. The carpet industry provides jobs for
over two hundred thousand of artisans. This is in addition to thousands of those who earn
their livelihood through employment in tanneries, leather goods factories, meat shops etc.
More than Rs. 120 million in foreign exchange are earned annually by exporting about
8000 tons of raw wool. Besides, goats produce nearly 9.5 thousand tons hair per annum.
These are used in rough woolen cloth, numnahs, ropes and tents. The latter are used for
shelter by nomads. Sheep and goats also produce about 450000 tons of milk per year
which is almost 2.3% of the total milk produced in Pakistan.
They are the major source of livelihood for over a million livestock farmers. This is
especially true for arid regions where crop production and dairy farming are not possible.
Also, they are an important component of a mixed farming system of irrigated agriculture
practised by about four million farmers. However, in spite of their evident importance to
Pakistan, sheep and goats, till recently, have received scant attention and poor support.
Thus the primitive character of sheep and goat raising in Pakistan is still a common
Q.       Sheep and goats have long been the subjects of traditional neglect. Discuss in
Traditionally, sheep and goats have been the victims of neglect both by the general public
as well as by the scientists. This is despite the fact that sheep and goats have served
mankind for a longer period than other classes of livestock. They are a potential source of
meat, some milk, skin, fibre and are valued as laboratory and as pet animals, especially
goats being intelligent and graceful. Of course, both the species have docile nature.

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

With the advent of civilization, these animals, often referred to as small ruminants, were
partly relegated to the oblivion, being surpassed by buffalo and cattle in several important
characteristics. But both the sheep and goats proliferated and survived in genetic
isolation. The goats in Pakistan even survived a suppressive legislation namely Goat
Restriction Ordinance promulgated in sixties to ban the production and movement of
goats in several areas of the then western wing of Pakistan. Much talked about
destructive habits of goats tend to detract many and more are detracted by the strong
odour emanated by the male. But the advantages of goat far outweigh these
The early domestication process along with certain definite physiological characteristics
of sheep and goats are perhaps responsible for their better adaptability. Their flexible
integration into dissimilar socio-economic situations is associated with their high
economic viability. They thrive well on poor agricultural lands, where they graze
incidental vegetation. In arid areas where vegetation is sparse and the land is too steep to
cultivate, sheep and goats, especially the latter, roam more widely than other herbivores
and meet their requirements from weeds neglected by others. They have a higher
tolerance to feeds deficient in crude protein and certain minerals.
The nutrient supply of goats is favoured by their mouth, which is undeterred by thorns,
bristles etc., having some simulation to that of camel. They have relatively a high
capacity to take up dry matter to make up the deficiency caused by poor quality
roughages. Also, they have the ability to consume a surprisingly wide variety of plants,
grasses, bushes, tree leaves and industrial wastes. Goats are also reputed to have bitter
taste receptors, which may be the probable reason for higher intake of bitter forages like
“Neem” leaves.
The sheep and goats, because of their difference in feeding habits from large ruminants
serve as complementary rather than competitive, in the utilization of forages. Sheep and
goats, especially the latter, travel longer distances than buffalo and cattle in search of
feed. They possess thin and mobile lips, which enable them to select discriminately
favoured parts of plants. Split upper lip of sheep may partly account for their greater
ability to graze close to the ground. Thus they can also be helpful in multiple grazing of
the same area.
Q.      What may be the impact of raising small ruminants in rural areas on rural
        health and nutrition?
The greatest advantage of the contribution of milk and meat is towards the impact on
rural health and nutrition. The value is especially significant to the peasants who live on
the poverty line and to the vulnerable groups, the pregnant and nursing mothers and the
young. The supply of animal protein in the form of milk and meat, although small,
represents a consistent supply. Quite often, the supply makes the difference between
adequate nutrition and malnutrition to many of these farmers, who cannot afford to buy
these products, or alternatively, are unable to produce these by rearing buffaloes and/or

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      Give a brief account of the origin and domestication of sheep and goats.
Sheep: It is certain that domestic sheep came from the wild sheep of Asia and Europe.
Domestic sheep are thought to descend mainly from two wild stocks: 1) the Moufflons
(Ovis musimon and Ovis orientalis), and 2) the Asiatic urial (Ovis vignei).
There are two wild stocks of the Moufflon, the Asiatic Moufflon (O. orientalis), a wild
sheep still found in Asia Minor and the Caucasus, and the European Moufflon (O.
musimon), which is native to Europe and still found in certain parts of Europe. These two
relatives are closely allied, but the Asiatic Moufflon is redder and has a somewhat
different twist to the horns. Both of the Moufflon stocks are considered as ancestors of
domestic sheep.
The Asiatic urial (O. vignei), which is a smaller race of sheep than the Moufflon, is native
to the grassy open plains of central Asia. It lives in large flocks and is much less a
mountain animal than the Moufflon. Most of our familiar breeds of sheep are thought to
be descendents of this wild stock.
Goats: The origin of goat breeds of Indo-Pak sub-continent is not clearly known. They
are believed to have been derived from wild goats found in Asia Minor (the western most
extension of the Asian land mass, forming the greater part of the modern Turkey, Iran
and nearby countries. Asia Minor is one of the world’s oldest regions of settled
Most of the today’s breeds of domestic goat are believed to have descended from the
Bezoar or Pasan (Capra hircus aegagrus), one of the two living races of wild goats; the
other race is the Sindh wild goat (Capra hircus blythi) of Pakistan. The Bezoar, having
long horns (1.3 meters) is still found in the mountains of southwest Asia. The Kashmir
and Cheghu goats are reported to have been derived from Markhor (Capra falconeri); the
Angora goat from a cross between the Markhor (Capra falconeri) and the Bezoar (Capra
Sheep and goats were first domesticated in the new stone age. Other records indicated
that they were domesticated around 7th century B.C. much earlier than cattle, just when
farming began in southwest Asia. On the basis of archeological evidence, it is believed
that after dog, sheep and goats were probably the earliest ruminants to be domesticated
by man.
Sheep and goat raising was known as the earliest pastoral industry and reference is
frequently made to it in several books of various religions. They may be considered as
one of man’s first helpmates. Besides providing the wool (and some hair) for cloth, they
gave primitive man skins for shelter and meat and milk for food.
It can be hardly said that sheep and goats are indigenous to any one country; for they
appear to have been cultivated by the earliest peoples in history and they have gradually
spread over the entire face of the globe with the extension of civilization itself.

Q.     What do you know about the position of domesticated sheep/goats in the
       zoological scheme? Discuss briefly.
Sheep: The following is the outline that indicates the basic position of the sheep in
the zoological scheme:

PART- I                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Kingdom Animalia       :   The animal kingdom collectively.
 Phylum Chordata        :   One of approximately 21 phyla of the animal
                            kingdom, having either a backbone (vertebrates) or
                            the rudiment of a backbone, the chorda.
 Class Mammalia         :   Mammals are warm-blooded, hairy animals that
                            produce their young alive and suckle them for a
                            variable period on a secretion from the mammary
 Order Artiodactyla     :   Even-toed, hoofed mammals.
 Family Bovidae         :   Ruminants having polycotyledonary placenta;
                            hollow, nonde- ciduous, unbranched horns and nearly
                            universal presence of a gall bladder.
 Genus Ovis             :   The genus comprises the domestic sheep and the
                            majority of wild sheep. The horns form a lateral
 Species Ovis aries     :   Domesticated sheep.

Goats: As for the position of domesticated goats in the zoological scheme is concerned,
the steps of the scheme related to sheep from kingdom through family given above, are
equally applicable to domesticated goats. However, from the level of genus, the scheme
varies from that of sheep.

 Genus Capra            :   The genus comprises the domestic goats, which have
                            possibly been developed from the following wild
                            species: Capra hircus including the bezoar (C.H.
                            aegagrus) and blythi Capra ibex, Capra falconeri, the
 Species       Capra :      The true goat.

Horn form has been the primary criterion for use in distinguishing between the groups of

living wild ancestors. However, horn form by itself is unreliable as a basis for

classification of goats, being subject to genetic variation.

It is believed that Pakistan received domestic goats from the west through migrations of
the nomadic pastoralists of western and central Asia who used the historical routes,
namely the “Silk Road” and the Khyber Pass. This seems to be in addition to the
domesticated descendents of the wild goat of Sindh (Capra hircus blythi).
Q.       Was goat the first animal to be domesticated?
The goat was one of the first animals to be domesticated by man. Remains have been
found in deposits that are 5 million years old. Signs of their domestication have been
found in excavations of neolithic sites dating from 7000 years BC. As civilization

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

developed, more evidence of the species appeared in poems and drawings preserved from
more than 5000 years pay tribute to both wild and penned goats.
Documented evidence indicates that several prophets of God remained associated with
goat raising during early stages of their lives. It appears as if goat raising was probably a
requirement of their multifold training before being bestowed upon with responsibilities
as Prophets of God. Goat raising thus merits to be called as a blessed job and
continuation of a noble work considered worthy of being carried out by Holy
Q.      Give an estimate of the world goat population.
The total world population of goats is about 720 million in year 2000. It is impossible to

obtain an accurate figure because those who own goats are often reluctant to admit the

size of their flock. Nearly 75% of the goats in the world are in the developing countries,

kept in small to medium-sized flocks as subsistence units for the production of milk,

meat, hair and skins.

Q.      Are there any sizeable feral goat populations in the world?
One of the largest populations of feral goats is to be found in Australia. Their number is
estimated as between 0.5 and 1 million. New Zealand too has over 0.3 million such goats.
In smaller numbers feral goats do exist in some of the African and Asian countries.
Q.      Defend that goats are not solely responsible for damaging the forests.
Because of their ability to survive and reproduce in such remote areas, many of the feral
goat populations grew rapidly. These uncontrolled populations of goats contributed to the
reputation of the species for deforestation and desertification around the world. The true
story, as always, is not simple. In all instances, man is the major culprit. The destruction
of trees for construction, fuel and furniture has been the biggest influence on
deforestation. Often goats were around to browse through what was left. Also, badly
managed livestock, including goats, were allowed to destroy forests or the forest was cut
down to provide grazing. In such situations the goats were always the last to remain there
because of their unique ability to be able to find sustenance where other species often
could not.
Q.      Discuss the differences and similarities, if any, between sheep and goats.
The most telling difference, though not visible, is that sheep have 54 chromosomes and
goats have 60. Visible anatomical differences between some breeds of sheep and goats
may not be too convincing. Goats generally hold their tails up whilst the tails of sheep
hang down. Most of the males and some female goats have beards, a feature only rarely
seen in some primitive breeds of sheep. Male goats have a characteristic smell, which is
quite different from the smell of a ram. The rams have a secretory gland on the hind feet
which goats do not possess. Among the similarities the important features are: both are
ruminants, ungulates, cloven-hooved, have similar dentition, both have horned and
hornless breeds and both species have some dairy breeds. In addition, both sheep and
goats have been domesticated for thousands of years.

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      Give below an account of behavioural differences between sheep and goats.
The difference between the temperament of sheep and goats is very evident. Goats are
restless, curious and adventurous. They are enterprising and somewhat destructive. Sheep
are conformists, goats are unpredictable, flightly and capricious. If sheep hear a low
flying plane, they become frightened and likely to run away, whereas mostly the goats
will stand and watch. The goats are lively, ardent, robust, capable of enduring cold and
less disturbed by severe heat. They are wild, irregular and erratic in movements. They are
bold in their defence, putting themselves in an attitude of defiance when provoked by
other animals. Sheep are coward and submissive. Goats respond well, affectionately to
those they judge worthy of them. Towards others they might demonstrate a lighthearted
disregard. Sheep, on the other hand, often behave in a way as if they have no interest in
their surroundings. Goats are eminently sociable, attaching them to other animals,
however, different from themselves. They are inquisitive, find their way into every place
and examining whatever is new to them.
Q.      Write a note on world distribution of goats.
Today the goat has penetrated to almost every country. The only regions where it is not
found in significant numbers are the Arctic and Antarctic. The type, its main utility and
population largely vary in different countries. In many countries it is the most important
source of animal protein and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people there
depends on goat flocks and the products obtained therefrom.
There is still some stigma attached to keeping goats even in those countries where goats
exsit in millions. The goat is rarely seen as a status symbol in the way that a buffalo/cow
is and yet more often than not they make a greater contribution to the welfare of those
who own them. Goat farming is most developed in France where more than one million
goats are kept for milk, which is almost exclusively used for cheese production. In some
cases the cheese is made on the farm and in others milk is supplied to large cooperative
dairies. Goats have also become popular in Britian where they are raised mainly for milk
and the Angora for mohair. Dairy goats are also produced in USA but their population is
not very large. Angoras are concentrated in a few states in USA for mohair production.
Angoras are also found in large numbers in South Africa, Argentina, Australia and New
Cashmere production is gaining popularity. Although there is no such thing as cashmere
breed but in various parts of the world, goats have been selectively bred for cashmere
production. Cashmere is the fine hair grown as insulation by some goats in cold
environments. Goats producing the most cashmere are found in China and other countries
bordering the Himalayas. In recent years feral goats in Australia and New Zealand have
been used as the base breed for developing cashmere-producing goats. Some of these
have been imported in the United Kingdom too.
Q.      Write a note on status of goat farming in Pakistan.
The status of goat farming in Pakistan is not such that a country can boast of. Except at a
few Govt. livestock stations, no where else in the country goats are raised in an organized
manner and on scientific lines. Breed improvement programmes are mainly confined to
papers. Diseases and parasitic infestations are rampant. Kid mortality is very high. The
establishment of a goat research institute, once in the making, could not materialize and
finally the scheme was dropped for want of funds. Goat farming, as a matter of act, does

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

not carry a priority in public or private circles. Rather in 1960, a goat eradication
ordinance was promulgated in the Punjab area by the then provincial government. Since
it was an unnatural and not a well thought of step, therefore, it did not have much adverse
effect on goat production. The basis to enforce such an ordinance was that goats are a
source of destruction of forest plantations, which probably is not 100% correct. The
goats/goat farmers, however, could easily sustain this unwise attempt to eradicate goats
from the province. During sixties and early seventies goat population appeared somewhat
suppressed, while thereafter the goat population in the country exceeded that of sheep.
The introduction of Teddy goat certainly provided a spur to effect increase in overall goat
population, which presently (2001) stands at 25.4 million more than that of sheep. The
fact, however, remains that inspite of evident increase in numerical strength, the
production of milk, meat and hair (from long-haired breeds) per animal is very low.
Simply through selective breeding and upgrading process, productivity per head can be
increased to a substantial level. The present low yields of goat milk, meat etc. are the
result of poor feeding conditions in general, diseases and illiteracy and poverty of those
involved in goat raising. Unless concrete steps are taken to improve these conditions, the
returns from goat farming in turn would continue to be low, keeping thus the status of
goat farming in Pakistan low as well.
Q.      What are the main bases on which various breeds of sheep/goats are named?
There seem to be no hard and fast rules in this regard. Several of the breeds appear to
have been named arbitrarily. However, the names of several other breeds appear to have
some background for naming them so e.g. i) named after the area which forms
partly/wholly their home tract such as Baltistani (Baltistan district), Salt Range (Salt
Range area, and Tharki (Thar desert), ii) named after certain colour marks on the body
such as black circles around the eyes of Kajli sheep, some physical/phenotypic characters
such as small stature of Teddy goats, very small ears of Buchi sheep/goats or some social
factors as in the case of Jattan breed of goats, which derives its name from camel-raising
tribe of Jats in Sindh.
Q.      Give a list of thin-tailed breeds of sheep found in Pakistan.
Kooka, Damani, Kajli, Lohi, Sipli, Baltistani, Kail, Kali, Poonchi, Kaghani, Buchi,

Cholistani, Thalli and Kachhi

Q.       Name the important fat-tailed breeds of sheep found in Pakistan.
Salt Range, Balkhi, Hashtnagri, Michni, Balochi, Bibrik, Gojal, Kohai Ghizar, Pahari,
Tirahi, Waziri, Harnai, and Dumbi.
Q.       Describe any four exotic breeds of sheep.
i)       Columbia
The Columbia is an American breed developed since 1912. It is the result of Lincoln ram
and Rambouillet ewe cross with interbreeding of the resulting crossbred lambs and their
descendents without backcrossing to either parent stock. The object of the cross was to
produce more wool and more meat. Their large robust frame and herding instinct have
made them excellent range sheep, but they are also admirably adaptable to lush grasses.
Heavy wool clip, hardy and fast growing lambs, open faces and ease of handling are the
important attributes. They have medium wool in 50s to 60s ranges. It has light shrinkage.
It is an all-white breed, polled and open-faced.

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

ii)     Rambouillet
The Rambouillet is the French version of the Merino, developed from Spanish Merinos.
They have very large and strong bodies, with very little wrinkling in the modern
Rambouillet, except a little across the brisket. The fleece is less oily than that of the
Merino, thus has less shrinkage. They are hardy with a remarkable herding instinct. They
graze during the day and at night they gather closely as if to sleep. They are good for
open range and can adapt to a wide range of climate and feed conditions. The ewes can
be bred early to lamb in November/December. The lambs give good yield in boneless
trimmed meat cuts. They are a dual-purpose sheep, with a desirable carcass and good
wool production. The rams have horns and both sexes have white feet and open faces.
iii)    Targhee
The Targhee is a hardy American breed, developed by mating outstanding Rambouillet
rams to ewes of Corriedale X Lincoln Rambouillet stock and ewes of only Lincoln-
Rambouillet and following that by interbreeding the resulting lambs. This was done to
meet the demand for a sheep breed that was thick in natural muscling, prolific, producing
high quality apparel-type wool and adapted to both farm and range conditions.
These are large-sized, dual purpose sheep with a good meat type and heavy fleece (4 to 7
kg) of good wool, 7.5 cm length or more. These have clean face and no skin folds with
ewes weighing 55 to 85 kg and rams 85 to 135 kg. These sheep have been shown to
possess inherited resistance to internal parasites and no hoof troubles. Targhees have long
productive life. Targhee ewes have high percentage of twins or triplets and are known for
ease of lambing.
iv)     Corriedale
The corriedale is a Merino-Lincoln cross, developed in Australia and New Zealand. Its
dense wool is medium fine, 56s grade, with good length, softness and light shrinkage,
somewhat between medium and long wool, a favourite of hand spinners. Face clean
below the eyes, hornless. Corriedales are bred as dual-purpose sheep. They have good
wool and good meat and are noted for long productive life, meaning greater return on
investment made. Marked herding instinct, thus a good range breed.
Q.      Describe briefly the characteristics of three important exotic breeds of dairy
        goats and one mohair producing breed.
Saanen: It is a dairy breed, native to Switzerland, originating from the Saanen valley. It
is a white goat with sometimes black pigmentation mostly visible as spots or blotches on
the udder and ears. Mature females will weigh about 60 kg and males 85 kg. Females
often have beards and tassels (or wattles), though not essential features of the breed.
Horns may be present but rigorous selection going on for polled condition. Saanens are
the best milk producers with yields approaching 2000 litres not being uncommon. British
Saanen is generally larger, females weighing 70 kg and males 90-100 kg. It is
unsurpassed in milk yield. An Australian Saanen produced 3,300 litres milk in first
lactation and 3506 litres in her second. Such high yields are unlikely in a farm situation.
Under farm conditions British Saanens generally average around 1000 litres per lactation.
Saanens are real docile animals. In a contented closed flock, serious fighting, bullying,
jumping out of pens are rarely noticed.
Toggenburg: It also originates from Switzerland. The Toggenburgs are light brown with
characteristic white stripes on the face, white lower legs and white around the tail.
Sometimes its hair coat is quite long almost covering the upper parts of legs. Males and

PART- I                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

rarely females have beards and horns. Efforts are being made to breed out horned
animals. These are somewhat smaller than Saanens. British Toggenburgs on average are
heavier by 10 kg. They are derivatives of Swiss Toggenburgs. They are good milkers,
yield more fat and total solids in their milk. This breed has the reputation of being
excitable and getting out of most enclosures. Thus they do not make the first choice for
large scale commercial units.
Anglo-Nubian: The Anglo-Nubian is of Eastern origin. It is the product of crossing the
indigenous English goat with the Zaraibi from Egypt and the Jamnapari from India,
having a little of Swiss blood as well. Females usually average 70 kg and males over 100
kg. They have distinctive Roman nose and large pendulous ears. They can be of any
colour or admixture of many colours. Milk yield is generally lower than those of Saanen
and Toggenburg goats but has better quality in terms of both fat and protein, thus more
favoured for cheese making because of greater yield of cheese. Their big body frame and
muscular conformation suggest that they can be developed for meat production. Anglo-
Nubians are an excitable breed, thus being neurotic are probably not much suitable for
large intensive flocks. They have a long breeding season. They come into heat a month
before the other breeds and may continue to cycle for a month or two after. They are
more suited to semi-tropical environments where there is a good export demand for them.
Angora: It has its origin from Turkey. It is a mohair producing breed. Their export from
the country of its origin was not allowed till mid 1880s. Now Angoras are available in
large numbers in South Africa, USA, UK, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. The
Angora is smaller than most exotic dairy breeds averaging 45-50 kg and 60-65 kg in
females and males respectively. Their most striking characteristic is their long coat of
fine lustrous mohair, which grows at the rate of 2.5 cm a month. They are usually white
and normally these would be selected against coloured goats. However, brown and black
Angoras do exist. Males have large horns sometimes reaching a spread of over one meter.
In general shape, Angoras look more like sheep.

PART- I                                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.     Tabulate salient characteristics of important thin-tailed sheep breeds found in
various parts of Pakistan.
 Name         of            Habitat                        Colour                  Size     Averag   Average     General description
 breed                                                                                      e body   wool
                   Type                                                                     weight   yield/ann
                                                                                            (kg)     um

 Buchi             Wool     Cholistan tract & adjoining    White body coat, tan    Medium   30-35    4 kg/head   Ears small & stubby, hence
 (Bahawalpur                areas of Bahawalpur &          to dark brown head,                       (fibre      its name ‘Buchi’, sometimes
 i)                         Bahawalnagar districts         ears & neck                               diameter    black or brown rings around
                                                                                                     36 µ)       base of the ears, tail
                                                                                                                 comparatively long.
 Cholistani        Wool/    Cholistan area & adjoining     White with head, ears   Medium   37-44    3 kg/head   Ears leaflike, slightly Roman
 (Khadali)         mutton   large sandy stretches of       & part of the neck                        (fibre      nose, long tail touching the
                            Rahimyar Khan, Bahawalpur      black or brown                            diameter    hocks.
                            & Bahawalnagar districts                                                 39 µ)
 Kajli             Mutton   Sargodha district & parts of   White, muffle &         Large    45-55    3 kg/head   Typical Roman nose, long
                            Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin        lower 1/3rd of ears                       (fibre      pendulous      ears,      well-
                            districts                      often black; black                        diameter    developed body; long legs
                                                           circles around their                      40 µ)       give     them    a     high-set
                                                           eyes                                                  appearance with a short tail;
                                                                                                                 the name of the breed ‘Kajli’
                                                                                                                 derived from black circles
                                                                                                                 around the eyes of these
                                                                                                                 sheep; males highly prized for
                                                                                                                 Eid-ul-Azha sacrifice.
 Lohi              Mutton   Central districts of Punjab    White with dark-        Large    50-65    3 kg/head   Roman nose, long pendulous
 (Lamocher                                                 brown or tan head &                       (fibre      ears often with an appendage
 or Parkanni)                                              ears                                      diameter    on external surface, locally
                                                                                                     39 µ)       called ‘Parkan’, hence the
                                                                                                                 name ‘Parkanni’; broad loins,
                                                                                                                 well-developed body, teats &
                                                                                                                 udder; short, stumpy tail;
                                                                                                                 mean daily milk yield 0.8 litre
                                                                                                                 during a 120-day lactation.

PART- I                                                          SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Sipli     Wool     Irrigated       areas      of   White body with          Medium     34-40   5.6     kg    Head medium, nose flat, ears
                   Bahawalnagar district &         white or light brown                        (fibre        15 cm long, back straight, tail
                   adjoining parts of Bahawalpur   head, face & ears                           diameter      long.
                   district                                                                    40.6 µ)
Thalli    Mutton   Orignal home tract Thal         White body with          Small to   27-32   1.5     kg    Two strains of Thalli sheep:
                   desert; now also found in       black or brown head;     medium             (fibre        one with a small head & long
                   Mianwali, Muzaffargarh and      legs          below                         diameter      ears, the other with a large
                   parts of Multan, Jhang &        knees/hocks may be                          37 µ)         head & short ears; those with
                   Sargodha districts              black spotted                                             short ears have somewhat
                                                                                                             large bodies, while those with
                                                                                                             long ears have smaller but
                                                                                                             stout legs. Mean daily milk
                                                                                                             yield 0.7 litre during 100-day

Kachhi    Mutton   Tharparkar,          Sanghar,   White body with tan      Medium     32-42   2 kg (fibre   Ears     small/tubular,     an
                   Mirpurkhas     districts   &    or black face; neck &                       diamter       adventitious ear at the upper
                   adjoining areas of Rann of      legs also tan or black                      41 µ)         edge of the normal ear not
                   Kachh                                                                                     uncommon;           prominent
                                                                                                             Roman nose; both males &
                                                                                                             females     polled;     fleshy
                                                                                                             appendages seen hanging
                                                                                                             udder the throat; short tail;
                                                                                                             udder & teats well-developed,
                                                                                                             mean daily milk yield 1 litre
                                                                                                             during 140 days lactation.

Kooka     Mutton   Nawabshah, Naushero Feroz,      White body, head and     Small to   27-32   2 kg (fibre   Ears long & drooping; Roman
                   Dadu & parts of Larkana,        face usually also        medium             diameter      nose; male & female both
                   Sukkur & Khairpur               white                                       44 µ)         polled;      udder        fairly
                                                                                                             developed; short tail; mean
                                                                                                             daily milk yield 0.75 litre in a
                                                                                                             100-day lactation.

Damani    Mutton   D.I. Khan & part of Bannu       White body with          Small to   26-33   1.5    kg     Ears small         & stubby;
          /milk    district                        head fawn, brown or      medium             (fibre        sometimes        a     bottlelike
                                                   black; legs often                           diameter      appendage hanging below the
                                                   white,    sometimes                         44 µ)         neck, locally called ‘Larki’;
                                                   camel-coloured                                            somewhat pendulous belly;
                                                                                                             short tail; udder & teats well-
                                                                                                             developed, milk yield 1.2
                                                                                                             litres daily in nearly 100 days.

PART- I                                                                   SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Kaghani      Wool/     Abbottabad, Mansehra &            Complete white or head       Small to     22-28   1.5 kg (fibre    This breed named after
              mutton    parts of Mardan & Peshwar         & ears red, tan, grey or     medium               diameter 31      Kaghan valley; Kaghani
                        districts                         black                                             µ)               sheep winter in plains,
                                                                                                                             moving east as far as Jhelum
                                                                                                                             district in Punjab, but in
                                                                                                                             spring they go back up to the
                                                                                                                             alpine ranges of Kaghan
                                                                                                                             valley; head small; nose
                                                                                                                             slightly convex; ears medium
                                                                                                                             with pointed tip; neck short,
                                                                                                                             belly tucked up; legs often
                                                                                                                             covered with wool, males
                                                                                                                             horned; wool dense and curly.
                                                                                                                             Several Kaghani sheep have
                                                                                                                             some degree of Rambouillet
                                                                                                                             blood, resulting in better
                                                                                                                             quality wool.

 Northern Areas & Azad Kashmir
 Baltistani   Mutton/    Baltistan district of Northern   Mostly white bodies and      Small to     25-30   1.5 kg           Medium-sized head; small
              milk       Areas                            brown legs                   medium                                erect ears; small legs; short
                                                                                                                             tail; mean daily milk yield 0.8
                                                                                                                             litre during 100-day lactation.
 Kail         Mutton/    Neelam & Leepa Valleys in        Mostly white called          Medium       32-41   2.25     kg      Medium ears; Roman nose;
              wool       Azad Kashmir                     ‘Pachhi’, some have                               (fibre           males horned; tail 15-20 cm.
                                                          black or brown heads                              diameter 31
                                                          with black or brown                               µ)
                                                          circles around eyes &
                                                          ears & are called
 Kali         Mutton     Mikkyal area of Kotli            Black                        Medium       30-35   1.5 kg           Ears 10-15 cm long; males
                         district in Azad Kashmir                                                                            generally horned; straight
                                                                                                                             back; legs medium & stout;
                                                                                                                             tail thin, about 15-20 cm long.
 Poonchi      Mutton     Poonch      district   &         Mostly complete white,       Medium       30-37   2 kg (fibre      Head & ears medium-sized;
                         surrounding areas in Azad        some have black or                                diameter 36      males horned; tail 15-20 cm.
                         Kashmir                          brown patches on body                             µ)
                                                          with black or brown
                                                          head & legs

Q.         Tabulate salient characteristics of important fat-tailed sheep breeds found in

various parts of Pakistan.

 Name of      Type      Habitat                     Colour                           Size         Average   Average wool       General description
 breed                                                                                            body      yield/annum

              Mutton    Salt range area in          White body with tan,             Medium       28-36     1.5 kg (fibre      Small head, relatively
 Salt                   districts of Attock,        brown or spotted head                                   diameter 35 µ)     broad forehead &
 Range                  Rawalpindi,    Jhelum,                                                                                 tapering      muzzle;
 (Latti)                Mianwali & Sargodha                                                                                    small ears; short thin
                                                                                                                               legs; a small hanging
                                                                                                                               fat tail, wool fibre
                                                                                                                               density low.


PART- I                                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Dumbi       Mutton   Mountainous area of        White body black face,          Medium       30-36     1.4 kg (fibre      Small to medium
                     southwestern      Sindh    occasionally rings around                              diameter 38 µ)     ears; males mostly
                     comprising        Dadu,    eyes and black spots on                                                   horned;         medium-
                     Thatta & part of Karachi   ears                                                                      sized fat tail.
                     as well as parts of
                     Larkana, Jacobabad &
                     Sibi districts

Balkhi      Mutton   Peshawar,      Kohat,      Black, grey, tan or a           Large        55-70     1.5        fibre   Comparatively large
                     D.I.Khan & Bannu           mixture of these colours                               diameter           head, Roman nose,
                     districts & adjoining                                                             45 µ)              conical        muzzle,
                     areas of NWFP                                                                                        medium ears, males
                                                                                                                          often have large
                                                                                                                          curved           horns;
                                                                                                                          quarters          well-
                                                                                                                          developed; fat tail
                                                                                                                          well-developed and
                                                                                                                          set high on the rump;
                                                                                                                          males very popular as
                                                                                                                          sacrificial animals.
Hashtnag    Mutton   Peshawar, Mardan &         White body with black or        Medium       30-35     1.5 kg (fibre      Head       small      to
                     Haripur districts, also    tan head & face; shanks                                diameter 35 µ)     medium,            ears
                     parts of Kohat & Bannu     black in some cases                                                       medium; legs short;
                     districts                                                                                            hanging fat tail, may
                                                                                                                          even      touch      the
                                                                                                                          ground in well-fed

            Mutton   Michni        area    &    White body with black or          Medium       27-36     1.5 kg fibre        Head & ears small; neck
Michni               surrounding parts of       brown ears; black spots on                               diameter 37 µ)      long & thin; elongated
                     Peshawar valley, parts     hocks in some cases                                                          body; pendulous fat tail
                     of districts of Peshawar                                                                                reaching far below the
                     & Kohat                                                                                                 hocks.
            Mutton   Parts of Bannu, Kohat      Brown or black                    Small to     24-28     1.3 kg (fibre       Small head, medium
                     & Peshawar districts                                         medium                 diameter 35 µ)      ears, Roman nose; short
Tirahi                                                                                                                       thin    legs;     medium
                                                                                                                             hanging       fat      tail
                                                                                                                             proportionate to body
                                                                                                                             size; udder & teats fairly
                                                                                                                             well-developed, mean
                                                                                                                             daily milk yield 0.6 litre
                                                                                                                             in 100 days lactation.
            Mutton   North Waziristan &         White body, but some black,       Medium       31-37     1.4 kg (fibre       Head small to medium,
                     parts of Bannu, Kohat &    brown or spotted animals also                            diameter 35 µ)      ears medium, some
Waziri               Peshawar districts         seen; head & ears black,                                                     males horned; low-set
                                                brown or spotted                                                             animals; hanging fat tail
                                                                                                                             of medium size.

            Mutton   Kalat division and parts   White body with black,            Medium       32-37     2.4 kg (fibre       Low-set animals; males
Balochi     /wool    of Quetta district         brown or spotted muzzle &                                diameter 37 µ)      horned having slightly
                                                legs                                                                         Roman nose; medium
                                                                                                                             fat tail hangs above the
                                                                                                                             hocks; mean daily milk
                                                                                                                             yield 0.6 litre in 100
                                                                                                                             days lactation.
Bibrik      Mutton   Sibi, Quetta, & parts of   White body with head black,       Medium       30-38     1.5 kg (fibre       Head medium, ears
                     Loralai & Zhob districts   brown or spotted                                         diameter 41 µ)      small to medium, males
                                                                                                                             have curved horns; fat
                                                                                                                             tail short & wide.
Harani      Wool/    Sibi, Quetta, Loralai &    White body with black, tan or     Medium       31-38     2 kg (fibre         Head small to medium,
(Dumari)    mutton   Zhob districts             brown spotted head; black or                             diameter 31 µ)      ears medium; belly
                                                brown spots occasionally seen                                                somewhat pendulous;
                                                on knees/hocks & pasterns                                                    medium fat tail.
Rakhshani   Mutton   Kharan,       Mekran,      Body often white but              Medium       29-34     0.8 kg (fibre       Head & ears small to
                     Chaghi & Kalat area; a     occasionally black or brown                              diameter 31 µ)      medium;            belly

PART- I                                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

                    part of this tract is the   spots seen on the body &                                       somewhat pendulous;
                    Rakhshan valley, hence      legs, head black or brown                                      medium hanging fat tail;
                    the name                    spotted                                                        mean daily milk yield
                                                                                                               0.7 litre during 100 days
Areas &
Gojal      Mutton   Hunza     valley    &       Body white with tan or black   Small to   27-32   Negligible   Ears small and erect,
                    adjoining     Northern      patches; head, muzzle & ears   medium                          males mostly horned;
                    Areas                       mostly brown or tan & a                                        legs short; very small fat
                                                brown ring around the eyes,                                    tail.
                                                legs dark brown
Kohai      Mutton   Mountainous area along      White body with a brown        Medium     31-35   1 kg         Ears small and erect, no
Ghizar              the    Kohai    Ghizar,     head & brown or black legs                                     horns; legs short; very
                    extending from Gilgit to                                                                   small fat tail.
Pahari     Mutton   Mirpur              and     White body with occasional     Medium     29-34   1.5 kg       Medium head with no
                    Muzaffarabad districts      patches of tan, brown or                                       horns; a small fat tail
                    in Azad Kashmir             black; head tan, brown or                                      hangs above the hocks.

PART- I                                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.     Tabulate salient characteristics of important goat breeds found in various parts of

Name       of   Type    Habitat                   Colour                        Size       Average   Average hair     General description
breed                                                                                      body      yield/annum

                Milch   Almost all districts of   Golden-brown or red-          Large      37-46     Smooth-coated,   Massive head, Roman
Beetal                  central         Punjab,   spotted with white or black                        generally not    nose, long, broad &
                        extending to Multan       patches                                            Clipped          pendulous           ears,
                                                                                                                      spiralled horns, longer
                                                                                                                      in males; long stout
                                                                                                                      legs; short tail; udder
                                                                                                                      well developed & long
                                                                                                                      teats, milk yield 190
                                                                                                                      litres during 150 days
                                                                                                                      lactation; more than 50
                                                                                                                      % twin or triplet births;
                                                                                                                      Beetal males raised
                                                                                                                      especially for sacrifice
                                                                                                                      on Eid-ul-Azha, body
                                                                                                                      weight being 70-80 kg.
                Milch   Muzaffargarh & Multan     Black                         Large      40-45     1.2 kg/head      Large head with Roman
Dera Din                districts                                                                                     nose, hair on the chin,
Panah                                                                                                                 long       broad    ears;
                                                                                                                      appendages on sides of
                                                                                                                      neck, long and thick
                                                                                                                      spiralled horns; hairy
                                                                                                                      body;      tail   medium
                                                                                                                      covered with rough hair;
                                                                                                                      udder and teats well-
                                                                                                                      developed, milk yield
                                                                                                                      160 litres in a 150-day
                                                                                                                      lactation; twin births
Hairy Goat      Milch   D.G.Khan                  White                         Small to   25-30     3 kg/head        Hairy body; milk yield
                                                                                medium                                180 litres in a 140-day
Kajli           Meat    D.G. Khan in Punjab &     Black but some white,         Small to   25-30     0.8 kg/head      Head small, ears erect,
(Pahari)                Loralai    district in    brown or grey animals also    medium                                horns thin, white or
                        Balochistan               exist                                                               brown hair streaks run
                                                                                                                      from base of horns to
                                                                                                                      muzzle; udder medium,
                                                                                                                      120 litres milk in 120
                                                                                                                      days; twins rare.

PART- I                                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Nachi       Meat/   Bahawalpur,    Multan,     Black but black and white-    Medium   28-33   0.6 kg/head     Medium head, Roman
            milk    Muzaffargarh & Layyah      spotted too                                                    nose, small & thin
                    districts                                                                                 horns, medium ears;
                                                                                                              udder well-developed,
                                                                                                              150 litres milk in 100-
                                                                                                              day lactation; twin
                                                                                                              births common; because
                                                                                                              of dancing gait, these
                                                                                                              goats called ‘Nachi’.
Pothowari   Meat    Pothowar area of Punjab    Black, grey or white          Small    22-28   0.6 kg          Head & ears of medium
                    & adjoining parts of                                                                      size, hairy growth on
                    Kotli & Mirpur districts                                                                  chin, horns spiralled in
                    in Azad Kashmir                                                                           males but smooth in
                                                                                                              females; udder not well-
                                                                                                              developed, 110 litres
                                                                                                              milk in 150 days; only
                                                                                                              10 % twin births.
            Meat    Sargodha,        Gujrat,   Creamy-white,       brown,    Small    23-27   Generally not   Compact body; small
Teddy               Jhelum & Rawalpindi        black or patched with these                    Clipped         droopy ears, slightly
                    districts in Punjab &      colours                                                        prominent nose, horns
                    adjoining areas of Azad                                                                   may have spirals; both
                    Kashmir                                                                                   horned       &      polled
                                                                                                              specimens found; bucks
                                                                                                              often have beards; udder
                                                                                                              moderately developed,
                                                                                                              short conical teats, 65
                                                                                                              litres milk in 130 days;
                                                                                                              twins & triplets occur at
                                                                                                              about 50 & 15%; early
                                                                                                              maturity      &      high
                                                                                                              prolificacy     important
                                                                                                              features of this breed.

PART- I                                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Bari          Meat     Parts of Hyderabad,      White, brown or spotted       Small      20-23   -               Compact body, small
                       Dadu,         Larkana,                                                                    head, small, straight &
                       Jacobabad, Khairpur &                                                                     erect ears like that of a
                       Nawabshah                                                                                 deer (hence named
                                                                                                                 ‘Bari’), small pointed
                                                                                                                 horns, polled animals
                                                                                                                 also seen; 100 litres
                                                                                                                 milk in 110 days; since
                                                                                                                 they look like a deer,
                                                                                                                 therefore also raised as a
                                                                                                                 fancy breed.
              Meat     Parts of Hyderabad,      White                         Small      25-30   0.6 kg          Hairy animals; medium
Bugri                  Badin & Mirpurkhas                                                                        head     with     spirally
(Bagitoori)                                                                                                      twisted horns rising in
                                                                                                                 an upright position,
                                                                                                                 drooping medium ears;
                                                                                                                 during walking neck
                                                                                                                 and face held upward.
Chappar       Meat     South          western   All black or white or         Small      22-26   0.6 kg          Since originates from
                       mountainous     ranges   spotted with black & white                                       mountainous        region
                       comprising parts of                                                                       hence the breed named
or                     Karachi, Thatta, Dadu                                                                     ‘Chappar’, ‘Kohistani’,
                       & Larkana districts in                                                                    or ‘Jabli’, one of the
                       Sindh and Lasbela in                                                                      most common breeds in
                       Balochistan                                                                               Sindh; head small with a
                                                                                                                 forelock, ears small to
                                                                                                                 medium, horns having
                                                                                                                 blunt ends present in
                                                                                                                 males & females; tail
                                                                                                                 nearly 18 cm; 90 litres
                                                                                                                 milk in 120 days.
Desi          Meat/    Dadu,   Nawabshah,       Black body but white, grey    Medium     39-48   0.4 kg          These goats result from
              milk     Sukhur & part of         & spotted animals also        to large                           a cross between Kamori
                       Larkana                  seen, head & part of neck                                        & Chappar; compact
                                                black                                                            body; medium head,
                                                                                                                 ears 15-27 cm; tail
                                                                                                                 about 15 cm; udder and
                                                                                                                 teats         moderately
                                                                                                                 developed, 140 litres
                                                                                                                 milk in 95 days; twin
                                                                                                                 births common.
Jattan        Milch    Irrigated   areas of     Fawn, red or black; ears      Large      42-50   Generally not   This breed named after
                       Mirpurkhas bordering     are white splashed with                          Clipped         camel-raising tribe of
                       Thar desert              fawn, red or black; black                                        Jats in Sindh; medium
                                                ring around base of neck in                                      drooping             ears,
                                                males                                                            males/females horned;
                                                                                                                 long legs; udder well-
                                                                                                                 developed, 225 litres
                                                                                                                 milk in 130 days.
Kamori        Milch    Found all over Sindh     Dark-brown with light-        Large      44-50   Generally not   A breed of irrigated
                       but good specimens       brown or black patches                           Clipped         tract; large, compact,
                       available in   Hala,                                                                      high-set; head large,
                       Saeedabad & parts of                                                                      Roman nose, ears long,
                       Nawabshah                                                                                 wide     &      drooping;
                                                                                                                 males/females horned;
                                                                                                                 tail small; udder & teats
                                                                                                                 well-developed,       210
                                                                                                                 litres milk in 115 days;
                                                                                                                 twin births common;
                                                                                                                 exported      to    other
Pateri        Milch/   Hyderabad, Nawabshah,    Body white, face, neck,       Large      42-52   -               Ears long, drooping &
              meat     Khairpur & Sanghar       ears & part of legs reddish                                      wide at the ends,
                       districts                brown                                                            horned; udder well-
                                                                                                                 developed, milk yield
                                                                                                                 170 litres in 120 days;
                                                                                                                 twin births common;
                                                                                                                 fattened males in great

PART- I                                                      SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

                                                                                         demand for sacrifice on
Tapri     Meat   Sanghar, Mirpurkhas &   Camel-coloured or reddish   Small   18-22   -   Head & ears small, long
                 parts of Hyderabad &    brown; occasionally white                       spiralled horns in male;
                 Khairpur districts      body also seen                                  neck short; udder &
                                                                                         teats small; twin births
                                                                                         common; early maturing
                                                                                         and prolific.

PART- I                                                                   SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Tharki        Meat    Thar desert, hence the         Body colour black, but red   Medium   -       0.7 kg   Tharki are hairy goats;
                      name ‘Tharki’                  animals also seen                                      medium head & ears;
                                                                                                            udder         adequately
                                                                                                            developed, 110 litres
                                                                                                            milk      in     120-day
                                                                                                            lactation; twin births
                                                                                                            20% ; Tharki goats
                                                                                                            somewhat        resemble
                                                                                                            Chappar goats, but the
                                                                                                            latter are comparatively
                                                                                                            smaller, their udder less
                                                                                                            developed & the horns
                                                                                                            have blunt ends.

Damani        Meat/   Bannu, D.I. Khan & parts         Black body & tan or        Small    26-31   0.7 kg   Head & ears medium,
              milk    of Peshawar district             camel-coloured head &                                horns curved & pointed;
                                                       lower half of legs                                   tail small; udder & teats
                                                                                                            fairly developed, 110
                                                                                                            litres milk in 100 days;
                                                                                                            twin births common.
Gaddi         Meat    Kaghan valley                    Generally black, but       Large    42-50   1.4 kg   Hairy animals; massive
                                                       white & grey animals                                 head with long ears and
                                                       also seen                                            horns; 125 litres milk in
                                                                                                            150 days; mostly single
Kaghani       Meat    Kaghan valley, including         Black body, but white,     Medium   35-42   2 kg     Body covered with
                      Abbottabad,       Mansehra,      grey or brown animals                                dense & long hair; large
                      Swat, & Muzaffarabad             also seen                                            head, medium ears,
                      district of Azad Kashmir                                                              thick horns extending
                                                                                                            upwards & backwards;
                                                                                                            twin births common.
Khurassani    Meat/   Chaghi, Loralai, Quetta &        Body colour black, but     Small    25-30   1 kg     Head & ears medium,
              milk    Zhob districts                   white or grey animals                                large spiralled horns in
                                                       also seen                                            males, beard present in
                                                                                                            some animals; tail 18-20
                                                                                                            cm;      udder      well-
                                                                                                            developed, 180 litres
                                                                                                            milk in 150 days;
                                                                                                            mostly single births;
                                                                                                            they have long and
                                                                                                            shiny hair.
Lehri         Meat    Lehri town in Sibi district,     Black, but white or grey   Medium   30-35   0.8 kg   Head medium, ears
                      hence named ‘Lehri’              animals also seen                                    pliable, long, broad &
                                                                                                            males/females horned;
                                                                                                            tail about 20cm; udder
                                                                                                            & teats small; body
                                                                                                            covered with long hair;
                                                                                                            twin births common.

Northern Areas & Azad Kashmir
Baltistani    Meat/   Baltistan   district      in     Body black with white      Small    25-29   -        Head small, short horns
              milk    Northern Areas                   patches, head black                                  in males/females; 100
                                                                                                            litres milk per lactation.
Jarakheil     Meat/   Chilas valley in Diamir          Black     with     white   Large    45-52   1.2 kg   Well-developed        body
              milk    district in Northern Areas       patches, but brown with                              with long hair; large
                      & adjoining parts of             white patches also seen                              drooping ears with
                      Hazara district & Azad                                                                white patches, large
                      Kashmir                                                                               horns; udder & teats
                                                                                                            remain hidden in their
                                                                                                            long hair, 135 litres
                                                                                                            milk       in      100-day
Kohai         Meat    Found in area along Kohai        Generally black with       Medium   30-35   -        Head        small,     ears
                      Ghizar, extending from           white patches on belly                               drooping, males horned

PART- I                                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Ghizar             Gilgit to Yasin & Imit in     and brown rings around                               while most females
                   Northern Areas                eyes; blue-eyed animals                              polled; tail & teats very
                                                 also seen                                            small, 70 litres milk in
                                                                                                      100 days
Piamiri    Meat    Upper Hunza valley near       Generally all black, but   Medium   30-36   -        Small to medium erect
                   Khunjarab territory in        brown or grey-white                                  ears, arc like horns in
                   Northern Areas                patches    occasionally                              males while females
                                                 seen                                                 mostly polled; legs short
                                                                                                      & hairy; teats small, 80
                                                                                                      litres milk in 100 days.
Buchi      Meat    Parts of Kotli, Poonch &      Black or grey              Small    22-30   0.8 kg   Massive head, slightly
                   Muzaffarabad districts in                                                          Roman nose, very small
                   Azad Kashmir                                                                       ears,    hence     named
                                                                                                      ‘Buchi’, males/females
                                                                                                      horned; udder medium,
                                                                                                      90 litres milk in 150
                                                                                                      days; 12-15 cm long
                                                                                                      hair;     Buchi     bucks
                                                                                                      crossbred with Labri
                                                                                                      (long ears) to produce
                                                                                                      Shurri     goats    (with
                                                                                                      medium ears), since
                                                                                                      long ears get entangled
                                                                                                      with thorny bushes or
                                                                                                      injured from frost in
Desi       Meat    Mirpur & Kotli districts in   Black                      Small    19-23   0.6 kg   Slim animals covered
                   Azad Kashmir                                                                       with 8-10 cm long hair;
                                                                                                      head massive, ears
                                                                                                      medim, hair present on
                                                                                                      chin, horns spiralled in
                                                                                                      males & smooth in
                                                                                                      females; 80 litres milk
                                                                                                      in 150 days; mostly
                                                                                                      single births.
Kooti      Meat/   Almut, Kail, & Southern       Black & white patches      Small    15-20   0.6 kg   Head & ears small,
           milk    areas in Azad Kashmir         on body                                              horns small & spiralled;
                                                                                                      legs short & stout; 100
                                                                                                      litres milk in 150 days;
                                                                                                      twin      births    15%;
                                                                                                      because of smaller size
                                                                                                      Kooti goats are gaining
Labri      Meat/   Jhelum, Leepa & Neelam        Mostly black, but some     Large    40-48   1.8 kg   Body covering of 18-20
           milk    valleys of Muzaffarabad       with light-grey or brown                             cm long hair; head large
                   district & adjoining areas    patches                                              with long ears, chin has
                   of Poonch district in Azad                                                         hairy             growth;
                   Kashmir                                                                            males/females have long
                                                                                                      thick horns; udder &
                                                                                                      teats          adequately
                                                                                                      developed, 170 litres
                                                                                                      milk in 150 days; twin
                                                                                                      births 45%.
Shurri     Meat/   Jhelum, Leepa & Neelam        Solid white, grey, or      Medium   32-38   1 kg     Body covered with 15-
           milk    valleys of Muzaffarabad       black; or patched with                               18 cm long hair; head &
                   district & Bagh & Haveli      these colours                                        ears             medium,
                   areas of Poonch district in                                                        males/females horned,
                   Azad Kashmir                                                                       hairy growth on chin;
                                                                                                      legs long and stout,
                                                                                                      goats at higher altitudes
                                                                                                      have hairy legs; 135
                                                                                                      litres milk in 150 days;
                                                                                                      twin births 40%.

PART- I                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.     Give some useful hints for beginners in small ruminant business.
Practical experience indicates that it is preferable to start with a small number of animals.

Starting small gives you the opportunity to get low-cost experience. If you start with

fewer animals than your pasture will support, you will be able to keep your best animals

lambs/kids each year. After a few years, as any of your purchased ewes/goats reach an

unproductive age, they can be replaced by those of your best lambs/kids earmarked for

this purpose.

If you have no preference for any specific breed, consideration may be given to a local
predominant breed since it is more likely to be well suited to the climate. Buying animals
from a nearby area, well suited to the climate, helps save transport costs and a stressful
journey for the animal. You can also get replacement rams/ bucks more easily, even these
can be exchanged with other breeders in that vicinity, when you have used yours for
sometime and want to avoid inbreeding.
Q.      Is it always necessary to start with purebreds? Discuss.
A purebred possesses the distinct characteristics of a specific breed (and in countries
where associations for purebreds of various breeds exist, it is either registered or is
eligible for registry. Purebreds have greater uniformity in appearance and production and
a chance of income from the sale of breeding stock. Theoretically, they are expected to be
in better health, as the owner probably would take better care of valuable animals.
However, for a beginner to start with purebreds means higher initial cost, plus the cost of
registering each lamb/kid, with no better price for either the meat or the wool than if they
were not registered. Also, the financial loss is greater if one dies.
Q.      Discuss the importance of a good ram/buck.
It is often considered a good investment to buy a purebred ram/buck to use on grade
ewes/goats, for his good characteristics will show up in every newborn. Many breeders
feel that the male’s breed exerts more influence on the lamb/kid than does the female’s.
Practically this may be true for most traits, but not in case of twinning. This is controlled
by the number of eggs the ewe/doe drops to be fertilized, which is influenced by genetics
and encouraged by flushing. However, the lambs/kids they produce, will inherit both the
ewe’s/doe’s and ram’s/buck’s twinning capabilities and this will show up in the following
generations. The ram/buck greatly influences conformation. The ram also does influence
fleece type. It has always been known that a whole flock can be upgraded by the
introduction of a superior ram/buck.
Q.      Enlist below the factors, which need to be avoided while buying sheep/goats.
A list of such criteria is given below, all of which may not be applicable to both the

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

     i)     Extremely thin: Unless she has just raised twins or triplets, she may have a
            disease or a heavy load of parasites.
     ii)    Extremely fat: She may not breed, or if bred she may have trouble
     iii)   Narrow shallow-bodied: Their young ones lack good carcass conformation.
     iv)    Fine-boned: Those with larger bones are more hardy and productive.
     v)     Teeth missing: An animal with missing teeth cannot eat well and may require
            supplemental care and feeding.
     vi)    Old animals: Those over six or seven years old are progressively less
            profitable. They are a poor investment.
     vii)   An animal having pink eye or any eye damage should not be purchased.
     viii) Limping animal: This may indicate hoof disease.
     ix)    Untrimmed feet, turned up at the toes, or overgrown and turned under at the
     x)     Lower jaw not matching upper jaw properly, either overshot or undershot.
     xi)    Lumps in the udder: These may indicate mastitis, thus the youngone would
            require supplemental bottles or be a complete bottle baby.
     xii)   Bottle jaw: Lumps or swelling under the chin, is usually caused by severe
            internal parasite infestation.
     xiii) Tail and anal region soiled with lose droppings: May be caused by lush
            seasonal fodders or pasture, but also could be caused by internal parasites.
            May be asked when they were dewormed last and what drug was used?
     xiv) Animals that were single births: Twinning is quite hereditary which is
            primarily influenced by female and is more profitable.
     xv)    Small size: Those that are undersized for their particular breed are not
            recommended. They produce smaller youngones and less wool in case of
     xvi) Wool covering face. (This is a problem in some of the western sheep breeds).
            Shearing the face takes time. Wool blindness inhibits eating and mothering.
            Some studies show that open-faced ewes are more fertile than muffle-faced
     xvii) Wool going too far down on legs: Since shearing on legs is difficult, therefore
            better avoid such animals.
     xviii) Ragged, unattractive fleece: This indicates scratching by sheep because of
            ticks or mites. Part the fleece in several places and look closely for this
     xix) Double teats or teats with double orifices, very large (sausage teats) or very
            small teats are to be avoided, especially in milk goats.
     xx)    Very large udders (many of them are just meat) or very pendulous udders
            (more prone to injury and mastitis infections) are not desirable.
     xxi) Do not buy from marshy areas and from places where infectious diseases are a
            common occurrence.
     xxii) Do not buy from too distant places so that transportation and acclimatization
            problems do not arise.

Q.        What points need to be kept in mind while purchasing a ram/buck?

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

The old saying that the “ram/buck is half the flock” is still the best rule of thumb for
selection of a sire. The choice of sire will most rapidly change the character of flock,
good or bad. It is therefore, necessary to examine him well before buying. Some of the
points given below are applicable to ram only.

   •        Good size, deep wide body, heavy muscular neck.
   •        Well-developed sex organs, scrotal circumference 22 to 26 cm for about 50 to
            55 kg yearlings.
     •      No scrotal mange, no hernia. Turn the ram/buck up to examine.
     •      Possibly, insist on a negative ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay)
            test for sire epididymitis.
     •      Good feet: Bad feet can render a ram useless.
     •      Good eyes: Examine for pink eye or any sign of eye damage.
     •      Good teeth: These should be well aligned with upper jaw.
     •      Head not too large: It is important to avoid problems at parturition time.
     •      Full hindquarters, especially in meat animals.
     •      Possibly be one of twins or triplets, to influence prolificacy of his daughters.
     •      Avoid a ram having too many wrinkles and folds in its fleece.
     •      Notice the general health of the rest of the flock to which the sire belongs.
     •      Watch for external parasites because of their presence signifies negligence in
     •      Must possess the characteristics of the pertinent breed.
     •      Examine its pedigree, at least try to trace some of its ancestors.
     •      In case of milk goat’s flock, make sure that there is milk in buck’s pedigree.
Q.       What is meant by ELISA?
It is a highly sensitive blood test specific for identifying ram/buck epididymitis. It stands
for Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay test. Epididymitis is caused by one of several
different organisms, which damages sperm-producing tissue. The infection is well
established before the external symptoms become visible. Symptoms include swelling of
the epididymis (located at the base of the testis) and the presence of hard lumpy tissue,
showing that the disease is well advanced. It is mainly contagious from sire to sire but
can be transmitted through an ewe/goat who has been serviced by a diseased ram/buck.
Vaccination not highly successful. When the only indication of the disease is seminal
white blood cells, before the disease becomes clinical, high levels of antibiotics such as
tetracycline and streptomycin can be effective. This might save a valuable animal, but
would require isolation and extensive monitoring. In certain countries, a negative ELISA
test is a must for any ram/buck sold for breeding purposes. After identification diseased
animals are culled.

Q.     How to avoid shipping fever in animals to be transported to a distant place.
To prevent shipping fever, it is helpful to give an injection of combiotic to each animal
before transporting them. Preferably they should be moved in mild weather.
Overcrowding and rough handling be avoided during transportation. If a large number of

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

animals is to be transported, an antibiotic can be added to their water well ahead of time.
Stop for rest if the journey requires more time than 28 hours.
Q.       Give some hints that can be of practical help in avoiding problems with
         newly purchased sheep/goats.
Give the same feed at your farm as the sheep/goats you bought were accustomed to eat.
Get information about feed from the owner, if you feel it is not available at your end, may
buy some from the owner (especially the grains). Then gradually change them from their
accustomed feed to whatever you intend to feed. Never change abruptly. To avoid scours
or bloat, the animals should be fed dry grass before being sent on a pasture more lush
than they had before. Ask the owner about the feet trimmed last and see if he will trim
one of them while you watch. This is an easy way to learn how it is done. While
purchasing it is important to know when deworming was done last and what drug was
used?. It is equally important to find out that what vaccinations have been given to the
animals you are buying. Also find out what diseases may have occurred in that flock. All
sheep/goats possibly should have tested negative for ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP).
All animals should be free of foot rot and that ram/buck has tested negative for
Q.       Discuss sheep/goat age vs/price.
The age of ewe/goat is important in relation to the price asked. Workout roughly how
many more fleeces and lambs (in case of sheep) and how many more kids and how much
more milk (in case of milk goat) she can be expected to produce? If she is quite old, how
much additional feed will she need to compensate for her poor teeth? Again there is the
importance of multiple births. Does this old ewe/goat have a history of twins or triplets?
If so, this marks her more valuable, assuming she gets the care that makes more
lambing/kidding possible.
Q.       What breed of sheep/goat to keep?
Whenever you talk of sheep/goat raising, the question which breed to keep crops up first
among a few other important things. It may not be advisable to bring a breed from a very
far off place. The best would be to use a more available breed, knowing that a careful and
patient breeding programme could upgrade any breed and may even give many of the
desired qualities of the less-available breed. By adding and using one special ram/buck, at
a later stage might help accomplish your breeding goal.
Q.       What factors help determine the selection of a breed?
Different breeds were developed (especially where sheep and/or goat industry is well
advanced) in response to market needs and conditions under which they had to be raised.
Does not matter, how good a particular breed may sound, it may not be the best choice
for all situations. Such things as its availability, climate, pasture/feed, and how much time
and money can be invested in their care are important. Sheep/goat breeds known to yield
multiple births are, of course, preferred. However, sufficient attention is required to
ensure the survival and good growth of youngones. Twins and triplets without
supplemental grain feeding grow slowly than singles. Some breeds can be managed to
produce youngones twice a year, but off-season births do not usually correspond to the
best time for grazing. Thus dams and youngones both will need special feeding. Less
emphasis is now placed on visual appearance of animals and more on carefully measured
productive characteristics such as feed conversion, weight gains, fast growth of

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

youngones, mothering ability, prolificacy, clean weight of wool and milk production in
case of milk goats.
In a situation where it is not possible for the attendant or the owner to be at home during
the day in lambing/kidding season then the ease of lambing/kidding should be more
important than growth rate. In case you live in a climate of extremely hot summers, then
heat resistance would be more urgent than longevity of the animals. For meat purposes,
breeds with large bones and having low-set bodies are preferable.
Q.      Why sheep with wool on legs (lower down), face and with dense skin folds are
        not preferred?
Wool on sheep’s legs should be considered a disadvantage because it is almost unusable
and makes shearing more time-consuming. Wool on the face is another disadvantage. It is
very inheritable. It has been reported that open-faced ewes will raise more and heavier
lambs. Also open-faced ewes do not suffer from wool blindness or collect burrs on the
Skin folds do produce a higher grease fleece weight, which then also means higher
shrinkage. For hand spinners, the excessively greasy fleeces are harder to wash. Skin
folds make shearing more tedious and cause more second cuts. Also maggots can hatch
and thrive in moisture-retaining folds. Folds predispose sheep to fly strike. Skin folds
usually indicate a somewhat lower fertility. Folds are inheritable and found mainly in
some of the fine wool breeds. Real fine wool breeds are found in Europe, New Zealand,
Australia and North America.
Q.      Discuss the role of a farm manager in successful operation of a sheep/goat


The farm manager or the farm owner has to be a leader. Farm staff should have sufficient
confidence in his managerial judgement and abilities. He should have an inspiring
attitude. A manager’s duty, apart from management and coordination for harmonious
running of the farm, is to lay down policies and assure their implementation. If any one
among the staff has a good suggestion, the manager must consider it and may adopt it.
His main consideration in making decisions should be economy. By proper supervision,
he must try to economise the working of the farm and thereby increase profit. He must be
conversant with computer operation so that all farm related information may be
Q.      What specifically are the responsibilities of an animal farm manager?

Briefly these are: planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling the


Planning: Planning regarding the major aspects of an animal enterprise such as feeding,
breeding, management and disease control and marketing needs to be made well in
advance. The selection, purchase, culling and breeding of animals, cultivation of fodder
crops to supply green fodder throughout the year, preservation of surplus fodder,
procurement and storage of concentrates and other feeds are among the jobs that need his

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

attention. Off−season purchases always cost more than purchases at harvest. A thorough
study of records be made and new plans devised so as to remedy the shortcomings, if any.
Each day’s work should be planned at least one day earlier. Depending on the inclination
and capacity of each labourer, duties should be assigned to keep them busy without being
Organising: The guiding principle is the proper man at the proper place and at the
proper time. It is the manager’s concern to know the norms and quantum of work that a
worker is expected to finish in a certain unit of time.
Direction: Nothing confuses more than inconsistent orders given and renewed at short
intervals. Orders should be simple and specific. A good officer delegates some of his
powers to his subordinates/supervisors and inspires them. If some one has done a good
job, he must be encouraged.
Coordination and Control: Many problems can be solved easily if there is adequate
communication between the manager and the staff working with him. Coordination has to
be assured between persons working in different sections such as feed supply and
feeding, detection of animals in heat and breeding operations, maintenance of equipment
and disease control. The manager should encourage the employees to work together as a
Owner−manager: An owner−managed farm should be more efficient and profitable,
provided the owner possesses the necessary skill and technical knowledge. It is better that
he should consider the following points before appointing himself as the manager:
    i)      Does he possess the necessary technical training and knowledge?
    ii)     Has he adequate knowledge of accountancy and book keeping?
    iii)    Is he having sufficient experience with fuel operated machines, tractors, use of
            computer etc.
If the answers to the above questions are in affirmative, the owner can work as a
manager. However, this calls for a great patience and perseverance on his part. In case he
lacks technical know how, it is advisable to get himself equipped with the same by
undergoing short duration related courses at a nearby agricultural university.

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Basically sheep are grazers and goats are browsers. Raising sheep and goats is an
efficient way to convert grass into food and clothing for humans. They also fertilize the
soil in a big way. Pasture or range feeding alone is seldom adequate for 12 months of the
year, making feeding of supplements quite necessary. Feeding time provides an occasion
to check your sheep/goats, feel their udder when close to lambing/kidding, note the way
they are eating, which reflects their state of health. Count the animals, particularly when
they were in a wooded grazing area where one could be entangled in bushes and was in
need of help.
Q.       Discuss the current scenario concerning feeding of small ruminants in
Most farmers who keep sheep/goats here are not in a position to pick and choose
appropriate feeds for their animals according to the energy or protein content of each
feed. They make use of the scant natural grazing and crop by-products that are available
and try to feed their sheep/goat as best they can with what they have. Of course, their best
is hardly the least of well-fed sheep/goats of farmers in Europe or the USA. The present
practice might be termed as ‘supply-driven’ feeding and not ‘demand-driven’ since the
small ruminants are being fed according to the supply of feeds available, over which the
farmer or the pastoralist may have little control. Farmers can be helped to make more
efficient use of the available feeds and to increase supply of feeds by growing forage
crops. The use of formulated rations presently seems a remote possibility in most
situations prevailing here.
    Q. Give an estimate of the capacity of a milk-fed lamb/kid stomach and that of a
    mature ewe/doe.
A young milk-fed lamb/kid has about 30% stomach space occupied by the rumen and
reticulum. At maturity, a well developed ewe/doe has a rumen that occupies 80% of the
stomach space and a reticulum 5%. The omasum is 8% and the abomasum is 7%. An
illustration of why feeding requirements of ruminants differ from single stomach animals,
note that a horse’s stomach holds 11 to 18 litres, while a buffalo/cow stomach (fours)
holds about 240 litres. The rumen does not increase to this size without proper
development. Early feeding of roughage is essential for this purpose.
Q.       Poor feeding of ewes/does may lead to what damaging effects?
Poor feeding results in reduced fertility, poor nursing ability, reduced multiple births,
decreased wool/meat/milk production, a higher incidence of pregnancy disease and
reduced growth rate of lambs/kids. An undernourished animal may also give birth to an
offspring a few days early, which thus has less chance of survival. An undersized
offspring, born outdoor in bad weather is more likely to suffer greater loss of body heat
leading to its death.
Q.       Discuss the importance of regular feeding.
Small ruminants do not thrive well when the time and quality of their feeds fluctuates
much, especially grain feeding. These animals are not like buffaloes, cattle or horses
since they do not eat well in the dark and should have time to eat their feed before
nightfall. Too much variation in feeding time disturbs rumen function. During advanced
pregnancy, erratic feeding can trigger toxaemia. Some reports indicate that regular

PART- I                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

feeding of sheep/goats, say about 10 a.m. helped reduce the night and early morning
births. More recent trials suggest late afternoon feeding, shifting even later in the day two
to three weeks before parturition. Either feeding schedule helps shift lambing/kidding
time primarily into daylight hours.
Q.      Why sudden feed changes in small ruminants are not advisable?
The stomach of small ruminants can adjust to a great variety of feed, provided changes
are made gradually. A sudden change of ration, such as sudden access to excess feed can
cause death. The rumen has a mixed bacterial content with the ability to adapt to the
nature of the diet. Small ruminants who are fed only roughages will not be able to adapt
to a sudden change to grain, since the rumen will be so geared to the handling of fibrous
material that the bacteria which utilize concentrated starch and protein will be present in
too small a number to function, thus the animals will go off their feed and suffer. A
gradual change from roughages to grain gives those grain-handling flora a chance to
multiply. A disturbance of the rumen by an abrupt change of diet will leave the animals
open to infections and disease, by interfering with the production of VFAs and the
synthesis of A and B vitamins. A good rule of thumb would be to change feed no faster
than 10% per day. Production of milk requires more protein than would be needed for
body maintenance. Thus a milking doe is fed ration of at least 16% protein, while a dry
mature doe or buck will do well on 12%. Protein is expensive and any excess is just
Q.      Write a note on composition of feeds.
It is important to know the quality of different types of feeds and to know their
characteristics and role in small ruminant feeding. In developed countries printed tables
of feed analyses show the composition of feeds. This type of information in printed form
is partly available in this country as well. It is useful to be able to read and understand the
printed tables of feed analyses.
All feeds consist of the components shown in Figure 1. Feed is first divided into water
and dry matter (DM). The DM component provides all the nutrients necessary for life
such as energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Of course water is also vital for life.
However, it is on dry matter basis that feeds are evaluated because the quantity of water
in feeds varies greatly according to feed type, season, stage of growth etc.

                                                               Carbohydrates     (starch   and
                                               Energy          Fibre (cellulose, lignin)

                               Organic               Protein
               Dry matter

                             Inorganic – Minerals
Figure 1. The main components of feed
Q.     Write an essay on methods of feed analysis.
By far the most common method of making a basic analysis of a feed is known as
proximate analysis, which was developed over 100 years ago. In this method the feed is
broken down into the fractions shown in Table 1. There are problems in interpreting the

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

results of proximate analysis. Important feed components are split between two fractions;
carbohydrates, for example, are split between the crude fibre fraction and the nitrogen-
free extracts fraction. The crude fibre fraction should indicate the proportion of the feed
that is indigestible, but it does not, because it contains both cellulose and hemicellulose,
which can both be digested, depending how closely they are associated with lignin.
Despite its weakness, this method of analysis is widely used in the subtropics and tropics.
A typical feed analysis looks like as shown in Table 2. This table shows the amount of
dry matter in different parts of Leucaena leucocephala. It can be a helpful starting point
when estimating how much dry matter a sheep/goat will receive from a feed. It also gives
an indication of the amount of protein, but the crude protein value does not show how
much of the protein is digestible by a small ruminant. Thus the proximate analysis results
should be viewed as an initial guide to the potential value of a feed. A better method of
feed analysis is the Van Soest method. The Van Soest method divides the feed into
different fractions from those employed in proximate analysis. The term acid detergent
fibre (ADF) may be seen in some tables; it is a good indicator of the indigestible fibre
content of feeds. If fibre is largely indigestible, the amount of energy a sheep/goat can
obtain from the feed is low.

Table 1.       Feed components of proximate analysis
 Fraction                    Components
 Moisture                    Water
 Ash                         Minerals
 Crude protein (CP)          Proteins, amino acids, B-vitamins
 Ether extract (EE)          Fats, oils, vitamins A,D,E,K
 Crude fibre (CF)            Cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin
 Nitrogen free extract (NFE) Cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin,             sugars,
                             tannins, water-soluble vitamins

Table 2.      Proximate feed analysis for Leucaena leucocephala
 Plant     Dry matter %                   As% of dry matter
 part                       CP         CF        Ash        EE              NFE
 Fresh         30.7        24.2       24.2       8.9        2.7             40.0
 Pods            91.0          35.8       11.4         4.4         7.5       40.9

Q.      Give a detailed account of digestion in an adult small ruminant.
The sheep/goat, like other ruminants, has a specialized series of organs, in which the
huge quantity of fibrous feeds it eats is broken down into feed components that it can
absorb and actually use. The break down of feeds is done for it by a huge population of
bacteria and protozoa, known as rumen microbes, to which the sheep/goat plays host. The
small ruminant provides the microbes with a nice warm environment and a steady supply
of feed. The sheep/goat benefit from this arrangement, because it obtains feed which has
been partially broken down and which the sheep/goat can directly digest. They can also
digest both dead and living microbes when they pass out of rumen, providing the host
with valuable nutrients. Thus when feeding a small ruminant (SR), it is important to think

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

not just about the SR itself, but also how to adjust and make the microorganisms active
and able to multiply, by supplying them with the nutrients they need.
Feed enters the stomach through the mouth, where it is mixed with saliva. After passing
down the oesophagus, it enters the rumen. The rumen being a compound stomach, has
four compartments: the rumen proper, reticulum, omasum and abomasum (Figures 2,3).
Once in the rumen, the feed is broken down by physical means through the movement of
the rumen and during rumination, when the feed is regurgitated and chewed again by the
animal. The rumen is home to microbes which secrete enzymes that act on the feed and
break it down. Carbohydrates (sugars, starch and fibre) are converted into volatile fatty
acids (VFA) and methane. The VFAs can be absorbed through the rumen wall by the
sheep/goat, while the methane is released through belching. During the process of
breaking down feed, a substantial amount of heat is released. The SR has to get rid of it
through panting, sweating and simple convection. This heat source can be a great
advantage to it in a cold climate, but a burden in hot weather/climate.
The VFAs are the main direct source of energy for the SR’s maintenance and growth.
The SR is also able to convert them into their various products. Three main types of
VFAs are produced in the rumen: acetic acid, propionic acid and butyric acid. The
proportions, in which they are produced, are determined by the type of feed consumed.
The balance between fibre and starch/sugars can have an effect on the quality and
quantity of milk yield, being more important in dairy goats. Starch/sugars largely
determine total milk yield, while increasing fibre enhances fat content of milk. Feeds rich
in starch and sugars such as whole grains or sweet potatoes, can have a dramatic effect on
milk yield, but it needs to be careful. The break down of starch and sugars happens very
quickly, producing large quantities of methane, which must be removed quickly if a bloat
of rumen is not to occur. Bloat can be fatal. Fibre is broken down much more slowly and
helps maintain efficient conditions for digestion in the rumen. Fibre should always be fed
with foods such as grains.
Proteins are broken down by the microbes in the rumen into peptides, amino acids and
ammonia. These are then used by the microbes themselves, when they reproduce and
multiply. Microbes are continuously multiplying and dying. Living and dead microbes,
when they move out of the rumen, constitute microbial protein, which together with
amino acids is digested by the sheep/goat in the abomasum and the first part of the small
intestine. It is important to understand that only proteins and amino acids, which actually
manage to reach the small intestine, are of direct use to the goat. It is much more efficient
for the sheep/goat to digest protein for itself in the small intestine, than to wait for the
microbes to break down and digest a protein to covert it into microbial protein, which the
host animal then has to break down again for itself. Protein is often the scarcest, most
expensive component in the diet, therefore, it is important to think about how to use most
efficiently the protein that is available.
Urea can be absorbed directly by small ruminants, which recycle it through their saliva or
it may be converted into microbes and then microbial protein for later use by sheep/goat.
It means that microbial organisms in the rumen can be encouraged to develop by feeding
urea in the diet as a source of non-protein nitrogen. Non-protein nitrogen is a cheap
source of nitrogen. The urea must be fed with a source of easily fermentable energy;
molasses is commonly used. The urea might come from simple urea fertilizer. This is a
feature that can be exploited to achieve cheap improvements in small ruminant feeding. A

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

word of caution is that do not feed urea in excess of the levels recommended for
Q.      What is meant by manipulation of digestion in the rumen and small
        intestine? Discuss.
Manipulation here refers to adjusting the proportions of energy (sugars, starch and fibre)
and protein (amino acids and non-protein nitrogen), so that the rumen microbes are well
fed to do their job and so that some protein escapes the rumen and provides a source of
protein directly and efficiently, to the sheep/goat through the small intestine. Protein that
is broken down in the rumen is called Rumen Degradable Protein (RDP), which supplies
a source of nitrogen to the microbes in the rumen. Protein that goes through the rumen
and is digested in the small intestine is called Undegraded Dietary Protein (UDP) or
simply ‘by-pass protein’. Different feeds contain different proportions of RDP and UDP
(Table 3). The amounts of RDP and UDP in any feed are measured by using the rumen
bag technique. This technique gives a simple, quick and useful assessment of the nutritive
value of a feed in the rumen.

Table 3.     Degradability and by-passability of proteins from different feeds
 Feed                         Degradability              By-passability
 Grass hay                         0.9                        0.1
 Wheat                             0.8                        0.2
 Soya bean meal                    0.6                        0.4
 Fish meal                         0.4                        0.6
 Blood meal                        0.3                        0.7
Source: Peacock (1996).

Q.       How can you use the knowledge gained from the preceding three questions to
         make sure that sheep/goats get the best balance of nutrients?
The first thought that comes in mind in this respect is: does the current diet contain a
source of carbohydrates that can be easily used by the rumen microbes? This might be
derived from grass or better sources such as molasses, banana peelings etc. In addition to
energy, the rumen microbes need a source of protein or non-protein nitrogen so they can
multiply and build up a source of microbial protein for the small ruminant. A diet that
satisfies the rumen microbes and thus indirectly the sheep/goat, is likely to be sufficient
for the basic needs of sheep/goat. However, protein made by microbes will not be enough
if high levels of production (fast growth, higher wool yield, higher milk yield) are
expected. In this case a source of by-pass protein will be needed to supply higher levels
of protein directly to the sheep/goat.
Q.       What different purposes are served by providing feed to small ruminants?
These include the following:
Maintenance: The normal activities of staying alive, breathing, blood circulation;
digestive processes etc., all require nutrients.
Reproduction: Pregnancy and delivery make demands on the dam, which have to be met
from her feed, if she is not to lose weight. The foetus increases in size quickly during the
last six weeks of pregnancy, drawing on the body reserves of the dam.

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Growth: Any growth requires nutrients; during the main period of growth between
weaning and attaining the mature body weight, a small ruminant requires large quantities
of energy and protein.
Lactation: Producing milk either for one or two newborns or for human consumption
requires high levels of energy and protein and good access to water.
Wool/Mohair Production: Energy and protein are both required for fibre production.
Significant responses have been obtained from protein supplements.
Extra Activity: Sheep and goat in pastoral systems have to be very active particularly
during dry season, walking long distances searching for feed. Sheep and goat flocks may
walk 5 to 15 km per day. Goats cover longer distances. A great deal of energy is used up
by sheep and goats for the purpose, significantly affecting productivity.
Q.      How to calculate the digestibility of a feed for small ruminants?
Although the potential value of a feed can be roughly determined by proximate analysis,
the actual value of the feed to a small ruminant, what is digested and absorbed, cannot be
calculated unless digestibility of the feed is known. Digested feed is the part of the food
that is consumed and not excreted as faeces. It is commonly expressed in terms of dry
matter. There are two methods of calculating digestibility, using live animals (in vivo)
and in a laboratory (in vitro).
If a small ruminant consumes 1.5 kg of DM as feed and excretes 0.3 kg DM, the apparent
digestibility of the feed is:

       Intake – Output                          1.5 – 0.3
       _____________ X 100            =         _______ X 100        = 80% digestibility
              Intake                      1.5

Coefficients for digestibility can be calculated for each fraction of the proximate analysis
of dry matter. This method of calculating digestibility is not precisely accurate since there
are other losses of nutrients apart from the loss through faeces. Nutrients are lost in sweat
and gases, but these are difficult to measure. Moreover, not all the material in faeces
comes directly from the feed just eaten. It could also have come from the body of the
animal itself, in the form of dead microbes from the rumen. Estimates of digestibility tend
to lead to underestimates of true digestibility and are normally expressed as estimates of
apparent digestibility.
The higher the digestibility of a feed, the higher the quality of that feed. Low quality
feeds that take a long time to be digested in the rumen will take up space and prevent
more feed from being consumed, reducing the total amount eaten. Feed that has a high
dry matter digestibility such as young green grass or young leaves of leucaena, is a high
quality feed. Feeds such as older stemmy grass or rice straw have low digestibility,
because there are high levels of lignin, making most of the cellulose indigestible to the
small ruminants.
Q.      What factors may influence the digestibility of a certain feed?
The following are the factors:
Stage of Growth and Part of Plant: The stage of growth of a forage species can affect
its digestibility; similarly, the part of the plant whether it is the growing point or older
more lignified material, affects the quality of the feed.

PART- I                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Species of Animal: Goats are thought to be more efficient at digesting fibrous feeds than
sheep, particularly at low levels of crude protein.
Physical Characteristics of Feed: If the feed is chopped or ground, it may pass through
the rumen so quickly that its digestibility is actually reduced.
Level of Feeding: An increase in the quantity of feed can cause an increase in the rate of
passage through the rumen and digestive tract, so the feed is exposed to digestive
enzymes for a short period, reducing digestibility.
Q.       Write a detailed note on feed intake in goats.
The more feed a goat eats, the better. It is true unless feed is very scarce and needs to be
carefully rationed over a particular period, as in the dry season. The amount of feed a
goat eats will affect its health and production: the more the better. But eating is
essentially a voluntary activity; it is hard to force a goat to eat something that it does not
want to eat! Thus it is important to understand the factors that affect the amount of feed a
goat eats and how these influences can be manipulated so that the goat can be encouraged
and in some cases tricked into eating as much as it can. The amount of feed actually eaten
by goats (voluntary feed intake) is possible to measure only in stall-fed goats. The
amount eaten by grazing goats can only be guessed at. The quantity of feed consumed is
determined by factors relating to the goats and factors relating to the feed and the way the
goat has access to that feed. This is true whether the goat is free grazing or stall-fed,
although there is more scope and need for manipulation in stall feeding than if the goat is
out grazing and allowed to express its natural preferences.
An objective of the farmer should be to trick the goat into eating cheaper, lower quality
feeds such as crop residues. The taste, smell and physical ease with which the goat can
eat the feed are important. If it is contaminated, smells bad, tastes bad and is difficult for
the goat to reach, or the feed is presented low down on the ground so that it has to bend
down to eat, then it will not eat much (Figure 4). Ideally long coarse grasses or crop
residues should be chopped. If straw and stovers are fed, the goat will need more water.
These coarse feeds with a high dry matter content need to soak up water in order for them
to be digested. If the feed is highly digestible, it will be degraded and absorbed quickly
and pass through the goat’s digestive system quickly. This in turn stimulates appetite,
because the goat will soon feel empty. Conversely, in areas having humid climate,
moisture content may be very high, in which case the goat may quickly fill up with
watery feed and be unable to eat until it has excreted the excess water as urine.
If a feed is not liked by the goat, it will be very selective in what it eats. If a lot of feed is
offered, the total amount eaten will be more than if it had only a small amount from
which to select. Mixing new feed with left over feed, provided that it still smells and
looks good, can trick the goat into thinking that it is being offered a large quantity of new
feed from which it can make its selection. If the feed is liked, it is best to feed it little to
avoid wastage. When only a small amount of feed is provided, the goat will be forced to
eat a higher proportion of feed than when offered a large quantity at one time.
Q.       Do hot and/or humid climates affect feed intake in small ruminants?
In very hot and humid climates, the heat and humidity can reduce the amount that
sheep/goats eat. In the process of digestion a great deal of heat is produced which must be
lost if the animal is not to over heat. Most of this heat is lost through sweating, which is
less effective in humid environment. During the hottest part of the day sheep/goats may
stop eating, not because they are full, but because they have great difficulty in keeping

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

their body temperature down to a tolerable level if their rumens are actively digesting
feed and producing heat. In such a situation, the small ruminants will more actively feed
at a cooler time of the day, early in the morning and late in the evening. Allowing
sheep/goats to go out for grazing early in the morning and stay out late in the evening can
significantly increase the amount eaten in hot environments. In stall-feeding, with many
animals eating from the same feed rack, their needs to be enough space for all the
sheep/goats to have easy access to the feed. Small, weak and sick animals have trouble
coping when there is competition for space and they have to fight over feed. In this case it
is the best to feed them separately.
Q.       How much energy and protein are normally required by a small ruminant?
When you think about the quality of the diet, you need to consider whether it provides
enough energy and protein to allow the small ruminant (SR) to produce what is expected
of it. The energy value of a feed is expressed in terms of metabolizable energy (ME),
which is the energy actually available in the feed to be used for metabolism by the
sheep/goat. There are different energy units used in different countries. These days
energy is measured in several countries in joules. For those used to calories, 4.18 joules
are equivalent to one calorie. Large units of energy are required by animals, therefore, the
unit megajoule or MJ (1 million joules) is used. The amount of energy in a feed is
expressed in MJME per kg dry matter, because it is the dry matter that contains energy.
The amount required will vary according to the needs for maintenance, reproduction,
production or growth. The amounts of energy required by the small ruminant for different
purposes are shown in Table 4. Various factors will affect the energy requirements such
as activity and the environmental temperature, and in case of milkers, the fat content of
milk. An extra 1.5 to 2.0 MJ would be required for animals grazing outside. Not enough
is known yet about the energy requirements of fibre producing animals. The Angora is
unusual in continuing to grow hair at the expense of body function. With sheep, lambs
would be produced at the expense of body condition and wool growth.
Table 4.         Total energy requirements (MJ ME per day) for goats
  Livewe Maint Mainte Mainte Mainte Mainte Mainte Mainte
    ight       en-     n-ance n-ance        n-ance n-ance n-ance -nance
    (kg)      ance + some + a lot               +         +          +         +
                       activity     of      growth growth growth pregna
                                 activity (50g/da (100g/ (150g/d              ncy
                                               y)       day)       ay)
     10        2.3       2.8       3.2         4.0       5.8        7.5       5.1
     15        3.2       3.8        4.4         -         -          -        6.9
     20        3.9       4.7       5.5         5.5       7.3        9.0       8.5
     25        4.6       5.5        6.5         -         -          -       10.0
     30        5.3       6.4       7.4         6.8       8.6       10.3      11.5
     35        5.9       7.1        8.3         -         -          -       13.0
     40        6.6       7.9       9.2         8.0       9.8       11.6      14.3
     45        7.2       8.6       10.1         -         -          -       15.6
     50        7.8       9.3       10.9        9.0      10.8       12.6      16.9
     55        8.3      10.0       11.7         -         -          -       18.2
     60        8.9      10.7       12.5       10.3      12.0       13.8      19.4
Source: Peacock (1996).

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Protein is required to build new tissues for growth or replacement in an animal body. It is
also necessary for milk, hair/wool production. Also, the rumen microbes need protein to
enable them to play their part in the digestive process. Estimates for protein requirements
are normally presented as digestible crude protein (DCP) in grams per day. The DCP
requirements for maintenance, growth and pregnancy are shown in Table 5.
Approximately 9 g of rumen degradable protein should be supplied per MJME. High
yielding dairy goats and growing lambs/kids may need amino acids in greater quantities
than can be obtained from the microbial protein and therefore, these must be supplied by
extra undegradable protein (UDP). Remember that high yielding goats need additional
water, calcium and phosphorus. If they do not get enough water, their production will be
reduced. If the does and high yielding ewes do not get sufficient calcium and phosphorus,
they will have to draw on their body reserves and may develop metabolic disorders such
as milk fever. Energy and protein requirements for one litre milk are 5.0 ME (MJ/day)
and 45 DCP (g/day). Animals in temperate climates comparatively need more ME and
Table 5.        Digestible crude protein requirements for maintenance and growth
  Liveweig Maintena Maintenan Maintenanc Maintenan Pregnan
   ht (kg)         nce          ce +            e+             ce +          cy
                              50g/day        100g/day       150g/day
      10           15            25             35              45           30
      20           26            36             46              56           50
      30           35            45             55              65           67
      40           43            53             63              73           83
      50           51            61             71              81           99
      60           59            69             79              89          113
Source: Peacock (1996).
The amount of dry matter in grasses increases with age, while the protein content and the
degree of digestibility decline. The concentration of energy in grass is not high. Crop
residues have quite a high concentration of potential energy, but most of it is in the crude
fibre fraction, which tends to be indigestible. It is hard for animals to eat enough bulky
straws and stovers to obtain sufficient energy for maintenance; crop residues are also
very low in protein (2 to 4%).
Q.       How do you calculate the quantity of feed needed by a small ruminant in
         order to meet its requirements?
First determine how much dry matter?
At the simplest level the small ruminant has a basic requirement for a quantity of dry
matter each day. To start with, the dry matter has to supply nutrients for maintenance to
keep the sheep goat alive, then for other functions such as growth, reproduction etc. Thus
it will have to eat more feed. This is where problem arises with bulky low quality feeds
such as crop residues and hay, because even when they are available in large quantities,
the sheep/goat simply cannot eat enough of these to meet more than its basic requirement
for maintenance. This is why it is important to try to improve the quality of diet, so that
the sheep/goat has to eat smaller quantities of higher quality feeds. Generally, the small
ruminants eat about 2 to 3% of their body weight in dry matter each day. The smaller
meat type animals such as Teddy goats or Salt Range sheep probably eat 2 to 2.5% of

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

their body weight while the larger milk type goats such as Beetal eat about 3% of their
body weight. If dairy goats are imported from temperate countries such as UK and
France, they will need higher intake rates of about 4 to 5%.
To know the actual weight of feed, which the sheep/goat should be fed, we need to know
the amount of dry matter in the feed it is eating. If possible take a sample of feed and
weigh it fresh, then dry it in an oven and calculate its dry matter by referring to the feed
analysis tables and determine a rough average dry matter content for the mixture of feed
which a small ruminant generally eats. As a rough guide, most grasses here contain about
25 to 30% dry matter, depending on stage of growth. After working out the amount of
fresh feed needed, round up the figure to the nearest kilo or half kilo. A sample
An adult goat weighs 28 kg and will consume 3% of its weight in dry matter/day.
28 x 0.03 = 0.84 kg dry matter per day
0.84 x 3.33 = 2.79 kg fresh feed required per day. Thus a 28 kg goat needs about 3 kg
(rounded up) of feed per day. Allowance must be made for goats being very selective in
what they eat. They need to be fed much more feed than 3 kg each, unless it is something
that they really like.
Q.      What are the dietary protein requirements for a lactating and a dry dairy
Proteins are exceedingly complex, each molecule containing thousands of atoms. All are
made up of amino acids and protein must be broken down into amino acids before it can
be absorbed and utilized by the body. There are more than two dozen amino acids, but
since they can combine like letters of the alphabet, there could be as many proteins as
there are words in the dictionary. There are many kinds of proteins-animal proteins, plant
The proteins in plants are concentrated in rapidly growing parts, the leaves and the
reproductive parts i.e. fruits or seeds. In animals, protein comprises most of the
protoplasm in living cells and the cell walls. Thus it is important for muscles, internal
organs, skin, wool or hair, feathers or horns and it is an important part of the skeleton.
Protein requirements vary among classes of livestock, being higher for young growing
sheep/goats, reproduction and lactation.
Q.      During inclement weather/scarcity of grazing, what roughages are
        considered ideal for sheep/goats.
While roughages are the most important part of the diet of a ruminant, they alone do not
provide all of the needed vitamins and minerals, nor do they provide sufficient energy.
However, berseem or alfalfa or clover hay is considered ideal for small ruminants
because of the high protein and calcium content. These fodder plants are cut before full
bloom, when nutrition is the highest. These are suncured quickly. Rain or slow curing in
damp weather leaches nutrients out of hay and may make it a moldy hay. Good hay is
fine-stemmed, bright green and leafy. Most of the nutrition is in the leaves. Hay that is
baled when it is too dry suffers much shattering and loss of leaves. Good alfalfa hay can
have as much as 80 mg carotene per kg while when bleached and otherwise of poor
quality can have as little as 8 mg/kg. Poor hay has the appearance of some straw, which
contains much fibre and especially lignin. Late in pregnancy, hay must be of good

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      How much of an average type of hay is consumed daily by a mature
Daily requirement of hay of a mature sheep/goat varies from 2.5 to 4.5 kg depending on
its quality, type, waste etc.
Q.      Can cane molasses be fed to sheep/goats?
Yes! It may be fed. Molasses is a good source of energy, iron and other important
minerals. It increases the palatability of the feed. The ewes/does fed ample molasses
during gestation are less likely to encounter ketosis. Molasses contains about 3% protein
which mostly is not digestible. Molasses provides a binding effect on fine ingredients of
feed and makes it less dusty. There is some evidence that excess molasses interferes with
digestibility of other feeds. More easily assimilated sugars in molasses cause delay in
digestion of other feedstuffs. Cane molasses may be fed up to 10% of the grain ration of
dairy goats.
Q.      In what form grains may be fed to small ruminants?
Partially crushed grains and soaked for 2 to 3 hours are better for small ruminants. When
completely crushed and fed as such may lead to excessive sneezing and breathing
problems in growing lambs/kids. Prolapse in heavy pregnant ewes has also been reported.
Some reports also suggest that feeding of whole grains promotes a healthy rumen wall. In
contrast, pellet feeding (as practised in certain western countries) caused papillae of
rumen to lump together and become inflamed.
Q.      What are the various appropriate times/periods for grain feeding to
Economics, illiteracy and ignorance of our sheep/goat raisers seem to be the main factors
that keep them from providing grain supplements to their animals. However, that should
not keep us back from suggesting here the feeding of concentrates to small ruminants
during various periods of their productive life. Positive change is always gradual. It
already seems to be taking place in the area of animal husbandry in this country.
Feed supplement is not needed at all times of the year, particularly under economic
conditions of our small ruminant raisers. Concentrate feeding mostly is planned around
reproductive cycle of the animals.
     •       Seventeen days before turning ram/buck in, give up to 200 g of concentrate
             per ewe/doe, starting gradually for the first few days.
     •       Up to 3 weeks after mating, give the same amount, tapering off gradually.
             This may prevent resorption of the fertilized ova.
     •       Keep up grain feeding about 100 g/animal until the last 5 weeks of pregnancy.
     •       To prevent pregnancy disease, the ewe/goat should be on a rising plane of
             nutrition during the last 5 weeks of pregnancy, thus give 200 to 250 g
             concentrate per animal.
     •       For 6 weeks of lactation, ewes/goats with single newborn should have 300 g
             concentrate per day, while those with twins should get 500 g daily plus quality
             hay. Then taper off as the lambs/kids eat more hay and concentrate (in their
             creep feeder).
     •       Start reducing the concentrate 10 days before weaning the lambs/kids, leaving
             some in the feeder for the growing youngones for the coming few weeks.
     •       During the breeding season, feed the ram/buck 300 to 400 g concentrate per
             day so that if he is too intent on the ewes/does to graze properly, he is still

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

           well nourished. After separating him from the bred animals, a maintenance
           ration of 150 to 200 g grain/day plus quality roughage should carry him
           through until good grazing is available.
   •       Any sudden large amount of grain can paralyze the digestive system of
           sheep/goat and cause death from acidosis, impacted rumen, enterotoxaemia or
           bloat. Acute indigestion is not a minor illness for sheep/goats.

Q.      What is meant by ‘Ash’? Discuss its role in small ruminant nutrition.
‘Ash’ indicates the mineral matter of feed components. Minerals in plants come from the
soil but the mineral matter of animals is higher than that of the plants. Calcium and
phosphorus are particularly important since together these comprise about 75% of the
total mineral matter in the body and nearly 90% of the bone structure, as well as 50% of
the mineral content of milk. The body contains almost twice as much calcium as
phosphorus. Therefore, it is of extreme importance to growing animals that are producing
bone and muscle; pregnant animals that must digest the nutrient needs for the growing
foetus; and for lactating animals, which excrete great quantities of these minerals in their
milk. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus in small ruminants ration is critical (Table 6).

Table 6.       Recommended daily allowances for minerals and trace elements
                                        Growth                 Lactation
 Calcium                                0.5 g/kg body weight   18-21 g
                                        + 1g/100 g gain
 Phosphorus                                                    15 g
 Magnesium                              0.8 g/kg DM            2.5    g/kg
 NaCl (salt)                            0.5% of daily ration
 Potassium                              5 g/kg DM              8 g/kg DM
 Sulphur (more important in fibre       0.16-0.32% of daily
 animals)                               ration
 Selenium                               0.1-0.2 mg/kg DM
 Iodine (higher levels recommended if 0.5-2.0 mg/kg DM
 goitrogenic feeds such as clover,
 cabbage etc are offered)
 Iron                                   50-100 mg/kg DM
 Copper (dependent on molybdenum 10 mg/kg DM
 Zinc (high levels of calcium interfere 10-40 mg/kg DM
 with zinc absorption)
 Manganese                              20 mg/kg DM
 Cobalt                                 0.1 mg/kg DM

Overfeeding calcium can be dangerous, especially for young animals. Lameness and
bone problems can result from excess calcium. A lack of phosphorus will result into a
lack of appetite. The animal will fail to grow or will drop in milk production if in
lactation. It may acquire a depraved appetite such as gnawing on bones or wood. In
extreme cases stiffness of joints and fragile bones may result.

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Roughages, especially legumes, are high in calcium, while grains are high in phosphorus.
Sodium and potassium play a significant role in maintaining electrolyte balance in the
body. Magnesium too is important. Among the trace minerals, iron is 0.01 to 0.03% of
the body and is vital for the role it plays in haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the
blood. Copper requirements are about one-tenth of those of iron. High amounts of copper
prove poisonous. Nutritional anaemia can result from a lack of iron, copper and cobalt.
Cobalt is also needed in the rumen for bacteria to synthesize vitamin B12. Copper and
zinc are also required by small ruminants for normal growth of wool/hair. A few other
trace minerals having important role in the body are sulphur, selenium and fluoride. If
you feed your sheep/goats well, a trace mineral salt block will last a long time. In that
case there is no need for adding minerals to the feed.
Q.       Discuss the salt requirements for small ruminants.
Small ruminants are particularly fond of salt (NaCl) and consume considerably more of it
per 100 kg body weight than do buffalo or cattle. The total salt requirement of growing
lambs/kids approximates 0.40% of the DM of the ration. Sheep/goats on ranges need to
be provided 250 to 350 g salt per animal per month. When salt is provided free-choice,
goats may consume it in excess of their requirement, but with no apparent ill effects. In
iodine-deficient areas, iodized salt should be provided when salt is added to mixed feeds,
it is customary to add 0.5% to the complete ration or 1% to the concentrate portion. There
is no need to add supplemental salt to the ration in areas where ground water is brackish.
A deficiency of salt may result in an abnormal appetite, with the sheep/goats trying to
satisfy their craving by licking dirt or eating toxic amounts of poisonous plants;
decreased feed consumption, and decreased efficiency in the utilization of nutrients.
Q.       Give a very brief account of the place of vitamins in small ruminant feeding.
By now there is a big store of knowledge concerning the role of vitamins in animal
feeding-both for monogastric and polygastric. Two vitamins of major consequence to
small ruminants are A and D. Vitamin A is of prime importance because of its evident
requirement for growth, reproduction and milk. Vitamin A is synthesized by animals that
receive carotene in their diets. The chief sources are lush green pastures, leafy green hay,
yellow maize. Common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency are poor growth, scours, nasal
discharge, respiratory diseases including pneumonia and blindness. A severe lack of this
vitamin prevents reproduction or weak/dead youngs at birth.
The other important vitamin is D. As with other animals, a lack of this vitamin causes
rickets, week skeleton, impaired joints and poor teeth. Vitamin D is necessary to enable
the body to make proper use of calcium and phosphorus. Chief source of vitamin D is
sunshine, but it is also available in suncured hay (Table 7). Vitamin E functions to
prevent stiff lamb disease in nursing lambs. Thus vitamin E is a dietary requirement for
young nursing lambs/kids. The higher the selenium level in the diet, the lower the vitamin
E requirement. Good response is obtained when lambs receive 11 mg/kg of body weight
weekly in rations containing 0.5 ppm of selenium. Deficiency symptoms are stiffness in
hind quarters, tucked up rear flanks and arched back. The B-complex vitamins are
synthesized in the rumen and therefore, the feeder has no concern with them directly.
Vitamins C and K are also synthesized therein.

PART- I                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Table 7.       Vitamin-deficiency symptoms
 Vitamin        Deficiency symptoms               Source of vitamin
 Vitamin A      Poor appetite, weight loss,       Browse, leafy hay, sweet-potato
                night blindness, poor hair        vines
 Vitamin B1     Blindness, nervous signs   Synthesised in rumen, supplied
                                           from brewer’s yeast
 Vitamin B12    Weight loss, weakness      Synthesised in rumen, supplies
                                           cobalt to rumen
 Vitamin D      Weak, deformed bones       Synthesised by skin, obtained
                                           from hay, fish meal
 Vitamin E      Weak muscles, difficulties Grains, leaves of green forage
                walking, poor fertility

Q.     Write very brief notes on carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate is a general term, which includes simple sugars such as
glucose, more complex sugars such as sucrose and highly complex substances such as
starch, cellulose and lignin. There are big differences in the ease with which each can be
digested and thus in the availability of energy they contain. Glucose, sucrose and starch
can be digested easily and in the rumen cellulose can be degraded and digested. However,
lignin is indigestible and unfortunately it is often combined with cellulose, making it hard
for the sheep/goat to digest the cellulose part.
Lipids: The important lipids are fats and oils, which are broken down to monoglycerides
and fatty acids, absorbed by the small ruminants and used as a source of energy or stored
as fat. Most forages in arid/desert areas contain little fat. Any fat that is deposited in the
animal body may be mobilized later, in the dry season as a source of energy. Sheep
deposit more fat in the body than goats.
Protein and Non-Protein Nitrogen: Proteins are vital to the small ruminants. They form
soft tissue, enzymes, antibodies, genes, horn, hoof and wool/hair. Proteins are made up of
amino acids. Fortunately, the sheep/goats are able to make all the amino acids they
require out of proteins in their diet and also from non-protein nitrogen compounds such
as urea.
Q.       Give very briefly the characteristics and two examples of each of the
         following: tree leaves, oil cakes, cereal grains, root crops and by-products of
         food processing.
Leguminous trees such as Leucaena leucocephala, Sesbania sesban and S. grandifolia,
have high protein content, which is associated with antinutritional compounds such as
tannin. Much tree-legume protein may be classified as ‘by-pass protein’. Non-leguminous
trees include Acacia species and banana. These have lower levels of protein. Oil cakes
such as cottonseed cake, linseed cake, soybean and maize oil cake, and peanut cake tend
to be high in both fats and proteins. They can make a useful protein and energy

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Cereal grains such as maize, barley, oats, sorghum and rice have the highest
concentration of energy mainly in the form of starch and some sugars. Protein content in
some of these is as high as 16%. Some form of treatment to the grain such as grinding or
rolling increases their digestibility.
Root crops such as turnips are low in protein but high in energy but not as high as in
cereal grains, because roots tend to have high moisture contents. Roots unless very small
should be chopped to improve intake.
By-products of food processing such as brans left over from milling, brewer’s grain and
molasses contain high dry matter but low protein.
Q.      On average, how much water per day is required by small ruminants?
Among the small ruminants, goats in the arid/desert areas are second only to the camel
among farm animals in efficient use of water. However, this efficiency should not lead us
to overlook their needs, especially those of lactating goats. Sheep under the same
situation also adapt to live with comparatively restricted availability of water. In the wet
season and in humid climates, sheep/goats may eat forage composed of 70 to 80% water.
Thus they may not take water at all. However, most feeds in the arid and semi-arid
regions has a lower content of water and sheep/goats will need to be given water in
addition to their feed. Coarse, fibrous feeds will require the use of more water for their
digestion by the small ruminants. The feed needs to have absorbed water in the rumen to
enable the rumen microbes to break it down. Ideally, the small ruminants should have
constant access to a supply of clean water, but presently it seems too much to expect
since it is not yet possible in rangelands even in the most developed and advanced
The amount of water required daily by an average-sized small ruminant depends on its
breed, the climate, the type of feed eaten, the purpose of keeping it and its physiological
state. A lactating animal requires 1.4 litre water for each litre of milk produced and milk
production would decline if water is limited. It is normally recommended that four times
as much water is needed as dry matter consumed by the animal i.e. 4 litres water for one
kg DM. To make it more simple, a sheep/goat requires 4 to 18 litres water based on the
conditions mentioned above. The sheep/goats in typical arid areas are able to store water
in their rumen and in doing so can withstand water deprivation for 2 to 4 days. They
reduce water loss in urine and faeces.
Q.      Write down the important functions of water in a small ruminant body.
Water is vital for life. It is used by the animal for digestion and as a solvent in which

nutrients are transported around in the body and in which waste products are excreted by

the animal. Many important chemical reactions in body take place in water. The

evaporation of water is also used by the sheep/goat as a cooling method. Water

evaporated from the skin, lungs, nostrils and mouth helps to keep down body

temperature. Milk produced by the lactating animals is 84 to 90% water. The small

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

ruminants obtain water from three sources: drinking water (Figure 5), water in feed and

water released as a by-product of certain metabolic processes.

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.    Discuss common feeding problems of small ruminants in arid/semi-arid
A wide range of feeding problems is commonly encountered, including:
   •      Fibrous feeds causing low intakes, resulting in low levels of overall
   •      Seasonal fluctuations in quantity, digestibility, protein and water availability.
   •      Low levels of protein for growth, milk and wool (in sheep) production.
   •      Specific mineral deficiencies such as lack of sodium in feeds having high
          moisture content in a specific area.
   •      Poor presentation of feeds to stall fed goats.
   •      Poor access to water.
   •      Poor nutrition of lactating dams, leading to low milk yields and poor rates of
          growth and survival among lambs and kids.
   •      Poor quality of feeds for lambs and kids at weaning, causing a sharp drop in
          weight and possible death.

Q.      Describe the characteristics of feeds commonly available to goats.
The characteristics of various feeds available to goats, in many parts of Pakistan, in terms
of nutritional quality are:
Natural Bushes and Trees: They may be green throughout the year, or may lose their
leaves during some part of the year. In chemical terms they tend to show high protein
levels and good digestibility, however, in reality much of the actual protein digestibility
is reduced due to the presence of anti-nutritional factors such as polyphenolic
compounds, tannins in leaves. In arid and semi-arid areas at the end of dry season, there
is often a flush of growth on trees as humidity rises before the onset of rains. Goats can
take good advantage of this flush of green leaves, gaining weight and thus they may then
be able to start breeding earlier than sheep. In addition, seedpods of native trees can be a
valuable dry season feed for goats. Pods may be eaten off the ground or shaken down by
herders for their flocks. Pods (of Acacia species) can be stored for later supplementary
Natural Grasses: Natural grasses can be highly digestible when in young stage of
growth during the wet season, but tend to become stemmy and indigestible quickly
during the dry season. Goats will eat grasses when there is no alternative. These will,
however, provide essential feed during the difficult dry season.
Crop Weeds and Thinnings: Weeds collected from cropland during crop’s growing
period or grazed just after harvest, can be a valuable source of highly digestible feeds.
Leaves picked from growing maize or sorghum can be fed to goats. Crops such as
cassava and banana can supply a high quality feed for goats.
Crop Residues: These include the stover of maize (corn), sorghum and millet and the
straws of rice, wheat, barley, oats, legumes and oil crops. Generally, they have a high
fibre content, which makes them relatively indigestible to goats. Crop residues can be
treated to make them more digestible. The sweet-potato vine is a highly digestible feed.
Planted Legumes and Planted Grasses: Legumes are planted to improve the quality of
feed available to goats. They are normally rich in protein and highly digestible, but like
natural trees, may have high level of anti-nutritional factors such as tannins, which reduce
their digestibility. Grasses are normally planted to improve both the quality and quantity

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

of the goat’s feed. If they are regularly cut or grazed, they can supply relatively high
quality feed, which with some supplementation can be used as a basic diet.
Crops and Crop By-products: Crops such as maize (corn), barley, oats and sweet-
potatoes may be fed directly to goats in intensive systems of production. Crop by-
products include rice or wheat bran, peanut cake, sunflower cake, linseed cake and sugar-
cane tops. These feeds can provide useful low cost feed supplementation to goats.
Q.      Discuss in detail the feeding management of small ruminants keeping in view
        the conditions prevailing in Pakistan.
A deficiency of energy for small ruminants is common in Pakistan because available
feedstuffs are generally poor in quality. Forages are usually harvested when fully mature
to obtain maximum bulk, and in rangelands, which provide about half of the present
requirements of livestock in this country, many natural grasses, weeds and shrubs grow
luxuriantly only during rainy season. During the remaining part of the year and in areas
where rain fall is low and uncertain, forage is scarce. Low intakes of energy by
sheep/goats affect their growth rate, milk production and wool production, reproductive
performance and susceptibility to infection. Small ruminant feeding practices in Pakistan
can be improved by developing rangelands and reducing stocking pressure, conserving
fodder during lush growth and by feeding crop and industrial wastes. Protein-rich
supplements may be required where pastures are bleached or dry for an extended period,
or leguminous roughage cannot be provided, or NPN sources such as urea and
ammonium compounds can be used to provide additional dietary nitrogen.
Where mineral deficiencies or imbalances are likely, the following supplement, with a
little modification according to specific regions or individual productive status, may be

       Compound                                              Percent
       Dicalcium phosphate                                   62.25
       Sodium chloride                                       35.00
       Calcium carbonate                                      1.00
       Copper sulphate                                        0.25
       Iron sulphate                                          0.75
       Manganese sulphate                                     0.10
       Zinc sulphate                                          0.50
       Cobalt sulphate                                                 0.10
       Potassium iodide                                       0.05
Source: Mackintosh (1993).

Additional copper should be provided in regions where molybdenum or the inorganic
sulphur content of forage is high. In regions where goiter is prevalent, iodised salt should
be provided, particularly to pregnant ewes/does. The vitamin needs of small ruminants
are generally met by microbial synthesis and dietary provision.
Feeding for Production: The requirements of ewes/does for nutrients depend on the
stage of reproduction and liveweight. The requirements for minerals and vitamins are
seldom considered specifically.
For dry ewes/does nutrient requirements are relatively low, although feeding to achieve
good liveweight for conception and the subsequent pregnancy is important. Grazing is

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

often sufficient but with low quality roughage 200 to 250 g of concentrate may be
required. Around mating time ewes/does should be allowed to graze good quality pasture
and receive a minimum of 200 g of grain per head per day.
Pregnant ewes/does require about 50% more energy and protein for the development of
the foetus, especially during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Bulky roughages are
insufficient during this period and 200 to 250 g of a concentrate supplement should be
provided. Young and growing ewes/does should be given additional amount to promote
better liveweight during pregnancy. Lactating ewes and dairy does require much more
feed than pregnant animals because the nutrients secreted in milk exceed he amounts of
those retained by the foetus. Ewes and especially does nursing two or more lambs/kids
require more feed than the dams with single lamb/kid and should be kept in separate
groups. Ewes/does in milk should be fed according to their daily milk yield. Good pasture
is an ideal feed for lactating ewes/does, especially a grass-legume mixture. They need 1.4
litres water for each litre of milk produced. Ewes/does in drylot should be given at least
350 g grain per day in addition to roughage and a protein supplement if at least half the
roughage is non-leguminous.
Q.       Discuss fattening of sheep and goats in Pakistan. Suggest a few fattening
         rations for lambs/kids.
A large number of lambs/kids raised in Pakistan are not fat enough for slaughter at the
time of marketing and many are slaughtered at an early age and low weight. However,
young lambs/kids can be fattened for about 100 days to produce a liveweight of 14 to 15
kg yielding some 7.5 kg of dressed meat, if given free access to good quality roughages
and concentrates in addition to milk from their dams. After weaning at 3 to 4 months, the
lams/kids may be put in a feedlot and fed concentrate mixtures containing 12 to 14%
DCP and 8.5 to 11 MJ. ME/kg. About 0.5 kg per head of chopped green fodder should be
provided to meet the carotene requirement and clean water ad libitum. The fattening
period usually lasts 3 to 4 months before the desirable liveweight of 30 to 35 kg is
achieved. Examples of such rations, using agro-industrial wastes are given in Tale 8.
Locally available suitable ingredients can be substituted for those given in the example
A second fattening method, which is less intensive is to feed less concentrate and more
roughage in the form of good quality green fodder, hay or silage. The fattening period in
this case is usually longer. Suitable concentrate mixtures are given in Table 8 and these
would be fed at 250 to 500 g/day depending on the grazing available. Cull lambs/kids and
ewes/does should be fattened before slaughter, especially after poor feeding conditions,
preferably in feedlots using mixtures of roughages and concentrates composed of agro-
industrial by-products. The DCP requirements of fattening adult sheep/goats are much
less than those of fattening lambs/kids, breeding ewes/does and rams/bucks, but their
energy requirements are relatively high because of the high rate of fat deposition. An
example of suitable rations is given in Table 9.

Table 8.      Recommended rations for intensive feedlot fattening of lambs/kids
 Ingredient                 I (%)             II (%)            III (%)
 Wheat straw                  20                23                 20
 Cottonseed cake              22                 -                 30
 Rapeseed cake                 -                10                 10

PART- I                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Maize gluten (20% CP)             20                33                  -
 Wheat bran                        20                 -                  -
 Rice polishings                    -                16                 20
 Molasses                          17                17                 19
 Dicalcium phosphate              0.5                0.5               0.5
 Sodium chloride                  0.5                0.5               0.5
 DCP (%)                            9                11                10.6
 ME (MJ/kg)                       9.50              10.05              8.41

Table 9.      Recommended concentrate mixtures for fattening lambs/kids
         Summer supplement                   Winter supplement
 Ingredient            Percent     Ingredient                Percent
 Maize gluten feed        30       Cottonseed cake              40
 Cottonseed cake          25       Rice polishings              15
 Wheat bran               20       Wheat bran                   15
 Molasses                 24       Molasses                     28
 Dicalcium phosphate     0.5       Dicalcium                     1
 Sodium chloride         0.5       Sodium chloride               1
 DCP (%)                11.70      DCP                         10.20
 ME (MJ/kg)              9.59      ME (MJ/kg)                  10.13
Source: Mackintosh (1993); Warraich and Rehman (2002).

Q.      Write a note on feed intake of small ruminants.
Meat breeds will eat up to the equivalent of 3% of the animal’s body weight in dry matter
daily. Reasonably productive dairy goats will consume about 4 to 5%. In cooler parts of
the world, dairy goats might eat up to 8%. Goats have a much better capacity for forage
than sheep of a similar size. How much a small ruminant eats depends on its age, breed,
production capacity and whether it is pregnant/lactating.
Younger animals eat more than older ones because they are growing. Pregnant and
lactating animals consume more than non-pregnant and non-lactating because they need
more feed to enable the foetus to grow and to produce. Sheep/goats with free access to
feed will vary their intake depending on the energy available from the feed. On average,
bigger animas eat more than smaller ones. All sheep/goats will eat more if the feed is in a
fine rather than coarse form. If hay or straw is chopped more will be eaten than if fed
without chopping. If a high energy feed such as molasses is mixed with a fibrous feed
such as straw, the animals will eat more. Feed intake is generally measured in terms of
dry matter. Dry matter (DM) is the amount of feed remaining when all the water has been
removed from it. It is used as a guide to determine that how much fresh or moist feed can
be fed. A 30 kg sheep/goat requires:
               for maintenance 1.6% DM as percent of liveweight =          0.5 kg
               for production 3.0% DM as percent of liveweight =           0.9 kg
                                                                           1.4 kg
If DM of feed is 25%, four times as much is needed to achieve a set target figure,

PART- I                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

                 1.4 x 4 = 5.6 kg fresh feed is required daily.
Q.      What is meant by feeding extras?
Any material which normally is not a part of sheep/goat diet but can be fed usefully may
be termed extras. Sheep/goats love apples. A few over-ripe and spoiled apples past their
prime for human consumption may be fed to them. These are still nutritious. Discarded
vegetables, at least some of them, from the wholesale market and local grocers can make
a good addition to the diet of small ruminants. Molasses is another treat for them and a
good source of minerals, its sugars enter the bloodstream quickly. It is of value to
ewes/does, late in pregnancy, to prevent toxaemia. None of these things be fed in excess.
Q.      Write a note on feeding and use of bucks.
Young bucks being raised for breeding purposes should be fed in the same manner as
replacement does, except that they will require more feed because of their rapid growth.
They should be separated from the does soon after weaning to avoid unintended breeding
of young females. Bucks should be growthy, but they should not be allowed to put on
extra fat, which may impede their muscular, skeletal and sexual development. If properly
grown out they may be used lightly as yearlings. It is advisable not to use them so if they
have been on sparse feed and are not prepared for the stresses of heavy breeding.
Whether the bucks are young or mature, they should be fed 150 to 230 g of supplemental
concentrates daily per head for 10 days or so before turning them in with the does, with
the supplementation continued throughout the breeding season. If the bucks get too fat or
become inactive in their mating habits, concentrate can be partly withdrawn as a means to
improve their effectiveness in breeding.
Bucks not in active service need no supplement unless the range feed becomes too sparse
or too mature. In the latter case, they may be given about 450 g of supplement for each 2
to 3 animals daily. This type of supplementation is especially important for young bucks
that are still growing. Older bucks can mostly get along without supplementation unless
the range is extremely poor.
Q.      Discuss urea toxicity in sheep/goats.
In countries where livestock production is carried out on scientific lines, urea is
frequently included in ruminant diets, partially to replace protein ingredients. Urea is not
being used on large scale in this country. However, its use is increasing gradually. When
feeding sheep/goats, producers and feed formulators must exercise caution, since
excessive amounts can result in a buildup of ammonia to toxic levels in the bloodstream.
Urea should not supply more than one-third of the total crude protein in forage or
roughage type diets and not more than one-half in the concentrate portion of the diets.
Also, an adaptation period of at least 3 weeks is required for the animals to utilize urea
efficiently. It is generally believed that 44 g urea 100 kg body weight at a single feeding
will result in acute toxicity. Usual symptoms are severe abdominal pain, muscle tremors,
incoordination, dyspnoea, bloat and violent struggling. Treatment consists of oral
administration of a weak acid such as vinegar or 5 % acetic acid and parenteral use of
calcium and magnesium salts.
Q.      Discuss in detail urea poisoning in small ruminants.
Ammonia is the actual toxic agent in urea poisoning. Primarily urea is the source but
other non protein nitrogen (NPN) products such as ammonium salts and ammoniated
feeds used in ruminant rations can also cause this problem. Urea is hydrolyzed by the
urease activity of the rumen microorganisms with the production of ammonia as follows:

PART- I                                                SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

          NH2          C=O            H2O     microbial      2NH3            CO2
                                +                                              +
          NH2          (urea)         (water) urease         (ammonia)       (carbon

When urea is fed at excessive levels, large amounts of ammonia are liberated in the

rumen. Eventually, the pH of the ruminal fluid increases, thus facilitating the passage of

ammonia across the rumen wall. If the levels of ammonia absorbed are greater than the

ability of the liver to convert ammonia to urea, ammonia accumulates in the blood. If

blood ammonia levels reach toxic levels (80 mg per 100 ml), the animal shows signs of

acute ammonia poisoning. The hazard of ammonia toxicity (urea toxicity) assumes rather

acute proportions when NPN is fed to young ruminants, due to their limited bacterial


The animal shows signs of nervousness, excessive salivation, muscular tremors,
respiratory difficulty and tetanic spasms. Death occurs within ½ to 2½ hours. Urea or
ammonia toxicity should never occur in practice, if feeds are thoroughly mixed and total
intakes are moderate. Errors in formulation and improper mixing of urea with other ration
ingredients are probably the major factors causing urea toxicity in the feeding of small or
even large ruminants.
An effective treatment, if applied before tetanic spasms, consists in administering
immediately 5 to 7 litres of cold water orally. About a litre of either dilute acetic acid or
vinegar given with cold water is more effective than cold water alone. Prevention of urea
toxicity consists in removing or lessening the following predisposing factors:
i) Poor mixing of feed. ii) Errors in ration formulation. iii) Inadequate period of
adaptation. iv) Low intake of water. v) Feeding urea in conjunction with poor quality
roughages. vi) Low feed intake prior to feeding urea. vii) Treating hay with more than
1.5% anhydrous ammonia and treating it unevenly.
Urea is less effective in young ruminants in which the rumen is not fully functional.
Note: Figures relevant to each chapter are given at its end.



PART- II                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

           SHEEP AND GOAT

                   Bakht Baidar Khan
                       Arshad Iqbal
                  Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa

             Department of Livestock Management
            University of Agriculture Faisalabad

PART- II                                                                                  SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

The past more than half a century is a witness to the fact that except a few, no serious attempts have been made to write books even on a few of the so
many wide open aspects of the field of animal sciences. Among other factors that keep the animal science sector lagging behind, utter lack of relevant
books of local origin is probably the most important. The dearth of documented information concerning various species of our farm animals adversely
affects the learning potential of our students, who have been reported to complain about the non-availability of professional books written in Pakistan. I
personally feel that as animal scientists we cannot exonerate ourselves of this responsibility. Of course, not all of us would have the aptitude to write
books. However, those who opt to take up this tiresome and time-consuming job, their efforts must be appreciated. We must not forget that beginnings
are always small.

It is really encouraging to learn that sheep and goats being the victims of a long neglect, have attracted the attention of experienced animal scientists and
teachers of long standing to write a book on them. A look into the contents of the book ‘Sheep and Goat Production’, makes me believe that it would
adequately serve the purpose for which it has been produced. Its made-easy format would be rather more helpful to the students, field workers and
progressive farmers. A collection of over 650 questions along with their answers should more than suffice to cover the discussion on important topics in
relation to sheep and goat production.

                                                                                                                     Sajjad Zaheer Malik
                                                                                                                      Director General (Ext.)
                                                                                                                    L & DD Dept., Punjab

Innumerable publications on sheep and goat farming/production are there in the world market. More than 98% of them are of foreign
origin and are thus either not available here or their prices are beyond the means of a common man. The book under discussion has not
been produced to burden the market with another such publication rather it has been brought out employing a novice format to meet
the requirements of beginners who venture to plan a small ruminant enterprise, but are found confronted with a series of questions.
Answers to many of such questions are already embodied in this ‘easy to read and understand’ book. In addition, feasibilities in
respect of keeping sheep and goats (pertaining to one breed of each spp.) have been outlined herein to facilitate the solution of their
input: output dilemma.

Another section of society most pertinent to books is professional students community. It often happens that even at the end of an
academic session/semester, many students in a class, would not know what type of questions, relevant to a course, may be asked in the
Exam. This book, for sure, would create an awareness in them as to the type of Exam. questions and as to the manner of answering
them. Among other features of the book are: the discussion on behaviour and welfare of small ruminants and clues on the application
of biotechnology in animals. A comprehensive review on terminology related to various aspects of small ruminants is also a part of
this book. Most of the answers to the questions included in this book have been picked up as such from various sources of literature
listed under references at the end. We feel highly obliged in sharing the fruit of hardwork of those so many authors/editors. Under the
circumstances it does not seem possible for us to individually convey to them our grateful thanks, but indeed we remain indebted to all
of them.

No book will ever be complete and this one is no exception since knowledge about sheep and goats is increasing so rapidly that no
book can be an absolute ultimate. We feel no hesitation to mention here that at places details of a few most sophisticated techniques
used abroad in small ruminant production have been intentionally avoided simply because farmers/producers here have yet to go a
long way to enable themselves to take full advantage of such costly tools and techniques.

We would like to record our thanks to our colleagues, namely Drs. Muhammad Younas, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Yaqoob,
Syed Hassan Raza and Prof. William Hohenboken, a friend from USA; all of them provided us a lot of useful literature for this book.
Special thanks are extended to Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Dr. Akhter Saeed and Dr. Asad Saeed for arranging recent literature for the
purpose from abroad.

Suggestions in black and white from any quarter to effect further improvement and to remove any omissions in the contents of this
book will always be welcome.

March, 2003                                                                                Bakht Baidar Khan
                                                                                           Arshad Iqbal
                                                                                           Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa

PART- II                       SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

PART- II includes following contents of the book:


PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       Write a detailed note on selection for breeding of small ruminants.
Most people who farm sheep/goats or for that matter any farm animal, would expect to
gradually improve the productivity of their stock. Big improvements can often be made
by changes in husbandry practices so that the animals become fitter, healthier and better
fed. However, there will be limitations on how much productivity can be increased in this
way. These limitations will be the result of the genetic make-up of the animals. In other
words all animals are born with a potential for production and that potential is the result
of mixing of characteristics inherited from the animals’ parents, grandparents and, in fact,
all of its ancestors. By selecting animals with certain characteristics and mating them it is
possible to gradually improve the performance of that line, generation by generation.
Some characteristics are readily passed on and are highly heritable while others are not
readily passed on and are referred to as of low heritability.
Since it is not possible to discuss genetic gain or improvement without a basic
understanding of genetics, therefore, for the purposes of this book only a simplified
explanation is given. All inherited characteristics are carried by genes, which occur in
pairs, one from the sire and one from the dam. A pair or more of genes will control a
particular characteristic and thus in the case of colour a goat will either be coloured or
white (most of the discussion made here in respect of goat, just as an example, is equally
applicable to sheep). If the goat has a gene for colour from one parent and one for white
from the other, it will, in fact, be white because white is what is called a dominant gene
and colour is what is called a recessive gene. If two different genes for a particular colour
come together, the dominant gene will always be expressed. If in this example the goat
had received genes for colour from both its parents, it would then have been coloured. If
an animal is carrying a pair of identical genes for a particular character such as the
coloured offspring in the example, it is known as homozygous for that particular
character. If it carries different genes like the goat in our example with the genes for
white and colour, it is termed heterozygous.
The appearance of an animal as controlled by its genetic make-up is referred to as its
phenotype. In this example, the white goat is phenotypically white but its genotype is
white/coloured. This is shown in Figure 6 where two goats are mated. One is
homozygous for white and will be genotypically white. The other is heterozygous and
will be phenotypically white because white is dominant. When these two are mated, their
kids or what is called F1 generation, could be like the parents either heterozygous or
homozygous white. If, however, both parents were heterozygous white, the offspring
would be either white or coloured in the ratio 3:1 (Figure 7) with 1 homozygous and
phenotypically white, whereas the other 2 whites would be heterozygous and 1 would be
homozygous for colour and would therefore be (phenotypically) coloured. It is rare for a
single gene to control a characteristic or trait as shown in the simple example but it serves
to show how characters are inherited.
With selective breeding the intention is to cross animals together in such a way that the
progeny will hopefully be even better than their parents. It helps if the genetic make-up of
the parents is known. Some characteristics are linked to others and it may be, in selecting

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

for one desirable feature or trait, that one also selects for an undesirable feature, which
may cancel out or be even less desirable than the trait that was being selected for. One
such trait in goats is polledness or hornlessness. If a naturally polled male is mated with a
female carrying the gene for polledness, there is a good chance of producing female
offspring that will be homozygous (pure) polled animals. These will be inter-sexed,
which means they may have some parts of the male and female reproductive tract and
characteristics and they will be infertile. They are not, as some people describe,
hermaphrodites, which means possessing both female and male sexual organs. Naturally
polled males do occur without the problem of inter-sex but evidence suggests that fertility
is lower in these.
If traits or characteristics are of low heritability, the genetic gain achieved by selecting
specific animals showing those characteristics will be less than for traits of high
heritability. Thus the hope for improvement will be achieved only slowly over a number
of generations.
Q.       Discuss the importance of breed improvement.
There is an old saying “breed the best to the best and cull the rest”. It sounds no less than
a universal truth. Your chances of improving your flock are practically nil if you breed
your ewes/does to the neighbour’s nondescript ram/buck simply because it happens to be
cheap and available. You are not going to milk the buck, but never forget that you are
going to get milk from its daughters and meat from its male offspring. If the sire is not
better than the ewe/doe, you are not working for breed improvement. In fact, you are not
even breeding sheep/goats, you are merely freshening them. To further elaborate, a
reference to commercial dairy farming in several western countries appears logical.
Almost invariably these practical, tough-minded, cost-conscious farmers use the best
purebred registered animals they can find. Milk production per cow has more than
doubled during the last century. While some of that, of course, is due to better feeding
practices, surely a large share of the credit must go to genetics. No animal is perfect, all
have faults. It is the job of the breeder to eliminate those faults as much as possible in
future generations, while at the same time preventing new ones from showing up.
Q.       Briefly indicate the importance of twins.
Although multiple births certainly require more attention and care, yet the profits seem
worth the effort. In USA, at one of the universities the data were analysed in this respect
and it was stated that it would require 5721 ewes producing one lamb each to yield a
$25000 profit, while 353 ewes producing two lambs each to equal it. These figures
seemingly sound strange, but consider the vast reduction in the amount of grain and hay
expenses (grain feeding not largely practised under our conditions) for the smaller
number of ewes, to produce double the number of lambs. The same is applicable to goats.
Choose your potential replacement ewes/does from among your earlier-born twin
ewes/does. Turn these twin ewe lambs/doe kids in with a ram/buck wearing a marking
harness. The ones that are marked and presumably bred, can be kept for your own flock
and sell the rest. Ewe lambs/doe kids that have twins the first time are more valuable than
those who lamb/kid with a single, even though ewes/does with a future history of
twinning may have only a single that first time. Still they pass on both the inherited
ability to breed early and to have twins and they will produce more lambs/kids during
their lifetime. However, it all depends on how well fed the animals are.
Q.       Discuss the sheep breeding management as it does prevail in Pakistan.

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Some mating occurs throughout the year but the principal breeding seasons remain

autumn and spring. Hand mating is not known since it may be impracticable in the case

of transhument and sedentary breeders because of absence of mating facilities. Breeders

who practice seasonal breeding tie an apron around the belly of ram in the off-season to

avoid mating. Others tie a cord on the opening of the sheath to check mating. In some

areas (D.I. Khan), many small farmers do not maintain their own rams, but hire them at

Rs. 4 to 5 per day for 4 to 5 days. A ram is usually put with a flock of 40 to 50 ewes but

in some cases as many as 80 to 90. In the bigger flocks, two or more rams may be

allowed to mate at a time. In such cases the stronger ram is overused and the weaker

underused and as a result some of the ewes are not mated and others are served by

overused rams and do not conceive. Some breeders in Balochistan believe that breeding

twice a year ensures regular milk supply for the families. Rams are not allowed to breed

before 2 years of age.

A comparison of spring and autumn breeding seasons indicated that:

   i)     Fertility was 83% in autumn and 73% in spring;
   ii)    The number of lambs born per ewe was 1.04 in autumn but 0.88 in spring;
   iii)   The number of lambs born per ewe conceived was 1.25 in autumn and 1.21 in
          spring; and
   iv)    The incidence of twin births was 36% in autumn and 21% in spring.
A study of the incidence of post-lambing oestrus in Lohi, Kachhi from Sindh and Awasi

from Lebanon and its crosses showed that oestrus occurred:

   i)       In the second to fourth month after lambing, 70% Lohi came into oestrus;
   ii)      During the same period 65% Kachhi were in oestrus; but
   iii)     The crosses behaved mid way between two parents.
Selection is largely subjective in the absence of records such as birth and weaning

weights, fecundity, or quality and quantity of wool produced, but at public experimental

farms due attention is paid to such traits. Private breeders do care for growth as the larger

PART- II                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

and heavier ram lambs would attract the attention of the breeders. Lambs are allowed to

suckle for 4 to 5 months. Lambs are not allowed to accompany the mothers to pasture. In

most parts of the Punjab province, lambs accompany their mothers as soon as they are

able to walk. In parts of Balochistan lambs are grazed separately by children near the

camp. Where lambs are kept separate, suckling is allowed morning and evening after the

families have removed part of the milk especially from good milkers. Since white wool

fetches the highest price, ram lambs with a white coat, well developed body and strong

constitution are selected for future breeding. Breed uniformity is keenly maintained for

an all−white body and recognized spots, if any, on the extremities. The incidence of

mismothering is high in cases where lambs are kept separate from their mothers.

Mismothered lambs are reared on foster ewes by forced suckling. Mortality in such lambs

is high and the growth rate generally below average. The shepherds of Balochistan take

extra care to avoid mismothering. There the flock is halted at a distance from the lamb

enclosure and ewes are freed one by one to allow them to recognize their lambs when

rejoining occurs. The records at public sheep farms show that the incidence of

mismotheirnbg varies in different breeds (1.5 to 3%), being the highest in Kachhi breed

(4 to 23%), probably due to poor mothering instinct.

In most of the cases culling of sheep is not very systematic. It is practised in ewes and
male lambs and is generally done when the family needs money or 2 to 3 months before
the annual religious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. Others avail the occasions of
weekly/monthly/sheep goat markets to sell their surplus/culled stock. Male surplus stock
is commonly castrated and reared to one year age and in other cases to 2 years age to sell
at high prices. Culling of ewe lambs is rare. The ewes are culled for broken mouths,
damaged udders, permanent lameness or infertility.
Q.     Briefly discuss the anatomy and physiology of sex organs of a small ruminant
Anatomy: The most obvious part of the male’s reproductive system is the scrotum
containing the testes, which are suspended herein by spermatic cord. This may vary in
size according to breed but, in general, abnormally small testes are a sign of likely low

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

fertility. The scrotum not only supports and protects the testes but also it is an important
means of temperature regulation. Normal production of spermatozoa occurs at a
temperature 4 to 7°C lower than body temperature. Thus in hot weather the scrotum will
allow the testes to hang down from the wall of the abdomen and conversely when cold
they will be drawn up close to the body. In extremely hot weather this temperature
regulatory mechanism may break down resulting in poor spermatozoa production. In
some goat breeds especially in some Angoras, the scrotum may be almost completely
bifurcated (split purse). It is considered a fault in show animals. However, this may not
cause a severe fertility problem.
Failure of the testes to descend into the scrotum will also cause problems of fertility. One
testis may not descend (called monorchid) or in some cases both may not (called
cryptorchid). When purchasing males for stud, it is the most important to ensure that both
testes are in place in the scrotum and that they are of reasonable size with no abnormal
swellings and that they feel firm and not soft and spongy. The other external sex organ is
the penis. In the male sheep/goat, the penis is normally retracted into a tube called the
prepuce. To give extra length during copulation, the penis has a S-bend known as the
sigmoid flexure (Figure 8).
On the end of the penis is the thin tubular protrusion of the urethra called the urethral
process. When the penis is protruded from the prepuce, especially during the breeding
season, the male (goat) is able, with remarkable directional accuracy, to spray urine over
himself or anyone who is standing close enough.
Physiology: The rams/bucks, except in temperate regions, show year round sexual
activity, especially when stimulated by receptive females. Young males are particularly
precocious and fertile matings have been recorded from kids of 4 months of age. Males of
Teddy goat breed exhibit quite a bit sexual activity at 5 to 6 months of age.
Spermatozoa are formed from cells in the testes called spermatogonia. These
spermatogonia divide repeatedly to form spermatids, which eventually form the
spermatozoa, which are discharged into the lumen of seminiferous tubules. The
spermatozoa travel along in fluid secreted by the tubules, until they reach the epididymis
where they are stored. These newly formed immature spermatozoa are immotile and are
very sensitive to unfavourable temperature and nutritional conditions. Full maturation
occurs in the tail of the epididymis and the spermatozoa become motile during
ejaculation when they come in contact with the secretions of the accessory glands (the
vesicular or the seminal vesicular gland, prostate and bulbo-urethral glands). It takes
about 50 days from the formation of the spermatozoa in the seminiferous tubules to the
time they are stored in the tail of the epididymis. During periods of intense sexual
activity, this duration may be reduced as the movement of the spermatozoa through the
epididymis may be speeded up.
Another important function of the testes is the production of the hormone testosterone.
The secretion of this hormone is controlled by gonadotrophic hormones secreted by the
pituitary gland situated at the base of the brain. Although sexual desire in ram/buck is
influenced a great deal by the presence of receptive females, nutritional status and
environmental factors also play an important part.
Prior to mating a ram/buck will spend varying amounts of time in courtship behaviour,
which certainly is an important stimulation for both male and female. During hand
mating of pedigree animals, when a female is led to a specific male, it is important that

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

restraints are not imposed on this behaviour and the most successful results will always
be from animals that are allowed some time together in an enclosure.
Q.       Briefly discuss the anatomy and physiology of sex organs of a small ruminant
Anatomy: Unlike the male most of the female’s reproductive organs are internal and
would only be seen by attending a post-mortem examination or by obtaining the relative
part of the body from a slaughtered animal. The only external feature is the vulva which
undergoes some changes during oestrus and when parturition (lambing/kidding) is
imminent. The vulva opens into the vagina wherein the male’s penis deposits semen
during copulation. In a normal adult ewe/doe, the vagina is approximately 7 to 8 cm in
length. At the end of the vagina is the cervix or neck of the uterus (Figure 9). The cervix
varies in length from about 4 to 8 cm and is made up of 5 to 6 muscular rings, which
effectively act as a seal between the vagina and the uterus. The uterus is made up of two
large tubes or horns and at the end of each of these horns are the oviducts and ovaries.
The ovaries change in appearance according to the stage in the reproductive cycle. The
eggs or ova are shed from what are called the Graafian follicles and these can be seen
during a postmortem examination if they are near to maturation.
When an ovum is shed, the remaining structure is called a corpus luteum, meaning yellow
body, and these also can be seen on the ovary and are an indication of an ewe/doe that is
ovulating normally. If the ewe/doe is pregnant, the corpus luteum remains and plays a
part in maintaining the state of pregnancy. If she is not pregnant, the corpus luteum
Physiology: The decreasing daylight triggers off breeding activity in small ruminants.
The lengthening nights cause increased release of the hormone melatonin from the pineal
gland within the brain. It then causes the release of gonadotrophin releasing hormone,
which stimulates the pituitary gland into secreting follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
As its name suggests, FSH stimulates the development of the follicle within which an
ovum will develop and from which it will be released. The onset of the sequence of
events gives rise to oestrus behaviour, or heat, in an ewe/doe and the whole cycle of
events is called the oestrous cycle.
As the Graafian follicle matures, it secretes the hormone estrogen, which eventually
stimulates the brain into triggering off the release of luteinising hormone (LH) into the
bloodstream. The release of LH causes the follicle to rupture and an ovum will be
released into the oviduct. The ovum remains viable in the oviduct for 10 to 12 hours.
About 30 to 36 hours before ovulation occurs, the ewe/doe will normally begin to show
oestrus or heat behaviour. Pheromones (specific odours) are released by the female,
which also stimulate the male to sexual excitement. This behaviour is a combination of
signals to the male that she is at the correct period in her ovulation cycle for mating when
changes in the reproductive tract, to facilitate mating, have occurred. The vulva becomes
somewhat swollen, copious mucus is produced and the cervix dilates.
If a fertile mating takes place, the fertilised embryo develops freely in the uterus for about
21 days until implantation takes place and the embryo becomes attached to the wall of the
uterus by way of the placenta. The caruncles which form the points of attachment on the
uterine wall are present all the time.
If an ewe/doe is pregnant, the corpus luteum, formed after rupturing of the follicle,
remains and produces the hormone progesterone. Progesterone acts as a signal to the

PART- II                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

brain to shut down the cycling mechanism and prepares for and helps maintain
pregnancy. In some animals, but not the goat, the role of corpus luteum is taken over by
the placenta. In case conception does not occur, the corpus luteum regresses and the level
of circulating progesterone consequently falls. The cycle then starts again and a non-
pregnant ewe and doe will continue to cycle in this way every 16 to 17 days and 19 to 21
days respectively until the end of the breeding season.
Q.      What do you understand by Induced Cryptorchidism or Short Scrotum?
This is still another approach where the elastrator rubber ring is used on the scrotum, but
the testes are pushed back up into the body cavity. This sterilizes the animal due to
increased body heat. While the male hormones are still present to increase weight gain
with more lean meat, the animal shows little or no sex activity. This method is used at
about four weeks of age and the animal is called an induced cryptorchid (having hidden
testicles). Extensive tests (Figure 10) in Australia have shown such animals gain weight
faster, get to market faster and have more lean meat than either castrated or uncastrated

Q.      Discuss the salient points in respect of proper breeding age and care of a
Ordinarily a well-grown ram/buck is considered the best. However, if he is a lamb/kid,
use him sparingly during his first breeding season. One way to conserve his energy is to
separate him from the females for several hours during the day, at which time he can be
fed and watered and allowed to rest. One good ram/buck can handle 25 to 30 ewes/does.
On a small flock where the ram/buck gets good feed, about six years of service can be
expected of him. On open range there may be overuse with more females per ram/buck,
fighting with other males and little or no supplemental feed, rams/bucks (get run down)
lose condition during the breeding season from eating so little and chasing the females.
They then succumb to diseases because of their low resistance. If you are buying a new
ram/buck, do this long enough before breeding season so that he becomes acclimated to
his new surroundings. Keep him separate on good feed and pasture until breeding time. In
case you are going to feed him a different ration than he had previously, be sure to
change gradually. Excess weight results in a lowering of potency and efficiency. Keep
him in good condition but not fat. A buck may be ready to breed at about six to seven
months, depending on his breed (Teddy bucks at four to five months), but it is better not
to use him until one year. Use him two or three times a week from the age of one year to
one and a half years.
During the breeding season, feed the ram buck at least 300 g concentrate mixture per day.
After separating him from the bred females, a maintenance ration of at least 100 to 150 g
per day, plus leafy hay as necessary during the winter should carry him through until
good pasture is available again.
Since summers here are very hot, therefore, provide him a cool shady place to protect
from the heat. An elevated body temperature whether from heat or due to an infection,
can cause infertility. Semen quality is affected at 100 degrees and is seriously damaged at
air temperatures beyond that. Several hours at that temperature may leave him infertile
for weeks. The scrotum of ram should be sheared before the onset of severe summer. The
ram/buck may be run with the ewes/does at night and in the early morning, but keep him

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penned in a cool place during the heat of the noon and afternoon and provide fresh water.
High humidity coupled with temperature can also decrease sexual urge.
A sense of smell greatly determines a ram’s/buck’s awareness of oestrus in the
ewes/does. A study of sex drive in rams done at a university in UK showed that some
breeds of rams have keener olfactory (nose) development than others and are able to
detect oestrus in ewes that goes unnoticed by other breeds.
Q.       Does the presence of a ram/buck show some effect on ewes/does?
The presence of the ram/buck, especially its smell has a great effect on sexual activity of
the ewes/does. This stimulus is not as pronounced when the male is constantly with the
females as it is when he is placed in the adjoining pasture or pen about two weeks ahead
of the breeding season. Owners of large flocks often use a vasectomized ram/buck turned
in with the ewes/does about three weeks prior to scheduled breeding, in order to stimulate
the onset of oestrus in the flock. Be careful that at any one time not more than one normal
male should be turned in with the ewes/does, otherwise there is inevitable fighting and
head-butting until the boss is decided. Aggressive potential and ram/buck fertility are not
necessarily related. However, there are reports that mating success of dominant
rams/bucks does far exceed that of the subordinate ones.
Q.       What are the uses of a ram/buck marking harness? Is there any suitable
         alternative to it?
The ram/buck marking harness is a device that helps keep track of the ewes/does who are
bred. It has a holder on its chest for a marking crayon. Each ewe/doe is marked with the
colour of crayon the day he breeds her. While using a colour in the crayon, the colour of
female animals be kept in view (Figure 11). Inspect the ewes/does each day and keep
record of the dates so that you will know when to expect each one to give birth. In case of
ram use one colour for the first sixteen days he is with the ewes, then change colour for
the next sixteen days and again for the next. Change of colour in case of buck may be
done after 18 to 19 days. If many females are being re-marked, it means they were not
bred the previous times he tried to breed them, since they are still coming into heat. This
might indicate that the breeding male was sterile. If the weather was extremely hot just
before or after you turned the male in, you can blame heat for it. But to be on the safe
side, it is better to try another ram/buck.
As an alternative, instead of marking harness, use a marking paint on the ram/buck
brisket (lower chest). Mix the colour with a lubricating oil or even with vegetable ghee,
using only paints that will wash out of the fleece such as lamp black, venetian red. The
same colour will be stamped on the back of the ewe/doe indicating that it has been bred.
The same happens when marking harness is used.
Q.       What are the advantages of raising your own ram/buck and what care is to
         be observed?
One advantage of raising your own ram/buck is that you can see that what he looks like at
the usual market age for meat. The older a ram/buck gets, the less you can tell about how
he looked as a lamb/kid or how his offspring will look when they attain market age. If
you are raising lambs/kids for marketing as meat animals, you may try a system called
‘recurrent selection of ram lambs/buck kids’. This system consists of keeping the fastest-
gaining ram lambs/buck kids sired by the fastest-gaining ram lambs/buck kids. Recurrent
selection is a way of improving the potential for fast growth in your lamb/kid crop. It
involves changing rams/bucks fairly frequently and creates the problem of disposing a

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three or four year old ram/buck. If it is a good one, it can be sold as a breeding male, can
trade with another small ruminant raiser or can be sold for slaughter on Eid-ul-Azha.
The way ram lambs/buck kids are raised can have some effect on their future sexual
performance. Various studies have shown that rams/bucks raised from weaning in an all-
male group will show lower levels of sexual performance in later life. Some will actually
show no interest in receptive females. When you are raising a lamb/kid as a breeding
male, do not pet him much or handle him unnecessarily. Do not let children play with
him even when he is small. He will be more prone to butting and becoming dangerous if
he is familiar with you than if he is shy.
Q.      Define gestation period and give the range and average gestation periods for
        sheep and goats.
The period from the date an animal gets conceived to that date it gives birth to one or
more newborns is called gestation period or pregnancy period. It ranges from 148-152
days in sheep and goats with an average of 150 days (five months).
Q.      What is meant by oestrous cycle? Give the duration of oestrous cycles for
        sheep and goats.
The duration between two heat periods is called the oestrous cycle. Normally each
oestrous cycle has four different phases i.e. proestrus, oestrus, metoestrus and dioestrus.
The duration of oestrous cycle on average is 16-17 days in sheep and 18-21 days in goats.
Q.      What do you understand by oestrus or heat period?
Oestrus is one phase of the oestrous cycle and it denotes the period during which an ewe
or doe is receptive to the breeding male. On average the duration of oestrus or heat period
in sheep and goats is 28 and 24 hours, respectively.
Q.      What are the usual indications that an ewe/doe is in heat?
The usual signs are nervous voices such as ‘baa baa’/bleating, slightly swollen vulva
sometimes accompanied by a discharge, riding other does or being ridden by them,
somewhat off feed, tail wagging and drop in milk production (in milk goats). In some
cases increased but interrupted micturition is also observed. At the beginning of heat, the
mucus discharge from vulva will be clear, but it will turn cloudy toward the time of
ovulation. After the ewe/doe ovulates near the end of heat, the mucus will get thick and
Q.      What may be the optimal time of year for lambing/kidding? Discuss briefly.
The optimal time varies greatly among different geographical areas. It may vary even in
the same country. The desired lambing/kidding time may depend on the availability of
pasture, local weather conditions, time restraints, labour, targeted lamb/kid markets etc. It
is better to choose the lambing/kidding time that fits your priorities and plan to breed
about five months before you want newborns. When the cost of hay or concentrate
feeding is a consideration, lambing/kidding should be timed to take advantage of new
pasture growth. Thus you could plan for the lambs/kids to be about five to six weeks old
at about the time of the first good early growth of pasture.
Q.      What is meant by early-or late lambing/kidding? Give advantages of both
        early and late lambing/kidding.
 What constitutes ‘early’ or ‘late’ lambing/kidding will depend on climate of the given
area. In areas where modern husbandry practices are in operation, there with moderate
winters and hot summers, the lambing/kidding is planned for autumn or early winter to
maximize weight gain, knowing that newborns experience very poor weight gain in hot

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temperatures. On the other hand, those in far northern areas often plan for
lambing/kidding during March or April in order to avoid severe winter, while those in
temperate coastal climates may let the rams/bucks run with the ewes/does the year round
and let nature take its course. Advantages:
Early Lambing/Kidding
    i)      There are fewer parasites on the early grass pasture.
    ii)     Ewe lambs/doe kids are more apt to breed as well grown lambs/kids.
    iii)    You can have all lambs/kids born by the time best spring grass is there.
    iv)     There are fewer problems with flies at docking, castrating and disbudding.
Late Lambing/Kidding
    i)      It is easy to shear ewes before lambing.
    ii)     It avoids lambing/kidding danger in severe weather.
    iii)    Milder weather means fewer chilled lambs/kids.
    iv)     Ewes/does can give birth on the pasture, if needed.
    v)      Concentrate ration can be saved since there is good grazing available.
Q.       What age is appropriate to breed an ewe/doe for the first time?
A female that is bred before she matures fully may become stunted since she cannot put
nutrients into both her growth and foetal development. A well fed ewe/doe is ready for
breeding earlier than a poorly fed one. An ewe/doe should reach 70 to 75% of her mature
weight before being bred. Some breeds are slow maturing than others. Breeding season is
shorter for ewe lambs/doe kids than for mature ewes/does. Teddy goats mature much
earlier than other goat breeds. A properly fed Teddy doe is ready for breeding at five
months of age. In milk goats a reasonably early breeding helps the udder develop better.
In countries where early marketing of lambs for meat is practised, there the ewes who
breed as lambs are thought to be the most promising as they show early maturing which
is a key to prolific lambing. Ewe lambs according to their feeding practices should have
attained 38 to 45 kg by breeding time as their later growth will be held back a little as
compared to unbred lambs. If not well fed, their reproductive life-time may be shortened.
If replacement ewes are chosen for their ability to breed as lambs, the flock will improve
the capacity for ewe lamb breeding, which can be a sales factor to stress when selling
breeding stock.
Q.       What preparations specific to the start of breeding season need to be made?
Deworm the ewes/does. Trim away any wool/dung-tags from around the tail. Trim their
feet since they will be carrying extra weight during pregnancy. Subject the ram/buck to
deworming too. Check all animals for ticks. If you eliminate ticks before
lambing/kidding, none will get on the lambs/kids and thus you will not have to treat for
ticks again. At seventeen days/nineteen days before you want to start breeding, put your
ram/buck in a place adjacent to the ewes/does, with a good fence between them. Some
studies have indicated that the sound and smell of the male will bring ewes/does into heat
earlier. Also, a similar reaction was obtained just by fastening a ram/buck-scented pad to
the ewe’s/doe’s nose.
Some large flock owners have initiated the use of a vasectomized (sterilized) ram/buck to
stimulate the onset of oestrus in the flock. Never pen your rams/bucks next to ewes/does
before this ‘sensitizing’ period just prior to breeding. Remember, ‘absence makes the
heart grow fonder’. It is the sudden contact with the rams/bucks that excites the females.
Appropriate vaccines important to both mothers and/or newborns should be timely used.

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       Define flushing and explain its role in small ruminant breeding.
Flushing is the practice of placing the ewes/does on an increasing plane of nutrition i.e. in
a slight weight-gain situation to prepare for breeding. High quality forage may be used
for flushing or it can be accomplished by supplementing the usual summer diet with
concentrate ration. It is not as effective in animals that are already in good condition.
Thin females require a longer flushing period. It is most productive when initiated
seventeen/twenty-one days prior to turning in the ram/buck and continued tapering off
gradually for about thirty days. This process not only gets the ewes/does in a better
physical condition for breeding, but it also helps synchronizing them by bringing them
into heat at about the same time, preventing long strung-out lambing/kidding session.
It is also a factor in twinning, possibly because with better nourishment the ewes/does are
more likely to drop more ova. Various studies have indicated that flushing results in 18 to
25% increase in the number of lambs/kids, and some farmers think it is even more. You
can start with 100 g concentrate mixture/head/day and work up to 300 g in the first week
continue that quantity for seventeen/twenty-one days. When you turn in the ram/buck,
taper off the extra grain gradually. The ewes/does will probably come in heat once during
that seventeen/twenty-one days of flushing, particularly if you have put the ram/buck in
an adjoining place but it is preferable to have them bred in the second heat since they are
expected to drop a greater number of eggs and are more likely to produce twins. Flushing
promotes increased ovulations, thus increasing the number of lambs/kids born.
Q.       Briefly write down the simplest and the best method for heat detection in
         small ruminants.
One of the best heat-detectors is a ram/buck wearing a breeding apron to prevent actual
mating or a male that has been vasectomized. A miniature version of the ram/buck rag
may help detect heat. Rub a piece of cloth over various parts of ram’s body or over the
scent glands of a mature buck and keep it in a jar with a tight fitting lid to retain the
odour. During daily oestrus check, open the jar and let the ewes/does sniff the contents. If
one is in heat, the signs should become more obvious.
Q.       What is an abnormal heat? Give the causes responsible for this phenomenon.
Weak or silent heat, longer than normal cycles, continuous heat, shorter than normal
cycles or heat signs during pregnancy are the conditions that may be termed abnormal
heat. Commonly known causes are anaemia, embryonic death, cystic ovaries, moldy feed
and estrogen content in some legume forages (red clover/white clover has estrogen and
lowers lambing/kidding percentages). For cases of anaemia, the animals should be treated
for blood-sucking worms (two weeks before breeding) as well as for nutritional
deficiencies. Treatment is probably unnecessary when abnormal heat is due to embryonic
death since either embryonic material become reabsorbed or abortion occurs. If cystic
ovaries are the cause, hormonal treatment can cure. No treatment is necessary when heat
signs are exhibited during pregnancy since ovulation does not occur.
Q.       What would you suggest to homesteaders having two, three or four dairy
         does, to have them bred?
Dairy does are usually kept separate from bucks to prevent male odour from ruining the
milk and are bred annually to maximize milk flow. Does bred early in the season have
better lactation records and their female kids mature early enough (if well fed) to be bred
the following season. But it is not desirable to breed a doe during her first heat of the
season. Better wait until her second or third heat to avoid having kids come during the

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worst part of winter or to have freshening of your does so spread as to create a continuous
milk flow.
The best time to breed a doe is in the middle of heat, but it is not always easy to tell when
that occurs. It seems fairly safe to take the doe to the buck as soon as you notice that she
is in heat. If possible, breed her again in about twelve hours to ensure conception. It is
better to hand breed which involves holding her collar or a lead. The buck will cooperate
quickly and the fuss will be over soon. If the buck shows little or no interest in your doe,
you may have misjudged the signs of heat or noticed them too late. Virgin does are often
hard to settle. Some keepers leave problem does with a stud for a full month, since bucks
have an uncanny sense for right timing. If you do not own a buck, pick out a stud in
advance and make arrangements early so that you do not miss the breeding season. Look
for a handsome buck that has a history of producing daughters with good milking
records/ability. Preferably identify the buck and doe(s), the date they were mated and the
buck’s owner. (These are requirements for registration of animals of the same breed-
purebred animals).
Q.      Discuss practical aspects of reproduction management to maximize goat’s
        reproductive performance to achieve optimum numbers of healthy kids.
Breeders should not depend too much on getting animals mated at the end of the season
since, all too often, the cycle before the one when mating was planned turns out to be the
last for that season. Kids show sexual activity earlier than older goats and therefore, it is
unwise to leave male and females together about 4 months after their birth.
The restriction of seasonal breeding is a problem to some farmers since it results in
seasonal milk production and for those who depend on milk production for their
livelihood, it is an advantage to be able to produce and supply milk all the year round.
There are two ways of stimulating goats to breed out of season: one involves the
administration of hormones or analogues of hormones and the other involves the
alteration of environmental conditions, usually light to induce ovulation.
The most common method of treatment involves the use of sponges impregnated with the
hormone progesterone or a synthetic version of it. These sponges are inserted into the
vagina and are left to release the hormone over a predetermined period. Table 10 shows
two methods commonly used. French workers have recently shown that prolonged
progesterone treatment can adversely affect fertility and they advocate shorter sponge-in
method. The amount of PMSG (pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin) given will depend
on the stage in the season. For Method-I 600 to 700 iu are given during the non-breeding
season and 500 to 600 iu during the transitional period i.e. within 2 months of the normal
cycle. The PMSG is given as a source of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and
Luteinising hormone (LH) to increase the ovulation rate and thus to increase the chance
of conception. For Method-II the same principle applies but 100 iu less PMSG is used
than for the longer sponge-in method. For the shorter sponge-in method 0.1 to 0.2 mg of
prostaglandin (cloprostenol) is injected intramuscularly at the same time as the PMSG

Table 10.      Two possible regimes for using progesterone sponges for induction of
                               Method-I              Method-II
Sponge-in                      Day 1                 Day 1

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PMSG                           Day 17                 Day 9
Prostaglandin                  --                     Day 9
Sponge-out                     Day 19                 Day 12
Oestrus                        Day 20-21              Day 13-14
AI*                            42-44 hours after sponge removal
   * There is evidence that time of day affects fertility, the optimum time for AI
   being 1200 to 1400 hours, thus influencing the time of sponge removal.

The purpose of prostaglandin is to cause regression of any corpus luteum that may be
present, depending on the goat’s natural cycle, thus removing any endogenous
progesterone (packets of sponges come with detailed instructions on how to insert them;
applicators are also supplied). Care should be exercised with them as clumsy use can
result in severe damage to the wall of the vagina, particularly when inserting sponges into
virgin animals. Nylon threads are attached to the sponges to facilitate removal. These
threads may be chewed off by other goats. It is also possible to synchronise oestrus by
injections of synthetic prostaglandin, a substance produced by the uterus of non-pregnant
goats, which causes the degeneration of the corpus luteum. This can only work if there is
an active corpus luteum. Goats respond quickly to prostaglandin and usually come into
heat 24 to 48 hours after treatment. If a timed mating is required for a goat whose last
oestrus is not known, two injections are given 11 days apart.
Male Effect: If a male is run with females during the transitory period prior to the
expected breeding season, he will tend to stimulate the females into oestrus some 2 to 4
weeks early and they will tend to be synchronous. If a selected mating of the females is
intended then a vasectomised teaser male can be used. In case goats failed to exhibit
oestrus, a ‘billy rag’ is used. This is a rag that has been rubbed over the stud male thus
becoming impregnated with his very characteristic smell. This rag will be kept in screw-
top jar and will be brought out to be waved under the nose of a female that is not showing
any signs of heat when it is thought she should. Often this is enough to start a female
Light Effect: Having discussed earlier that how differences in day length are the main
trigger for the onset of the breeding season, it is perhaps possible that by housing goats in
late summer or early autumn in a shed that is fairly dark, to accelerate the shorterning day
effect and thus the goats may well show first heat signs a few weeks earlier. The role of
the hormone melatonin in controlling seasonal oestrus behaviour is well known. By
administering melatonin, which can be done in feed, scientists have been able to induce
oestrus behaviour and ovulation out of season. If this technique can be used with goats, it
would be extremely useful for a farm wishing to produce milk throughout the year. Work
done in USA has shown that out of season mating can be planned by using a controlled
artificial lighting regime based on the principle of a period of long artificial days
followed by a period of shorter days. A system involving 60 days of 20 hours light during
January and February, followed by ambient lighting from March 1, resulted in the goats
showing a single oestrus period during late April through June with most showing oestrus
in May. The level of light recommended was 0.3 m of 40-watt fluorescent tube per 3
sq.m of floor space with tubes approximately 3 m above the floor. Those goats not mated
went on to cycle normally in the autumn. The increased lighting is also likely to increase
winter-feeding activity, which will probably increase milk yields. It was also suggested

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that the males should also be kept in the same extended light conditions if they were to
work satisfactorily out of season.
Q.      Is heat detection a problem in goats?
Unlike cows and more particularly buffaloes, heat or oestrus detection in goats is not
normally a problem. Those with large herds, especially if there are male goats on the
farm, rarely experience problems in this respect. They exhibit a number of behavioural
signs which in goats that are regularly handled, such as milkers, are easily recognized.
Those who experience more trouble in detecting oestrus seem to be those who have one
or two goats. Probably in comparative isolation, the typical oestrus behaviour and the
interaction between goats at this time are suppressed. The most evident sign of heat is the
plaintive cry that nearly all goats make at this time. It is much different to their normal
call and will soon be recognized once one is familiar with the normal calls and behaviour.
If there are males on the farm, the plaintive crying will be accompanied with wishful
looks towards the males and if they get the opportunity, the females will stand around the
male’s pens showing what in human terms would be called flirting behaviour. Oestrus
often starts late at night thus signs might be observed early the following morning.
Several of the usual signs of oestrus have already been discussed elsewhere in this book.
In spite of all these signs oestrus is sometimes missed. When large groups of young goats
are run together, it can be difficult to notice oestrus behaviour. If possible it is very useful
to run a vasectomised teaser male with such groups of young goats. If a sheep raddle
harness is used on the male, he will mark the oestrus females when he attempts to mount
them. If the females are checked twice daily it will be possible to pick out those that are
in heat and these can then be taken to the appropriate stud male.

Q.      Write a note on mating management.
The age at which an ewe/doe should first be mated will vary according to breed, their
feeding and health status. It is important that the young female is well grown before she
is expected to become pregnant and rear a lamb/kid. If mated too young she herself will
be stunted, restricting her capacity for long and productive life. Young breeders are very
likely to abort or may be unable to produce enough milk for the lamb/kid, leading to
nutritional stress and a high probability that the young will die. However, feeding and
care of an unproductive female is a burden for farmers. An ewe/doe should never be
mated before one year old. Ideally she would have one pair of permanent incisors i.e. be
aged about 14 months. Dwarf breeds such as Teddy goats may be an exception.
Exceptions to these rules would also occur in intensive systems where they are well fed
and are able to develop early. It is best if rams/bucks are not used for mating before one
year age.
The main signs of male sexual excitement are pursuing the female, pawing her with the
front legs, curling back of the upper lip and usually a loud snorting sound. Once oestrus
has been detected, copulation takes place. At ejaculation, sperm are deposited into the
vagina, from where they are transported through the uterus and into the oviducts by the
muscular contractions of these organs. Sperm may be able to fertilize an ovum for 24 to
36 hours after ejaculation, but sooner the better, because with ageing of the sperm during
this period, fertility is reduced. Because the sperm has a longer (12 to 24 hours) period of
viability than ovum (10 to 12 hours), it should therefore be in place in the reproductive

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

tract before ovulation takes place so that it is ready for the descending egg. Oestrus lasts
for about 24 to 36 hours in sheep. Mating should take place 12 to 18 hours after the onset
of oestrus with ovulation occurring 24 to 36 hours after the onset. In goats the duration of
oestrus is almost 2 to 3 days and the appropriate time for mating should be 12 to 22 hours
after the onset of oestrus with ovulation occurring between 24 to 36 hours after the onset.
Q.      Give a few helpful hints to improve mating management in goats.
The simplest system is to let the male(s) run with the females during the breeding season
and after allowing 2 or 3 cycles i.e. 6 to 9 weeks, it is assumed that all females likely to
be mated will have been mated and the males can be removed. Kidding will be expected
over a 6 to 9 week period 150 days from when the males were first put in with the
females. If using this system one male will be required for every 30 to 40 females.
However, it is desirable that farmers should know when mating took place so that the
precise kidding date can be predicted and also many people would like to put particular
females to a particular male. It would thus be necessary to group the females according to
the male that one wanted to use. These would be put together in a pen, paddock or field.
To be able to time matings, a sheep raddle harness could be used and thus the females
would be marked as they were mated. If the goats are checked twice a day, it would be
possible to record the goats mated each day. If the raddle crayon is changed to a different
colour every 20 days, it will be possible to detect those matings that were unsuccessful as
these goats will be mated a second time 21 days after the first. This mating system is
exactly the same as used for most commercial sheep flocks and can be used with
extensive goat system such as prevalent here.
For pedigree mating and certainly where a single female is brought to a particular stud
male, a hand-mating technique will be used. This simply means the female will be led to
the male who would normally be brought out of his pen onto a convenient level piece of
ground nearby. If the male is working well and the female is properly in heat, mating will
usually take place very quickly. However, a male may spend some time going through
courtship behaviour, which may involve much rubbing against and spluttering over the
female. This behaviour should not be constrained in any way as this could jeopardize the
chances of success.
When the male mounts the female, a good sign of a successful mating is if he throws his
head back as this is the normal sign of ejaculation having occurred. If the male spends a
lot of time rubbing and spluttering without mounting the female, it probably means the
female is not in oestrus. If the male has behaved like this with a number of females, his
performance and ability must be suspected. Whichever, system of mating is used, goats
are normally fertile animals and a conception rate at the first mating of over 80% can be
expected during the natural season. Goats that have been induced into oestrus out of
season using hormone treatment such as progesterone sponges, usually have a lower
conception rate.
Q.      Discuss manipulation of breeding in small ruminants.
For various reasons sheep/goat keepers may want to control the time of mating. This may
be in order for lambs/kids to be born at a favourable time of year when feed is plentiful or
it may be to ensure in respect of goats that milk is available at a certain time of year. In
more intensive systems, farmers may want to breed their sheep/goats to take advantage of
seasonal changes in the prices of sheep/goats or their products. There are several methods
to control mating and the season at which kids are born.

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Separation of Males from Females: This requires the year round separate management
of males and females, introducing males into the flock at the time desired for mating. For
most farmers this method of breeding control is suitable only for goats that are housed for
most of the year.
Ram/Buck Apron: The ram/buck wears an apron made of leather, canvas or other
suitable material. The apron tied above behind the shoulders hangs below the abdomen of
the animal in front of the prepuce in such a way that if penis is extended, the ram/buck is
unable to perform mating.
Ram/Buck Penis String: A string is looped at one end around the testicles and at the
other around the prepuce of the ram/buck so that if the animal extends its penis, it is
forced to deviate to the right or left, making copulation impossible. The string must be
removed for successful mating (Figure 12).
Castration: Unwanted breeding males may be made infertile by crushing their spermatic
cords using a special metal pincer called Burdizzo castrator. Rubber ring method is also
used but only on very young lambs/kids. Castration is one method of ensuring that poor
quality males do not breed. In some countries it is also used to reduce the odour of the
meat from male goats. It will also increase both the fat content of the final carcass and the
lamb’s/kid’s growth rate, by reducing the energy spent on sexual activity and fighting.
For ease of management it is desirable to castrate all unwanted young males if they are to
be kept beyond the age of 3 to 4 months since fertile matings have been recorded at this
Q.      Devise a simple chart providing space for the number of matings, predicted
        lambing/kidding dates, number of lambs/kids born and a column for
A breeding chart for the day-to-day recording of mating and lambing/kidding

  Fe     Male      Ist     2nd     3rd      Due      Date      No. of      Remar
  mal              mati    mati   matin     date     gave    lambs/kid     ks
  e                 ng      ng      g        for     birth       s
                                                             Ma    Fem
                                                             le     ale

  Nur Hero         10.1      -       -      10-3-    9-3-     1      1     Female
  i                0.00                       01     2001                  small
  Ran Goga         11.1      2-      -       3-4-    3-4-     2      -     One
  o                0.00     11-               01     2001                  was
                            00                                             dead
  Hir    Goga      11.1      3-      -      6-4-     5-4-     1      1
  ni               0.00     11-              01      2001
  Ma     Goga/     15.1      6-     28-     28-4-    27-4-    -      2
  no     Hero      0.00     11-    11-00     01      2001

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As can be seen in the example above (chart) that the male Goga was at fault since Mano
mated successfully with Hero at 3rd mating. The male Goga also did not prove successful
on Ist mating with Rano as well as Hirni, it is therefore, possible that he is no longer
adequately fertile. Similarly, if the chart shows that a certain female does not mate
successfully even with three attempts, twice with one male and 3rd time with another
male, it is then probable that she is infertile. Such animals may be culled from the flock.
Q.       Suggest some effective measures for pregnancy diagnosis in small ruminants.
For economic reasons it is often useful to determine whether or not an ewe/doe is
pregnant. Such a diagnosis can save feed as a non-pregnant animal will be fed less and
also if non-pregnant there may be time to try another mating before the end of season. It
may also be necessary if one is buying or selling sheep/goats that are supposedly
pregnant. A milk test for pregnancy, developed for cows, involves testing for a metabolite
produced by the placenta of pregnant animals called oestrone sulphate. Since it is only
produced by the placenta, false positive results do not occur. A goat milk sample can be
tested for the purpose after 35 to 50 days gestation.
A recent development, particularly for sheep, is the pregnancy diagnosis by ultra-sonic
scanning. Using a rectal probe, diagnosis can be done after about 35 days gestation and if
left a little longer, can usually count the number of foetuses. This system works equally
well with goats. Diagnosis may also be made by X-ray. Foetal bones show up after about
85 to 90 days and of course with a good X-ray, the number of foetuses should be clearly
visible. During the last 6 weeks of gestation, it is often possible to see the foetuses
moving particularly when the goats are lying down. At this time foetuses can be felt by
firm palpation deep into the lower abdomen just in front of the udder.

Q.       Write a note on genital hypoplasia.
Genital hypoplasia also called inter-sex or hermaphroditism denotes lack of proper
development of the reproductive organs. It is an important cause of infertility in small
ruminants especially goats (both bucks and does). It can appear in any breed, most often
in offspring of two naturally hornless goats. It may also occur when one parent is horned
and the other polled. The gene for hornlessness some how inhibits normal development
of the reproductive organs. Affected goats may have abnormal external genitals, but
many are not so easy to identify. A small ruminant-oriented reproduction expert, after
thorough examination can identify such an animal. As soon as it is identified do away
with it. It is useless for breeding; even its meat tastes strong and bucky.
Q.       Normally what physical changes can be observed during gestation period in
         small ruminants? Discuss the case of a dairy doe.
For the first three months you will see little change and it will be nearly impossible to tell
whether she is pregnant. Tests can provide an answer. The most practicable for small
flocks is to check milk or urine for estrone sulphate, a hormone produced by a living
foetus that can be detected as early as thirty-five days after conception. If you find that
the doe is not pregnant, you may still have time to rebreed her. A doe that has been bred
should be dried off three months later for replenishment of depleted body reserves and so
that milk production would not compete with foetal development. Unborn kids put on
about 70% of their weight during the last five to six weeks of gestation. About a month
before kidding, the doe should really fill out. Start feeding her a little grain ration on the
milk stand both to readjust her to milking routine and to check her udder for any

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problems. Two or three weeks before kidding, restrict legume roughage and calcium
supplements in the rations of high producers.
Older and poorly fed does tend to kid late. Multiple births usually shorten the gestation
period. During the last week or two, the doe may develop depressed areas on both sides
of her tail and hollowness at her hips. She may carry the kid(s) lower so that her pelvic
bones seem sharper and her pinbones become raised. Her vulva may distend. Her udder
may fill out. If the udder of a heavy milker becomes tight and shiny, milk her out to
prevent damage to the udder and ligaments supporting the udder. At the end of or close to
five months, the doe may become withdrawn, bleat, eat less and discharge white mucus,
indicating that her time is near. Clip the hair around her tail and udder. Take the doe to a
roomy stall (pen) where the bedding is fresh and clean for the health of both the mother
and newborn. She may paw the ground, lie down and get up restlessly, pant or rearrange
the bedding. She may lie down and not get up until her first kid is born. She may labour
for a few hours before she actually kids. When contractions get closer together at the start
of hard labour, she will pass gelatinous strings of bloody mucus. The first kid should be
no more than fifteen minutes away and the entire process should take about forty-five
minutes, depending on the number of kids born, which may be two, though three or four
are not uncommon. A single is possible for does first kidding. When parturition starts,
you will see a round, dark, bulging water bag. It will burst to reveal two feet with a tiny
nose resting on them. Soon come out shoulders, hips and hind legs. Do not interfere or
you will upset the doe and may cause unnecessary complications.
The afterbirth or placenta usually comes out at the time of kidding or just afterwards. It is
a stringy, light, thin, milky-looking membrane. In a multiple birth, there may be one or
more. The doe may consume placenta and if she does, she will not be very hungry for the
next few days. Otherwise remove the placenta and burn or bury it.
Q.      What do you know about selective breeding? Explain in detail.
If you intend to build up a sizeable flock, careful selective breeding will increase its
value. The two basic rules of selective breeding are:
i) Never mate two sheep/goats that have the same fault, no matter how minor it seems. ii)
Keep sight of your goals and make every decision with those goals in mind.
Goals may include improving milk production, improving quantity and quality of wool,
increasing the lambing/kidding rate, improving growth rate of lambs/kids or decreasing
susceptibility to certain disease conditions. Breeding for appearance alone often leads to
degeneration of wool and milk production or reproductive capabilities. Any time you
seem to be achieving your goals, raise your standards.
Selection in favour of desirable characteristics involves culling against undesirable ones.
Unwanted hereditary defects include overshot or undershot jaw, anomalies of the teeth or
joints, extra or double teats, undescended testicle(s), weak anatomical structure or
incorrect conformation and colour for the breed. How fast you make progress toward
your goals depends on the accuracy of your records, how good your foundation stock is,
the uniformity of its gene pool, the number of breeders you select from, the relationship
between the traits you are selecting for and their degree of heritability. Fortunately, most
of desirable traits for sheep and goats are heritable to a fairly high degree. Some traits are
not genetically controlled but depend on environment (nutrition, management etc.). You
can reach your goals faster if you concentrate on only one trait at a time, but do not
ignore all others, otherwise undesirable ones may creep in.

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Do not get excited by your early success, which may give you a false sense of
satisfaction. This is especially true if you start with unrelated sheep/goats so that your
first few matings produce exceptionally fine lambs/kids, the result of hybrid vigour. Only
years of careful selection can make you certain of the pedigree of each sheep/goat in your
breeding team and that no undesirable latent characteristics lurk in the background.
Selective breeding needs a whole lot of record keeping and a huge amount of patience.
Q.      Write short notes on inbreeding, linebreeding, outbreeding and
Inbreeding: Methods of selective breeding include inbreeding, linebreeding, outbreeding
and crossbreeding. Inbreeding is the mating of closely related animals to develop a
uniform genetic base so that eventually every sheep/goat in your flock is nearly identical
in production and/or appearance. Inbreeding allows this by intensifying desirable
characteristics, but it can also intensify undesirable ones if those are not carefully culled
against. Inbreeding brings out latent weaknesses to make you aware of their existence so
that you can work toward eliminating them. If after four or five generations of
inbreeding, you continue to produce sound offspring, you can be more or less sure that
there are no hidden genetic defects in your flock.
Linebreeding: It is a form of inbreeding. It aims at concentrating the blood of one
founding parent, usually a ram/buck but it may also be an ewe/doe. Many books contain
linebreeding charts which may be taken as suggested guidelines, because blindly
plugging the names of sheep/goats into a chart only due to their position in the family tree
is likely to produce frustration. Instead choose each breeder according to its individual
merit and potential for bringing you closer to your goals. The effectiveness of any form
of inbreeding is increased with the number of sheep/goats involved which may be divided
among cooperating flock owners. A large breeding population lets you cull freely to keep
only animals that help you to achieve your goals. Because it involves such heavy culling
that inbreeding (linebreeding) is not feasible for very small flocks.
Outbreeding: It is the opposite of inbreeding. It involves mating animals that are not
closely related or are entirely unrelated. Its goal is to combine the desirable traits of two
distinct populations with an additional advantage that it produces hybrid vigour, making
the offspring superior to either parent. Outbreeding becomes necessary in an inbreeding
programme when undesirable traits show up or when it turns out that a flock cannot be
developed according to the plan because it does not carry the genes for certain desired
characteristics. Outbreeding involves careful selection of an animal to complement your
flock with the particular characteristics you need and no undesirable ones that may spoil
your programme. Such a sheep/goat is most likely to be found in another flock that is
inbred, preferably one with distant ancestors common to your flock.
Crossbreeding: When both parents belong to the same breed, the lamb/kid is termed as a
purebred. However, each parent is of distinct different breed, the lamb/kid is called a
crossbred. In crossbreeding you get a lamb/kid that can potentially (but not necessarily),
have the good points of both the parents and is usually faster growing. The value of
crossbreeding can be determined in practice by comparing the lamb/kid with the two
parent breeds considering particularly the factors that are of importance in your situation:
body conformation, wool, milk, prolificacy, rate of growth and size. Heterosis is the
hybrid vigour i.e. the increased hardiness and growth performance that is often found in a
crossbred when it is compared to the average of its purebred parents. Hybrid vigour is the

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major reason for crossbreeding. The other reason is to breed in such a manner as to allow
the strong points of one breed to compensate for the weakness of another. Individual
heterosis comes from crossing two different breeds and normally results in an average of
8 kg more meat (if well fed) than by pure breeding. Maternal heterosis, as reported by
researchers of Ohio State University, is the crossing of a purebred ram/buck with a
crossbred ewe/doe and causes on average 18% more meat produced per ewe/doe.
Q.      Briefly discuss backcrossing and grading up.
Backcrossing: Breeding your best ewe lambs/doe kids to the same unusually good
ram/buck is called backcrossing. It is a form of inbreeding. The lambs/kids resulting from
this mating should not be bred back to the same ram/buck.
Grading Up: The use of a good purebred ram/buck on a flock of very ordinary
ewes/does and keeping the best of the resulting offspring, is called grading up. If done for
several years, keeping the best of the ewe lambs/doe kids and disposing off the original
ewes/does, you have probably improved the quality of your flock. The actual
improvement depends partly on the ram/buck chosen and partly on how carefully you
select the ewe lambs/doe kids that are kept for replacement.
Q.      Give below the estimated heritability of some important traits of dairy goats
        as well as Angora goats.
Exact degree of heritability is not easy to ascertain due to the interrelationship of
heritable characteristics as well as the complications of undetected environmental factors.
Estimates of heritability show the percentage of progress you can reasonably expect when
breeding selected parents (Table 11).

Table 11.       Degree of heritability of certain traits
 Trait                       Heritability (%)
 Annual milk yield           36-64
 Total yield                 25-66
 Fat yield                   30-67
 Fat (%)                     32-62
 Protein yield               32-47               Angora traits (%)
 Protein (%)                 59                  Total fibre yield         48
 Casein (%)                  65                  Fibre length              22
 Lactose (%)                 38                  Greasy fleece weight      15-40
 Flavour                     27                  Clean fleece weight       20
 Milking time                67                  Fibre diameter            12
 Birth weight                01                  Face cover                31-59
 Liveweight at 7 months      49-77               Kemp score                20-43
 General body weight         50                  Body weight               30-50
 Age at first kidding        54-77               Weaning weight            20-55
 Number of kids              10

Q.     Briefly discuss various methods of evaluating breeding animals.
There are several ways to evaluate the worthiness of potential breeders. One is to look at
showring experience if you want to breed for winners. But showring wins are often
weighted more in favour of appearance over meat, wool producing ability or dairy

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

character. In addition, showring placement is mostly determined by comparing the
exhibited animals to each other rather than to an ideal. Another means of evaluation is
through classification, a system of scoring by comparing each animal to an established
standard of excellence for its breed. Classifiers are trained and licensed by the various
sheep/goat registered associations (mostly in western world). Like showring scoring,
classification involves some degree of subjectivity on the part of the judge. A third
alternative that provides more objective evaluation is linear appraisal. This system was
established (in USA) by a committee within the National Association of Animal Breeders
as a means of placing value on individual traits by using a sliding scale from worst to
best. It was designed to evaluate sires used for artificial insemination.
Q.       Write a note on progeny testing.
Progeny testing is perhaps the most objective way to evaluate breeding animals. It
involves keeping track of performance of an animal’s offspring. It is a form of pedigree
selection and is a method of estimating the breeding value of an animal by the
performance or phenotype of its offspring. Progeny testing cannot be practised until after
the animal reaches sexual maturity. The ram/buck must be mated to a large number of
average ewes/does and not a small number of highly selected females. The accuracy of
ram’s/buck’s estimated breeding value increases as the number of progeny with
performance information increase. However, this method of selection can be very
expensive and greatly increases generation interval because selection of parents cannot be
carried out until after offspring have been measured.
Q.       What do you understand by oestrus manipulation? Discuss in detail.
Oestrus manipulation is a means to influence the occurrence of heat, which offers some
advantages if you have a large flock. Manipulating heat cycles helps produce a more
regular flow of lambs/kids and that of milk from dairy goats by allowing groups of
ewes/does to lamb/kid at the times you designate. Synchronizing heat (having ewes/does
come into heat together) makes artificial insemination cheaper and easier, condenses the
period during which you have to be on hand for lambing/kidding and produces groups of
lambs/kids of similar ages that can be more easily raised together. A disadvantage is that
conception rates and foetus survival rates tend to be lower during out-of-season hot
summer months.
Oestrus may be controlled in three basic ways. One is by hormonal treatment.
The second is to introduce a vasectomized ram/buck into the flock or to hang a ram/buck
rag in the barn. A ram/buck rag is an empty burlap sack or an old blanket that has been
liberally rubbed over a mature ram or buck’s musk glands. Ram/buck odour generally
causes ewes/does to come into heat within about a week. The third method is through
light manipulation. Simulating the light conditions of fall prepares rams/bucks and female
animals for out-of-season breeding.
A more effective but complicated method has been devised at the International Dairy
Goat Research Center at Texas A & M. It involves light treating does for twenty hours a
day over a sixty-day period starting in early January, using one four-foot-forty-watt
fluorescent tube for each forty-two square feet of floor space, hung at a height of 2.7 to
3m. The does are then kept under natural light for another thirty-five days. Into each pen
of six does, a buck is introduced that has also been light-treated to stimulate fertility. He
is left there for sixty days during which two or three light-introduced heat cycles occur.
By this method a pregnancy rate of 67 to 100% was achieved in various breeds of dairy

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

goats. How effectively the occurrence of heat can be controlled with ram/buck scent or
lighting depends on the season, the weather, your latitude, management practices and the
age and breed of your ewes/does. Environmental control of oestrus is easier with certain
breeds than with others, for which hormonal treatment may be necessary for optimum
Q.       Discuss the possibility of accelerated lambing/kidding in sheep/goats.
Obtaining two lamb/kid crops a year (without use of hormones) seems possible. Some
breeds might perform better in this respect than others e.g. Teddy goats have already
exhibited ample capacity to produce two kid crops a year. However, apart from the
physiological possibility, the possibility of proper feeding of ewes/does and their
offspring must be explored. Because underfeeding of small ruminants in this country has
definitely kept them back from utilizing their existing potential. It therefore, does not
appear advisable to burden them any more unless substantial feed resources are
developed and made available for them. The long run effect of two crops a year on
reproductive span, life span of ewes/does and on lamb/kid birth weight as well as their
growth rate needs to be considered.
Scientists in the Utah State University have devised and tested a method to overcome the
common problem of uterine debris that prevents ewes/does from breeding back early
enough to have two lamb/kid crops in twelve months. They infused the uterus with 200
ml saturated sucrose solution via the cervix, within four days of lambing/kidding and
obtained beneficial response. Sterile solution and sterile procedure are essential to avoid
serious complications. Any programme of accelerated lambing/kidding will require very
early weaning of lambs/kids to prepare the ewes/does for their next lambing/kidding. The
effect of severe hot and cold weather on newborns has also to be kept in view.
Q.       What specific traits are favourably influenced by better feeding of small
         ruminants during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy?
Better feeding during the last 10 weeks of gestation period will influence the size of
lambs/kids, the development of udder and subsequent milk yield (which is important for
the newborn lambs/kids as well as for the sale of goat milk later on), female’s forage
intake during lactation which is conditioned at this time, mohair yield of Angora kids and
probably wool producing capacity of sheep.
Q.       Briefly discuss the role of hormones in the development of udder in small
         ruminants in the last a few weeks of gestation.
The development of the udder is influenced by a number of hormones including
progesterone from the ovaries, prolactin from the pituitary gland and placental lactogen
from the placenta. The placental lactogen is produced in greater quantities according to
the amount of placental tissue. Thus ewes/does carrying a number of foetuses are likely
to produce more milk than those with single foetus. During the last a few weeks of
gestation the udder will undergo rapid development and in case of heavy milkers may
look swollen and engorged. There is often a temptation to milk out a little at this time to
relieve pressure but unless the ewe/doe is in obvious discomfort, it is better not to do this
since it will affect the production of colostrum at lambing/kidding.

Q.     What are the important measures of reproductive efficiency in small
       ruminants? Discuss briefly.

PART- II                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Reproduction is said to be the engine of the flock, ensuring that sheep and goats are able
to generate enough replacements for themselves, expand the flock and supply excess
stock for sale. The reproductive rate of both individual sheep/goats and the flock as a
whole is an important determinant of the overall success of the flock. It is therefore,
important that reproductive problems, if any, are spotted as early as possible and action
taken to remedy the situation. Important measures to assess individual reproductive
performance are:
Parturition Interval: The frequency with which individual ewes/does produce
Litter Size: The number of lambs/kids born per ewe/doe.
Preweaning Mortality Rate: The number of lamb/kid deaths up to weaning.
Postweaning Mortality Rate: The number of lamb/kid deaths after weaning.
In addition, consideration must be given to the question of whether there are any females
that are not reproducing. Some measures of reproductive performance of a whole flock
may express the number of lambs/kids born either from the breeding females that were
actually mated or from the potential breeding females i.e. including infertile females.
These indicators may include the number of lambs/kids born per number of breeding
females per year (lambing/kidding rate). An index that includes an estimate of
preweaning mortality is weaning rate i.e. the number of lambs/kids weaned per number
of breeding females per year.
Q.      Give a detailed account of reproductive problems in small ruminants.
Problems of reproductive management can be identified and normally overcome, whereas
if deeper physiological problems are suspected, for example difficulties of hormonal
nature, access to a well equipped laboratory is required. Such a facility is not commonly
available. A series of questions might be asked when investigating the reasons why an
ewe/doe is not lambing/kidding, or why the reproductive rate of a flock is poor. Such
questions are:
Is the ewe/doe showing signs of oestrus? It is important to check whether oestrus is being
detected properly. In flocks where males are not run continuously with females, oestrus
detection can be a problem, unless the owner is very alert. Women and grown up
members of the family associated with handling and care of the animals might help in
this regard. However, it is necessary to check this and also to check that the ram/buck
responds normally to females. Homosexual males may not do so.
Females may be experiencing normal cycles, but may not show overt signs of oestrus.
Any of the following factors may cause anoestrus:
Poor Condition: Poor nutrition over long periods, resulting into loss of 10 to 20% body
weight can cause the ewe/doe to stop showing signs of oestrus; this is called nutritional
Lactation: In the early stages of lactation, females may not show signs of oestrus; this is
known as lactational anoestrus.
Sickness: If the ewe/doe is very ill, she may not show signs of oestrus. Alternatively she
may not be cycling at all, owing to some infertility problems and thus no signs of oestrus.
If the ewe/doe is showing signs of oestrus the next question is Is oestrus regular? Try to
record when oestrus occurs. Sometimes oestrous cycles are very short (6 to 10 days) or
very long. Causes of short cycles are:

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Stress: When the ewe/doe is stressed, for example during transportation. The corpus
luteum may prematurely regress, causing short cycles.
Ovarian Cyst: Cysts on the ovary produce estrogen, which may shorten the cycle.
Metritis: Infection of the uterus after lambing/kidding may result in short oestrus cycles.
Mummified Lamb/Kid: If a lamb/kid becomes mummified in the uterus, it can serve to
stimulate repeated short cycles. Causes of long oestrous cycles are:
Embryonic Death: The death of the embryo in the uterus.
Anoestrus: Possibly due to malnutrition or disease.
Hormonal Disturbance: A hormonal disturbance resulting in a persistent corpus luteum.
If oestrus is being regularly shown, but there are still problems, the question arises Is the
ram/buck proven to be fertile. Males may be infertile due to:
Brucellosis: Infection with brucellosis in males can result in orchitis (swollen testicles),
which can make the ram/buck temporarily infertile or permanently sterile.
Physical Damage: Any physical damage to the penis or testicles can render the male
sterile. Also lameness or other physical problems can make the male unable to mount a
Over Use: Rams/bucks should not be expected to serve successfully more than one or
two females per day. If a male is run with a batch of females that come into oestrus close
together, he may attempt to serve them but the sperm quality would fall with each female
served. By the third or fourth ewe/doe of the day, the ram/buck may be effectively
Hereditary Condition: Occasionally a ram/buck is born with deformed reproductive
organs, causing him to be sterile.
Age: When the males grow weak through age, they may no longer be able to mount and
mate a female successfully.
Homosexuality: Males reared exclusively with other males in the absence of females can
develop homosexual behaviour patterns and will not respond to females in oestrus. The
next question is Is the male with the ewe/doe all the time? If the answer is no, then there
may be problems either in detecting oestrus or in mating at the correct time in relation to
ovulation. If the ewe/doe has to be taken for matting to a distant male, it may not be
possible for her to be mated twice at the recommended interval of 12 hours. Does the
ewe/doe stand to be mated? Standing to be mated is the true sign of oestrus, however,
even if the ewe/doe is in oestrus, she may be too small to support the weight of the
It is common in crossbreeding programmes for the ewe/doe and ram/buck to need
assistance at mating. The female may have to be supported while the male mounts, in
order to achieve successful copulation. If the answer to all previous questions is yes, but
the ewe/doe is still not breeding properly, then it is time to consider the possibility that
the doe is infertile. Females may be infertile, either not showing signs of oestrus, or
simply not ovulating at all, for one of the following reasons:
Pregnancy: If the reproductive problem reported is a recent one, consider the possibility
that the ewe/doe is currently pregnant.
Previous Metritis: Infection of the uterus may occur after lambing/kidding and can leave
the female infertile.
Hereditary Condition: Hereditary deformities do occur, but are rare.
Age: Eventually females become too old to breed.

PART- II                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       What do you understand by metritis?
Normally after lambing/kidding there is a reddish discharge from the vulva for up to 14
days. However, if the discharge is dark red and sticky, there may be an infection and
inflammation of the uterus known as metritis. A course of antibiotics normally results in
full recovery, however, if chronic metritis develops, the ewe/doe may be rendered
Q.       What to do with a battering ram/buck?
The battering ram/buck may not be considered just funny. It can inflict serious, and
sometimes permanently crippling injuries. Keep children away from it. They can make
him playful and dangerous. Never pet him on top of his head; this encourages him to butt.
Leading a ram/buck with one hand under his chin will keep him from getting his head
down into butting position. A ram/buck butts from the top of his head, not from his
forehead. His head is held so low that as he charges you, he does not see forward well
enough to swerve suddenly. A quick step to the right or left will help you avoid the
If you have a ram/buck that already butts at you, try the water cure. A half-pail of water
on his face when he comes to butt. After repeating a few times, a water pistol or dose
syringe of water on his face suffices to check him. Adding a bit of vinegar to the water
makes it a better deterrent.
A dangerous ram/buck that is very valuable can be hooded so that he can only see
downward and somewhat backward. He must then be kept apart from other rams/bucks as
he is quite helpless.
Strange rams/bucks will fight when put together. Well acquainted ones, will, too, if they
have been separated for a while. Two strong rams/bucks who are both very determined
will keep fighting until their heads are bleeding and one finally staggers to his knees and
is hard for him to get up. Rams/bucks will occasionally kill one another. Never pen a
smaller, younger one with a large dominant one. To prevent fighting and the possibility
of being injured, you can put them together in a small pen for a few days. In a confined
area they cannot back up far enough to do any damage. If no pen is available, they can be
hobbled i.e. fore and hind legs of the same side can be fastened with ends of a broad
leather strap just above the pastern joints, leaving the legs at about the natural distance
apart. It discourages them from butting each other, or people, because they are unable to
charge from any distance. They may stand close and push each other around. Hobbling
also keeps them from jumping the fence. In addition, clogging may be tried which simply
means fastening a piece of wood to one fore leg by a leather strap. This will slow down
and discourage both fence jumping and fighting.
Q.       Is artificial insemination practised in small ruminants?
It is practised in several countries such as UK, USA, Canada, Russia, Australia,
Switzerland and France, but natural breeding is still more popular with large flocks
because breeding by ram/buck is both easier and surer. For small flock owners, in most
cases artificial insemination (AI) costs about the same as stud service and for them both
can be less expensive than keeping a ram/buck. AI is especially important where stud
rams/bucks are not available locally. AI lets you take advantage of a wide range of
superior rams/bucks from across the country. And you can keep a closed flock to prevent
the spread of diseases, since AI sires are screened for health problems transmitted
through sexual contact.

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In several countries, more and more small flocks owners especially goat-keepers are
learning how to do and many are willing to do it for others. The initial investment is
fairly high, but can be mitigated if a group of compatible members of a farmer’s
community/club pool resources. The semen storage tank is the most costly piece of
equipment. It is used to keep the semen at –320°F during transportation and storage.
After semen is selected according to the histories of stud rams/bucks (published in
various catalogues), it is delivered by a bus/van in the processor’s transporting tank. The
breeder must have another tank for the semen, so that the processor’s tank can be
promptly returned. Since semen is viable only eight to twelve hours after being thawed,
in contrast to as much as two days for natural semen, it is therefore critical that
insemination be well coordinated with ovulation. Some breeders keep a ram/buck to
stimulate ovulation and help them identify ewes/does in heat, even though they use AI to
breed their animals to superior distant studs. Conception rates vary between 50 and 70%.
Rough handling of ewes/does during AI reduces the chances of conception. If you have a
large flock, try to achieve oestrus synchronization before calling an AI technician to your
place to do the job. A record of AI should include the date, identification of ewe/doe,
ram/buck, semen processor and inseminator.
Certain disadvantages of AI are: i) Conception rates from AI would not be expected to be
as good as with natural mating, ii) special training and expensive equipment are required,
and iii) if a trained inseminator is not located nearby then travelling costs can make the
service expensive.
In Britain the company Caprine Ovine Breeding Services Ltd. (COBS) was formed about
two decades ago to develop an artificial insemination service particularly for goats. The
first few years of this company were spent making preliminary arrangements and now
semen can be successfully diluted and frozen in liquid nitrogen at –196°C and
experienced inseminators are achieving conception rates at first service of over 60%.
The most common method of restraint for AI involves holding the goat’s back legs off
the ground and presenting her rear to the inseminator. The owner or handler stands
astride the goat’s neck, facing the goat’s rear. The inseminator lifts the goat by her hocks
and brings her up so that the handler can hold the hocks tight up against the goat’s lower
abdomen pulling her up against his chest. It is best if the handler can lean into and rest his
back into a corner. By doing so it is possible to restrain even quite large goats for
insemination. The inseminator uses an instrument called a speculum to look into the
vagina of the goat to locate the entrance to the cervix. If the goat is at the proper stage of
oestrus, the cervix may be slightly dilated and it is sometimes easy to insert the AI gun
some distance into the neck of the cervix. However, the muscular bands can make it
difficult to insert the gun into the cervix, the semen is then splashed onto the entrance.
The chances of conception will be reduced if this happens.
For AI through the cervix, the semen is frozen in 0.5 ml plastic straws. The semen is
diluted so that each straw contains approximately 120 million sperm. The amount of
semen collected from a male varies but averages 15 to 20 straws per ejaculate. An
insemination technique, using an instrument called a laproscope, deposits semen directly
into the uterus through the body wall. This technique allows less semen to be used to
achieve conception rates at least as good as when cervical technique is used. The help of
a veterinarian is required for this purpose. AI programme should not be considered unless
conditions/facilities such as a supply of semen, skilled staff, technical equipment and

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good transport and communications as well as highly motivated farmers/goat keepers
exist. It may be possible to run a goat AI programme alongside a buffalo/cattle AI
programme, making use of the same laboratory and technicians.
Q.       Discuss embryo transfer in goats.
In recent years the techniques for preserving fertile embryos and transplanting them into
suitable recipient animals that become surrogate mothers have been considerably
developed in several western countries. The technique is particularly attractive for rapidly
increasing the number of progeny that can be produced by one female in a single
breeding season. It has been used most in breeds and species that, usually for reasons of
scarcity, are valuable and therefore, where the relatively high cost involved can be
justified. Embryo transfer involves treating a goat with a series of injections of follicle
stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) to synchronize oestrus and to
induce super-ovulation. The goat is mated repeatedly throughout the peak of her oestrus
period in order to enhance the chances of a large number of ova, 12 on average, being
fertilized. At the same time a number of ordinary goats, usually 7 to 10, are also treated
with hormones so that their oestrous cycle will be exactly synchronized with that of the
Six days after the donor is mated, she undergoes a small operation to exteriorize the
uterus, which is then flushed to recover any fertile embryos that may be present. The
embryos thus collected are examined under microscope by an embryologist to determine
those that are fit to be used. Two of these will then be transferred by a similar operation
to each of the recipient goats. Embryos can be frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen in a
similar way to semen and thus they can be shipped around the world and can be used a
long time after they were collected. When considering the economics of embryo transfer,
it is important to remember that 12 embryos recovered will not mean 12 live kids born.
There are many points in the programme where the embryos may die. Good
synchronization of the donor’s and recipients’ oestrous cycles is the most important and
stress and nutrition can affect embryo survival after implantation.
For every 12 embryos flushed two would probably be infertile or unsuitable for transfer.
Not all the recipients will be suitable for use and of the five, three or four will become
pregnant. Taking all these variables into account, the average number of kids born per
flush will be five to six and of these, it is normal to expect 50% male and 50% female.
The embryo transfer requires highly skilled staff and sophisticated equipment, therefore,
it might be successfully used only under research station conditions.
Q.       Write a detailed note on culling.
Culling means eliminating old and unproductive animals from the flock according to a
scheduled annual or biannual programme.
To know which animals to cull, you need to keep good records and this requires ear
tags/tattooing. Even if you can recognize each of your sheep/goats by name, still it is
important to have clear records with tags than without. The following records may be
helpful: fleece weight of each clip/each year; wool quality; lambing/kidding record;
prolapses; rejected lambs/kids; inverted eyelids; milk yield and milking ability; lamb/kid
growth; foot problems; udder abnormalities; any illnesses and their treatment.
At culling time review the records as well as inspect teeth, udders and feet. Cull out
ewes/does with defective udders, broken mouth (teeth missing), limpers who do not
respond to regular trimming and foot baths or those with insufficient milk and whose

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lambs/kids grow slowly. There may be some exceptions to these deficiencies such as an
ewe/doe who regularly has twins/triplets and passes on her prolific traits to her daughters.
This one may warrant bottle feeding of her lambs/kids for another season of
lambing/kidding. Improvements of a flock require rigid culling. Consider all the points
listed under purchase of new ewes/does. And it is not enough to just have teeth, the bite
itself is important. An expert says, “They cannot shear grass if the blades do not match”.
Keep in mind especially the ease of lambing/kidding (to avoid animals that all require
assistance at parturition time). Consideration for only growth and conformation may not
be enough, also consider survivability, mothering instinct, production of large quantities
of nourishing milk from the start, lamb/kids that find out teats, even suck out wax plug if
Culling may be done at least a month before the dates of marketing shows that are held at
one or two nearby places. It can also be managed to coincide with the demand for
sacrificial slaughter of animals, especially male stock, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
During the four to six weeks period after culling, the animals may be provided some
supplementary ration to enhance their marketability so that they may fetch better prices.





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Q.      Give a list of diseases which pertain to pregnant ewes/does.
Vaginal prolapse, abortions, retained placenta, mastitis, pregnancy disease (ketosis),
ketosis or calcium deficiency, milk fever (lambing sickness, hypocalcium, calcium
deficiency) etc.
Q.      Give a detailed account of vaginal prolapse in ewes/does.
Vaginal prolapse mostly occurs before parturition, but sometimes can follow a difficult
labour. The vaginal lining, protruding from genital opening can be seen as a red mass.
Early detection and treatment is important. Important causes are: anatomical weakness,
likely inherited; feeding too much roughage during late pregnancy, with foetus and
stomach causing excessive pressure; deficiency of selenium; extra fat ewe/doe; lying on
upward slope; causing ewe/doe to cough a lot as in pneumonia or lungworms; rough
handling in shearing or during deworming in late pregnancy.
For prevention of prolapse, in selenium deficient areas, inject the animals with selenium a
week before parturition. The slightest indication of prolapse would call for an additional
selenium injection along with usual prolapse-repair measures. Injection be given
intramuscular but preferably subcut. In western country markets several selenium
products are available. Too much selenium is acutely toxic. Increased forage yields are
speeding the depletion of selenium in topsoil and increased animal stocking/ha on a given
land area also contributes to the problem. Blood tests can give an accurate information
about selenium status of the animal and the soil scientist about the soil.
Conventional treatment for the vaginal lining just barely protruding is confine the
pregnant animal in such a place where her hind end is well elevated, thus decreasing
pressure. At the same time prolapse-harness may be applied. In many countries,
homemade prolapse-loop is used in case prolapse has occurred (Figure 13).
To replace the vaginal protrusion and insert the loop or retainer: Put a rope (1½ cm) or
belt around her middle in front of the udder so that she cannot strain, but not so tight that
she cannot lie down and get up. Wash your hands and disinfect the loop. Wash the
prolapsed part with normal cold antiseptic water. Replace the vaginal lining using a
lubricant. Hind end be elevated. May hold her on back, with her shoulders on the ground
and her hindquarters up against your knee, to relieve pressure. Insert the prolapse loop,
straight in, flat horizontally. Prolapse-harness may be used to hold the loop in place. Give
an injection of a suitable antibiotic to avoid infection. For lubricating and disinfecting the
vaginal mass, a cream is available in the local market. You can remove the loop as she
goes into labour. Mark this ewe/doe for culling since the prolapse produces permanent
damage and might happen again. It could be a genetic weakness.
At one time the standard holding of prolapse was with deep sutures (one at the top of
vaginal opening and one across the bottom) to hold the vagina in (Figure 14).

Q.      What is meant by pregnancy disease? Give its synonyms, causes, symptoms
        and treatment.
Pregnancy disease also termed as pregnancy toxaemia or ketosis is highly fatal if not
treated immediately. It usually occurs in last week or so of pregnancy and inflicts mostly

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twin or triplet carrying ewes/does. It can be readily diagnosed by urine tests for ketones
and acetones if test strips are available. It is possible to avoid this disease by using ketone
test strips early.
It is not a thin ewe/doe or blood sugar problem, rather mainly of insufficient energy
intake. When she is taking in less energy than required to sustain herself and the growing
foetus(es), she begins to use stored body fat to provide this energy. Ketones are the by-
product of fat metabolism. When the ewe/doe is breaking down significant levels of fat
from body reserves, she may reach the point where ketones are being produced faster
than her body can excrete them. When this occurs, they build up to toxic levels and thus
ketosis or pregnancy anaemia takes place. Simply stated, prevention requires calories.
Usual symptoms are: sleepy-looking dull eyes, weak in legs, with sweet acetoniec-
smelling breath, mostly refuse to eat, then become unable to rise, teeth grinding and
breathe rapidly. Recovery becomes doubtful if treatment delayed long. For treatment 4
ounces of propylene glycol or 4 ounces of glycerine diluted with warm water or any
commercial preparation should be given by mouth twice a day; better continue for four
days even if she is recovered, to prevent relapse.
Keep propylene glycol on hand before lambing/kidding for prompt treatment of any
suspected cases. Because once a full-blown case occurs and treatment proves ineffective,
then caesarean section will be required to save the ewe/doe. Loss of lambs/kids will occur
unless she is very close to normal parturition time.
Among important preventive measures are: avoid over fatness early in pregnancy;
encourage daily exercise; provide rising level of nutrition in last 4 to 5 weeks of
pregnancy; supply a constant source of water; give molasses in drinking water; avoid
purchasing ewes/does too close to lambing/kidding; avoid stress and hurried driving of
pregnant animals; no sudden change in concentrate ration; give special attention to
nutrition of old animals with poor teeth, treat the feet of any lame ewe/doe, or she may
not move around well; give at least 300 g concentrate ration per head/day; add molasses
to the feed of all animals if you have even one case of ketosis.
Sometimes confusion arises as to whether it is pregnancy toxaemia or hypocalcemia
(milk fever). Pregnancy toxaemia can be accurately diagnosed by test strips (ketone
sensitive strips). In general, it may be said that if it is before parturition and there is a
possibility that the ewe/doe may not have been fed properly in the last month, it is
probably pregnancy toxaemia, whereas if it is after lambing/kidding and the ewe is
providing milk for twins/triplets and has had adequate feed with molasses, it is more
likely to be milk fever (hypocalcemia).

Q.      What type of fever is milk fever? Give the most salient causes, symptoms and
        suggest an effective treatment for this ailment.
As a matter of fact milk fever is a misnomer. It is not a fever. The temperature of the
ailing animal is either normal or subnormal and the ears become very cold. It is simply a
state of calcium deficiency in the dams in post-lambing/post-kidding situation, but can be
just before.
So much calcium is needed to form the bones and teeth of foetus(es) and so much of it
goes into ewe’s/doe’s milk, that she suddenly may be unable to supply it all, due either to
simple calcium deficiency or deficiency caused by metabolic disturbance. This deficiency

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can cause death in a short time. Abrupt change of feed, a period without feed or a sudden
drastic change in the weather may be the contributory factors to cause this disease.
The onset of disease is sudden and progress very rapid. Initial signs are excitability,
muscle tremors, stilted gait followed by staggering, breathing fast, staring eyes and
dullness. Next the animal lies down and is unable to get up, then slips into coma followed
by death. To be successful, treatment should start before the animal is down.
Milk fever represents a true medical emergency in which life or death of the animal is a
race against time. Once the condition is sufficiently advanced, intravenous injection of
100 cc calcium borogluconate or calcium gluconate is the only remedy that will save the
animal. If in doubt call your local veterinarian for help. If veterinary assistance is not
available and you cannot give intravenous injection, the drug may be injected subcut (75
to 100 cc, divided equally for five injection sites). Subcut gives a slower reaction and it is
a safer procedure at home with less chance of cardiac arrest.
If milk fever occurs before lambing/kidding, it may be confused with pregnancy
toxaemia. If, however, it is a calcium shortage, the animal will show a dramatic
improvement after calcium is given.
Q.       Give a detailed account of abortions in ewes/does.
Injury is often a cause of abortion, such as when a male is running with the pregnant
females and bumps them away from feed, when pregnant ewes/does rush for feed through
narrow doorways or when they are chased by dogs. Moldy feed with mold spores
infecting and destroying the placenta, can cut off nourishment to the foetus leading to
abortion. When an ewe/doe has aborted in the last few weeks of pregnancy or has a still
birth and there is no orphan to graft on her while she has a full udder, she should be
milked out on third day and again in a week. If the newborn is dead due to a difficult
birth, the first milking should be done at once and the colostrum frozen for future use.
The other causes are vibriosis and enzooatic abortion of ewes (EAE). Vibriosis is caused
by bacteria that may live in the gall bladder and intestine of the animal, but invade the
uterus, placenta and foetus during late pregnancy. Although it is reported that ewes/does
that have aborted from this are immune to further abortions, they can be carriers that may
contaminate feed and water, infecting other animals. The rest of the animals can be
vaccinated, followed by three day injections of 8 cc pen-strep, further followed by 500
mg/head/day of chortetracyline (CTC) until the lambing/kidding season is over.
Enzooatic abortin of ewes/does (EAE) is caused by an organism called Chlamydia, which
causes late term abortions, stillbirths and weak lambs. It is not the same species of
Chlamydia that causes respiratory diseases, pink eye etc. in sheep. It spreads to ewes/does
by contact with aborting animals, infected foetal membranes, uterine discharges, or a
dead foetus. Treatment of an EAE outbreak is the feeding of 500 mg CTC per ewe or doe
per day. EAE-Vibrio vaccine used well in time protects the animals from both the
infections. Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan (Coccidium) of cats. Infection of sheep/goats
occurs through eating forage, grains and other feedstuffs where cats have defaecated.
Abortions and stillbirths are common. No effective treatment or vaccine so far. Stray cats
should not be allowed to stay at the farm premises. Strict sanitation, clean
uncontaminated water, protected storage of dry forage; grain and off-the-ground feeding
troughs may help reduce the incidence and spread of disease.
Q.       How would you proceed with retained placenta in ewes/does?

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The retained placenta is also called retained afterbirth. The afterbirth often comes out
normally mostly within first hour after birth, depending somewhat on the activity of the
dam. Do not try to pull it out, as you might cause some injury to herself. You can allow
quite some time⎯ up to six hours after birth. Some animals may eat the afterbirth if you
are not there to take care of it, causing you to think it is yet retained. In case six hours
have passed, home treatment consists of an injection of streptomycin or penicillin to ward
off infection. Forcible removal of the afterbirth to be done only by a person who can
differentiate between the maternal and the foetal cotyledons to separate them. Better get
help from a reproduction man who can administer a medicine that can assist in expelling
it. Usual causes for retained placenta are: exhaustion following difficult birth; nutritional
disorder such as deficiency of selenium, magnesium or calcium, affecting the ability of
uterine muscles to contract properly; premature birth, resulting from poor feeding in the
last four weeks of pregnancy; infection or abortion; and hereditary weakness.
Q.      Do you think mastitis can be prevalent in ewes/does? Write a note on it.
Yes! it does. Mastitis is an infection and inflammation of the udder usually affecting one
side and can be caused by one or a combination of different bacteria. In acute cases the
ewe/doe has a high fever (105 to 106 degrees) and usually goes off feed. The affected
side of her udder is hot, swollen and painful. She will limp, carrying one hind leg as far
from the udder as possible and does not want her youngone to nurse. The milk becomes
watery or thick and flaky. Early detection and prompt treatment can minimize udder loss.
Occasionally mastitis causes gangrene of the udder, which becomes almost blue and is
cold to touch. Large and repeated doses of dihydrostreptomycin may be helpful. This
type of mastitis is critical and the ewe/doe should be marked for culling. In several cases,
mastitis will respond if penicillin treatment (or other recent medication) is given early
enough in dosage of 0.5 to 1 million units. More appropriate would be to get it diagnosed
from a relevant laboratory and know which is the causative organism, then get proper
treatment. If the animal is treated promptly at the first signs of the disease, there is 50%
chance of saving the udder. Subclinical mastitis may go undetected, showing up at the
ewe/doe’s next lambing/kidding when she has milk in only half of her udder and the
other half is hard.
Important causes are: undue exposure to rainy weather, animal lying on dirty, cold and
wet ground, soiled wet bedding; infection from an active mastitic animal to another;
udder injury from high thresholds in barns or from underbrush; udder injury from large
nursing lambs/kids; loss of lamb/kid, while ewe/doe has large milking udder, which not
milked out to dry up; sudden weaning of lambs/kids while ewe/doe still has full milking
capacity; concentrate ration not withdrawn at least five days prior to weaning.
To treat the mastitis cases, suitable antibiotics be injected. Also infected side milked out
completely and milk destroyed and antibiotics inserted into the teat. There are
combination treatment drugs for both acute and mild chronic cases and these are effective
against several of the causative bacteria.


PART- II                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      What type of feed needs to be given to small ruminants during early months
        of pregnancy?
When flushing related feeding period is over, just continue with normal feeding. Do not
overfeed ewes/does during the early months of pregnancy. A programme of increased
feeding must be maintained during late gestation to avoid pregnancy disease and other
problems. Overfeeding during early pregnancy can cause animals to gain excessive
weight that may cause difficulty at parturition. Provide adequate feeder space
(approximately 50 to 60 cm per animal) so that all animals will have excess to the feed at
one time; otherwise timid or older ewes/does would face difficulty in getting their feed.
Possibly, they should have free choices of a mineral-salt mix containing selenium. Do not
use a mineral mix intended for buffalo/cattle because it may be fortified with copper at
levels that are toxic to small ruminants.
Q.      What type of feed would you suggest for small ruminants during the last five
        to six weeks of pregnancy?
Ewes/does during the fourth month of pregnancy need about four times as much water as
they did before pregnancy. Since 70% of the growth of foetuses takes place in the last
five to six weeks period, the feed must have adequate calories and nutritional balance to
support that growth. During the last month the foetuses become so large that they
displace much of the space previously occupied by the rumen. Thus the need for more
high protein feed and less roughage because the ewes/does are unable to ingest sufficient
quantities of any low energy feed, to support themselves or the growing foetus(es), which
causes them to utilize excessive quantities of stored fat reserves and can in turn lead to
pregnancy toxaemia. Poor energy supplementation can also result in hypoglycemia (low
blood sugar). A good concentrate mix would be 1/3 whole oats, 1/3 shelled maize and 1/3
wheat (for the selenium content). Barley is a good feed if available. Grains can be
supplemented to 12 to 15% protein content with soybean meal or other source of protein.
Grain and berseem hay should be given on regular basis to avoid risk of pregnancy
disease or enterotoxaemia. Approximately not less than 300 g concentrate mix per
day/animal is a good rule of thumb. For larger ewes/does 400 g and for Teddy does 150 g
should suffice.
Q.      Do the weaned and nursing kids need supplementation?
As long as kids are receiving adequate amounts of milk from their mothers, they do well
provided the range is in good condition. Since here most of the range is poor, therefore,
450 g of supplement for each 3 kids should be provided. Older and larger kids may have
their supplement reduced to 450 g daily for each 5 kids. In addition, kids should have
access to quality hay. These recommendations should be considered to be minimum
Q.      What harmful effects are expected if small ruminants are maintained on
        poor feeding during last five weeks of pregnancy?
Low birth weight of newborns; low fat reserve in newborns, resulting in more deaths
from chilling and exposure; low wool production from lambs as adults; shortened
gestation period, some born slightly premature; increased chances of pregnancy

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toxaemia; ewes/does slower to come into milk and less milk; production of tender layer
(break) in ewe’s fleece. These consequences are more pronounced in ewes/does carrying
twins and triplets. Excessive feeding, on the other hand, can result in excessive growth of
the lambs/kids and an overweight condition in ewes/does, resulting into serious problems
at parturition time. Also, at this advanced stage of pregnancy, take notice of any droopy
ewes/does and those that are found off feed; they might be developing pregnancy
Animals that are not getting enough feed to meet their energy requirements will use
reserve body fat. When fat cells are converted into energy, waste products called ketones
are created. Pregnancy disease (ketosis) results when ketones are produced faster than
they can be excreted and they rise to toxic levels in the blood stream, which can be easily
detected in urine. A simple test kit for ketones is available at big medical stores, which
can be used to identify the animals deficient in energy. Such animals can be separated to
provide them extra feed and thus to avert the risk of some serious disease problems.
Q.      Are there any advantages of shearing before lambing?
If weather is mild and you are sure that sheep would be handled gently then they can be
sheared about four weeks before lambing. The following are some advantages:
No dirty, germ-laden wool tags for lambs to suck; clean udder makes it easier for lambs
to find teats; fewer germs in contact with the lamb as it emerges at birth; easier to assist at
lambing, if necessary; easier to spot an impending prolapse in time to save ewe; easier to
predict lambing time by ewe’s appearance; ewe less apt to lie on her lamb in pen.
Q.      What do you understand by Crotching (crutching, tagging)?
It simply means trimming wool/hair from the crotch and udder and a few centimeters
forward of the udder. Only about four or five ounces of wool/hair from goats having long
hairy coats are removed. Wool can be washed dried and sold with rest of the fleece
(Figure 15).
Q.      Discuss in detail the requirements for an ideal lambing/kidding pen.
Have a 1½ x 1½ meter lambing/kidding pen (also called claiming pen or jug) ready for
newborn and its mother, with clean bedding, a small feeder and a container of water that
cannot be spilled and is tall enough that a newborn cannot fall into it and drown. As a
general rule you will need approximately one pen for every ten ewes/does in the flock. A
healthy barn must not be very warm but should be clean, dry and free of drafts. Warm or
drafty barns can cause pneumonia. A warm, damp barn is extremely conducive to
bacterial growth. A closed barn without proper ventilation allows build up of ammonia
from faecal decay and urine, which can irritate the lining of lungs and trachea,
predisposing the animal to respiratory diseases.
The pen is primarily for use after the lamb/kid has born. Ewes/does prefer a large area for
actual lambing/kidding, where they can walk around freely before labour. The larger pen
is preferred if you want to have the ewe/doe confined where facilities are better for
helping in a difficult birth. It is said that in goats 90% births are normal. The pen allows
the mother and newborn to become well acquainted, keeps the lamb from getting
separated from its mother (especially in the case of twins or triplets) and protects the
lamb from being trampled by other animals or becoming wet and chilled/exposed to high
temperature. Ordinarily, they are penned together for three days so that they can be easily
observed and treated should complications arise. Some people remove the newborns from
their mothers soon after birth especially in case of milk goats. Do not allow dogs or

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strangers to approach the pen area because the ewes/does usually become frightened and
nervous and can quickly turn a protective pen into a ‘lamb/kid blender’ with fatal results.
Q.       What care needs to be observed with young females lambing/kidding first
Young ewes/does undergoing parturition for the first time can be nervous or confused
because of lack of experience or not yet fully developed maternal instincts. They should
be penned with their newborns for at least three days until they have become accustomed
to nursing lamb(s)/kid(s). If the newborn cries loud, that is one indication of its being
hungry, but not always. Newborns sometimes will starve to death in a pen without a
sound. Therefore check milk daily for the first three days i.e. she does have milk and the
newborn is getting some. Some ewes/does (especially first timers) come to milk only to
dry after a day or two, so never assume that she will continue to milk after the first day.
If a young ewe/doe does not have sufficient milk for the newborn, supplement it with a
couple of 2-ounce bottle feedings for the first two days, preferably with milk taken from
another ewe/doe or with newborn milk formula. Insufficient milk letdown can sometimes
be resolved by injections of oxytocin. If the mother is well fed its milk should increase. If
still insufficient for the newborn, supplement it with a couple of 4-ounce feedings of
lamb/kid milk-replacer during the first week, then increase to about 8-ounce feedings at
two weeks old. Poorly fed old ewes/does also may have insufficient milk supply.
If the ewe/doe drops newborn outside, it is not difficult to get her to the pen nearby.
Carry the newborn slowly, close to the ground so that she can see it and follow. If the
newborn is raised more than one half meter off the ground, the mother will lose its sight
and run back to where she dropped it. If the newborn (lamb/kid) calls out to her along the
way she will normally follow readily.
Q.       Give below the formula for emergency newborn lamb/kid milk and how
         much to use?
It may be stated here that the milk prepared according to the below given formula is not a
complete substitute for colostrum, however, it can be beneficially fed for the first two
         26 ounces milk (½ canned milk, ½ water) One tablespoon castor oil (or cod
liver oil)

       One beaten egg yolk                   One tablespoon glucose or sugar
Mix well and give about 2 ounces at a time the first day, allowing from two to three hours
between feeding. Use a baby bottle and enlarge the nipple hole to about the size of a
pinhead. Lamb/kid nipple is larger, use that one when the newborn is older. On the
second day, increase the feedings to three ounces at a time or four ounces to a large
lamb/kid, two to three hours apart. On the third day the formula can be made without the
egg yolk and sugar and the oil can be reduced to one teaspoon per 26 ounces of milk.
After third day goat milk or buffalo milk can be used changing the formula milk
gradually. Powdered milk-replacer is not yet available in this country. Do not overfeed
any milk at any time. It is better to underfeed than to have a sick lamb/kid. A bottle
lamb/kid is more subject to infections than the one on mother’s milk, so keep bottles and
nipples clean.
Q.     What are the usual signs that indicate an ewe/doe is ready for

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As the time approaches for actual lambing/kidding, the ewe/doe gets a sway-backed,
sunken appearance in front of the hip bones and a restless attitude. This is more notice-
able in case of sheared sheep. The udder is enlarged. She will pick out her spot to give
birth to lamb/kid, sometimes pawing the ground before lying down. Sometimes animals
carrying twins or triplets start grunting several days before parturition, as they lie down
or get up. They go off feed. The vulva will relax and often be a little pinker than before
but should not be protruding and red. The ewe/doe will normally have made a bag by
now but some seem to hold until the last minute.
Q.      Your ewes/does are soon approaching parturition. What preparations do you
        need to make in this regard? Preparations should be ideal.
Here is a list of pre-lambing/kidding supplies which should be on hand before the actual
lambings/kiddings start. The list is not in the order of importance or the sequence in
which these may be needed. Some of the things even may not be used still it is logical to
have them on hand because births may take place any time during day or night.

   •       Keep your fingernails clipped close in case you have to assist in delivery.
   •       Old terry towels for drying off newborns. Store these in shopper bags to keep
   •       Some appropriate device for warming and drying newborns in cold weather.
   •       Tincture of iodine (7%) in a small wide-mouth bottle for treating umbilical
   •       Small sharp scissors for trimming umbilical cord.
   •       Hand shears for crutching.
   •       Antiseptic and lubricating ointment for your hands if you have to assist in
   •       A reliable disinfectant (not irritating to skin) for hands and equipment.
   •       Antibiotic uterine boluses in case of retained placenta (afterbirth).
   •       Sterile syringes and disposable needles, 18-gauge.
   •       Combiotic, pen-strep.
   •       Lambing/kidding snares (loops) to pull newborn in difficult delivery.
   •       Heavy cotton or nylon line (rope) for loops, dip well in antiseptic solution
           before using.
   •       Molasses.
   •       Propylene glycol for treatment of pregnancy toxaemia.
   •       Baby bottle with slightly enlarged nipple hole for the newborn.
   •       Appropriate arrangement for light if electricity not there.
   •       Mineral oil in case of constipated newborn.
   •       Frozen colostrum (thaw at room temperature if needed) or use newborn
           lamb/kid milk formula if mother’s milk not available.
   •       Pepto-Bismol for simple diarrhoea due to overfeed.
   •       Bucket of warm water for ewe/doe to drink.
   •       Clean plastic bucket.
   •       Elastrator pliers with rubber rings for castration and docking (if necessarily
   •       Calcium gluconate for treatment of milk fever.

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     •       Ear tags and applicator.
     •       Alcohol and cotton.
     •       Record book and hanging scale to weigh newborns.
     •       Prolapse retainer and prolapse harness.
     •       Antibiotic preparations for lamb scours.
     •       Rectal thermometer.
     •       5% glucose in saline solution.
     •       Lambing/kidding pens with feed and water.
Colostrum powder or Colostryx (new antibody supplement), if available, otherwise
colostrum of another ewe/doe may be used.
Q.       What needs to be done when actual lambing/kidding starts? Give details of
         precautions and care to be observed in this respect.
When the ewe/doe lies down with nose pointed up and strains and grunts, that indicates
the beginning of actual labour. Let her take her time to deliver the lamb/kid before trying
to assist unless the newborn is showing and she is making a little/progress. It is mostly
recommended that you allow the mother one-half to one hour after the water bag comes
out. But it has to be judged from her appearance as to whether the ewe/doe is becoming
so tired that she needs assistance. You can pull the newborn by timing your pulls with her
straining. Great majority of cases will give birth normally and easily.
When the birth has taken place, wipe the mucus off the newborn’s nose, then place it near
the ewe’s/doe’s nose quickly so that she can identify it as her own and clean it off (now is
the time to graft on an orphan or triplet that needs a foster mother). If the newborn has
difficult breathing or excess mucus in the throat or lungs, grasp it firmly by the hind legs
and swing it aggressively in an arc several times in order that centrifugal force will expel
the mucus. Make sure that you have a good grip on the lamb/kid to avoid throwing it out
of the barn. Also make sure that its head does not strike the ground or any other article
If the navel cord is over 5 cm long, snip it off with scissors and submerge it in 7%
tincture of iodine contained in a wide-mouthed bottle. Press the container against
newborn’s belly, then turn the animal up so that the entire cord and the area surrounding
it are covered. Iodine should be applied soon after birth because many bacteria can enter
via the navel. It penetrates the cord, disinfects it and assists in drying. As an extra
precaution against infection, you can treat the cord with tincture of iodine again in twelve
hours. If the cord is not cut to the proper length, some ewes/does may try to nibble too
much of the navel and can injure the newborn.
If the mother is too exhausted by a difficult labour to dry off the newborn, do it yourself
with clean old terry towels so that it does not get cold from being wet too long. Do not
remove the newborn from her mother’s sight, as this can disrupt the mothering-ownership
pattern. Even if she is not able to lick off, put the newborn near her nose to encourage her
to establish identity with her lamb/kid.
Protect the newborn from severe hot or cold weather. Put the mother and her lamb/kid
under a covered place having through and through ventilation, to protect from scorching
heat. If it is extremely hypothermic, give it one to two minutes bath in fresh water up to
neck. Remove it from the water, dry it and give one to two ounces of colostrum if it can
take it. Put it under a slow-moving ceiling fan, if electricity is available. In cold weather,
guard the newborn against hypothermia. Once dry they can withstand quite low

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temperatures, but due to a large ratio of skin area to body weight, wet lambs/kids can
chill quickly. Such a newborn will appear stiff, unable to rise and its tongue and mouth
will feel cold to touch. The best method of warming a frozen lamb/kid is to submerge it
up to neck in water that is quite warm to touch. Most newborns will revive in just a few
minutes. When the mouth begins to feel warm to the touch and it begins to struggle, dry it
well and place it in a warm environment until totally recovered. Feed it one to two ounces
of warm colostrum as soon as it can take it. In certain countries plastic lamb coats are
used in cold weather, which retain a great deal of body heat. These can be especially
useful for twins and triplets on marginal milk intake.
If a dead lamb/kid is born, you can rub a young orphan lamb/kid all over with the birth
fluid and give it to ewe/doe to mother. In countries where modern husbandry practices
are in vogue, people there plug the teats of sheep/goats with wax after weaning the
lambs/kids. Therefore, strip the teats to unplug them, as the lamb/kid may not suck
strongly enough to remove the little waxy plug. Also the eyelids need to be checked to
see if they appear to be turned in, if so, the eyelashes would irritate the eye (a condition
called entropion). This can cause serious trouble and blindness if it is not corrected.
Q.       Discuss nursing in relation to newborn lambs/kids.
Nursing here refers to getting milk by the newborn from her mother. When the ewe/doe
stands up, she will nudge the newborn toward her udder with her nose, if it is strong
enough to get on its feet. Normally the newborn has the instinct to look for her mother’s
teats. It has also been reported that the newborn is drawn by the smell of the waxy
secretion of the mammary pouch gland in her groin. The udder or teats should be cleaned
with a few swabs of a weak chlorine solution (Clorox) before nursing by the lamb/kid.
This helps prevent intestinal infection in the newborn. Let the lamb/kid nurse by itself,
but do not wait more than one-half to one hour without it nursing as the mother’s first
milk (colostrum) provides not only warmth, energy but also antibodies against the
common disease organisms in its environment.
Occasionally the ewe/doe will not allow its newborn to nurse because she is nervous, has
a tender or sensitive udder, or is rejecting the newborn. If the udder appears sensitive, it
may be tightly inflated with milk. Restrain her and allow the lamb/kid to nurse. You can
then milk out the excess colostrum (save it if possible) to remove the pressure on the
udder. Nervous mothers may require restraint for the first few feedings until they get the
feeling of being a mother. The colostral protection of the newborn could have been
greatly enhanced if the ewe/doe was previously vaccinated (twice) with Covexin-8 to
protect against tetanus, enterotoxaemia and other common clostridial diseases (see
elsewhere under vaccination schedule).
It is often not advisable to wait for the newborn to nurse, rather just roll the mother on her
side and push the teat into lamb’s/kid’s mouth from the side. It usually cooperates,
getting the urge when it feels the warmth in its mouth. After the first feeding there is
some assurance that it will have the strength to look for the next one, but you need to
keep watch from time to time that it does nurse.
Q.       What is colostrum? Why is it important to feed it to the newborn?
Colostrum is the first milk secreted by the small ruminants during 48 to 72 hours after the
termination of pregnancy. It is comparatively denser than normal milk and off white to
yellowish in colour. It has higher nutrient contents such as protein, vitamins and is a mild
laxative to pass the meconium (the foetal excreta, black tarry substance that is passed

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shortly after the newborn nurses). If fed in time it provides warmth, energy and much-
needed antibodies to the newborn against the common disease organisms in its
The antibodies protect the newborn until it starts to manufacture its own. The small
intestine of the lamb/kid possesses very temporary ability to absorb these large molecular
antibodies from the colostrum. This ability to absorb decreases by the hour until it is
almost nonexistent by sixteen to eighteen hours of life of the newborn. The longer a
lamb/kid has to survive without colostrum, the fewer antibodies it has the opportunity to
absorb and the less chance of survival if it develops problems. A weak newborn or one of
light birth weight can be lost because of a delay in nursing. Many deaths that are
attributed to disease are actually due to starvation and the newborns will often die having
not uttered a sound or indicated that they were starving. Always make sure that the
newborns are actually nursing and always recheck the dams that they are continuing to
give milk for the first few days.
Q.       What is to be fed to an ewe/doe after birth of a newborn?
Ewes/does are often thirsty after giving birth. They are offered a bucket of warm (not hot)
water containing half a cup of stock molasses per head. They may be reluctant to drink
cold water which then can result in lowered milk production. Offer good berseem hay but
no concentrate the first day especially to those ewes/does that have one newborn.
However, those animals having twins and triplets to nurse, they may be given some grain
the first day. The milk goats, depending upon their yield, should gradually be given from
400 to 500 g concentrate mixture per head/day. If an ewe/doe has too much milk that her
udder is too full and the teats are enlarged from it, milk out a bit of this colostrum and
freeze it in small quantities in separate containers. Solidly frozen colostrum will keep for
a year or more. Cow/buffalo or goat colostrum can be stored and used in emergencies.
Thaw frozen colostrum at room temperature or in lukewarm water. Never use hot water
or a microwave oven to thaw colostrum because it can denature and destroy the
antibodies, rendering the colostrum worthless.
Q.       What extra care is required for twins/triplets?
Rarely sheep in this country produce twins. However, a good percentage of goats are twin
producers, while the Teddy goat is well known for its triplets. Twins/triplets require
vigilance to assure that all newborns are claimed by their mother and that each is getting
its share of colostrum. If the mother does not have plenty of milk for them, increase
concentrate ration gradually. Continue offering molasses in lukewarm water till the time
she is penned with the newborns. If they are crying a lot, they are probably not getting
enough milk. Find out the hungry ones and assist them by holding them to their mother.
If she is short of milk, give a supplemental bottle but still leave them nursing. Give two-
ounce feedings the first two days and increase to four to five ounces by the third and
fourth day, gradually increasing as they grow. For such lambs/kids some sort of
economical milk-replacer may be used. To identify such newborns, temporary marking
may be done on a visible part of their body so that they can be easily traced for
supplemental feeding.
Q.       What is meant by ear tags? What are the different types of tags?
Ear tags are a device used for identification of animals. Since these are either inserted
into or clinched on the ear hence called ear tags. When there are several lambs/kids, the
best is to identify them by ear tags. This makes it possible to keep records of newborn’s

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parentage, date of birth and growth, and easier to decide what to keep for your flock and
what to sell. With identification tags on ewes/does also, you can be certain which
newborns are hers, even after they are weaned. Some tags are metallic with almost any
combination of numbers and letters and some are plastic in a variety of colours. The
different colours are used to identify sex, whether singles or twins, the month born etc.
Some are self-clinching, while others need a hole punched for the tag. These should be
applied while the newborn is still penned with its mother. The small lamb/kid tag should
only be inserted into the ear approximately half the length of the tag in order to leave
room for growing ear.
Q.      Write a short note on lamb/kid droppings.
One evident advantage of penning newborns with their mothers is that you can keep an
eye on how well they are eating and how well it is coming out the other end. The
condition of droppings is important. First to come out is the foetal meconium, which is
passed a few hours after the birth of a lamb/kid. The droppings are bright yellow. These
remain yellow for at least a weak, then gradually get darker until they are a normal brown
small bunch of pellets sticking together in clumps. Later, these are little brown marbles.
If these become loose and runny, this is called ‘scours’.
Q.      What equipment and medicines you need to have on hand to deal with
        abnormal lambing/kidding positions at the time of parturition?
The following are essentially required:
     •      Several long pieces of strong cord, with a noose on the end of each one.
     •      Antiseptic lubricant or mineral oil.
     •      Bucket of clean soapy water to wash hands and arms and external parts of
     •      Antibiotics to give after assisting.
     •      Old clean terry towels.
     •      Iodine (tincture) in small wide-mouth bottle.
     •      Antibiotic uterine boluses.
     •      Good light in the delivery area.

Q.      At what stage ewe/doe needs help in delivery?
Often the ewe/doe will give birth unassisted but you should be prepared for abnormal
delivery. During lambing/kidding season keep your fingernails cut short. As a general
rule you can allow a half-hour to an hour after the water bag breaks, one and one-half to
two hours of labour, before trying to determine the position of lamb/kid. Give her time to
expel it herself but do not wait until she has stopped trying. The pelvic opening is usually
large enough for the lamb/kid to come out if it is in the normal position, with the front
legs and the head coming first. If it is not in this position, delivery is seldom possible
without some repositioning or assistance. When you are sure that the ewe/doe has tried
enough without success, then wash your hands and arms and external parts of the mother,
lubricate one hand and slip it in gently to try to find out the position of the lamb/kid.
Q.      How the lamb’s/kid’s legs and position are identified in a dystocia case?
First make sure that the legs you feel belong to the same lamb/kid. In twin births, often
one or both of the lambs/kids come backwards and it is easy to get their legs mixed up.
The front legs above the knees have a muscular development. The hind legs have a
prominent tendon. The front knee bends the same way as the pastern, while the hock

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(back knee) joint bends the opposite way from the hind foot. If you have a small
lamb/kid, catch it and feel the difference between its fore and hind legs.
When repositioning a lamb/kid to change an abnormal position, avoid breaking the cord
as the lamb/kid will not attempt to breathe as soon as the cord is broken. While helping,
time your pulling to coordinate with the mother’s contraction. If she is tired and has
stopped trying, she will usually start again when you start pulling.
If the mother is obviously in distress and has laboured over an hour with no progress and
it seems difficult to get the lamb/kid into proper position for delivery, get the help of an
obstetrician. Be sure you learn all you can, while he is working to get the lamb/kid out. If
a lamb/kid is dead in a mother and is so large that it cannot be pulled out, the obstetrician
may have to dismember to remove it out.

Q.       What are the possible lamb/kid positions in which it may be found in the
         uterus of its mother?
There are almost a dozen of such positions; only one of these is normal (Figure 16). The
rest embody varying degrees of abnormality.
    i.       Normal, front feet and head coming out.
    ii.      Large head or shoulders or both large (tight delivery).
    iii.     Front half out, hips stuck.
    iv.      Head and one leg, with one leg turned back.
    v.       Head, with both legs turned back.
    vi.      Both legs, with head turned back.
    vii.     Hind feet coming first.
    viii. Breech.
    ix.      Lamb/kid lying crossways.
    x.       All four legs presented at once.
    xi.      Twins mixed up, presented at once.
    xii.     Twins, one coming backward, one forward.
Q.       Write short notes on three of above mentioned positions i.e. normal birth,
         large head or shoulders and front half out while hips stuck.
Normal Birth: Nose and both front feet are presented. The back of lamb/kid is toward
mother’s back. It should start to come out one-half hour to an hour after the water bag has
passed. No help needed unless the lamb/kid is large or has large head or large shoulders.
Large Head or Large Shoulders: Mother may have difficulty even with the lamb/kid in
normal position, if lamb/kid (l/k) is extra large or the mother has a small pelvic opening.
Large shoulders are stopped by the pelvic opening. Use a gentle outward and downward
pulling. Pull to the left or right, thus shoulders go through at more of an angle and more
easily. Occasionally the head is large or swollen if the mother has been in labour quite a
while. Assist by pushing the skin of the vulva back over the head when the l/k is half-way
out, the mother usually can expel it by herself, unless she is completely exhausted. When
the head is extra large, draw out one leg a little more than the other, while pushing the
mother’s skin back past the top of the l/k’s head. Once the head is through, you can
extend the other leg completely and pullout l/k by both legs and neck. Pulling gently from
side to side assists birth more than only outward and downward movement as in normal

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Use mineral oil or antiseptic lubricant with difficult large l/k. Use loop over l/k’s head so
that the top of the noose is behind the ears and bottom in the l/k’s mouth (Figure 17).
Gentle pulling on the head as well as the legs is better than pulling on legs only.
Front Half of l/k Out, Hips Stuck: This is a difficult position for the mother who may
be exhausted from labour. While pulling gently on l/k, swing it a bit from side to side,
and if it does not work, give it about a quarter turn while pulling. A large l/k in a small
ewe/doe will often need this kind of assistance.
Q.      Write short notes on the following three abnormal positions of lamb/kid (l/k).
        i) Head and one leg coming out, ii) Head, with both legs turned back, iii)
        Both legs, with head turned back.
Head and One Leg Coming Out: To change this to a normal birth position, attach a
snare (loop) cord to the one leg that is coming out and also one onto the head. Then push
them back enough to enable you to bring the retained leg forward, so that you can pull the
l/k out in normal position. The cord on the head is important, for the head may drop out
of the pelvic girdle, making it difficult to get it started again. If the right leg is presented,
the mother should be lying on her right side so that the turned-back leg is uppermost.
This would make it easier either to get that backward leg into the right position or even to
help the mother to l/k even though the leg is not in the normal position.
Head, With Both Legs Turned Back: Attach noose onto head (behind ears and inside
mouth). Try to bring one leg down into position, then the other, without pushing the head
back any further than necessary. Attach cord loop onto each leg as you get it out, then
pull l/k. If your hand cannot pass the head to reach the legs, place the mother with her
hind end elevated, which gives you more space. With loop over l/k’s head, push it back
until you are able to reach past it and bring the front legs forward, one at a time. Put the
mother back in normal reclining position, start head and legs through pelvic arch and pull
gently downward.
Both legs, With Head Turned Back: Head may be turned back to one side along the
l/k’s body or down between its front legs. If front legs are showing, slip a noose of heavy
cord over each front leg then push back the l/k until you can insert lubricated hand and
feel the head position, then bring head forward into its normal position. With noose on
legs you would not lose them. Pulling gently the legs in downward direction, guide the
head so that it will pass through the opening of the pelvic cavity at the same time as the
feet emerge on the outside.
If the head does not come out easily, it is either large in size or the lamb/kid may be
turned on its back (with its back down toward the mother’s stomach). With cords still
attached to legs, you may have to push it back again and give it a half turn, so that its legs
are pointed down in normal position since it will come out easier that way.
Q.      Write short notes on the following three abnormal positions of lamb/kid (l/k).
        i) Hind feet coming out first, ii) Breech, iii) Lamb/kid lying crossways.
Hind Feet Coming Out First: Pull gently as the l/k often gets stuck when half-way out.
Swing the l/k from side to side while pulling until ribs are out, then pull out quickly.
Wipe off its nose at once so that the newborn can breathe. Delay at this point can
suffocate the l/k in the mucus that covers the nose. Sometimes it is easier for the l/k if it is
twisted one-half turn so that its back is toward the mother’s stomach or even rotating a
quarter turn while pulling it out. Finish pulling it out quickly since the umbilical cord is

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pinched once the l/k is half out and if l/k tries to breathe, it will draw in mucus, making
the respiration difficult.
Breech: In this position the l/k is presented backwards with its tail toward the pelvic
opening and the hind legs pointed away from the pelvic opening. Change breech position
by placing the mother with her hind end somewhat elevated so that the l/k inside her can
be pushed forward in the uterus. This will hardly make enough space to reach and slip
your hand in under the l/k’s rear. Take the hind legs one at a time, flex them and bring
each foot around into the birth canal.
When the legs are protruding, you can pull gently until the rear end appears, then grasp
both the legs and the hind quarters if possible and pull downward, not straight out. If the
mother is too exhausted to labour any more, try to determine if there is another l/k still
inside her, if not give her an injection of an appropriate antibiotic or insert an antibiotic
uterine bolus to prevent infection. If still there is no progress, get the help of an
Lamb/Kid Lying Crossways: It sometimes happens that the l/k is lying across the pelvic
opening and only the back will be felt. If you push the lamb/kid a little, you can feel
which direction is it. It can usually be pulled out easier hind feet first, especially if these
are closer to the opening. If you do push it around to deliver in normal position, the head
will have to be pulled around. In case it is also upside down, it will need to be turned a
half-way to come out easily.
Q.      Write short notes on the following three abnormal birth positions of
        lamb/kid (l/k). i) All four legs presented at once, ii) Twins coming out
        together, iii) Twins, one coming out backward.
All Four Legs Presented At Once: If the hind legs are as convenient as the front, choose
the hind legs and you would not have to reposition the head. If you choose the front legs,
head also must be maneuvered into correct birth position along with the legs. Attach
cords to the legs before pushing back to position the head.
Twins Coming Out Together: When you have too many feet in the birth canal, try to
sort them out, tying cords on the two front legs of the same l/k and tracing the legs back
to the body to make sure it is the same l/k, then position the head before pulling. Push the
second l/k back a little to give room for delivery of the first one.
Twins, One Coming Out Backward: With twins coming together, it is often easier to
pull out the one that is reversed. More often both lambs/kids are reversed, so you will pull
the lamb that is closer to the pelvic opening. Sometimes, the head of one twin is
presented between the forelegs of the other twin, a confusing situation but very rare.



PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      What management practices do you suggest to take good care of baby
The following practices are usually taken into consideration. Identification, vaccination,
docking (only in sheep, if necessary), castration, proper feeding, proper housing
(protection from severe weather), weaning and deworming.
Q.      Write a note on the use of vaccines in baby lambs/kids.
Even though the ewe/doe had her Naselgen, there is only a limited immunity passed on to
the lamb/kid. To protect against certain forms of pneumonia to which the newborn is
quite susceptible, it should have its own vaccination (intranasal) with Naselgen. The
ewe’s/doe’s primer and booster injections of Covexin-8 will protect her and will pass on
this protection to lambs/kids from birth until the age of about nine or ten weeks. Since
they will still need immunity from tetanus, enterotoxaemia and other clostridial diseases,
therefore, each lamb/kid should get its own injection of Covexin-8 by the age of ten
weeks. Local vaccines that meet the requirements should preferably be used.
Q.      What is meant by docking and why is it done? What appropriate methods
        are available for this purpose?
Docking denotes removal of tail. Although currently it is not in vogue here but it has
advantages especially in long-tailed sheep breeds. It is not practised in goats.
Tails should be docked before the lambs are turned out of the lambing pen. This is much
easier when the lambs are two to three days old and the tail is still small. Long-tailed
sheep can accumulate large amounts of manure on the wool, attracting flies and then
maggots (fly strike) and can serve as a general source of filth, interfering with breeding,
lambing and shearing.
There are many ways to remove tails. Docking can be done by cutting with a knife, a
knife and hammer over a wooden block, a hot electric chisel or clamp (this cauterizes the
wound to lessen bleeding), a Burdizzo emasculator and knife or the elastrator, which
applies a small strong rubber ring to cut off the circulation, causing the tail to drop off in
a couple of weeks. The use of the elastrator is the most favoured method. It minimizes
shock and eliminates bleeding problems. It is also very economical in terms of
accessories and equipment and is the easiest to learn and use. To remove the tail by
elastrator, apply the rubber ring at the third joint, which is about 2.5 to 3.5 cm from the
base of tail. The elastrator rubber rings should be stored in a small wide-mouth bottle
having a disinfectant or Clorox solution (dilute chlorine solution) to keep them sterile.
While using dip the elastrator plier and your fingers in clorox solution to disinfect them.
If the lamb has not been protected with Covexin-8 vaccine then administer 300 to 500
units of tetanus antitoxin to the lamb at docking.
Q.      What does castration mean? Discuss two important methods used for
        castration of male lambs/kids.
Castration simply means to render the male animal ineffective for breeding purposes.
Castration of male lambs/kids can be done as soon as the testicles have descended into
the scrotum. Two important methods used for castration are: (1) by Emasculator
(Burdizzo emasculator), 2) by Elastrator (using a rubber ring).
Emasculator: It is a pincer instrument that gives bloodless castration by crushing the
spermatic cord and arteries when you clamp it onto them like pliers. There is no loss of

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blood, less pain and setback to the lamb’s/kid’s growth and no danger of infection. Check
that testicles have descended into scrotum, then clamp the emasculator onto the neck of
the scrotum where it joins the body, on each testicle cord separately. The testicles will
atrophy in about 30 to 40 days.
Elastrator: When the lamb/kid is about ten days old and that the testicles have
descended into the scrotum, you can pull the scrotum through the stretched rubber ring
over the jaws of the elastrator, which is just a special pliers. Be sure that the testicles are
down. When the elastrator is removed, the ring tightens around the neck of the scrotum
where it attaches to the body, cutting off the blood supply. Thus the testicles wither
within twenty to thirty days. There is no internal haemorrhage or shock and the risk of
infection is slight. If there is some infection problem, put tincture of iodine on the ring
after about a week. In hot weather, a fly repellent spray can be used.
Do not castrate good promising males that you need for breeding or you want to sell as
breeding males. Moreover, in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, USA where they
market for meat at the age of five or six months, castration may not be done. Uncastrated
males will grow faster than castrated males and ewe’s lambs/doe kids. Also their meat
will be leaner. If you intend to keep the male lambs/kids longer than six months (for
slaughter), castration is desirable.
Q.       Discuss in detail an ideal programme (or plan) to feed lambs/kids and
It is our wish that our sheep/goats could have a higher percentage of twins or triplets
produced by them so that they could be made here a subject of discussion for an ideal
feeding plan but keeping in view the situation on the ground it simply seems a wishful
thinking on our part. The ignorance and economic condition of small ruminant producer
in this country have kept them underfed and ever resigned from being considered for an
ideal feeding plan. However, an ewe/doe with a single lamb/kid (l/k) should
approximately have (under our conditions) 200 g/day concentrate ration, while those with
twins should get at least 350 to 400 g/day plus some hay or good grazing. Lambs/kids
from heavy milking mothers can gain up to 70% more during the nursing period than
those from poor milkers. Lambs/kids from good milkers will double their birth weight in
two weeks.
An ewe/doe with twins or triplets cannot consume enough roughage to support herself
and give milk for them to grow, thus she will need sufficient supplemental feed until they
are weaned. In addition to mother’s milk and the grass, which they start nibbling at about
ten days old, the growing lambs/kids need grain and hay in their own feeders (called
creep). Start creep feeding early since it helps to establish their rumen function. Much
earlier than weaning, the lambs/kids must be eating at least 100 g concentrate a day/head
plus leafy hay otherwise they will suffer an acute setback in growth at weaning.
A lamb/kid restricted to milk nursing diet will develop the various compartments of its
stomach at a slower rate than those started on creep and hay at say ten days of age. As a
general rule, these compartments are turned on at about three to six weeks of age. In other
words, an early introduction of the creep feeding is important, especially if you wish to
wean your lambs/kids early, as is necessary in an accelerated lambing/kidding
programme when you intend lambing/kidding more frequently than the customary once a

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It has been recommended that you prepare your own concentrate mixture using the
following: 60% maize, 20% oats, 10% bran, 10% soybean meal with about 1% bone meal
and 1% mineralized salt. This mixture can be coarse ground at first, then fed whole later.
Since ewes milk heavily for only three to six weeks after lambing, it is therefore
advisable that the lambs and may be kids also be well adjusted to getting a good amount
of their nutrition from creep feed and leafy hay.
Q.       What does creep feeding mean?
The creep is an enclosed space where lambs can enter and eat all they want, but ewes
cannot enter because of the size of the doors (20 cm wide, 35 cm high) and openings
(Figure 18). The creep should be sheltered, having good fresh water, well bedded with
clean paddy straw. If the creep is in the barn, it should be well lighted because lambs like
it that way and eat better. They can start using creep at ten to fourteen days of age.
Q.       Write a short note on weaning of lambs/kids.
Weaning denotes separation of lambs/kids from their dams so that they do not any more
get milk from their udders. Simply cessation of feeding milk to lambs/kids at an
appropriate age is also termed as weaning. When the lambs/kids are ten days to two
weeks old, offer them hay free choice since they need it for rumen development. Also
introduce a little grain. Sprinkle some grain in the water to encourage them to eat. It is
important to make them eat some solid food. As weaning time approaches, gradually
substitute water for some milk until they are drinking entirely water. Weaning is
commonly effected at about eight weeks of age or when lambs/kids triple their birth
weight and are chewing their cuds. At weaning time, the lambs will adjust better if the
ewes are removed, leaving the lambs in familiar surroundings. Weaning can be done
gradually by putting the ewes in a different pasture during the day and then returning
them during the night. This has the advantage of keeping them from calling to each other
and disturbing your sleep. Ewes (but not milk goats) should have their grain decreased
and then withdrawn at least five days before weaning so that their milk supply will
dwindle accordingly (to lessen the incidence of mastitis).
Q.       Do you think deworming lambs/kids is necessary? Explain.
Yes! Lambs/kids are much more susceptible to parasite infestation than adults because
sheep/goats like some other species, develop a degree of resistance to worm infestation
over a period of time. Lams/kids should be dewormed at weaning time using a safe
dewormer such as Lavamisole, Ivomec, Panacur or any other more recent drugs. Read
label directions for proper dosage and note withdrawal times for animals going to be
slaughtered in due course of time. Lambs/kids on lush, heavily stocked pastures or
overgrazed pastures may need deworming before weaning and then again when they are
separated from the ewes/does and placed on clean pasture. Parasite populations thrive
where warmth and rainfall (or irrigation) are sufficient to promote maximal vegetation
growth. In some circumstances it may be necessary to deworm lambs/kids every four
Q.       Why do people suggest to use lamb/kid coats for the newborns?
In certain parts of Pakistan it is very cold during winter. Although sheep/goat flocks
migrate in winter to comparatively less cold areas, yet newborns are very susceptible to
chilling because of their large skin area and they are born without the fat covering under
the skin that serves as a natural insulation against cold and chilling. The use of a coat
greatly reduces the heat loss, allowing the lamb/kid to direct the energy it consumes

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toward growth and fat production. A less expensive disposable coat, very similar to the
commercial coats, can be made from white plastic bags. By folding the bag lengthwise,
two coats can be made from a single bag. These are tear resistant but not so strong that
the lamb/kid cannot walk out of it in case it gets caught or snagged. Since these are
completely open at the rear and the bottom, therefore, are very sanitary and do not
confuse or frighten the mother.


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Q.      How does a lamb/kid become orphan?
An orphan lamb/kid may result from the death of the ewe/doe, abandonment, rejection or
loss of milk production before the lamb/kid reached weaning age. An ewe/doe may even
disown one or all her lambs/kids for reasons known only to her. The following are the
most common reasons:
The ewe/doe may have a painful or sensitive udder because of overabundance of milk or
mastitis. She may have delivered one baby in one location, then moved elsewhere and
delivered the other, forgetting about the first. The lamb/kid (l/k) may have wandered off
before the mother has had a chance to lick it and become familiar with it. She may have
sore or chapped teats. Because of a difficult birth, she may be exhausted and not
interested in her newborn. The newborn may be exhausted with heat/chilled and then be
abandoned as dead. First time mother syndrome: If a young ‘first-time’ ewe/doe, she may
be nervous, confused or just frightened of the newborn. Swapping newborns: If two
ewes/does give birth at the same time in close proximity, occasionally one will adopt and
bond to the other’s newborn and the second ewe/doe will reject the first ewe’s/doe’s
Q.      How would you persuade the ewe /doe to accept her newborn?
It requires a lot of patience and ingenuity. If an ewe/doe has a single lamb/kid which she
rejects, you have double trouble, one that of a hungry lamb/kid (l/k) and the other of an
uncomfortable mother. You want to get her to accept her newborn. If she rejects one of a
pair of twins, either you can convince her to accept it or you can attempt to graft it onto
another mother who has lost her l/k or has only a single. Your first consideration is the
urgent need for the l/k to receive colostrum, so either roll the mother on her side and put
the newborn’s nose against her teat to get it to nurse or milk the dam and feed the
newborn with a bottle. Try to provide the l/k with several nursings of the vital colostrum,
either from its own mother or from another.
In most cases, the newborn is hungry and thus very cooperative. Tickling it under its tail
helps stimulate the sucking reflex. First feeding thus gives you a little time to arrange a
forced acceptance by the mother. Do not leave a rejected newborn unattended with the
mother, since she may injure it by stepping on it or butting it. Should the mother reject
the newborn after it starts to nurse, not before, check her udder for sensitivity as well as
check the l/k’s teeth. A little filing can remedy sharp teeth. Treat the teats if they are sore
or lacerated. Keep the dam tied where the newborn can nurse until she accepts it.
Generally it is said that once an ewe/doe rejects a l/k for any reason, it is hard to fool her
into accepting it. However, there are a number of things to try. These are a sort of brain
washing techniques or ‘fool the sense of smell’ methods:

   i)      Use foetal fluids from the mother to which the l/k is to be grafted (either its
           mother or another one) and smear over the newborn. This is considered one of
           the most effective methods of grafting.
   ii)     Rub the newborn with a little molasses water to encourage the mother to lick

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   iii)      Use an ‘adoption coat’ or ‘fostering coat’ made of cotton, which is stretched
             over an accepted l/k for a few hours, it will absorb the smell and can then be
             turned inside-out and stretched over the newborn you wish to graft.
     iv)     In case she is a ‘first-time mother’ or she is not very tame, a tranquilizer will
             sometimes work well to calm her.
     v)      Another method which might sound a bit cruel, is to flick the tips of the
             mother’s ears with a switch until she becomes so rattled that she urinates from
             the mental stress. She may then accept the l/k.
Q.       How would you proceed for ’forcible acceptance’ of lamb/kid (l/k) by her
If polite attempts do not succeed then it is time to get tough. One possibility is to pen or
tie the mother in such a way that she cannot hurt the newborn. You may need to tie her
hind legs together temporarily so that she cannot keep moving and thus prevent the l/k
from nursing. You may need to help the l/k by holding the mother and pushing the
newborn to the right place. Make sure the ewe/doe has room to lie down and has plenty
of feed. In any such attempt, be sure she gets water often with molasses mixed in it, for it
may be difficult to leave water in front of her. It may take one to five days before she
surrenders to accept the l/k.
Care and judgement has to be exercised in assessing the size of l/k that you are
attempting to graft. An orphan l/k that is one or two weeks of age may be so aggressive at
nursing that it will frighten the ewe/doe. Also, if there is a significant difference in age
and size between two lambs/kids placed on an ewe/doe, the weaker l/k may not be able to
compete with the larger one and will suffer restricted growth or at times may be starved
The most typical situation is the birth of twins and the rejection of just one of them.
Spraying the rear end of both lambs/kids with a confusing scent is the easiest thing to try
and most often it works. If the mother starts showing hostility toward one of her twins,
then do not wait until she starts butting it, rather take positive action right away. The most
reliable and successful way is to tie her up and adopt the rest of the procedure as stated
above. In the meantime, if another ewe/doe goes into labour and delivers one newborn,
you might choose to graft the rejected l/k to it.
Q.       How would you graft an orphan lamb/kid on a different ewe/doe?
Have a bucket of warm water ready and also an empty bucket. Have the rejected (orphan)
l/k nearby and watch the lambing/kidding. If fortunately you are able to catch the water
bag, put its contents into the empty bucket. As the delivery is completed, dip the waiting
orphan into the water bag liquid, or if you did not catch the water bag, dip the orphan into
the warm water up to its head, then rub the orphan with the newborn, especially the tops
of the head and the rear ends. Present them both to the ewe’s/doe’s nose and usually she
will lick them and claim them both. Do not neglect the newborn when you are working
with the orphan. Now, if the mother delivers twins, you may have to take the orphan
(reject) back. Dry it off and keep trying to get its mother to take it (or bottle feed it
yourself). While grafting an orphan on an ewe/doe, be sure that the orphan l/k is less than
a week old otherwise the new l/k will not get its share of milk. Therefore, both of them
will have to be supervised carefully.
Q.       How would you give an orphan lamb/kid to an ewe/doe who has lost her

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

When you find an ewe/doe who has delivered a dead l/k and you have a young orphan
who needs mother, dip the l/k in warm water containing a bit of salt and some molasses.
Dip your hand in the same warm water and wet its head. By the time she licks off the salt
and molasses, she usually has adopted the l/k. When it is a l/k that is several days old and
does not need the colostrum as much as a newborn, this gives you an opportunity to milk
out and freeze some of this valuable fluid.
Q.       Why is the method of using ‘dead lamb/kid skin’ for fastening like a coat
         over the orphan not desirable for grafting an orphan onto an ewe/doe?
Skinning a dead lamb/kid is not simple unless you are adept at it. The process is messy
and unsanitary since you may not know why the l/k is dead and could result in
transferring germs and disease. It is therefore, not advisable. Instead another less messy
method may be adopted. Rub a damp towel over the dead l/k, then rub the towel on the
orphan. Before doing this, wash the orphan with warm water, giving special attention to
washing the rear end, which is the first place, the ewe/doe checks in determining whether
the l/k is her own.
Q.       What is meant by a bottle lamb/kid?
When the mother of a l/k has died or has no milk or has been incapacitated by pregnancy
disease or calcium deficiency (at least temporarily) or completely refuses to accept her
baby, such l/k then becomes a bottle l/k. Such lambs/kids are considered a real headache
for the flock owner/supervisor.
Q.       What care needs to be given to a bottle lamb/kid?
The first need of a bottle lamb/kid is to have its nose mucus wiped off to enable it to
breathe. Even if the ewe/doe is weakened by a hard labour and/or has no milk, she should
be allowed to clean the l/k as much as she will; if unable to nurse, she will still claim it
and even as a bottle baby it can stay with her. If the mother does not lick off its nose, you
wipe it off, then dry it and put iodine on its navel at once. Now it needs some real
colostrum, either from its mother who may have rejected it or is too weak to stand up
(roll her over and help the l/k) or from another mother who has just given birth, or
defrosted from the freezer. Buffalo or cow colostrum are the next best substitutes for
ewe/doe colostrum. In certain countries there is commercial preparation of colostrum
powder called Colostryx. It is milk whey antibody product for lambs/kids and transfers
certain amount of immunity to the newborn when mixed with diluted canned milk or cow
milk for the first day.
For orphan l/k, the best thing is to give one or two ounces of another ewe’s/doe’s
colostrum for the specific antibodies. Then mix one ounce colostrum powder (if none of
the colostrum available) with one cup warm water for the first twelve to eighteen hours of
feeding. After that one ounce colostrum powder with two cups of warm water for the next
day. Then one ounce colostrum powder can be mixed with 950 ml of canned milk diluted
with ½ water. After that just use lamb/kid milk replacer. For the first 48 hours you can
feed the newborn every three hours with no more than ½ cup per feeding. On the third
day you can add child’s vitamin drops. It is possible, but no doubt, difficult to raise a
colostrum-deprived l/k. The l/k is too young to receive Covexin-8, therefore, you need to
administer antiserum in order to protect it temporarily against enterotoxaemia and
Q.       Can buffalo or cow colostrum be used beneficially to feed a lamb/kid as a
         substitute for its mother’s colostrum?

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Yes! It may be substituted. A pregnant buffalo or cow can be vaccinated with sheep/goat
vaccine Covexin-8 or a locally available vaccine, several times and the first two milkings
of colostrum will be high in antitoxins and give lambs/kids good protection (it would
provide an enormous quantity of colostrum for freezing). The lambs/kids can still be
vaccinated at six to nine weeks, which will then protect them up to twenty-four weeks.
The best time to inject buffalo or cow would be 5 ml Covexin-8 six weeks prior to
calving, with a booster dose of 5 ml two weeks before calving.
Q.      What is a milk-replacer and what are its main contents?
Milk-replacer is a high protein high energy feed. A lamb milk-replacer contains 30% fat,
24% protein on a dry matter basis and no more than 25% lactose. High lactose levels can
cause diarrhoea and bloat. It is suggested that when used during the first week the
replacer should at least be diluted up to 20% dry matter. Since ewe milk contains higher
percentage of fat, therefore, more fat has been provided in a lamb milk-replacer. Fat
percentage in a kid milk-replacer may range from 20 to 25%. Milk-replacers are fully
fortified with vitamins A, D and E and necessary minerals. In a number of countries,
milk-replacers are commercially prepared and marketed for calves, lambs, kids etc.
However, livestock producers, feed industry as well as the provincial Depts. of Livestock
& Dairy Development in this country have not shown any interest so far in this respect.
Q.      How would you take care of a bloated bottle lamb/kid?
Although this is an infrequent situation yet it can happen if the l/k is overfed or if it
drinks too fast (nipple hole too large). Immediately cut back on the amount of milk being
given and give one small feeding of two ounces of milk containing one tablespoon (for
l/k under one month) or two tablespoons (for l/k over one month) of human antacid
medicine with simethicone or mucaine. If it does not take in the bottle, give with spoon.
It is important to control the volume of milk fed per feeding to bottle lambs/kids. A
yellow semi-pasty diarrhoea is the first sign of overfeeding. If this occurs, substitute plain
water or oral electrolyte solution (such as ORS or Nimkol) for one feeding because the
l/k needs fluid. Reduce the volume of milk until the condition clears. If the droppings
become more loose, treat for diarrhoea. As with other animals, the water needs increase
with age in case of orphan or bottle lambs/kids, especially when they start eating grain
from the creep feeder. Therefore, dilute their regular feeding with more water or
substitute an occasional feeding with plain water.
Q.      Suggest a feeding plan for an orphan lamb/kid

 Age          Amount
 1-2 days     2-3 ounces, six times a day approximately (colostrum)
 3-4 days     3-5 ounces, six times a day (gradually changing over to milk-
 5-14 days    4-6 ounces, four times a day and start with leafy hay and crushed
 15-21        6-8 ounces, four times a day, along with concentrate mixture and
 days         leafy hay
 22-35        Slowly change to ½ litre, given three times a day. When lamb/kid
 days         is three months old, may feed whole grain and alfalfa or good
              gazing containing 25% grain, but the ration be changed very

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      What measures may be adopted to aid a weak lamb/kid at birth?
A lamb/kid might have been weakened by a protracted or difficult birth. In this case it
may be suffering from anoxia (lack of oxygen) or have fluid in its lungs. The first few
minutes are critical. If it gurgles with the first breaths or has difficult breathing, dry off
the nose, grasp the newborn firmly by the rear legs, swing it upward vertically in a
gentlearc, catching it momentarily on the return end of the upswing with the free hand so
that the newborn is stopped abruptly with the head up in a vertical position. This helps in
two ways: i) centrifugal force aids the movement of the fluid from the lungs and ii) the
weight of the viscera presses on the diaphragm, causing a forced expiration. When you
catch it vertically on the upswing, the weight of the viscera falls in the opposite direction,
causing a forced inspiration. Normally two or three ‘swings’ will suffice. Be sure that you
have a firm grasp on the newborn (since it will be very slick) and that there are no
obstructions in the path of your swing.
Q.      If the heart is beating, but the newborn is still not breathing, what to do?
In such a situation, artificial respiration becomes mandatory. Grasp the lamb/kid by the
nose so that your thumb and fingers are slightly above the surface of the nostrils. Inflate
the lungs very gently (newborn’s lungs small and may be ruptured) by blowing into the
nostrils until you see the chest expand. Release the pressure and gently press on the chest
to express the air. Repeat procedure until it begins to breathe. If your attempts are still
unsuccessful, sometimes a cold water shock treatment will work. Put the newborn in cold
water in a drinking trough keeping its head out. The shock may cause the lamb/kid to
gasp and to breathe. Sometimes a finger inserted gently in the throat will stimulate the
coughing reflex and thus breathing may start. Then make sure the newborn is warmed
and help it to nurse.
Q.      How would you warm a newborn lamb/kid if it gets too cold due to
If a newborn is so cold from exposure that its mouth and tongue feel cold or cool to the
touch, then apply external heat instead of warming it with a heat lamp, because the
newborn has lost its ability to maintain and control its body temperature. The quickest
method to warm a chilled newborn is to immerse it in hot water, comfortable to touch,
keeping its head out, then gradually heated to about 110 to 115°F (43-46°C) over a period
of 5 to 10 minutes. Move its legs around in the water to increase circulation. Keep it in
warm water until its body temperature is near 102°F now the mouth and tongue feel
warm. Rub the newborn dry, give warm milk if it will suck and wrap it in a blanket until
it begins to regain its strength. Heated water has advantages over a heat lamp, as it is
faster, easier to control the temperature and does not tend to dehydrate the newborn. Be
sure that water is heated gradually otherwise death due to shock may take place. If,
however, the temperature of newborn is 102 degrees, there is no need of excessive
heating and unnecessary use of heat lamp, because too much of a temperature differential
will predispose it to pneumonia. Soaking the newborn in water removes its natural odour,
involving the risk of rejection by its dam.

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

An alternative to warm water is hot air. The newborn can be put in a small box and
through a small opening in the box, hot air may be provided from the nozzle of a hair
dryer. The head of the animal is to be kept out of box for fresh air. It should be warm
enough but not too hot. The newborn needs to be turned and rubbed and its legs exercised
occasionally. When its body temperature is 100°F, see if it will suck or else use a
stomach tube. Maintain heat until its temperature is normal. A severely chilled newborn
may need four hours of heat to return to normal temperature.
When there is no electricity nor a hair dryer, you may use a hot water bottle (not hot
enough to burn). Put the animal in a small box and apply the heat first to belly where it is
the most needed. For extremely chilled newborns this would not be sufficient.
Q.       How to proceed with feeding of a weak lamb/kid? Discuss.
A weak newborn that has not been able to stand up to try to nurse within half an hour will
need help. Hold it up to the dam if she will stand still, or put the dam down and hold the
newborn to nurse. The same procedure may be used for a stronger newborn if it has not
located the right place and begun to nurse within one hour after birth. For a very weak
newborn, you may have to give the first feeding from a baby bottle with the nipple
enlarged to about the size of a pin head. Use two ounces of the dam’s colostrum, warm,
to give it strength. Do not force the newborn, if it has no sucking impulse otherwise the
colostrum will go into its lungs and cause death. Try the dextrose injection, using 50 ml
of a 5% dextrose solution in saline, warmed to body temperature, and inject in divided
doses of 5 or 10 ml per injection site subcutaneously (neck area or behind the armpits).
Then wait for half an hour to see if this gives it energy and the desire to suck. If not, then
try the stomach tube feeding method.
Q.       Discus the importance of colostrum feeding to newborn lambs/kids.
In case the newborn has not yet regained its sucking instinct, colostrum may be fed
through stomach tube as the newborn is in dire need of energy. If you do not have
colostrum then cow’s milk, diluted canned milk, milk replacer, electrolyte solution (or
Gatorade) or clean water with a small amount of corn syrup will suffice. Feed about 1
ounce. Experienced farmers state that it is not necessary that the very first feeding be
colostrum (to avoid confusion it is emphasized here that this would be applicable to those
cases which yet lack sucking instinct or where colostrum is not available immediately),
but the newborn must receive colostrum in subsequent feedings during the first few hours
of life. The ability of the newborn to absorb antibodies in the colostrum is a straight-line
decrease from time of birth to approximately 16 hours of life. The gut of the newborn
does not break down the proteins in colostrum, rather absorbs them unchanged; thus the
antibodies remain intact and are immediately usable. After about 16 hours, the newborn
loses its ability to absorb the life-protecting antibodies, no matter how much colostrum
you feed. It is thus urgent that the newborn gets its colostrum feedings soon. Some
reports suggest (need further investigation) that newborn lambs are completely dependent
on colostrum to protect them against certain diseases for they get no protection from
antibodies transferred to them while they are still in uterus.
Q.       Name the possible substitutes for colostrum when the colostrum of the dam is
         not available to its newborn lamb/kid.
The following can be used in place of colostrum but these may not be called as 100%
substitute for colostrum. Colostrum from another newly lambed ewe, or from a goat
having a newborn, cow colostrum, frozen colostrum from these species, commercial

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

colostrum powder “Colostryx” milk whey antibody product for lambs. In addition, there
is an Emergency Colostrum Formula, having the following constituents and can be fed
for the first two days after birth:
                 26 ounces milk (½ canned milk, ½ water)
                 1 tablespoon cod liver oil or castor oil
                 1 tablespoon glucose or sugar
                 1 beaten egg yolk
Q.       What care is required in injecting dextrose to a very weak newborn
Dextrose injections can be given if the newborn cannot suck and you do not have or you
cannot comfortably use the stomach tube feeding. Dextrose injection is meant to provide
quick energy to the very weak newborn. You can purchase 50 ml of 5% dextrose solution
in saline from an animal health supplier. Warmed to body temperature, this solution is
injected subcut in divided doses of 5 to 10 ml per injection site. Any area of loose skin on
the neck or behind the armpit is a proper injection site. Never inject direct into the armpit.
Do not worry about the small bumps on the injection sites. They will resolve rapidly. Use
a sterile disposable 18-or 20-gauge needle. Sterilize the top of the vial with alcohol, wipe
dry, and insert a disposable sterile needle into the stopper to fill the syringe. Leave this
needle in the vial and use a separate needle to make the injections, to avoid contaminating
the glucose solution. Even the slightest contamination will grow very rapidly in glucose,
spoiling the vial for further use. Always refrigerate the glucose solution after opening and
do not use it if it becomes cloudy. Calcium solutions containing dextrose or 50% dextrose
should only be used intravenously, because these are very irritating to tissue.
Q.       Discuss the stomach tube emergency feeding method and the precautions
         required in this connection.
Stomach tube feeding is resorted to in case of a severely weak lamb/kid with no sucking
impulse. Sheep/goat supply companies have devised a ‘Lamb/kid Reviver’ for this
purpose. When it is not available, get a male catheter tube from a drugstore and use it
with a 60-cc hypodermic syringe for a direct feeding into the newborn’s stomach. The
tube should be about 40 cm long. Before inserting to inject milk, disconnect the tube
from the milk-filled syringe to determine that the tube is actually in the stomach and not
in the lungs. An injection into the lungs can kill the newborn. The tube should be kept in
warm sterile solution, because wet tube slips in more easily. If you put your thumb and
finger along the outside of the neck and pass the tube with other hand, you can actually
feel the tube as it goes down. A tube into the lungs will usually elicit a cough. To further
confirm, hold a wet finger at the protruding end, if the finger feels cool from moving air,
the tube is in the lungs and not in the stomach, so remove and try again. It is easier for
two people to operate the stomach tube, but it is possible with one person. Hold the
newborn’s body (on a table) with your left forearm, making a straight line between the
newborn’s head, neck and back. Open the mouth of the animal with fingers of left hand to
insert the tube, which should be sterile, warm and wet. Insert the tube slowly over the
tongue, back into its throat, giving the animal time to swallow. Then push the tube down
its neck and into the stomach. The average insertion distance is 25 to 28 cm. Do not insert
it too far, but insertion should be far enough.
When you have confirmed the correct position of tube, insert the end of the catheter tube
into the syringe filled with 2 ounces of warm colostrum (or warmed canned milk,

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

undiluted, for this feeding only) and slowly squeeze the milk into the newborn’s stomach.
Withdraw the tube quickly, so that it will not drip into the lungs on the way out. Use this
procedure cautiously and only when you feel that without it the newborn would surely
Q.      Give a list of diseases that commonly occur in lambs/kids.
Most of the diseases given in the list below inflict lambs as well as kids with the
exception of one or two. Pneumonia, scours in nursing newborns, navel ill, constipation,
entropion (inverted eyelids), urinary calculi (stones, water belly), white muscle disease
(stiff lamb), enterotoxaemia (overeating disease), parasites, tetanus (lockjaw),
coccidiosis, acidosis (grain engorgement, acute indigestion, founder), polio
Q.      Describe the causes, prevention and treatment of pneumonia in lambs/kids.
Pneumonia is probably responsible for more lamb deaths than any other disease. On
average, it is responsible for as much as 31 to 54% death loss in lamb/kid population. It is
caused by drafts in cold damp housing, floor drafts in lambing/kidding pens with solid
bottoms such as cement concrete, exposure to infectious agents, overheating of lambing
pens and then exposure to cold. Mechanical pneumonia will be dealt with separately.
It goes without saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Proper
management is the key to success in the prevention of pneumonia as well as so many
other ills. Adequate ventilation in the lambing/kidding barn is necessary. Windows in
barns with grills and covered with burlap bags or any material to stop draft, will check a
build up of ammonia-laden stagnant air. Concrete floors should have a thick layer of
paddy straw or sugar cane tops bedding to prevent floor drafts. If pneumonia is a
recurring problem in your young lambs/kids, make sure that selenium and vitamin E
levels in your ewes/does are normal, since lower levels result in immunosuppression and
increased susceptibility to infection. Another successful treatment is the use of an
intranasal vaccine, Nasalgen-IP or any other effective vaccine. Parainfluenza III (PI-3) is
a common viral disease of cattle but has been documented as a major cause of respiratory
disease in sheep. Under conditions of stress coupled with a bacterial exposure, it can
cause a high incidence of fatal pneumonia both in lambs and adult.
The Nasalgen-IP vaccine is simply to be sprayed into the nostril (1ml in each nostril of
ewe and ram; lambs given the same amount in the same way during the first 10 to 18
hours of life. It functions on the same immunological parameters as the oral polio vaccine
in humans. Lambs/kids may be given an injection of pen-strep immediately during first 4
to 5 hours of birth. This will also help to protect from pneumonia.
Q.      What do you know about mechanical pneumonia in newborns? Discuss.
Mechanical or ‘foreign body’ pneumonia results when fluids or other foreign matter
enters the lungs, such as excessive birth fluids or milk in the lungs of newborns. An
abnormal birth position or any interruption of the umbilical blood supply to the yet
unborn lamb/kid results in an oxygen deficit, which in turn stimulates the respiratory
reflex, causing the animal to attempt to breathe before birth is complete. This causes
inhalation of excessive volume of foetal fluids, thus resulting in mechanical pneumonia.
Also, forced bottle-feeding of a newborn with impaired sucking reflex, improper stomach
tubing or oral medication can allow fluid to enter the lungs. If it is a mild attack, it would
subside within a few days. Some suitable antibiotic such as oxytetracycline may be

PART- II                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

administered to avoid complications. When it is a severe infliction, often the result is not
very hopeful.
Q.      Give a detailed account of scours in nursing kids.
Scours denotes diarrhoea in newborn kids/lambs. It has many causes. The yellow kind of
scours is the least serious and is caused by overfeeding of milk, either from bottle or
because a strong lamb/kid is sucking a mother who has an excess of milk. If bottle
feeding, then substitute a feeding with water or oral electrolyte solution (1 litre water, 2
ounces dextrose, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon sodium bicarbonate) or Nimcol. In case
milk-replacer powder is being used, reduce its amount until the condition resolves. If the
lamb/kid is nursing, milk out the doe to reduce the amount of milk available and give the
lamb/kid a feeding of water or Nimkol to satisfy its appetite. Two teaspoons of Pepto-
Bismol or Kaopectate or one tablet of entox in powdered form mixed with water will help
firm up the droppings and form a protective coating in the intestine; second dose may be
given after four hours.
If the scours continue for more than a day, infection may be suspected and the lamb/kid
will need preventive treatment for dehydration and infection. Oral electrolyte solution
should be given to replace the electrolyte loss and tetracycline as an antibacterial therapy.
White scours are very serious and usually indicate E. coli infection, which can result in
rapid dehydration, toxaemia and death if not treated immediately. In most cases it is
caused by filth, poor sanitation; contaminated bottle, nipple, milk, feeders or kidding pen
(in case of sheep, a lamb sucking on a dirty wool tag from an uncrotched ewe, plus all
causes stated above).
If white scours is a recurring problem in your baby kids, keep yourself in touch with a
competent veterinarian. Some scour medications contain vitamins in addition to
With bottle kids, discontinue milk feeding at once. For one day, feed either limewater (¾
teaspoon slaked lime to 2 litres water: add the lime to water, shake it several times during
the day and then let it stand until it is clear. Drain off the clear liquid as limewater) or a
similar oral electrolyte solution @ 2 ounces after each three hours to prevent dehydration.
A colostrum deprived kid is very susceptible to bacterial scours.
Give electrolyte solution only for one day or until the diarrhoea ceases, then return to
milk feeding but give smaller quantities than before. To prevent bacterial scours, some
producers give each kid/lamb 1cc of benzathine penicillin at birth, subcut. While
medicines are definitely useful in scours, good management and sanitation will prevent
many problems.
Q.      What is meant by navel ill? Write down its causes, symptoms and treatment.
Navel ill is a term used to describe infections from various organisms that gain entrance
to newborn lamb/kid’s body through the umbilical cord shortly after birth. The illness
becomes serious within a few days. By treating the umbilical site with strong tincture of
iodine soon after birth and seeing that the newborn nurses its mother for colostrum within
the first hour, you can minimize the danger of navel ill. A second application of tincture
of iodine about 12 hours later is a good practice. Clean bedding in the lamb/kid pen will
lessen the chance of infection. Acute form of navel ill causes a rise in temperature,
newborn declines to suck and often a thickening (abscess type) can be felt around the
navel. Death may follow soon.

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Tetanus is one of the serious diseases caused by a bacillus that can enter through the cord.
Some protection against tetanus is obtained by vaccinating the ewes/does in the last two
months of pregnancy (two separate injections) with Covexin-8, which protects the mother
and passes protection to the newborn in the colostrum. This vaccine is for tetanus,
enterotoxaemia and all clostridial diseases that may strike lambs/kids. A similar vaccine
is also available from VRI, Lahore. Since navel ill can be caused by various bacteria, help
from a competent veterinarian may be sought.
Q.       Write a note on constipation in lambs/kids.
A constipated newborn looks uncomfortable, stands in a humped up manner, no signs of
droppings or only a few hard ones. Sometimes the newborn will grind its teeth and if
constipation continues, will go into convulsions and may die unless medicated.
Administer two tablespoons of mineral oil or one tablespoon castor oil for two weeks old
and ¼ to ½ cup mineral oil (carefully) for two months old lamb/kid. Repeat the dose if
‘Pinning’ is fairly common in under a week old newborns. The faeces collect and dry into
a mass under the tail, produce a gluing effect there, resulting into plugging up the
lamb/kid. If not noticed and corrected, the newborn will die. Clean the dried faeces with a
damp rag, trimming off some of the wool/hair if necessary. Disinfect the area if it is
irritated and oil it lightly to prevent further sticking. Check the animal frequently.
Occasionally a lamb/kid can suffer from a rare birth defect in which it is born without
anal opening. Such cases will often go undetected for the first few days until the
distended abdomen and discomfort are observed. Quick detection and surgery is the only
treatment. The animal can be saved if the birth defect is not too severe.
Q.       Are the white muscle disease and stiff lamb two different diseases?
No! These are not different diseases, rather two names for the same disease. White
muscle disease in lambs is caused by insufficient selenium in the soil and thus in the ewe
feed, combined with a deficiency of vitamin E. Fodder/hay from deficient (in selenium)
areas should not be fed to ewes after third month of pregnancy or during lactation unless
supplemented by whole-grain wheat (where wheat is abundant) and mineralized salt with
selenium (Se) in it. Treatment should also include vitamin E.An injectable preparation
containing both Se and vitamin E is given to the ewe 2 to 4 weeks before lambing.
Animals that develop stiff lamb disease have difficulty getting up or walking and are
gradually affected by muscle paralysis. Once muscle changes occur, these cannot be
reversed. Lambs born with stiff neck will respond to SE treatment.
Q.       Write a brief note on acidosis in lambs/kids.
Acidosis is sometimes also referred to as ‘acute indigestion’, ‘founder’ or ‘grain
engorgement’, is a diseased condition which occurs very rarely under our conditions
since sheep/goat producers here, probably cannot afford high plane grain feeding to their
lambs/kids. However, the problem may arise in lambs/kids being raised as pets by certain
people. The children in the family out of love for their pets might overfeed them with
grains, leading to engorged lambs/kids. Thus excessive lactic acid is produced by the
fermentation of high energy diet. As a result, the acidity in rumen increases and severe
digestive upset occurs, which may prove fatal. Important symptoms include inappetance,
depression, lameness, coma and death. At least 70% roughage is a safe ratio for
lambs/kids under our conditions. Any shift to a higher grain percentage should be very
gradual. Here, acidosis is commonly encountered in adult male sheep/goats purchased for

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

slaughter a few days to a few weeks before Eid-ul-Azha. People are excited to see their
animals fattened well before slaughter on Eid. Thus sometimes they resort to overfeeding
of grain to which the animals are not accustomed. This leads to a gross imbalance of
grain-to-roughage ratio and a severe digestive upset. Several such cases meet a fatal end
every year.
Q.      What conditions are commonly responsible for tetanus in lambs/kids?
Navel cord, castration and tail docking (if really necessary) can put lambs/kids in danger
of tetanus. It is advisable to booster the ewes/does with Covexin-8 during the last months
of pregnancy (two separate injections) as is the practice in several western countries. This
vaccine provides protection against all clostridial diseases. However, if the dams were not
boostered with Covexin-8, then you should administer 300-500 units of tetanus antitoxin
at the time of castration. The antitoxin will protect the lambs/kids for about two weeks,
while the wounds are healing. An application of tincture of iodine takes good care of
navel cord. Another application of iodine after 12 hours is further useful.
Q.      What is the other name of overeating disease? Give the causes and symptoms
        of this disease along with preventive measures.
Overeating disease is also named as enterotoxaemia. It is caused by Clostridium
perfringens and can strike the biggest and best lambs/kids. Fairly young lambs/kids who
are getting too much milk from their heavy milk dams also fall prey to this disease. Too
heavy grain feeding or an abrupt change in feed may also be the causes of this disease.
Older lambs/kids carrying a heavy load of tapeworms are especially vulnerable. Wet
bedding, chilling or high summer temperatures can cause a variable feed intake that is
conducive to disease outbreak.
Diarrhoea, convulsions or sudden death are the characteristic symptoms. Since prevention
is the very best plan, therefore, vaccinate the ewe/doe with Covexin-8, a 5 ml priming
dose between breeding and 6 to 8 weeks prior to lambing/kidding and the booster 2 ml
dose 2 weeks before parturition. In following years, the dam will need only booster dose.
The immunity provided by the dam will protect the newborns till about 10 weeks of age,
provided they got the normal amount of colostrum. After 10 weeks age, the lambs/kids
should be vaccinated with a priming 5 ml dose and 2 ml booster dose of Covexin-8 about
a month later. Vaccines available from VRI, Lahore, can partially serve the same
purpose. Some people use chloro-tetracycline to control enterotoxaeimia, but
immunization (prevention) seems a more healthier and sure way.
Q.      Do you think that lambs/kids may have the problem of urinary calculi?
Yes! The problem is there. It is a problem of growing ram lambs/buck kids that are over
one month old, castrated or not. The salts they excrete in the urine can form stones, which
may lodge in the kidney, bladder or urethra. Of the following, one or more causes can
result in this problem:
    •        Low water intake due to unpalatable water or too cold weather. Keep both salt
             and fresh water in easy access.
    •        Ration high in phosphorus and potassium such as wheat bran, maize fodder,
             and low in vitamin A. Add ground limestone or dicalcium phosphate 1 to 2%
             of the ration to make Ca: P approximately 2:1.
    •        Growing crops under heavy fertilizer, with high nitrate content.
    •        Hard water may be partly the cause. Add ammonium chloride to feed about
             1/5 ounce per day/head, using technical grade.

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

   •        Animals fed pellets only have more of this problem (so far not fed here).
   •        Hormonal changes occur when ram lambs/buck kids are castrated at less than
            4 weeks age. The absence of testosterone after castration keeps the urethra
            from growing to its maximum diameter. If it is a persistent problem, may
            castrate your animals after 6 weeks.
    •       Sorghum-based rations as well as cottonseed meal add to the risk of calculi.
            Maize oil cake and soybean meal are less apt to cause problems. Animals
            having urinary calculi strain to urinate, dribble urine (sometimes bloody),
            stand with back arched, switch tail, and may kick at stomach. The blockage of
            the urinary tract causes pain, colic and eventually the rupture of the urinary
            tract into the body cavity, hence the name ‘water belly’ and death.
If an animal appears to be straining and unable to urinate, put him on a dry floor for an
hour or so, unless there is a blockage, he will urinate in that time. Turn the animal up and
feel for a small stone that can be gently pushed down the urinary passage. Sometimes
manipulation with a small catheter tube may dislodge the stone. It is reported that in 90%
cases, the blockage is at the outer end of urinary passage. If the stone can be felt right at
the end and cannot be dislodged with gentle pressure, help of a competent veterinarian
may be sought, who may administer a drug having a dilating action or a smooth muscle
relaxer to permit the calculi to pass or may even remove the stone surgically.
Q.      What type of disease is coccidiosis? Discuss its causes, symptoms and possible
        measures of medication.
Coccidiosis is an acute contagious parasitic disease spread between sheep by faecal
contamination of feed and/or water. Coccidiosis in lambs causes severe diarrhoea,
sometimes bloody but usually dark. Faeces may be got examined for the presence of the
coccidian oocysts and use Amprolium or any new drug developed for this purpose.
Deccox or Bovatec is fed continually to control coccidiosis and improve feed efficiency.
Deccox can be mixed into salt @ 900 g in 22 kg of loose salt, fed free choice. Ewes
should receive this continuously from 30 days before lambing till after the lambs are
weaned. Strict sanitation and proper arrangement of feed and water containers to prevent
contamination. Lamb may be prevented from walking in feeders so that no manure gets
into them.
Q.      Discuss the parasite problem in lambs/kids.
Mature ewes/does eliminate millions of parasite eggs in their droppings each day. Thus
the lambs/kids are subject to infestation with parasite larvae from the pasture. While
ewes/does should be dewormed before lambing/kidding, the parasite problem may recur.
The parasites seriously arrest the lamb/kid growth and a severe infestation can cause
anaemia and death. By avoiding overstocking of ranges and mandatory rotation of
pastures, parasite load can be reasonably reduced. It should be introduced as a standard
practice to deworm the lambs/kids when they are separated from their dams at weaning.
Use Ivomec or Levamisole or any other deworming drug that is safe for the youngones.
Q.      Write a note on polio (polioencephalomalacia) in sheep.
Polio is a noninfectious disease of sheep. Clinical symptoms are blindness, depression,
incoordination, coma and death. Exact predisposing mechanisms are not clear. It is
caused by an acute thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. Ruminal contents contain high
levels of thiaminase (an enzyme that destroys thiamine). It was found in 1974 that all
strains of a common rumen bacteria (Clostridium sporogenes) produced thiaminase.
Treatment with 0.5 g thiamine hydrochloride leads to rapid recovery. Treatment may be

PART- II                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

repeated after two days. A lamb recovered from this disease can contract it again, if diet
remains the same as before.
Q.       What do you understand by entropion? Write a brief note on it.
Entropion denotes inverted eyelids. When a lamb is born, often its lower or sometimes
the upper eyelid or both eyelids are rolled inward. When this happens, the eyelashes
irritate the eyeball, causing the eye to water constantly, inviting infection and even
blindness. It is hereditary, but more prevalent in wooly-faced breeds. Do not keep such a
lamb for breeding. Mark it for slaughter. Inspect each lamb at birth so that the condition
is found soon and corrected. There are more than one way to correct it. You can roll the
eyelid(s) outward and hold in proper position by a clip or sewing. Using two little metal
clips (surgical clips) is easier than stitching. They can be clipped into place with forceps
or small pliers and left on for a few days. For sewing, use white cotton thread and a sharp
needle. Roll the eyelid out, put the needle through a small piece of skin and sew it down
(the upper eyelid would be sewn to the forehead and the lower eyelid to the jaw). In a few
days the eyelids will have conformed to a normal position and the stitches can be
removed. Use a mild antiseptic in stitching or applying clips.

PART- III                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

            SHEEP AND GOAT

                    Bakht Baidar Khan
                        Arshad Iqbal
                   Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa

              Department of Livestock Management
             University of Agriculture Faisalabad

PART- III                                                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

The past more than half a century is a witness to the fact that except a few, no serious attempts have been made to write books even on a few of the so
many wide open aspects of the field of animal sciences. Among other factors that keep the animal science sector lagging behind, utter lack of relevant
books of local origin is probably the most important. The dearth of documented information concerning various species of our farm animals adversely
affects the learning potential of our students, who have been reported to complain about the non-availability of professional books written in Pakistan. I
personally feel that as animal scientists we cannot exonerate ourselves of this responsibility. Of course, not all of us would have the aptitude to write
books. However, those who opt to take up this tiresome and time-consuming job, their efforts must be appreciated. We must not forget that beginnings
are always small.

It is really encouraging to learn that sheep and goats being the victims of a long neglect, have attracted the attention of experienced animal scientists and
teachers of long standing to write a book on them. A look into the contents of the book ‘Sheep and Goat Production’, makes me believe that it would
adequately serve the purpose for which it has been produced. Its made-easy format would be rather more helpful to the students, field workers and
progressive farmers. A collection of over 650 questions along with their answers should more than suffice to cover the discussion on important topics in
relation to sheep and goat production.

                                                                                                                     Sajjad Zaheer Malik
                                                                                                                      Director General (Ext.)
                                                                                                                    L & DD Dept., Punjab

Innumerable publications on sheep and goat farming/production are there in the world market. More than 98% of them are of foreign
origin and are thus either not available here or their prices are beyond the means of a common man. The book under discussion has not
been produced to burden the market with another such publication rather it has been brought out employing a novice format to meet
the requirements of beginners who venture to plan a small ruminant enterprise, but are found confronted with a series of questions.
Answers to many of such questions are already embodied in this ‘easy to read and understand’ book. In addition, feasibilities in
respect of keeping sheep and goats (pertaining to one breed of each spp.) have been outlined herein to facilitate the solution of their
input: output dilemma.

Another section of society most pertinent to books is professional students community. It often happens that even at the end of an
academic session/semester, many students in a class, would not know what type of questions, relevant to a course, may be asked in the
Exam. This book, for sure, would create an awareness in them as to the type of Exam. questions and as to the manner of answering
them. Among other features of the book are: the discussion on behaviour and welfare of small ruminants and clues on the application
of biotechnology in animals. A comprehensive review on terminology related to various aspects of small ruminants is also a part of
this book. Most of the answers to the questions included in this book have been picked up as such from various sources of literature
listed under references at the end. We feel highly obliged in sharing the fruit of hardwork of those so many authors/editors. Under the
circumstances it does not seem possible for us to individually convey to them our grateful thanks, but indeed we remain indebted to all
of them.

No book will ever be complete and this one is no exception since knowledge about sheep and goats is increasing so rapidly that no
book can be an absolute ultimate. We feel no hesitation to mention here that at places details of a few most sophisticated techniques
used abroad in small ruminant production have been intentionally avoided simply because farmers/producers here have yet to go a
long way to enable themselves to take full advantage of such costly tools and techniques.

We would like to record our thanks to our colleagues, namely Drs. Muhammad Younas, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Yaqoob,
Syed Hassan Raza and Prof. William Hohenboken, a friend from USA; all of them provided us a lot of useful literature for this book.
Special thanks are extended to Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Dr. Akhter Saeed and Dr. Asad Saeed for arranging recent literature for the
purpose from abroad.

Suggestions in black and white from any quarter to effect further improvement and to remove any omissions in the contents of this
book will always be welcome.

March, 2003                                                                                Bakht Baidar Khan
                                                                                           Arshad Iqbal
                                                                                           Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa


PART- III includes following contents of the book:

   •   HOOF CARE
   •   MEAT
   •   WOOL
   •   MOHAIR

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      In what way the internal parasites harm the sheep/goats?
There are reports that indicate that sheep and goats are comparatively more resistant to
bacterial and viral diseases, but more susceptible to internal parasites. Another report
suggests that goats as compared to sheep are less prone to parasitic infestations. A
weekend condition from parasite infestation can be a principal cause of a disease
outbreak. A heavy load of parasites is a vicious cycle leading to undernourishment of the
animals, making them further vulnerable to parasite damage. The highest death loss
occurs in lambs/kids, yearlings and extremely old animals, with death loss higher in
poorly fed animals. Internal parasites (Figure 19) reduce productivity, cause anaemia,
bottle jaw, coughing, bronchitis, wool break, progressive weakness reduced milk yield
and death.
Q.      Can sheep/goats develop some degree of immune resistance to worms?
The development of a degree of resistance to worm loads in old animals results from
constant exposure to migrating worm larvae over time because the larval proteins act as a
form of vaccination against the larvae. This immunity is actually the development of
antibodies that cause allergic reactions. A mini-allergic reaction occurs in the tissues
surrounding the encysted worm larvae, in which a combination of smooth muscle
contractions and fluids cause the parasites to be dislodged and expelled into the lumen of
the intestine. Then they pass out with the faeces. This partial immunity to worms takes
about two years to develop fully. This explains why older ewes/does do not accumulate
as much worm burden as lambs/kids in the same pasture and younger animals must be
dewormed more often than the older population.
Q.      Discuss briefly the life cycle of worms.
For specific and detailed information about life cycles of various internal parasites, you
are referred to a text book on Parasitology. Here the life cycle will be dealt in very
general terms. More than twelve species of parasites are considered responsible for
causing problems in sheep/goats. They live in true stomach, small and large intestines,
lungs and liver where they feed on blood and body fluids, causing anaemia and serum
loss. Millions of eggs from these parasites pass out with faeces, with cough and under
favourable conditions of warm weather and moisture, hatch into infective larvae in about
5 to 7 days. These larvae migrate into the moist sections of the grass and are ingested
more by sheep than goats (probably due to their habit of grazing close to ground surface).
Once swallowed they invade the tissues of digestive tract etc. where they undergo a
maturing stage and emerge as adult worms in about 21 days. Most of the eggs and/or
larvae are killed under conditions of hot dry weather and severe cold temperatures, which
largely helps sterilize the pasture. However, nature has provided a survival mechanism
for these worms that allows them to survive periods of adverse conditions by hibernating
as immature worms in tissues and then emerge weeks or months later when conditions for
survival are more favourable.

Q.     Suggest measures that can help reduce parasite load of small ruminants.

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Population density appears to be the main contributory factor for heavy parasite loads. A
small number of animals on a given area will deposit less eggs than a large number on the
same area. By rotating animals from one pasture to another, you can allow time for worm
larvae to die from age and exposure on the recently contaminated grass. The eggs/larvae
of many stomach worms can survive three months in cool damp weather but much less in
dry hot weather. An old Scottish rule of thumb is ‘Never let the church bell strike thrice
on the same pasture’. Overstocking of pastures cuts down the feed supply which weakens
the animals. It also causes them to graze the grass more closely, ingesting more larvae to
increase their worm load. Animals in poor nutritional condition cannot tolerate as much
worm load as well nourished can. Lack of proper diet, insufficient protein and incorrect
balance of nutritional elements, including vitamins and minerals (such as Se), makes
them more vulnerable to worm damage.
Another step toward better parasite control is sanitation. Never put feed directly on the
ground to avoid contamination. Make sure that the water supply is clean and protected
from faecal contamination. It is necessary to be able to recognize symptoms of worm
build up and carry out an adequate control programme using appropriate medicines.
Q.      What are the more appropriate time periods for deworming sheep/goats?
With the development of safer and more effective deworming drugs, deworming can be
carried out without harming ewes/does or their youngones. Ewes and may be does too
should be dewormed at the beginning of the flushing period i.e. two to three weeks before
breeding. With higher parasite loads they will not settle properly and will have protracted
lambing/kidding period. They will produce fewer twins and more weak newborns and
will have less milk for them. Pregnant animals with more worms are drained of needed
energy. Their weakness leaves them more susceptible to pneumonia or pregnancy disease
and too weak to withstand a difficult delivery. Post parturition rise in parasite load also
takes place, which is due to hormonal changes that trigger the encysted larvae to wake up
and complete their life cycle. A similar rise in worm burden also occurs in breeding male,
more so in ram than buck, as spring approaches. This refers to the worm’s survival
mechanism already mentioned in a foregoing question/answer. Therefore, deworming at
three weeks postparturition is advisable. It helps save the ewe/doe energy for milk
production which otherwise could have been wasted by worms. In climates where worm
infestations can occur during gestation, it may be necessary to deworm two to three
weeks prior to lambing/kidding. However, at this late stage handle the pregnant animals
carefully since the stress of catching and deworming may trigger some problem.
Levamisole or Ivomec is good for this late pregnancy deworming, because they have
some effect against hypobiotic (arrested) and migrating larvae. Other vermifuges kill only
the adult forms, allowing the migrating larvae to become active the day following
deworming. For the most part, deworming medicines have no residual activity. They are
only good the day you give them. Next day the immature larvae are free to build up the
worm burden all over again.
In most small ruminant-rearing areas, the worm population is severely depressed during
severe winter months. This then means that about 90% of the parasite population is in the
sheep/goat with 10% on the pasture. When these animals gain access to the pasture
during favoruable weather, the ratio reverses. Thus the most suitable time to exhaust the
new season’s worm population is to reduce it as much as possible in the sheep/goats prior
to grazing season so that these animals cannot transfer or seed the population back to the

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

pasture. The animals should be dewormed three days before turning them out on pasture
so that the worm eggs excreted in the faeces can fall outside the barn where the larvae
cannot survive.
In areas where the grass begins to dry, deworming the animals at that time, then followed
up with another deworming six weeks later, will reduce the worm load below harmful
levels. The hot dry weather significantly reduces the larvae population in the pasture, thus
reducing the infection rate in the animals. It is also helpful to move animals to a clean
pasture 24 to 48 hours after deworming, to keep the pasture clean.
Young lambs/kids sent to pasture with their dams pick up worms that will grow to
maturity in about a month. As the worms increase they cause anaemia and even death.
You can prevent anaemia by deworming the lambs/kids at about 2½ to 3 months of age.
When rotating pastures, let the lambs/kids graze each clean pasture ahead of the
Q.      Suggest an economical parasite reduction mixture.
An economical and popular mixture is 6 kg trace mineralized salt, 3 kg dicalcium
phosphate and 1 kg phenothiazine. This low-level feeding of phenothiazine keeps worm
eggs from developing properly. The killing of eggs and larvae cuts down on the source of
parasite infection on the pasture. No immediate results will be seen, as it does not affect
the eggs and larvae on the pasture. However, over a period of time there will be fewer
worm larvae on the pasture to reinfect the animals.
Q.      What symptoms are commonly observed as a result of parasite infestation in
        small ruminants.
One visible sign of parasite infestation is bottle jaw (swelling under the jaw). It is a sort
warning that the animals have severe attack of worms. Other symptoms are diarrhoea (for
some kind of worms) and anaemia (for most kinds of worms). Anaemia is indicated by
the very pale colour of the inner lower eyelids and gums caused by intestinal worms
sucking the animal’s blood. There are eight or more kinds of small stomach worms
(round worms) that cause anaemia but not diarrhoea. The animals become listless, with
pale mucous membranes and lose condition, wasting away and dying if they are not
dewormed. The small brownish stomach worm ‘ostertagia’ causes scours. It is so
perfectly camouflaged against the walls of sheep’s small intestine that it is difficult to
spot in a postmortem.
Other symptoms are accelerated breathing, coughing, and discharge from nose, bronchitis
and pneumonia caused by lungworms. Liver flukes may cause bottle jaw, pot-belly etc.
Q.      In what different forms deworming drugs may be administered to small
Most infestations involve more than one kind of parasites, the broad-spectrum
deworming drugs are recommended for general deworming. One of the several major
broad-spectrum, low-toxicity vermifuges will take care of the most prevalent of the
stomach parasites.
For dosage and method of administration (as well as withdrawal days before slaughter)
follow label directions. Deworming drugs are given as: boluses, these are sort of large⎯
sized pills, may be given by hand, by a bolus gun or with a capsule forceps; drenches,
these are given by a drenching gun if the flock is of large size, for a small flock use a
handy 2-ounce dose syringe; powders or granules, these are mixed with salt and
dicalcium phosphate and offered to the animals free choice; premixes, these are given

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mixed in feed; paste, this can be smeared on the animal’s tongue; injection, be sure to
follow label directions as to the site for injection, type of injection and the dosage as
given for sheep/goat weight.
Q.      Give a list of the deworming drugs (for sheep and goats) that are in common
        use the world over.
It cannot be a complete list since recent and new drugs keep on coming in the market, at
the same time the use of certain drugs is abandoned in certain countries. Drugs under
different brand names are also locally produced. The list given below includes such drugs
that have been found safe, effective and easily available in the market:

   •        Tramisol (Levamisole): Effective against three species of stomach worms, six
            species of intestinal worms and a lung worm, safe for pregnant animals (after
            first 30 days), for older lambs/kids as well. Marketed as oblets (bigger pills),
            drench or injection.
   •        Thiabendazole (TBZ) (Omnizole R): For stomach, small and large intestine
            worms, sold as bolus, paste, drench or feed additive.
   •        Phenothiazine: Now not considered a standard treatment. However, pheno is
            excellent for continuous low-level use, mixed into your salt formula.
   •        Ivomec (Ivermectin): Sold as injection or drench, effective against stomach,
            small and large intestine and lung worms, blood-sucking lice and keds (ticks),
            not effective against tapeworms.
   •        Fenbenzadole (panacur, safegard): Safe and effective against stomach, small
            and large intestine worms, lungworms and tapeworms.
   •        Equipar (Oxibendazole): The same as Fenbenzadole but does not kill
   •        Telmin (Mebendazole): Effective against stomach, small and large intestine
            worms, some effect on tapeworms and liver flukes.
   •        Curatrem (Clorsulon): Excellent for developing and adult flukes, if liver much
            damaged then recovery not complete.
   •        Rumatel (Moratel tartret): Effective for small and large intestine worms as
            well as stomach worms.
   •        Bovatec (Lasalocid): For prevention of coccidiosis.
   •        Deccox (Decoquinate): Prevents coccidiosis, used in free-fed salt/mineral

Q.      Write a note each on lungworm and tapeworm infestation in sheep/goats.
Lungworms: These are prevalent in low-lying or wet pastures and live in air passages of
small ruminants causing accelerated breathing, coughing and sometimes a discharge from
the nose. The coughing can precipitate prolapse during pregnancy. The small lungworm
(hair lungworm) can cause pneumonia and bronchitis. Good nutrition helps build up
resistance to the worm. Keep the animals away from ponds and wet areas where snails
can be found as several species of snails and slugs act as intermediate hosts for the
lungworms. When an infected animal coughs, eggs are expelled and eaten from the grass
by other animals. This problem needs consideration when buying sheep/goats from a
farm or an area having low-lying pastures. Tramisol given once a year should control
lungworms. Ivomec and Fenbenzadole are also effective.

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Tapeworms: The feeding head of the tapeworm injures the intestine and is thought to
facilitate absorption of toxin involved in enterotoxaemia. Tapeworms are not usually the
primary worm infestation in small ruminants, but since the passed tapeworm segments
are large enough, their presence in droppings becomes alarming. A moderate level of
tapeworms is said to be of little damage to adult animals but can seriously retard the
growth of youngones. Fenbenzadole (Panacur, Safegard) is effective against tapeworms.
Q.       Write a note on each of the three: Nose bots, Liver flukes and Coccidiosis in
         small ruminants.
Nose Bots: The nose bot, Oestrus ovis, is a fly in its mature form, dark grey about the
size of a bee. The full grown larvae are thick yellowish white grubs about 2.5 cm with
dark transverse bands and found primarily in the frontal sinuses of sheep. When
deposited by the fly on the edge of the nostril, the grub is about 2 mm and gradually
moves up the nasal passages. During fly season, sheep will put their heads to ground,
stamp and run with heads down to avoid fly. They press their noses to the ground or
against other sheep, as the flies attack them. This is more observed in the heat of the day
and in hot summer. The head grubs cause irritation in nostrils, sinuses resulting in
inflammation which causes a thin and then a thick secretion. The mucous membranes are
affected and the secretions thicken, the sheep thus have difficult breathing and may
sneeze frequently. They become run-down because of being so much annoyed by flies
that they cannot graze in peace. Ivomec R has but a slow effect on nose bots, taking about
thirty days before they are all dead, decamped and sneezed out.
Liver Flukes: They require an intermediate host i.e. part of their life cycle is spent in
another creature. In case of flukes it is snail or slug, found on wet marshy land. Ponds,
ditches or swampy land provide the breeding place for the snails. Therefore, this kind of
pasture is not suitable for small ruminants. If possible drain out wet areas where snails
propagate or put fence around marshy parts. Snail-destroying chemicals can be used if
these do not harm fish, other livestock or human beings. A mixture containing 1 kg
copper sulphate with 4 kg of sand can give good control of flukes. About 350 g of this
mixture may be applied twice a month per hectare of pasture. Liver flukes cause bottle
jaw or pot-belly during early stages, followed by loss of condition, diarrhoea, further,
weakness and death. It can be diagnosed by microscopic examination of faeces and from
the liver of slaughtered small ruminants. Affected livers must be discarded. Merck’s
curatrem (clorsulon) kills developing flukes as well as adults and is especially useful for
animals treated in early stages of infestation.
Coccidiosis: Coccidia are microscopic protozoan parasites, present in most flocks
without causing any serious problem. Overcrowding and contamination of food and water
are the main sources of infection. Other factors are chilling, heat stress, transportation
fatigue and sudden change in feed as well as interruption of feeding which predispose the
young stock to an outbreak of coccidiosis, resulting in diarrhoea, then diarrhoea with
straining, chronic dark green or bloody diarrhoea, loss of appetite and some deaths.
Lambs/kids that recover are usually considered immune. A routine faecal examination
showing evidence of this parasite will allow you to use appropriate drug at an early stage.
Once coccidiosis is diagnosed (or be before as a preventive), Bovatec may be used as a
feed additive. Antibiotics can be given to check any secondary bacterial infection in
intestines damaged by coccida. Amprolium 1.25% can be prescribed and fed for 21 days
during an attack. Meat fed to dogs and cats that associate with livestock should be

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previously cooked or frozen to render these parasites (in muscle tissue of cattle, sheep or
goat) noninfectious.
Q.       Discuss worm resistance to drugs used for deworming.
The problem of parasite control has somewhat been compounded by the development of
resistance in selected worm species to some worm-control products. All populations of
living things contain individuals that naturally possess a greater resistance to something
than the average population. Possible dewormer resistance increases with the frequency
of treatment because we keep killing off the susceptible worms and leaving the possible
resistant ones to regenerate the population. Keep in mind that if you must deworm very
frequently, you are increasing selection pressure on the worm population and resistance
may become a problem sooner for you than for your neighbour who needs to deworm
less often.
The old recommendation to change dewormer drugs often to avoid developing resistance
is wrong. It is now recommended to use the same vermifuge until you see resistance
becoming a problem, then switch to another dewormer. If you must change a vermifuge,
do not alternate with a dewormer of the same chemical family or class. Resistance
usually develops on chemical class lines, not brand names. Read the fine print for the
generic name or chemical class. The more effective a dewormer is on several different
species (broad-spectrum), the less chance of selection for resistant strains. Do not
underdose the dewormer, because natural resistance is rarely an all-or-none phenomenon;
it is a dose-related thing. By underdosing you may allow a marginally resistant worm to
survive and propagate offspring with greater natural resistance, when it might have been
susceptible to the full dose. With a highly effective drug, the worm numbers become so
depleted that they lack the genetic variability required for selection for resistance in a
short time.
To know for sure whether you have worm resistance to the drug you are using, you need
egg counts. If egg counts are taken just before and then one week after administration of
the correct dose, and the percentage decrease in the egg count is les than 80%, the
presence of anthalmintic-resistant parasites must be strongly suspected. To avoid
introducing resistant strains, you would need to treat all incoming new animals.


PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Among the external parasites are included ticks, wool maggots (fleeceworms), common
scab mite, lice etc.
Q.      Are sheep ticks real ticks? Give a brief account of them and discuss measures
        for their eradication.
No! Sheep tick is not a real tick rather it is a wingless parasitic fly, known as a sheep ked
that passes its whole life cycle on the body of the sheep. It lays little brown pupae, which
hatch into almost mature keds in about nineteen days. Ticks are bloodsuckers and roam
all over the sheep, puncturing the skin to obtain their food. As a result firm dark nodules
develop, damaging the sheep skin and thus reducing its value. These defects are called
‘cockles’ by leather traders. The ticks produce such irritation that sheep rub and scratch
and injure their wool and bite at themselves to relieve there suffering, sometimes
becoming habitual wool chewers. From eating the wool they may get impacted rumens.
Ticks reduce weight gain and cause anaemia. All this ultimately impairs the quality and
yield of wool and meat. Ticks stain the wool with their faeces. Such wool is sometimes
referred to as ‘dingy’ and does not readily scour out.
With systematic treatment ticks can be easily eradicated. The mature tick lays a single
puparia a week and thus a total of about a dozen or so in her lifetime. The pupa shells are
attached to the wool nearly 1½ to 2½ cm from the skin. Thus most of them are removed
in shearing, making it easy to eliminate ticks by treating after shearing. The newly
hatched ticks die within an hour unless they can suck blood from a sheep. The mature
tick cannot survive more than two to four days away from the sheep. To be effective, all
sheep must be treated for ticks at one time; otherwise the untreated ones will pass the
ticks back to the treated. Examine a new lamb or sheep before turning it in with your own
and treat it if you find even a single tick. Following are the methods commonly used for
treating sheep to eliminate ticks from their bodies.
Dip: This is a standard method used with large flocks. The sheep are run through large
dipping vats full of sheep dipping liquid or through spraying vats, where they are given a
high-powered spray from several sides at once. This is done usually ten days after
shearing while the wool is still short and the shearing injuries have healed. For a small
flock this method is not practicable. Their deticking requires small dipping vats or some
other method such as spray or sprinkle may be used (details of dipping to be discussed
Spray or Sprinkle: Low-pressure sprays are ideal for treating sheep when they have
been sheared recently as stated under dip method.
Sprinkling with insecticide solution in a garden sprinkler can, requires very little
Injection: Ivomec (Ivermectin) dewormer is effective against most internal and external
parasites including ticks. It is not effective against tapeworms, flukes or biting lice.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       Give a list of effective sheep ked control chemicals along with brief
         instructions for their use.
Ectrin, Expar, Atroban: These are synthetic pyrethroids (a stable form of the garden
insecticide made from the chrysanthemum). They are considered both safe and effective.
Used for both ked and lice control as a pour-on or spray. No label withdrawal period
prior to slaughter.
Ivomec: This is effective against keds (ticks) and sucking lice. Consult label for
withdrawal times.
Co-Ral (Coumaphos): A systemic organophosphate. Used as a 0.6% spray or dip, or a
0.5% dust (1 to 2 ounces per sheep). Not to be used on lambs under three months of age.
Diazinon: Used as a 0.5% spray or dip. Not to be used on lambs under one month age.
Rotenone: It is the powdered root of a tropical plant and an insecticide used by organic
gardeners. For dip use 8 ounces of the 5% wettable powder to 100 gallons of water (1½
ounces in 20 gallon can). Mix it to a paste in a small amount of water and add it to the
large quantity of water in the can stirring well. The addition of a small amount of liquid
dishwashing detergent will make it more penetrating and effective. Safe for ewes and
lambs. For dusting use 1.5% (garden type) dust about 2 ounces per sheep. The effect of
Rotenone is not immediate. It takes a few hours to show its effect. Ticks no longer can
bite and will die.
Official regulations on chemicals can change from year to year, as new chemicals are
approved, some old may be banned or tolerances change. The concerned agency may be
consulted for a current list of such products.
Q.       Give a brief account of wool maggots (fleeceworms) and suggest measures to
         prevent them.
Several types of blowflies lay maggot eggs and they all are about twice the size of
houseflies. They appear in spring and then reproduce through hot weather, laying their
eggs in masses at the edge of a wound or in manure-soiled fleeces. The eggs hatch in six
to twelve hours and the larvae feed on the live flesh at the edge of the wound. They
enlarge the wound and if not detected, can eventually kill the animal. Watch for moist
fleece areas or any injury that may become infested. Notice if animals scratch excessively
on fences, trees, and gateposts. This could be maggots or ticks. When you locate an
infestation, clip the wool around it and spray it with any of the fly-strike aerosol sprays
(or one of the sheep tick chemicals can substitute for fly repellent). If none of these is
available, pick out all the maggots you can see and disinfect the wound. The animal
should be kept under observation for a few days and may be treated again if needed.
Shearing the sheep would make it easier to spot other infestations. Maggots often infest
dog bites if your sheep are chased by dogs, check them often for unnoticed wounds and
fly-strikes. The wool maggot or fleeceworm can be distinguished from the more
dangerous screwworm. Wool maggots can move and crawl around, while the
screwworms do not, since they are imbedded in the flesh.
Prevention Measures :1) Keep rear ends of ewes regularly tagged, especially when
droppings become loose. Deworm your sheep regularly. Urine also attracts blowflies if it
soils heavy tags; 2) Treat all cuts or shearing injuries with fly repellents during hot
weather, even insect bites invite flies; 3) Put fly repellent on castration sites on lambs in
warm weather; 4) Possibly use fly traps or other means to cut down the number of flies in
the barn; 5) Be especially vigilant during prolonged wet weather in summer. Warm and

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moist conditions more favourable for fly strike. If by chance whole of the flock has
maggot problem, use Atroban or Expar- the sheep dip chemicals on all of them.
Q.       Write a note on each of the two, i) common scab mite and ii) lice.
Common Scab Mite: Several kinds of parasitic mites produce scab in sheep. The
Psoroptes ovis is the common scab mite, a little more than ½ mm long, with four pairs of
brownish legs and sharp pointed brownish mouthparts. The mites puncture the skin and
live on the blood serum. The skin becomes inflamed, then scabby with a grey scaly crust.
The wool falls out, leaving large bare areas. This may not be confused with the loss of
wool that sometimes occurs along the backbone of some breeds of sheep when kept in
areas of heavy rainfall. To determine whether mites are present, scrape the other edge of
one of the scabs (mites seek the healthy skin at the edge of the lesions) and put the
scrapings on a piece of black paper. In a warm room under bright light, examine the
paper with a magnifying glass. The mites become more active when warm and are visible
under the glass. Any infestation with common scab mite (often called mange mite) is
very susceptible to Expar, Atroban or Ectrin. These are effective as a spray and can even
be used on pregnant ewes. All sheep must be treated in one session since the mite is quite
contagious from sheep to sheep. Infected premises should not be used for clean sheep for
thirty days.
Lice: These are probably second to ticks (keds) among the common ectoparasites
affecting sheep and goats. One species of biting lice and several species of sucking lice
affect small ruminants. The eggs are attached to the individual wool/hair fibres and hatch
in one to two weeks into the nymph stage. After several molts which require another two
to three weeks, the nymphs emerge as adults. The feeding lice (sucking) cause intense
irritation and itching to the sheep/goats which results in restlessness, constant scratching
and rubbing against walls, trees, fences, interrupted feeding, loss of weight and severe
damage to wool/hair. A clear-cut sign of lice in the flock are hundreds of telltale tags of
wools hanging from fences, trees etc. where the sheep have been rubbing. Lice are very
susceptible to the commonly used insecticides but often two treatments are needed to kill
any newly emerged nymphs (as the egg is a protected stage). Once removed from the
flock, they will not return until you introduce new/more infested animals into the flock. If
in doubt, you must treat any new animals prior to placing with your flock. The pyrethroid
products such as Atroban, Ectrin, Expar, do an excellent job of ridding the flock of lice
and are safe to use.

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      From a flock of 80 sheep/goats, how would you detect a sick sheep/goat?
Successful treatment of any sheep/goat illness requires detection as early as possible,
before the animal is down. Gone are the days when it was said that “a down sheep is a
dead sheep”, but the chance for recovery is much better if illness is diagnosed and treated
before it has progressed. Prevention is always better than treatment and early treatment
has better success than late.
For early detection of a sick animal you must be familiar with its normal behaviour, even
for each individual in the flock, to know when one is acting abnormally. Have some
quick and easy way of catching the animal (such as a corral) when needed for its close
examination. Signs of abnormality are loss of appetite, not eating as usual and standing
away from the group when at rest; unusual discharge from nostrils, eyes or mouth. Be
concerned if a sheep/goat is lying down most of the time when others are not; any
weakness or staggering gait; unusually laboured or fast breathing; change in bowel
movements (loose faeces or constipated); temperature over 104 degrees. Normal
temperature of small ruminants (except in very hot weather) is in the range of 100.9 to
103.0°F degrees (average 102.3 degrees). If it is necessary to have a urine sample, try to
hold the sheep’s/goat’s nostrils closed for a moment; this stress sometimes triggers
Q.      In general, what may be the possible causes of illness of sheep/goats?
Some of the common causes of illness are: Unsanitary housing, lack of exercise, moldy
or spoiled feeds, poisonous plants, toxic substances improper diet (insufficient/
contaminated water and feed or overeating), parasites, injuries, infection from assisted
lambing/kidding, bacterial infection from other sick sheep/goats, abrupt change of feed,
stress due to severe weather, transportation, predators etc. and infection from newly
purchased animals.
Q.      Give a list of common sources of germ transmission to sheep/goats.
    •       Water or feed contaminated by faeces from small ruminants or other animals,
            can transmit intestinal diseases and certain parasites. Respiratory disease may
            also be spread by nasal discharge into drinking water and feeding troughs.
    •       Manure accumulated in a lambing/kidding shed or around the feeding trough
            can intensify exposure to disease germs and coccidiosis; serve as breeding
            media for flies and other vermin.
    •       Dirty uncrotched wool on an ewe can infect the newborn.
    •       Feeding on bare ground greatly contributes to disease and parasite exposure.
    •       Wet muddy places predispose the sheep/goats to hoof diseases.
    •       Low-lying marshy areas predispose the sheep/goats to a number of parasitic
    •       Newly acquired animals can be carriers of many serious diseases such as foot
            rot and brucellosis as well as ticks and lice.
    •       Venereal transmission of disease at breeding time.
    •       Dirty hypodermic syringes and needles can cause injection site infections and
            abscesses and transmit certain infectious diseases.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      To meet emergencies in respect of small ruminants farm/in field, what
        medicines and equipment need to be on hand?
It may be referred to as a First Aid Kit. It should at least include bloat medication (and
trocar cannula for extreme emergency), cal-phos or any other preparation for milk fever,
propylene glycol for pregnancy toxaemia, tincture iodine and other disinfectants, mineral
oil for constipation, dextrose solution, antibiotics, uterine boluses and some sterile
equipment (syringes, needles etc.). Of the antibiotics pen-strep (Penicillin-
dihydrostreptomycin) (or any other recent one) will check many infections. For specific
infections, other antibiotics are necessary. Penicillin and tetracycline are safe to use since
their toxicity in sheep/goats is extremely low. These drugs are of use in pneumonia,
infection after parturition and as a preventive against infection following cleaning and
dressing of maggot infestation. These are of minor help for enterotoxaemia. Certain drugs
labeled for buffalo/cattle can be used for small ruminants in an emergent situation. Such a
drug can be administered at the same dose level on per kg body weight basis. On average,
the dose for one buffalo/cow would suffice for five to six adult sheep/goats. However,
with many drugs exact dosage is very important. Help of a competent veterinarian may
preferably be sought.
Q.      Give a list of methods used for administering medicines, vaccines etc.
Oral, by mouth such as boluses for deworming with bolus gun or capsule forceps. Oral,
powder such as vitamins, placed well back on the tongue for treatment of an individual
animal, or in feed or drinking water for general treatment of whole flock. Oral, liquid
given as drench with syringe or in drinking water. Spray-on, such as insecticides for
ticks. Pour-on, such as tincture of iodine on newborn navel, disinfectant on minor
wounds. Subcutaneous, medication injected just under the skin. Intradermal, medication
injected into the skin. Intramuscular, liquid such as antibiotics injected into heavy
muscle. Pessaries, as uterine boluses to prevent infection after a difficult
lambing/kidding. Intramammary, injection of fluid or ointment through the teat opening,
as mastitis drugs. Intraperitoneal, injection of liquid through right flank into the
abdominal cavity. Intraruminal, injection of fluid into the rumen, on the left side, as for
bloat treatment when too late to give by mouth. Intranasal, spraying of vaccine into the
nasal cavity. Intravenous, injection of fluid into a vein. Intraperitoneal, intraruminal and
intravenous medication should preferably be given by a veterinarian or by an experienced
Q.      Give some details of administering drugs etc. by oral method.
Boluses (small or large pills) meant for small ruminants will go down the throat easier if
coated with mineral oil or cooking oil or mustard oil. Do not soak them otherwise they
will disintegrate. The easiest way to hold the sheep/goat is to back it into a corner and
straddle it, facing forward. Hold the bolus in a bolus applicator/balling gun (Figure 20)
and eject it when you have the pill over the hump of the tongue. Capsule forceps can be
used to deposit the bolus at the base of the tongue. However, forceps is more likely to
damage the throat. Forceful jamming of the bolus too deep into the throat can cause the
bolus to be deposited into the windpipe (trachea) with fatal results. Keep the mouth of the
animal open by inserting your left thumb in the mouth in the space between the front
teeth (incisors) and the molars, while gently inserting the bolus gun with the other hand.
Do not release the animal until you are sure that the medication has been swallowed.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Liquid medicines can be given with a dose syringe or a drenching gun or with a dose gun
when there are large number of animals in a flock (Figure 21). The nozzle of the syringe
should be about 12 to 15 cm long with a smoothly rounded tip that will not injure the
sheep/goat. The head of the animal should be held in a level position, with the nose no
higher than the eyes so that the liquid will not be forced into the lungs and cause
pneumonia. The safest way is to trickle the liquid slowly while holding the animal’s head
in the level position (Figure 22).
Q.       Give a detailed account of general information regarding the use of injections
         as a method for administering medicines to small ruminants.
To avoid serious infections, maintenance of sterile procedures is a must. Use only clean
and sterile syringes (boiled at least twenty minutes) and sharp sterile disposable needles.
Boiling of needles again and again makes them dull. Disposable plastic syringes are the
best. To fill a syringe with medicine, first clean the top of the vial with a disinfectant to
remove any dirt. Shake the bottle to thoroughly mix the contents without causing undue
bubbles. Hold the vial upside down, pull the syringe plunger back to approximately the
volume of drug to be removed, insert the needle into the center of vial stopper and press
the plunger forcing the air into the vial. Withdraw a greater volume of drug than needed
and then express the excess drug back into the vial to remove air bubbles that may form
in the syringe.
If you are withdrawing doses for a number of animals and particularly if you wish to save
the balance of the contents of medication vial, you can protect it from contamination by
sanitizing the top of the vial with a disinfectant as stated above, then insert a sterile
needle, which is to be left in place in the stopper of vial. Fill the syringe, leave the needle
in the bottle and attach a separate needle to the syringe for vaccinating. For the next dose,
detach the used needle, fill the syringe with the needle left in the vial, leaving again the
needle in the bottle (vial) and reattach a new or disinfected needle for the injection. In
this way you can protect your medicine from any contamination and can save the balance
of the contents till its reuse. You cannot, however, save a live vaccine (such as Nasalgen).
Inactivated vaccine such as Covexin-8 may be saved.
Once the needle is filled with medication, do not let it touch anything, or it will no longer
be sterile. Possibly have a helper hold the sheep/goat and then inject the medicine after
sterilizing the site of injection with an alcohol swab well rubbed over the site. Simply
touching the site with an alcohol swab is not sufficient.
If at all possible, do not inject a wet animal for reasons of infection and contamination of
injection site. Read the label carefully on each injectable medicine. Check the expiry
date. Read the dosage and strictly follow it because overdosing of certain medicines
could be harmful or even fatal. Protect drugs from freezing and from heat. Many
antibiotics require refrigeration.
Q.       Write short notes on subcutaneous, intradermal and intramuscular
Subcutaneous Injection: It is often abbreviated as ‘sub-cut; it denotes depositing
medicine directly between the skin and the underlying muscle tissue. The medicine
should be at body temperature, especially with youngones and can be given in the neck.
A preferred site is in the loose hairless skin behind and below the armpits, over the chest
wall. Do not inject into the armpit. Some vaccines are highly irritating and if injected into
the maxillary space (armpit), could cause severe irritation and lameness. A dosage of

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more than 10 ml is best distributed among several sites instead of all at one place,
especially so with lambs/kids. To inject, pinch up a fold of loose skin, insert the needle
into the space under the skin, holding the needle parallel to the body surface. Rub the area
afterward to distribute the medication and hasten its absorption. Do not make the
injection near a joint or in areas having more fat under the skin. If you want to make sure
that you are not in a vein, the plunger can be pulled out a bit before injecting. If it draws
out some blood, try another spot. Medication for subcut should never be injected into a
Intradermal Injection: Sometimes it is called as ‘intracutaneous’. This injection is made
into the skin instead of under it and is rarely used. The inserted fine needle is so close to
the surface that it can be seen through the outer layer of skin, in the same site as
suggested for subcut injection. The medicine is injected slowly while drawing out the
needle, distributing the dose along the needle’s course.
Intramuscular Injection: Using this injection the medicine is deposited deep into a large
muscle such as in the neck or heavy muscle of the thigh. An experienced person can
demonstrate the proper site that will avoid both a nerve and the best cuts of meat. Fresh
and sterile antibiotics and drugs are important, as are a sterile needle and sterile
procedure to avoid risk of deep-seated infection. Use a new sharp disposable needle and
syringe to avoid tissue damage. Sanitize the top of the vial stopper with alcohol before
withdrawing the medicine into the syringe. Thrust the needle quickly into the muscle
while a helper holds the animal still. Check that the needle is not in a blood vessel. It is
usually advisable not to inject more than 10 ml into any one spot.
Q.       Write short notes on intramammary and intraperitoneal injections.
Intramammary Injection: Infusion of liquids or ointments are sometimes administered
into the teat for udder ailments such as mastitis. The nozzle of the tube of udder
antibiotics is designed for buffalo/cattle and is difficult to use in sheep/goat, requiring
care and patience. Cleanliness is important when infusing the udder. First milk out the
affected side of the udder as completely as possible. Afterwards wash your hands and the
udder thoroughly, then carefully disinfect the teats several times a few minutes apart. Dry
the end of the teat(s) with a clean towel to avoid germs when the medicine is inserted.
Remove the cap of the infusion and gently insert it into the teat canal, maintaining the
sterile procedure. Squeeze the dose into the teat, then massage the dose upwards toward
the base of the udder. Most udder infections can be cured by antibiotics but unsanitary
infusion techniques could introduce molds and fungi that are not sensitive to the
antibiotics, resulting in a further complicated situation.
Intraperitoneal Injection: This should be done by a person who is familiar with
anatomy of the animal and aseptic technique. Complications such as peritonitis are
common after this procedure. One helper needs to hold the animal and straddle it just in
front of the shoulders. Clip the wool from the right flank in the shallow triangular
depression below the spine, between the last rib and the point of hip bone. Medication
injected into the center of this depression goes into the peritoneal cavity. Scrub the
injection area with soap, rinse dry and then disinfect the skin with alcohol. Medicine
should be at the body temperature of sheep/goat. A sterile 25 ml or 50 ml syringe and a
sterile 16-gauge needle are required. Disinfect the bottle stopper and complete the rest of
the steps as stated earlier maintaining sterile procedure. Hold the needle perpendicular to
the skin, pointed toward the center of the body. Inject quickly the full length of the needle

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and eject the medicine. If the needle does not insert easily, it may be clogged with a plug
of tissue, or may not be in the right place. If so, withdraw the needle, replace it with a
new one and try again. Rub the injection site with a disinfectant afterwards.
Q.       What are the antibiotics? Discuss briefly in a general way.
Antibiotics is the general term for a group of products that either kill or seriously impair
bacterial growth. They are effective against many bacterial diseases. Antibiotics are only
effective when present in adequate concentration. Low concentration (below
recommended levels) or discontinuation of treatment too soon may fail to kill the more
resistant bacteria present in the infection. This could result in a relapse of the condition or
more seriously a chronic infection, which could be difficult to treat due to bacterial
resistance to the antibiotic.
The availability of antibiotics should not encourage improper sanitary practices or
treatment of diseases that can be prevented through proper management and vaccination.
There is a concern that improper use of antibiotics can give rise to new strains of drug-
resistant bacteria that may pose a threat to both humans and animals. Care must be
exercised to ensure that antibiotics as well as other drugs are properly used, but not
overused. Mastitis and certain respiratory diseases are among the few examples in which
there are no preventive vaccine substitutes for antibiotics. While management practices
can minimize the occurrence of mastitis etc. antibiotics are needed once the infection is
established. Certain antibiotic dosage can upset normal body functions. Some may
sterilize the gut, making animals, susceptible to enteric upsets. Many times antibiotics are
used when they are of no benefit whatsoever, as in case of a disease caused by viruses.
When the exact cause of sickness is unknown, there is a temptation to give an injection,
usually a broad-spectrum antibiotic, to see if it helps. Ideally, any illness should have an
accurate diagnosis first.
Q.       What is meant by biologicals/vaccines? Explain in detail.
Biologicals (vaccines, bacterins and toxoids) are intended solely for disease protection.
They have very little, if any, effect in treating the disease. These immunizing agents are
proteins called antigens that only stimulate the small ruminant’s immune system to
produce protection against the particular disease. It needs to be understood that
vaccination and immunization are not the same thing, because administration of the
antigen by vaccination will result in immunization only if the sheep’s/goat’s immune
system is normal and functioning. Vaccination must be accomplished well ahead of the
period in which disease exposure may occur, because it takes approximately one month
for maximum immunity to develop. Very low levels of protection are observed at two to
three weeks after vaccination and it can take up to forty-five days after the last dose of
some vaccines for maximum protection. Immunizing agents fall into four groups and all
are commonly called vaccines:
Bacterins: Containing killed bacteria and/or fractions of the bacterial cell.
Toxoids: Containing the inactivated toxins produced by bacteria, usually clostridial
organisms such as causing tetanus and overeating disease.
Vaccines: Derived from viral agents.
Anti-serums: Often called serums or antitoxins, are derived from the serum of
hyperimmune animals, one that has received multiple doses of vaccine to confer a high
and specific antibody level against the particular disease.
Q.       Write short notes on vaccines, toxoids, bacterins and anti-serum.

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Vaccines: A vaccine is a modified live or killed biological preparation, which when
injected into the animal (or instilled intranasally as nasalgen,), stimulates the animal’s
immune system to build its own protective antibodies. Modified live vaccines (MLV)
contain strains of virus that are incapable of causing the disease but still retain the
immune-stimulating potential of the disease-causing strain. MLV vaccines (with few
exceptions) produce greater and longer protection than the inactivated (killed) virus
vaccines. It takes approximately two weeks for protection to appear and the immune
response will maximize in about a month.
Toxoids: These are solutions of inactivated toxins derived from bacteria that cause
disease by producing toxins that enter blood stream and cause severe tissue or nerve
damage (such as tetanus, blackleg). Since it is the toxin produced by bacteria and not the
bacteria themselves that cause disease. Toxoids stimulate the animal to produce
neutralizing antibodies against the toxin, thus protecting against their deadly effect.
Bacterins: These are suspensions of bacteria grown in culture media and killed
chemically or by heat. They are unable to produce disease and may be used without
danger of spreading disease. The bacteria used in the production of various bacterins are
highly antigenic strains isolated from animals that have succumbed to the particular
disease. Bacterins are often suggested as an aid in establishing immunity to specific
diseases. Most bacterins require a primary (priming) injection followed by a booster in
one to four weeks. The actual protection is obtained following the booster injection.
Bacterins do not confer long-lasting immunity. At the best maximum protection is
usually for six months to a year between boosters.
Anti-serum: Also called serum or antitoxin. By injecting an anti-serum, antibodies
produced in another animal are borrowed to confer a temporary or passive immunity for a
short period, often ten to twenty-one days. It is used to protect animals for a short period
when disease is present in the flock and to treat infected animals as an aid to overcome
disease. In a unique situation, anti-serum may be administered along with a vaccine to
give immediate protection while the animal is developing its own active immunity. It is
advisable to consult a competent veterinarian under such circumstances, because in some
instances the hyperimmune serum will neutralize the vaccine.
Store all immunizing supplies in a cool place, but do not allow them to freeze. Obtain
vaccines from a reputable source, because if they are not properly stored or transported
before you get them, they may be worthless.
Some vaccines are applied by scratching the skin, some are subcut, others intramuscular
and still others are sprays into the nasal cavity. You must follow the directions of the
manufacturer regarding both the dosage and the manner of administration. Vaccination
sites on sheep/goats and their youngones are the side of the breastbone i.e. lower chest
wall behind the elbow or the side of neck. It is difficult to pinpoint that what vaccines are
required by your flock because it depends on what part of the country you are, what
diseases are prevalent there, presence of other flocks nearby, the climate, the type of
operation, the purchase of new animals and the conditions under which the animals are
being raised.
Q.      Name some of the most useful immunizing agents for small ruminants that
        are in use in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and USA.
    •       Nasalgen-IP (P13): To protect against certain types of pneumonia and
            respiratory diseases.

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     •    Footvax: Foot rot vaccine. This product contains an oil adjuvant (immune
          enhancer) that can cause injection site swellings and small abscesses.
          Therefore be sure to inject high up on the side of the neck.
   •      Covexin-8: It immunizes against all the common clostridial diseases including
   •      EAE-Vibrio combination: It protects against the two common disease caused
   •      Ovine Pili Shield: It is a new vaccine given to ewes to immunize lambs
          through the colostrum, against scours caused by E. coli bacteria.
   •      Selenium-Vitamin E: Selenium-E is not a vaccine but an injectable essential
          nutrient needed for protection of sheep/goats and youngones against white
          muscle disease and immune deficiency. It is mainly required in selenium
          deficient area. Too much of it is highly toxic.
Q.     Give schedule for vaccination of sheep/goats against various diseases.
                        Tentative vaccination schedule
 Month            Week            Sheep                    Goats
 January          2               Enterotoxaemia           Enterotoxaemia
 February         Ist             Anthrax                  Anthrax
 March            Ist             Sheep pox                Goat pox
 April            Ist             FMD                      FMD
 May              Ist             Pleuropneumonia          Pleuropneumonia
 June             Ist             Enterotoxaemia           Enterotoxaemia
 July              2               Enterotoxaemia           Enterotoxaemia
 August            Ist             Anthrax                  Anthrax
 September         Ist             Sheep pox                Goat pox
 October           Ist             FMD*                     FMD*
 November          Ist             Pleuropneumonia          Pleuropneumonia
 December          Ist             Enterotoxaemia           Enterotoxaemia
* Optional.     Source: Booklet issued by Vet. Res. Institute, Lahore.

Q.       What general instructions need consideration for use and dosage of vaccines?
     •     The vaccines are intended for prophylactic and not for curative purpose.
     •     The bottle should be thoroughly shaken before each injection to ensure a
           uniform suspension.
     •     The syringes, needles and other instruments to be used carefully sterilized
           before use.
     •     The bottles, ampoules, vials etc. must not be exposed to direct sunlight or
           heat. Shelf-life depends on proper storage.
     •     Protective immunity level can be achieved and maintained through adopting a
           planned and systematic schedule of vaccination.
     •     Live virus vaccines should not be demanded through ordinary post. It is
           preferable to collect them in ice from the institute through a special courier.
     •     Distilled water for reconstitution of vaccines must be sterilized and chilled.
     •     After reconstitution, the inoculum must be kept cool and used within 2 hours.

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   •        Instructions given on the label must be strictly adhered to.
   •        Empty ampoules/vials and left-over inoculum should be properly disposed off.
Q.      What do you know about ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP)? Explain in
Any chronic ailment can result in thin sheep but OPP accounts for many of the
persistently thin adult sheep (if nutrition and parasites have been eliminated as disease
causes). OPP is a slow virus similar to AIDS in humans, taking about two years to show
its symptoms. The virus slowly causes progressive lung damage. Ewes gradually lose
stamina and body weight and have serious breathing problems ending in fatal pneumonia.
While at present there is no cure and no vaccine against OPP, there are new tests that
make disease control possible. It is necessary to have annual testing of all breeding
animals (eliminating the infected ones) to ensure that no OPP problems occur and to be
further sure you purchase only OPP-free breeding stock replacements. Since it is
transmitted from ewe to lamb through milk, therefore, infected valuable breeding ewe
could be isolated from the flock and her lamb taken immediately at birth and raised on
colostrum-replacer and lamb milk-replacer. This is almost 100% effective. All animals
that test OPP positive should be isolated from the rest of the flock, since transmission can
result from close contact with infected animals mainly via respiratory secretions when
animals are confined to crowded quarters. Once the signs of disease appear, the outcome
is always fatal. Positive cases should be isolated and culled. At Cornell University, there
is an Indirect Immunofluorescent Test (IIFT) for OPP. When buying initial flock and any
replacement animals, the owner should be requested to provide proof that his flock has
been tested for OPP.
Q.      What is meant by urolithiasis? Write down its main causes, symptoms and
Urolithiasis simply means urinary calculi. The latter are stone like concretions in the
urinary tract, which usually originate in the kidneys. Sheep and goats are susceptible to
urinary calculi formation and serious losses can occur when breeding males develop this
problem. Nutritional imbalances are generally considered the primary cause of stone
formation. For example i) a high-potassium intake, ii) a high-phosphorus-low-calcium
ratio; the C:P ratio should be about 2:1, iii) a high silica content in the ratio and iv) a
deficiency of vitamin A may be a contributing factor. Symptoms commonly observed
are: frequent attempts to urinate, dribbling or stoppage of the urine, pain and renal colic.
Mostly males affected since females are able to pass the concretions. Bladder may
rupture, with death following. Otherwise, uraemic poisoning may set in. When calculi
develop, it is advisable to dispose off the affected animals, since treatments have limited
success. The following preventive and curative measures are recommended.
Feed salt at level equivalent to 4 % of total diet in order to induce more water
consumption. Feed ammonium chloride at level of 7 g per head per day to reduce the
alkalinity of the urine. Incorporate 20 % alfalfa in the ration. Administer muscle relaxants
to help the passage of calculi from the bladder. As a last resort, surgically remove the
calculi, however, males will become non-breeders after such an operation.
Q.      Give causes, symptoms and treatment of bloat in small ruminants.
Bloat is an excessive accumulation of gas and/or foamy material in the rumen. Severe
cases can be fatal in as little as two hours if not treated. Too much of almost any feed can
cause bloat but over consumption of unchoped wet clover, leafy alfalfa, grain or orchard

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fruit etc. is the most common cause. When changed from sparse to lush pasture, animals
may gorge themselves unless given a feeding of dry forage prior to turning out on the
grazing area. The coarse feed is thought to stimulate the belching mechanism as well as
keeping the green feed from making a compact mass. Some sheep/goats seem more prone
to bloat than others, possibly due to a faulty belching mechanism.
Enlargement of the rumen on the left flank is the major sign of bloat. Difficult breathing,
grinding of teeth because of abdominal gas pain, sometimes profuse salivation and off
feed are other symptoms. When the animal falls to the ground death usually follows
probably from suffocation. If bloat is not so severe as to have caused a breathing
problem, you can prevent further gas formation by giving two table spoons of baking
soda in a cup of warm water, using a dose syringe. Be careful so that the mixture does not
go into the lungs. Repeat the dosage in thirty minutes if necessary. You can place the
sheep/goat in sitting position and massage the abdomen to encourage belching. May be
the bloat is foamy type, for that one-half cup of vegetable oil (maize oil or mustard oil) is
given by mouth if the animal is still able to breathe and swallow normally. One cm
rubber tubing may be passed down the throat into the rumen to release gas, unless there is
too much foam. If you are sure that the tube is not in the lungs, you can pour one-half cup
vegetable oil into the tube with a funnel to break up the foam somewhat. In an emergency
the rumen can be punctured by an experienced person, using a sterilized trocar and
cannula to relieve both foam and gas and to treat to prevent infection.
Q.       What is meant by an abscess and how to treat it?
An abscess is a lump or boil usually in the neck or shoulder region of goats. It grows until
it bursts and a thick pus is exuded. Any animal with an abscess should be isolated. If the
goat is wet, its milk should be boiled well before consuming it. If, however, the abscess is
on the udder, the milk should be discarded. The lump will become the size of a tennis ball
or even larger, and burst by itself or it can be lanced when it appears ripe. A small X-
shaped cut will heal better than a straight cut and the incision should be made low on the
abscess to facilitate drainage. Squeeze out the pus and burn the material. Isolation and
strict sanitation are especially important during the period of drainage. If the abscess is
caused by lymphadenitis, it will have cheese-like pus; if the pus is like mayonnaise it
indicates pseudopeumonia. The wound should be treated with acryflavine or tincture of
iodine. Some reports suggested that goat flocks vaccinated for corynebacteria became
abscess free.


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Q.      What are the various causes of lameness in small ruminants? Suggest
        preventive measures in this regard.
The possible causes of lameness are: overgrown untrimmed hooves; wedges of mud or
stone or other matter lodged in the cleft of the hoof; plugged toe gland (in sheep),
squeeze to remove plug, then disinfect injury; sprain, nail puncture or thorn; abnormal
foot development, may be a genetic defect, cull out; foot abscess; foot scald; true
infectious hoof rot; vitamin deficiency, try ADE in food or injection.
When you notice an animal limping, try to find out the reason. Notice which foot seems
affected, then catch the animal and trim all four hooves if needed, doing the sore one last
so as not to spread any possible infection. You can help prevent sheep/goats from
becoming lame by: trimming all feet at least twice a year, hooves may need trimming
more than twice a year when the wet weather is unduly prolonged, untrimmed hooves
curl under on the sides and provide pockets for accumulation of moist mud and manure
ideal for growth of foot disease germs; maintaining dry bedding area in winter; keeping
animals away from low lying marshy pastures; changing location of feeding sites
occasionally to prevent accumulation of manure and formation of muddy areas; and
having footbath arrangement for use when needed.
Q.      What do you know about foot gland? Explain.
Sheep have a deep gland between the two toes of each foot, with a small opening at the
front and top of the hoof. It can be readily seen. Goats do not have these. The gland’s
secretion is waxy and has a faint, strange odour, said to scent the grass and reinforce the
herding instinct. If these glands are plugged with mud, the secretion is retained and the
foot becomes lame. Squeeze the gland and sometimes a fairly large amount of waxy
substance pours out. With this the animal gets better. You must have to get a clear idea of
what a normal hoof looks like, only then you can spot a diseased condition.
Mighty Mike Sheep Squeeze: Sheep enters squeeze and sides are squeezed together. It is
then simple to turn sheep completely upside down. Feet can be restrained in stirrups for
foot trimming. Adjustable from 45 kg animal to the largest adult ewe or ram.
Q.      Write notes on foot scald, foot abscess and foot rot.
Food Scald: It is sometimes mistaken for foot rot. In scald the soft tissues above and
between the toes are involved. There is inflamed tissue and moistness, sometimes open
sores, often only one foot involved. It is caused by dampness, wet pasture, prolonged
walking in mud or the abrasion due to foreign objects lodged between the toes. The soft
tissue between and above the toes and heel become inflamed. This occurs primarily
during wet winter and the condition sometimes improves without treatment in dry
weather. It, however, lessens foot resistance to more serious conditions like foot abscess
or foot rot and causes lame animals to eat poorly and not get enough exercise.
Trim hooves and spray with antibacterial hoof spray. If no improvement, treat with
footbath solution or ordinary hydrogen peroxide. Penicillin injections may be helpful. As
prevention it is necessary to get rid of muddy places.
Foot Abscess: Also called bumble foot. It is a true abscess and occurs within the hoof
structure, usually affects only one foot. It is considered infectious, but not extremely
contagious like foot rot. The infection causes formation of thick pus and as the internal
pressure increases, the animal becomes more and more lame. Sometimes, there is a

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swelling above the hoof. It is caused by bacteria in manure and dirt, which enter through
cuts or a wound, causing an infection of soft tissue and reddening of the tissue between
the toes. This infection may become advanced if not treated and can move into the joints
and then it is almost incurable. Because of abscess pregnant sheep/goats will fail to graze,
slow about getting grain feeding, not enough exercise, which can bring on pregnancy
toxaemia. Insufficient nutrition results into low birth weight of newborns and a little milk
for them. The abscess may eventually break/burst and discharge pus or pressure is
released by an incision (X-cross type). When it is opened or breaks, squeeze out the pus
and treat with an antiseptic and may bandage the foot. An intramuscular injection of up to
a million units of penicillin for three to five days may be given.
Foot Rot: It is caused by bacteria (Bacillus nodosus). Clean animals become infected by
walking over ground contaminated by infected animals within the last seven to ten days.
These bacteria cannot survive on the ground much longer than seven days, but can
survive indefinitely in the feet of infected sheep/goat. It spreads rapidly in warm moist
weather. The foot rot organism is an anaerobe. This is why hoof trimming is an important
part of foot rot treatment so that dead tissue is removed to allow oxygen to enter (to
antagonize the survival of these bacteria). The availability of Footvax vaccine (in USA,
Canada etc.), coupled with hoof paring and a hoof bath solutions makes both prevention
and cure possible.
Foot rot starts with a reddening of the skin between the claws of the hoof. The infection
starts in the soft horny tissue between the hoof or on the ball of the heel then spreads to
the inner hoof wall. By this time there is a strong unpleasant odour. As the disease
progresses, the horny tissue of the claws becomes partly detached and the separation of
the hoof wall from the underlying tissue lets the claw become misshapen and deformed.
In severe infections, it is often more practical to dispose of the most seriously affected
animals and concentrate treatment on the milder cases.
Treatment consists of the following: remove as much part of the affected hoof as possible
to expose the infected areas to the footbath. Disinfect knife after each hoof trimmed. Burn
the hoof trimmings. Footbath treatment be given. Hold the animals on a dry yard for
several hours after footbath treatment. Vaccinate with Footvax if available. May be
imported for more valuable animals.
Q.       What is meant by footbath treatment? Give some footbath formulae for use
         with small ruminants.
Footbath trough is a device containing preventive/curative solutions of various chemicals
in which feet of sheep/goats are given bath to treat problems such as foot rot.
If you run sheep/goats through a trough of plain water first, it keeps the footbath solution
clean longer. Be sure that the animals have had water and are not thirsty so that they do
not drink from the footbath. Feet should be trimmed before the footbath to allow better
penetration. Disinfect knife between each hoof and each animal to avoid spread of germs.
The footbath contains 10% zinc sulphate solution in which the animals are made to stand
for about an hour on two occasions a week apart. Trim nonlimpers first, then put them in
footbath first, now turn them into a clean grazing area. Next foot-bathe the limpers and
keep them in dry area, treating them regularly every week or have them walk through the
bath on the way to daily feeding. In conjunction with vaccination with Footvax, trimming
and isolation of the infected animals from the clean group, total eradication of foot rot
from treated flocks has been accomplished.

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There are various footbath formulae. Some have been abandoned because of being toxic
and less effective e.g. copper sulphate has been widely used in the past. Formalin is also
discontinued in general usage, being very irritating when inhaled as well as irritating to
the skin and feet. Recent research has shown that 10% solution of zinc sulphate is highly
effective as a footbath treatment. It is the least toxic and the most effective. It need not be
changed frequently because it does not lose its strength from organic contamination. The
addition of some liquid laundry detergent will make it more penetrating and aid in
dissolving the powder in water. One kg zinc sulphate is dissolved in 2½ gallons of water.
Zinc sulphate dissolves slowly. Add half of it to 1¼ gallons of water and add one-half
cup of liquid detergent, stirring slowly but constantly. The solution should be 5 cm deep
in the trough. Do not rush the animals through the walk-through bath because they might
splash the solution on their udders.
If the number of animals is small, it may not be practical to build the footbath
arrangement. You can use a small bucket made of heavy plastic with footbath mixture to
a depth of 5 cm. For each animal, use it on the lame foot and also as a precaution on
trimmed healthy feet. Apply the footbath solution to the hoof with a brush and then hold
the infected foot in the plastic bucket containing the solution. If you are treating a front
foot, hold up the other front foot, forcing the animal to stand on the foot that is in the
bath. Afterwards keep the animal on a dry floor for about an hour before turning out for
grazing. Repeat the bath in a week and may be once more if still limping.
Q.      Give below the list of preparations that are painted/sprayed onto hooves of
        sheep/goats just after trimming.
When footbath facilities are not available, any one of the following preparations may
serve the purpose. However, prior trimming is very important for the preparation to be
    •       10% zinc sulphate in water.
    •       10% zinc sulphate in vinegar
    •       Two parts copper sulphate in one part pine tar
    •       10% formalin in water.
    •       Penicillin in alcohol-5 million units of potassium penicillin G with 10 cc
            water, add to one pint of alcohol.
    •       Kopertox-this has long been one of the most effective of all topical
            applications for foot and minor wound problems. It is formulated with a
            vehicle that makes it stick to the tissue as well as fingers and everything else.
    •       Dry chemical treatment: Zinc sulphate 10% in lime can be spread on the
            ground around feeding troughs to reduce the spread of hoof rot. This is more
            of a preventive than a treatment of existing disease and is a convenient
            substitute for a footbath during very cold season.
Q.      Write a short on Footvax vaccine.
It is a 10-strain whole cell vaccine containing all known serogroups of the foot rot
bacteria. It is given subcut just below and behind the ear, along the side of neck. The
timing of vaccination ideally be prior to the season of the greatest danger.
To start with you vaccinate all animals (sheep/goats) on the premises with Footvax. Six
weeks later all should receive a booster dose, followed by booster doses at four to twelve
months intervals. All new animals brought into the flock should be vaccinated upon
arrival. All sheep/goats should be inspected for their feet and animals affected with foot

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rot should be segregated and those infected should be closely trimmed. The entire group
should have a footbath of zinc sulphate. This can be regularly a few days apart and at
weekly intervals for those who appear to be clean. Severely infected animals may benefit
from antibiotics. This vaccine is 85 to 90% effective in preventing foot rot and equally
effective in curing cases (when combined with foot trimming and footbaths). Do not be
alarmed if a bump appears on the injection site; it often disappears in a few weeks. Even
a bump may show a small amount of exudates. Because of the possibility of a bump, it is
not advisable to vaccinate sheep/goats just prior to a small ruminants show/fair.
Q.       Write a detailed note on hoof trimming in goats.
Goats evolved with fast growing hooves to compensate for the wearing action of sand
and rocks. Part of good grooming is to keep your goat’s hooves neatly trimmed. The hoof
has a thin outer wall of keratin (finger nails made of the same material). The keratin layer
surrounds the firm, fleshy cushion of the sole or frog. When the keratin grows beyond the
frog, it folds over, collects manure and moisture and becomes subject to infections such
as hoof rot. The hoof begins to twist. The goat cannot walk properly, feels pain and
sometimes becomes permanently deformed.
How often the hooves need trimming varies with each animal, the amount of exercise it
gets, the type of areas it grazes on and the types of ground it is kept on. A properly
trimmed hoof is flat on the bottom and has a boxy look. The keratin layer and frog are of
even thickness, front to back and the toes are equal in length. The best way to learn what
a proper hoof looks like is to examine the feet of a newborn kid. Hooves that have been
softened by the moisture of rain or dewy grass are easier to trim. Have a sharp knife or
garden pruning shears along with a rasp or file ready (Figure 23).
Grasp one ankle and bend the hoof back, placing it over your knee for control. Scrape the
accumulated dirt with the point of your trimming tool. Cut off long toes. Cut bent-over
parts of the keratin layer parallel to the visible growth rings. When the outer hoof is even
with the frog, make smooth the frog’s white cushion by taking a tiny slice at a time. Cut
from the heel toward the toe. Stop trimming when the white part shows the slightest signs
of pink, since you are getting close to the foot’s blood supply. Work slowly and have
good light so that you can see what you are doing. Flatten and finish

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

the hoof with the rasp or file. Trim the hooves of a doe early in pregnancy and preferably
do not do it again till after parturition. Be sure your buck’s hooves are well trimmed prior
to the breeding season.
Q.      Write a note on mortality in sheep.

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The estimated mortality for NWFP was 8% for over one year old and 18% for young

stock under one year. Fifty to 80% of the deaths occurred in the first 3 months of life, 7 to

20% in second to fourth quarter of the first year and 2 to 30% after one year old. The

major causes of death were gastro-enteritis (7 to 10%) and pneumonia (33 to 58%). In

Punjab the estimated death rate was 10% for stock older than one year and 16% for stock

under one year. An outbreak of enterotoxaemia caused 57% of the total deaths. Other

causes of death were gastro-enteritis (13 to 29%) and pneumonia (29 to 50%). In

Northern Areas estimated losses ranged from 5 to 10% over all age groups. The major

causes of death were enterotoxaemia, sheep pox and liver fluke infestation.

Enterotoxaemya was more prevalent in uphill pastures, while liver fluke on home


Q.       Why is the provision of first aid on small ruminant farm important?
It is important to render such skilled assistance to the animals inflicted with injuries,
fractures, poisoning, burns, scalds and minor obstetrical problems. The provision of first
aid to affected animals will alleviate suffering, preserve life, promote recovery or prevent
aggravation of the abnormal condition as well as to ensure peace and comfort of the
animal during transportation to hospital, if need be.
Q.       What are the general principles of first aid?
The person providing first aid must be trained and able to render the required skilled
assistance to the inflicted animals. He should get a history of the case for his own
guidance and record. Other important steps include: a) removal of the cause, b) arresting
of severe haemorrhage, if any, c) provision of plenty of fresh air to the patient, d)
provision of warmth to check fall in temperature and shock, e) provision of rest by
changing the position of the animal into an easy posture, f) dressing of all skin injuries, g)
keeping the animal still (especially when fractures occurred) by using a tranquilizer or by
diverting its attention toward some feed and h) discrimination must be exercised whether
to take the animal to the hospital or send for a veterinarian.
Attending to Traumatic Conditions: Such conditions usually result from a physical
injury due to fall, fight between animals or impact with stationary or moving object. The
first thing to be done in all such cases is to arrest bleeding. Bleeding (haemorrhage) may
occur from a cut artery, vein or capillaries. Bleeding from capillaries ceases soon after a
clot has formed, but arterial and venous bleeding must be arrested in simple cases by
keeping a pad in position (over the injury) by means of a bandage. In favourable cases,
blood clotting will occur and the blood flow ceases. On limbs torniquet should be used.
For this purpose a piece of rubber tubing (1 cm or so in diameter) is looped around the

PART- III                                          SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

limb (6 to 8 cm above the wound) and the two ends tied with a knot. A stick is inserted
into a loop and by twisting the loop is tightened. When sufficient pressure has build up,
the stick should be secured in position with another bandage.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Open Wounds: These are painful because the nerve endings are exposed and contact
with soil or other contaminated material often results in an infected sore which amy be
slow to heal. If there is not much of bleeding, the wound should be washed with
potassium permanganate lotion, then swabbed dry and covered with a clean surgical
gauze soaked in pyodine and bandage.
Fractures: If the stock assistant is sufficiently experienced and if the fracture is simple,
an attempt may be made to bring about the fragments of bone together and retain them in
that position using a splint and bandage. In case it is a compound fracture and the animal
is valuable, better wait for a competent vet. In the mean while the wound should be kept
free from dirt etc. and the animal kept as quiet as possible and its attention distracted
from the wound by offering feed of alluring nature. Similar line of action holds good for
joint dislocations.
Teat Injuries: Even the smallest abrasions or sores on teats should be treated promptly
and carefully since these sites frequently become infected and the infection spreads up
the teat canal resulting in mastitis. After cleaning the wound with pyodine, a dry dressing
of a suitable antiseptic powder leads to early healing.
Feet Injuries: The injured foot should be cleaned with cold water and bleeding arrested,
if any. The sole should be examined after paring away all dung and dirt, for the cause of
injury is often a picked up nail, a piece of glass or a stone or a piece of wood wedged in
the cleft of the foot. The foot should be washed in warm antiseptic solution, dried and an
antiseptic powder containing a bit of copper sulphate or zinc sulphate is dusted over the
wound and a bandage applied. The foot should then be covered with a nylon sack.
Eye Injuries: These are due to the presence of a piece of grit, chaff, awn or a seed in the

eye. A drop or two of clean castor oil should be put in the affected eye. This reduces

friction and eases the animal. If the eye or eyes are badly inflamed, they should be treated

with suitable eye drops thrice a day and protected by blind folding loosely with a strip of

cloth or housed under shade.

Likely causes of kid death
 Disease               Causative
                       agent     Symptoms
 Coccidiosis           P         Diarrhoea, sometimes bloody. Sudden
                                 death may occur without diarrhoea.
                                 Normally in housed goats.
 Colibacillosis        B         Dry mouth. Stomach full of gas. Fever.
                                 Quick death unless treated. Responds well
                                 to antibiotics.
 Colostrum             M         Dry mouth. Fever. Severe weakness. Most
 deprivation                     die.
 Enterotoxaemia        B         Sudden depression. Drunken appearance.

PART- III                                          SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

                                     Lies on side when close to death, paddling
                                     legs. May have watery diarrhoea.
 Internal parasites     P            Sudden death. May have swelling under
                                     chin, anaemia and weakness. PM reveals
                                     parasites in intestines, esp. Haemonchus
                                     contortus in abomasums.
 Suffocation                         No physical signs of disease. Can occur if
                                     many kids and adults are kept together, esp.
                                     in cold climates.
 Malnutrition           M            Weakness, no stomach fill. Check dam for
                                     milk and kid for access to dam.
Key: P = parasitic; B = bacterial; V = viral; M = metabolic.

Likely causes of diarrhoea and loss of condition (adults)

 Disease                Causative
                        agent     Symptoms
 Acidosis               M         Full stomach, watery contents. Diarrhoea
                                  (watery, bad smell). Very weak. No rumen
                                  movement. Recent dietary change.
 Bloat                  M         Full stomach with gas or froth. Distension
                                  on left side behind ribs. Laboured
 Coccidiosis            P         Acute diarrhoea, often with blood. Severe
 Enterotoxaemia         B         Full stomach. Fever. Sudden death is
 Internal parasites     P         May have swelling under jaw, anaemia.
                                  Weakness, weight loss. May die before
                                  signs of diarrhoea.

Likely causes of respiratory problems and fever
 Disease            Causative
                    agent          Symptoms
 Anthrax            B              Bloody nasal discharge and bleeding from
                                   body openings. Death within 24-48 hours.
 Contagious         V              Nasal discharge. Rasping sound from
 caprine                           lungs. Fever. Death in most cases,
 pleuropneumonia                   sometimes 24 hours after first signs.
 Lungworm           P              Breathing difficulties, coughing leading to
 Melioidosis        B              Symptoms vague. Coughing, weakness,
                                   respiratory distress. Sometimes thick
                                   yellow nasal discharge. Sometimes
                                   lameness. Death after 1-8 weeks.

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Pneumonia           B,V,P           Rapid, laboured movement of ribs with
                                     rasping sound. Grunting, groaning and
                                     grinding of teeth from pain.
 Goat pox            V               High fever, nasal and eye discharge.
                                     Pimples appear after 24 hours, forming
                                     itchy scabs after one week. Death may

Likely causes of skin diseases and swellings
 Disease               Causative
                       agent        Symptoms
 Caseous               B            Small lumps under the skin, located at
 lymphadenitis                      lymph nodes, developing into large
                                    abscesses. Usually in adults. Chronic form
                                    shows wasting.
 Streptothricosis      B            Large spots commonly on face, ears and
                                    legs, exuding clear serum. Spots may merge
                                    into large scabs, causing hair to stand erect.
 Goat pox              V            Fever. Nasal discharge. Spots appear after
                                    24 hours on mucous membranes inside and
                                    outside body. Spot becomes itchy scab.
 Mange                 P            Sarcoptic mange shows rough, hard, itchy,
                                    wrinkled skin on back of legs and between
                                    front and rear legs, gradually spreading to
                                    mouth. Demodectic or follicle mange
                                    causes small hard itchy lumps all over
 Orf                   V            Thickened areas around mouth, on gums
                                    and teats. Often affects kids.
 Ringworn              F            Roughly circular areas of missing hair,
                                    leaving rough, scaly skin.
 Warts                 V            Growths appear on the skin, starting small
                                    but sometimes growing and spreading to
                                    affect a large area. May affect any area,
                                    including udder and teats.
Key: F = fungus.

Likely causes of poor condition, anaemia and pale mucous membranes
 Disease               Causative
                       agent       Symptoms
 Anaplasmosis          P           Poor condition and severe anaemia.
 Babesiosis            P           Bloody diarrhoea and dark red urine. Poor
                                   appetite, listless with fever. Most recover,
                                   but some die, showing nervous symptoms
                                   including paddling.
 Coccidiosis           P           Acute bloody diarrhoea. Weak. Severe

PART- III                                        SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Internal parasites    P            Good appetite, but poor body condition.
                                    Sometimes diarrhoea. In severe cases,
                                    swelling under jaw (‘bottle jaw’).
 Teeth problems        P            Weak or damaged teeth.
 Trypanosomiasis       P            Poor body condition, poor appetite.
                                    Chronic weight loss. Swollen lymph nodes.

Likely causes of lameness
 Disease              Causative
                      agent     Symptoms
 Akabane disease      V         Kids born with rigid joints, often blind as
 Caprine arthritis    V         Young kids show weakness in hindlegs and
 encephalitis                   finally cannot rise. Death usually follows. In
                                adults, swollen joints develop slowly (2
                                years). Difficulties in walking.
 Contagious           B         Hot, painful, swollen joints that may rupture
 agalactia                      as an abscess.
 Foot and mouth       V         Small blisters between claws of feet,
                                causing lameness.
 Foot rot             B         Lameness in one or more foot. Affected foot
                                appears ragged and rotten, with bad smell.
                                Often occurs in wet season, or in dirty
 Mastitis             B         Does with inflamed udder may show a
                                straddling walk.
 Melioidosis          B         Joints, testicles and lymph nodes sometimes
 Mineral              M         Kids born with deformed joints because of
 deficiencies                   calcium:      phosphorus      imbalance     or
 Navel ill            B         Inflamed navel and hot painful joints in kid.
 Ticks                P         Tick attachment between claws of feet.
                                Inflammation of skin at site of attachment.
 Physical injury

Likely causes of nervous diseases

 Disease               Causative
                       agent     Symptoms
 Caprine arthritis     V         In addition to lameness, often head tremors,
 encephalitis (CAE)              blindness, jerky movement of eyeballs and
 Copper deficiency     M         Muscle tremors and nodding or shaking of

PART- III                                        SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Enterotoxaemia        B           Star gazing, convulsions, teeth grinding,
                                   pitiful cry of pain. Paddling movements and
                                   throwing back head just before death.
 Heartwater            R           Circling movement. Convulsion, twitching
                                   eyelids. Depression.
 Listeriosis           B           Facial paralysis, resulting in drooping
                                   eyelids and ears. Circling and head
 Melioidosis           B           Sometimes staggering, jerky movement, or
                                   paralysis, with swollen joints.
 Navel ill             B           Convulsions may occur in kids when close
                                   to death. Enlarged navel stump is a critical
 Pregnancy toxaemia                Inability to stand, poor balance during late
 Rabies                V           Staring eyes, eating unusual objects,
                                   confusion, drooling saliva, strange bleat.
 Scrapie               V           Only in adults. Uncoordinated limbs,
                                   especially hind legs, high-stepping fore-
                                   legs. Salivation.
 Tetanus               B           ‘Rocking-horse’ straight-legged stance.
                                   Usually 2 weeks after wound.
Key: R = rickettsia.

Likely causes of female and male infertility

 Disease               Causative
                       agent     Symptoms
 Brucellosis           B         Swollen testicles (orchitis), causing
                                 infertility in buck.
 Intersex              H         Mixture of male and female reproductive
 Metritis              B         Dark, sticky, smelly discharge after giving
                                 birth indicates metritis. If left untreated,
                                 may develop into chronic problem and
 Physical damage                 Physical damage to penis or testicles may
                                 result in male infertility.
 Sperm granulomas      H         Sterility. Small, hard tumour at top of
                                 unusually small testes can eventually be
 Trypanosomiasis       P         Inflammation/degeneration of testes.
Key: H = hereditary

Likely causes of abortion

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Disease             Causative
                     agent     Symptoms
 Brucellosis         B         Abortion in last 50 days of the 150-day
                               gestation. Possibly swollen joints.
 Chlamydial abortion B         Abortion in last 50 days of gestation. High
                               proportion of flock will abort.
 Foot and mouth V              Abortion at any time of gestation, early in
 disease                       course of disease. Sores on tongue, in
                               mouth and between claws of feet.
 Listeriosis         B         Abortion in last 70 days of gestation. May
                               have drooping ears and eyelids. Tongue
                               may hang out. Fever, depression and
                               nervous symptoms.
 Malnutrition        M         Abortion at any time during gestation, but
                               especially in last 50 days if short of energy.
 Poisoning           M         Abortion at any time of gestation, as side-
                               effect of poisoning.
 Salmonellosis       B         Abortion in last 50 days of gestation. Fever,
                               no appetite, diarrhoea.
 Shock and stress              Abortion at any time during gestation,
                               usually 2 to 4 days after shock or stress.
 Toxoplasmosis       P         Abortion in last 50 days of gestation. Rare.
 Trypanosomiasis     P         Abortion during acute disease.

Likely causes of udder diseases
 Disease              Causative
                      agent       Symptoms
 Mastitis             B           Heat, pain and swelling of udder. May
                                  become bright red. Udder black and cold if
 Orf                  V           Small, scabby, painful sores on udder. Doe
                                  will not allow kid to suckle.
 Physical damage                  Physical damage such as tears, tick damage,
                                  thorn damage can make udder sore and
                                  affect milk production. Can lead to
 Warts                V           Small warts may grow on teat and persist for
                                  several months.
   Q. Discuss the importance of post-mortem (after death) examination in small


If a sheep/goat dies it is helpful to carry out a simple post-mortem examination to try to
find out the cause of death. This may be important in identifying infectious diseases and
preventing their spread to other animals in the flock. It is useful if extension staff are able
to carry out a simple post-mortem examination and learn how to record systematically

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

what is seen. In order to carryout an effective post-mortem, it is important that the size,
colour, and texture of normal organs are known, so that any abnormalities can be
observed and recorded. Visits to a slaughterhouse will enable you to become quickly
familiar with the appearance of the organs of normal sheep/goats.
Q.       How to proceed while conducting a post-mortem examination?
First find a convenient site away from the owner’s house/farm and other livestock and in
a place where the dead sheep/goat can subsequently be burned or buried at a depth of at
least one meter. (Note: If the body is stiff, swollen or bloated, do not open it, because too
long a period has elapsed after death to be able to determine the cause of death. Do not
bother to carry out a post-mortem on a dead body that died more than 12 hours before,
because the internal organs will have already started to decompose. Observe the dead
sheep/goat, if there are any dark bloody discharges from the mouth, nose or anus, then do
not open it, as it may have died of anthrax. It is a very dangerous disease. If the body is
opened, the whole surrounding area may become contaminated. Touch the body to check
for any gas under the skin. Does it crackle under the skin? If yes, it might be clostridial
infection such as malignant oedema. Check the body for any external abnormalities.
Check for ticks. How severe is the infestation? Take samples of ticks. Check all legs for
foot rot and wounds). Never perform a post-mortem near any water supply or close to
grazing areas because of risks of contamination. Dig a small ditch beside the carcass, into
which organs and fluids can be placed.
Ideally, post-mortem examination should be carried out wearing rubber gloves or thin
plastic bags can be used to cover your hands. If not available, check your hands for any
cuts or bruises. If you have any cuts, do not perform a post-mortem. Get someone else to
open the carcass and examine the organs while you watch.
Obtain a detailed case history from the owner/attendant of the animal. This combined
with an examination of the outside of the carcass, will direct your attention to the organs
most likely to be involved in this case. There should be someone to record the findings of
the post-mortem as you describe them.
Lay the body on its back or side and cut the skin in a line along the center of the abdomen
and chest. Remove the reproductive organs (testicles or udder). Pull the skin back. Bend
back top foreleg and hindleg. Open the body by cutting the ribs along the line of the back
bone and cutting the ribs along the chest and removing the rib cage. Tip the body up and
look at the fluids. Are they bloody or yellowish? Do there seem to be a lot of fluids? If
yes, suspect enterotoxaemia. Remove the whole digestive tract without opening it, by
tying both the top and bottom ends of the tract with string or tie the intestine in a knot.
Keep the tract for examination later on including liver and spleen. Check the heart for
fluids inside the outer membrane of the heart. If there are lots of fluids then heart water
might be the cause of death. Cut the top of the trachea and remove it with the lungs and
keep them for later. Look for the kidneys, which will be in some fat at the back of the
abdominal cavity. Extract them from the fat, remove and keep them. Check the bladder.
Open and observe the colour and quantity of urine. Check inside the bladder for any
haemorrhage, dots of blood or lines of blood. If yes, suspect poisoning. Look for spleen
attached to the rumen close to the liver. Check the length and edge of the spleen. Is sharp
or blunt? A normal spleen is firm, with sharp edges. Feel the consistency. If the spleen is
enlarged and soft with a blunt edge, then the cause of death possibly is anaplasmosis. If
the spleen is very swollen, suspect trypanosomiasis.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Check the liver for size and consistency: hard, springy like dough or fragile. Cut across
the length in 2 to 3 places and press. If liver flukes are present, dark-coloured flukes will
pop out. Run a knife blade on the surface of the liver to feel for any spots of dead
(necrosed) tissue. If there are greyish/yellow areas, these may be the migratory tracts of
liver fluke. If the liver and spleen are very enlarged and if the gall bladder is distended
with thick dark green bile, then suspect babesiosis. If it is a kid and the liver is pale and
yellow with grey patches, or if it is an adult and the liver is red/brown with dead patches,
then suspect Rift valley fever (prevalent in certain African countries). To confirm, check
intestines for haemorrhages. It is a dangerous disease and can infect people. Examine the
lungs for consistency. Palpate each lung for hardness, nodules and cysts. Open the
trachea and continue cutting into the lung. Check for foam, worms and blood. Adult
worms in the bronchi indicate lungworms. Cut a small piece of lung and put it in a cup of
water. If the lung is normal, it will float; if diseased, it will usually sink. Cut across the
length of the lung, press and see if there is any foam. If there is much straw-coloured
fluid, then suspect contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP). If there is clear fluid
and the lower part of the lung is red/purple, then suspect pasteurellosis.
Examine the kidneys: The kidney will normally start to putrefy 12 to 24 hours after death.
However, if the kidney putrefies within six hours after death, suspect enterotoxaemia
(pulpy kidney). Next check the digestive tract. First observe the whole tract for any dark
Small Intestine: If there is a dark patch, open in that area. If it appears normal, open
randomly. Cut open and remove the contents into a container. Cut along the length and
check for any attached worms. Check the inside wall for any blood lines. If they are
present, suspect enterotoxaemia. Check the contents for any worms. In some cases worms
may not be seen with naked eye. Watch for a wave-like motion in the contents of the
small intestines, indicating the presence of parasites. If the contents of the small
intestines, indicate the presence of parasites and the contents are bloody and nodules are
present on the intestinal surface, suspect coccidiosis.
Large Intestine: If the large intestine is filled with liquid faeces and there was evidence
of severe dehydration, suspect colibacillosis. If there are obvious haemorrhages,
particularly in the caecum and colon and enlarged internal lymph nodes, then suspect
Nairobi sheep disease.
Rumen: Cut the rumen along its greatest curve. Remove the contents. Look for worms
attached to the wall (small red oval-shaped worms when full of blood). They indicate
Paramphistomum and are not important. Check the inside wall; if it rubs off easily, then
acidosis might be the cause of death. Check contents for foreign materials (plastic bags,
metal objects etc.); for smell (a bear-like fermenting smell indicates acidosis); for
appearance (if frothy, suspect bloat). Check the contents of the reticulum for foreign
material such as nails, wires etc. Also check the contents of the omasum for foreign
Abomasum: Put contents into a container and wash the flaps of the wall into the
container. Look at the wall for blood spots, blood lines or blood. Look for small white
worms with a red spiral pattern attached to the wall. These are probably Haemonchus
contortus. If you can see many worms, then there is a major worm problem.
After the post-mortem, the body should not be eaten, but ideally should be deeply buried
or burned.
Q.     Write a very brief note on taking samples during a post-mortem.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

If you have access to a good animal diagnostic laboratory; any organ found not to be
normal, should be preserved as a sample. It should be properly sealed and labeled. When
taking samples, always take samples of both the affected part and a normal part of the
organ. Samples should be preserved in 5% formalin or frozen. If this is not possible, they
can be preserved in a strong saline solution. They should reach a laboratory within 12
hours. Along with a copy of the post-mortem examination record be sent to the
laboratory. These should either be dispatched in a container with a fixative such as 10%
formalin, or should first be preserved for two days. Pieces of tissue should be cut to 10 to
15 mm size to allow proper penetration of fixative. For toxicological examination the
contents of the stomach and intestines and portions of liver and kidneys may be sent
without delay, each in separate containers.
Q.      What types of samples need to be dispatched for laboratory tests to have the
        disease diagnosed?
In such cases it is advisable to: contact the laboratory before samples are dispatched or
have a constant liaison with the lab.; know what kind of tests are routinely performed at
the lab.; send the samples without delay; and send brief details of the case as well as of
the samples. The following types of samples may be dispatched.
   •        Whole blood mixed with an anticoagulant such as EDTA (1 to 10 mg/ml),
            heparin (0.1 to 0.2 mg/ml), sodium citrate (2 to 4 mg per ml) or potassium
            oxalate (2 mg/ml).
   •        Whole blood in glucose broth for bacteriological examination.
   •        Blood smears on microscopic slides fixed in alcohol.
   •        Serum or plasma for biochemical estimations and serological tests.
   •        Urine should be dispatched without adding preservatives.
   •        Other body fluids including cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid and fluid from
            thoracic and abdominal cavities should be collected aseptically and dispatched
            in sterile bottles with preservative.
   •        Faeces may be dispatched in plastic or metallic containers.
   •        Skin scrapings may be sent in sealed tubes or small bottles without
   •        Samples for bacteriological examination including body fluids, pus, faeces,
            tissues and swabs may be dispatched, preferably with enrichment medium.
   •        Tissue samples from live or dead animals may be sent for histological
            examination. The sample should include normal as well as diseased tissue.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      What proportion of total area of Pakistan is rangeland?
Of 79.61 million hectares area of Pakistan, 57.09 million hectares constitute rangeland
area. The Balochistan province has the largest proportion, being 32.43 m hectares, while
the NWFP has the smallest. The provinces of Punjab (9.70 m hectares) and Sindh (9.28 m
hectares) have almost the same magnitude of rangeland.
Q.      What type of lands have been termed as rangelands?
Under the conditions of this country, rangelands include all categories of land that are not
under forest or cultivation, especially those that sustain grazing or browsing of animals.
However, wastelands characterized by precipitation too low or too erratic to support
forestry or permanent cultivation are also included. Of course, a considerable area
classified as rangeland is not fit for grazing because it includes mountain peaks, steep
rocks, shifting sand dunes, marshes and swamps e.g. of the 31.6 m hectares of rangelands
in Quetta, Kalat and Makran division of Balochistan, only 12.1 m hectares are fit for
Q.      Discuss the general importance of rangelands.
Range areas are used mostly by pastoralists since livestock grazing is the biggest land use
in the country. These areas not only yield forage for grazing but often fuel, some building
material, medicinal and food plants as well. They serve as a production base for
livestock, which yield meat and milk for human consumption and products such as hides,
skins, wool, hair, bones and manure. In addition, rangelands in the mountains and
plateaus of the western and north-western parts of the country are also watersheds for a
number of big dams and reservoirs in the Indus basin. Properly managed and vegetated
rangelands help in checking soil erosion and production of good quality water from these
watersheds. Rangelands also support a large population of the remaining stock of
wildlife, which are a genetic resource, a potential source of additional animal protein and,
in some areas, a tourist attraction worth millions of rupees per annum.
Q.      Write a note on the contribution of rangelands to sheep and goat production.
Estimated sheep and goat population of Pakistan is over 75m in 2002. Rangelands in the
country hardly provide 50 % of the total feed requirement for sheep and goats. Overall
these areas provide 13 % of the total feed consumed by animals as indicated by the
FAO/IBRD (1974) livestock survey. Based on the estimated population of sheep as given
above, the requirements of total digestible nutrients (TDN) were 4.98 million tons, of
which 1.68 million tons were being provided by rangelands. The TDN requirements for
goats were assessed as 7.8 million tons, whereas only 1.91 million tons were being met
from rangelands.
At 60 % utilization rate, the current annual forage production from rangelands is about
15.30 million tons of dry matter, TDN 7.65 million tons and DP (digestible protein) 0.69
million tons.

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      Discuss the forage production from rangelands of the country.
No reliable data in this respect are available. Estimates given by various authors/workers
are not consistent.
About 85 % of rangelands in Pakistan are in semi-arid or arid regions, receiving less than
300 mm rainfall annually. Because of heavy overgrazing and misuse in the past, these
rangelands are producing at only 50 % of their production capacity and in some areas
even less than that. The production of DM and TDN per hectare of range area varies
between the following limits:

        Annual rainfall            DM                   TDN
        (mm)                       (kg/ha)              (kg/ha)
        125-200                      90                  36
        225-300                     225                  90
        325-400                     561                 225
        425-60                      898                 359
        >600                       1348                 539

The carrying capacity of rangelands in Pakistan has been estimated to be 4.306 million
animal units (AU), based on one unit being equivalent to the feed requirement of a
mature cow and a suckling calf:

       i)      48.19 million ha of range area at   = 2.974 million AU
               an average of 16.19 ha/AU/year
       ii)     8.90 million ha at an average       = 1.332 million AU
               of 6.681 ha/AU/year
                                             Total = 4.306 million AU

The total number of AU actually feeding on rangeland is much more than the carrying
capacity. Most probably the rangelands are presently stocked with thrice the number of
animals that they can support, because the grazing animals are not evenly distributed over
the entire area. There are vast areas, which are not grazed due to being inaccessible, lack
of water, extreme climate and similar other reasons.
Q.      Give estimates of forage production per hectare for rangelands in Pakistan.
Generally, ranges in Pakistan are in fair to very poor condition, although there are a few
exceptions. The results of a few limited studies on forage production in some range types
are reported in Table 13.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Table 13.     Estimates of forage production for Pakistan rangelands

 Rangeland type                               Place            Air-dry weight
 Tropical plains (sandy)                        Cholistan            168
 South-western rangelands                       Quetta, Kalat         20
 Tropical maritime                              Kohistan             176
 Tropical plains (non-sandy)                    DG Khan              193
 Semi-arid/subtropical (subhumid)               Pothowar             112
Q.      How to choose a range supplement?
There is no one best and most practical range supplement for any or all conditions. Many
different feeds may be, and are, used; among them, i) ranch or locally produced hay, ii)
possibly alfalfa pellets or cubes, and iii) protein blocks. Sheep/goats on range grass may
be supplemented according to the formula given in Table 14. Of course, the supplements
in Table 14 may be modified in keeping with availability and cost of feeds, and yet meet
known deficiencies. For example, if phosphorus is the only deficiency, it may be
corrected by feeding a phosphorus supplement free-choice.

Table 14.       Formula for range sheep/goats supplement
 Feed                                Recommended level of protein (%)
                                     High              Medium         Low
  Cottonseed meal, 41%               62.5              32.0           0
  Soybean meal, 41%                  10.0              10.0           0
  Barley, 41%                         0.0              33.0           67.0
  Corn                                5.0              10.0           15.0
  Alfalfa meal, minimum 17%          12.5                6.0            5.0
  Molasses                            5.0                5.0          10.0
  Dicalcium phosphate                 4.0                3.0            2.0
  Salt                                1.0                1.0            1.0
                                     100.0             100.0          100.0
  Composition                        Moisture free     M.F            M.F.
  Crude protein (%)                  36.5              26.4           12.0
  Digestible protein (%)             29.6              21.4             9.1
  M. Energy (Mcal/lb)                 1.1                1.2            1.4
  Phosphorus (%)                      1.7                1.3            0.8
  Carotene (mg/lb)                   10.0                5.0            4.1
  Rate of feeding (lb/day)           0.25-0.5          0.25-0.5       0.25-0.5
Source:         Ensminger and Parker (1986).
In choosing a supplement for range sheep/goats, the following requisites need to be met:
i)      It should supply all the nutrients needed that are missing in the forage. This
necessitates the following three steps:
    a)      Determining the approximate composition of the grazing animal’s diet.
    b)      Determining the nutritive requirements of sheep/goats by consulting the
            nutritive requirement tables.
    c)      Computing the deficiencies (subtract a from b above).

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ii)     It should be fed in such a way that each animal has access to it.
iii)    It should be fed in a form that is convenient and practical from the standpoint of
        the feeder.
Q.      How to determine the rate and time of supplemental feeding of sheep/goats
        on ranges? Discuss briefly.
The rate and time of supplemental feeding is determined by the reason for feeding
supplements. These are fed for two primary purposes: i) to balance diets by adding small
quantities of a nutrient such as protein, a mineral, or a vitamin and ii) to provide nutrients
during short-term emergencies, for example during long rainy spells or at certain hilly
places when forage is covered with snow.
Successful managers develop grazing plans that minimize the need for supplements yet
provide the proper supplement at the proper time and in proper amounts. The normal
range of supplementation for sheep/goats is 110 to 225 g per head per day. Rates above
225 g approach a level that will result in reduced intake of range forage. However, when
range forage is so short as to require supplementation in excess of 225 g/head/day,
consideration should be given to moving the animal either into a drylot or to a better
grazing area.
Q.      What animal species other than sheep and goats can thrive on rangelands?
Farm animals such as cattle, camels, horses and donkeys can be considered as range
animals although they are not as important range animals as sheep and goats are. Dairy
goats should certainly perform better when stall fed. However, except by individual
owners who raise dairy goats for domestic use of their milk, the rest of the milch goats
are treated just as other mutton animals. Beef cattle especially thrive much better on
rangeland since stall feeding will make beef production an uneconomical enterprise. In
addition, several wildlife species make their living from rangelands. The following is the
percentage of farm animal populations grazing on rangelands:
Cattle 5, camels 40, sheep 60, goats 60, horses 20 and donkeys 40.
Q.      What is meant by grazing systems?
A grazing system is the realization of principles of vegetation management through
planned utilization of vegetation by livestock for the benefit of both vegetation and
livestock. A number of grazing systems are in use. Each one has its advantages and
disadvantages; none is perfect. However, success of a system depends on many factors
such as climate and physiography of the area, type and condition of vegetation, grazing
pressure and kind of animals. A guiding rule in this respect is that “the number of animals
that can be allowed to graze on one square km area is the maximum number that land will
support during a poor season”.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      Give a list of various grazing systems employed for proper vegetation
        management and briefly describe any two of these.
Unplanned grazing has evident damaging effects on range vegetation as well as range
livestock. To get rid of these damaging effects, a number of planned grazing systems
have been evolved over the years. Main objectives of these systems are: i) to provide a
period of rest to the vegetation to restore its vigour, ii) to allow seed production, iii) to
attain uniform utilization and iv) to have more productive range sheep and goats.
Namely, various grazing systems are:

     i)     Continuous grazing system
     ii)    Rotational grazing system
     iii)   Deferred grazing systems
     iv)    Rest grazing systems
     v)     Best block grazing system

Two grazing systems are briefly described below.

Rotational Grazing System: This system is based on rotation of grazing period over the
entire range area, which is divided into a number of units/blocks. The animals are
allowed to graze in one unit for some specified period. They are then shifted to the next
unit/block for the next similar period and so on. Vegetation of each unit gets a period of
rest throughout the year except during the specified grazing period. The periods of
grazing and rest are fixed for each unit. The vegetation of some units/blocks may have a
more favourable period of rest than of others. The system is more useful in areas where
climate is favourable for plant growth as well as for grazing during most of the year.
This grazing system promotes forage vigour by avoiding repeated and continuous grazing
of one block year after year. It provides rest for recovery and promotes uniform grazing.
Also, it lends more control on vegetation composition. However, it is expensive due to
high cost of fencing and water development and is profitable only on rather good
Best block Grazing System: Under this system grazing is always allowed in the best unit
till 50 % utilization of vegetation is achieved. This is followed by the next best unit and
so on. This system is an improved version of natural system of grazing where, however,
condition of 50 % utilization does not exist; livestock generally vacate an area and get on
to the next best after having consumed well over 50 % of the available forage. It is a
system more workable for vast dry areas. It appears to have some similarity to nomadic
Q.      Discuss briefly the deferred grazing system.
This system involves the following two types:
i)      Deferred Continuous Grazing System: According to this system the entire
range is opened to grazing throughout the grazing season. The condition of range
vegetation is continuously kept under observation. Wherever, the vegetation appears poor
and thin, that area is protected from grazing till seed setting is over. Grazing is generally
delayed for 2 to 3 consecutive years in order to ensure establishment of vegetation
through natural reseeding.

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ii)      Deferred Rotational Grazing System: This system has the flexibility of shifting
the grazing period of any unit which is in need of protection for reseeding, till seed
setting/seed maturity is over. Grazing is delayed in any particular unit for 1 to 3
consecutive years so that newly reseeded plants are able to get deep and extensive root
system established.
Q.       Discuss the merits and demerits of both types of deferred grazing systems.
Merits: These promote forage vigour by avoiding repeated grazing of one unit/block at
early growing season year after year. These promote natural reseeding in each block by
delaying grazing until after seed production. Deferred rotational grazing (DRG) promotes
uniform utilization. Unpalatable species are also consumed. DRG permits more control
on vegetation composition. Also, natural reseeding is promoted in each block turn by
turn. Winter gazing is provided under both types of deferred grazing systems.
Demerits: Quality of forage is deteriorated in deferred units. These are not suitable for a
mixture of grasses and low growing legumes since the latter are suppressed. DRG is
expensive due to high cost of fencing, salt provision and water development. It is a
complex system and requires sound knowledge of plant and animal ecology. It is more
suitable for more productive rangelands.
Q.       Tabulate below animal units that can be used for interconversion into
         equivalents of various farm animal species.
         Cow             1.0 animal unit             Mule           1.0 animal unit
         Buffalo                1.5 animal unit              Sheep          0.2     animal
         Yearling        0.6 animal unit             Goat           0.3 animal unit
         Camel           1.7 animal unit             Horse          1.3 animal unit
         Bull            1.5 animal unit             Donkey                 0.6     animal
Q.       Give a list of indigenous and exotic grasses that have been reported to
         perform well in various range ecological zones of Pakistan.
Agropyron cristatum (crested wheatgrass), Bothriochloa pertusa or Hurricane grass
(palwan), Cenchrus ciliaris (dhaman or buffelgrass), Chloris gayana (rhodesgrass),
Cynodon dactylon (khabbal, bermudagrass), Dichanthium annulatum (hindigrass,
Delhigrass or murgha), Elymus junceus (Russian wildrye), Lolium multiflorum (Italian
ryegrass), Lolium perenne (English ryegrass, perennial ryegrass), Panicum antidotale
(bluepanic) and Pennisetum purpureum (elephantgrass or napiergrass) (Bajra-napier
Q.       Give a list of indigenous and exotic fodder trees and shrubs that have shown
         promising results in various range areas of Pakistan.
Acacia modesta (phulai), Acacia nilotica (babul, kikar), Acacia senegal (khor), Acacia
tortilis (Jangli babul), Artocarpus integrifolia (kathal), Bauhinia variegata (kachnar),
Celtis australis (tagho, kharik) Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive), Ficus religiosa
(pippal), Grewia optiva (grewia, dhaman, bihul), Leucaena leucocephala (ipil-ipil),
Morus alba (mulberry, tut), Oleaferruginea (kau), Populus spp. (poplar), Prosopis
juliflora (Mesquite), Prosopis cineraria (jand, kandi), Quercus leucotrichophora
(banoak), Robinia pseudoacacia (ain-ul-asal, black locust), Salvadora oleoides (Wan,
piloo), Sesbania sesban (sesban, jantar), Tamarix aphylla (frash, ghaz), and Zizyphus
mauritiana (ber).

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       Give a list of forage legumes commonly used for feeding of livestock.
Medicago sativa (Lucerne, alfalfa, queen of forages), Trifolium pratense (red clover),
Trifolium repens (white clover) and Vicia sativa.
Q.       Discuss the grazing systems in the northern mountains.
Three major grazing systems are practised here that are of course not consistent with
scientific concept of use i.e. according to the potential of range. Nomadic grazing of
livestock is dictated by seasonal climatic conditions and seasonal forage availability.
Nomadic flocks of sheep and goats start ascending during March along metalled roads in
the Kaghan, Indus Kohistan and Neelam valleys. They spend April in subtropical and
temperate forest grazing areas below 2000 m. Regrowth in Alpine pastures occurs in May
soon after the snow melts. In alpine scrub forests sufficient browse from shrubs is
available. The alpine vegetation growth in June can support livestock. The latter remain
in this area till early October when low temperatures retard plant growth. The flocks then
start descending towards plains or low valleys. October and early November are spent in
the forest areas between 2000 and 3000 m. During winter, livestock remain in Pothowar
scrub ranges, on ‘Shamlats’, abandoned cultivated lands or in areas along water channels,
roadsides, grazing grounds and agricultural fields having stubbles.
The herders pay nominal grazing fee of Rs. 5.00 to Rs. 7.00 per sheep/goat for the season
to the Syed families of Kaghan or the Khans of Indus Kohistan who control the use of
alpine pastures. In addition, a yearling (sheep/goat) is offered for every 100 ewes/does as
payment in kind. The provincial Forest Department also charges a nominal fee for
livestock grazing in the forest areas. This, however, is done without taking into account
the condition of range vegetation. Thus, overstocking has seriously damaged the range
Semi-Nomadic Grazing: This involves the movements of sheep and goats from
settlements within conifer forests to the alpine pastures. For example, the animals from
Gujal villages in upper Hunza migrate to the Khunjerab alpine pastures. This type of
grazing is common in Northern Areas and in Chitral alpine pastures. Women look after
the flocks and spend the summer in the alpine areas. Men maintain food supplies by
travelling back and forth. Winter season is spent around permanent settlements.
Local Grazing: Sheep and goats graze between cultivated lands or in adjoining forests
throughout the year. ‘Shamlats’ or communal ownership areas are heavily overgrazed.
Q.       Write a note on grazing patterns in the desert ranges.
Sheep and goat grazing practices in Thal, Cholistan, Kohistan and Tharparkar desert
areas are not much different. Private flocks are allowed to graze state-owned rangelands
in exchange of nominal grazing fees. The breeders who migrate from Kohistan and Thar
purchase acacia trees and feed their flocks on the leaves and pods. This also is practised
in Thal. In Kohistan and Thar, grazing in cotton fields is also sold after picking is over.
Prices are negotiable. About 95 % of the Cholistani breeders constitute the second group
of migrants. In some cases grazing is free in lieu of the manure, which the flocks deposit
in the fields during the night. In others payment in cash or kind is made. Obviously, such
nominal grazing fees encourage overgrazing resulting in deterioration of the range. A
lack of adequate stock water leads the sheep and goats to concentrate around rainfed
water ponds, thus further discouraging uniform utilization of ranges.
During the winter or droughts, small ruminants as well as other livestock move to
irrigated areas but these areas also lack adequate feed. Most of the camel population stays

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

in the desert and obtain water by feeding on succulent shrubs. Greater Cholistan has
better grazing grounds but a lack of watering points and inadequate communication,
results in improper utilization. The Tharparkar and Kohistan ranges are grazed by sheep
and goats as well as cattle and camels. Most of the population is migratory. In the early
winter, people leave their villages in search of better grazing and migrate into irrigated
areas. In the early monsoon season when forage is abundant, they return to villages and
leave their animals to graze during July-November.
Q.       Describe the grazing patterns in Balochistan and Sulaiman mountain ranges.
The south-western desert ranges are grazed by local livestock including small ruminants.
These animals move within the valleys. The central and northern parts of Balochistan
have a centuries-old system of nomadic grazing with the following three components:
    i)      Spring summer nomadic transhumance,
    ii)     Winter nomadic transhumance and
    iii)    Year-round sedentary nomadic grazing.
Spring-Summer Nomadic Transhumance: In this pattern, 56 % of the sheep, 63 % of
the goats, 70 % of the camel population, a few cattle and 70 % of total households
migrate between the highlands and the lowlands (Sibi and Kachhi plains⎯the winter
grazing ground). In winter, the livestock move to the irrigated Sibi and Kachhi plains
where they stay for about 4 to 6 months, depending upon the rainfall in the highland
region, which governs their return. Sorghum is the main crop in the Sibi and Kachhi
plains. The stock owners rent land under this crop. Most of the grain, the stem and
stubble are used to feed the migrant livestock.
With the beginning of the spring (in March), the livestock return to the highland areas
where they move about for 6 to 8 months (March-October) on rangelands. Livestock are
moved by trucks or on hoof through Bolan pass.
Winter Nomadic Transhumance: In this pattern, 20 % of the sheep, 10 % of the goats
and a few camels of the ‘Pawindas’ come from Afghanistan at the start of winter in
October. The number of animals, however, fluctuates every year, depending on the
rainfall. Scarcity of forage during winter coupled with low temperatures force them to
leave their country in search of forage. They stay in the area for nearly 4 months and go
back on the onset of spring in March. During their stay in the area, they mainly depend
on tree leaves, stubbles, roughages from fruits and vegetables and partly on range forage.
The ‘Pawindas’ stop only where there is a spring or some other source of water.
Sedentary Nomadic Grazing: In this pattern, 24 % of the sheep and 27 % of the goats
remain in the area throughout the year. They depend either on forage from the ranges or
from the cropland. In winter, they receive silage made from wheat, barley, lucerne and
Alhagi camelorum.
Because of disturbances in Afghanistan, ‘Pawindas’ do not return to their homeland even
in summer months, thus increasing the grazing pressure on summer highland ranges,
causing rangeland to deteriorate. Several protected forests in Balochsistan have
disappeared due to illegal cutting of trees and shrubs and grazing by Afghan refugees and
‘Pawindas’. The grazing patterns in Sulaiman mountains are similar to those in
Balochistan ranges.
Q.       What is meant by transhument system of grazing?
This means alternative pastures, which indicates that in some sheep/goat producing areas,
prevalent conditions compel owners of animals to move away from the home locality for

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

a time. Seldom do total populations migrate from a certain area in one season however.
For example, in the Hazara division of NWFP, the regular movement of flocks to
highland pastures has been observed in spring each year and then their return to the plains
of Attock, Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Gujrat districts in autumn. This movement included
not just flocks and their shepherds but also families, children and even poultry. Being
comparatively less cold they graze their flocks in the valleys during winter and move to
the upper hill pastures at the onset of spring. The flocks and families return to the valleys
by the end of autumn by which time pastures are exhausted. Similar exercise is also
undertaken by owners of Cholistan flocks and most of the Balochistan flocks.
Q.      How do ranges differ from cultivated pastures?
From the standpoint of vegetation and utilization by livestock, ranges differ from
cultivated pastures as follows:
i)      They are less productive: Generally, their productive capacity is low since they
are largely made up of the residue remaining after the usable agricultural lands have been
taken up. Also, plant growth on rangelands frequently is limited by low and
undependable rainfall, short growing seasons, shallow or rocky soil, alkali or salt
accumulations, steep topography etc. Under such conditions, forage plants are usually
resistant to grazing damage.
ii)     They progress more to less palatable plants: Range vegetation consists of a
mixture of native and introduced plants, varying in palatability, nutritive value and
productive ability. Grazing animals select the most palatable plants first. Thus, unless
careful management is practised, the best plants are crowded out through grazing injuries
and competition from ungrazed low-value plants. Continued poor management can result
in good forage plants being almost completely replaced by low value, annual, weedy or
shrubby vegetation, or left denuded and subject to severe erosion.
iii)    When depleted, they are more difficult to restore: Once a range becomes
depleted, it is a slow process to rebuilding it. Plough and drilling are impracticable on
most rangelands; thus, very often the only feasible way of restoring a range to good
condition is to stock it conservatively and manage it well.
iv)     They often serve multiple uses: In addition to grazing, rangelands often have
other uses e.g. water production, timber production, mineral production, wildlife
production and recreation (camping, hiking, picnicking).
Q.      What features of sheep/goats can help them to thrive well on ranges?
Over the decades, hardy migratory flocks have developed in range areas of the country.
The two requisites of prime importance possessed by the range sheep/goats are a
gregarious (or flocking) instinct and a rugged constitution. A large and variable area of
Pakistan is embraced by rangelands, thus making for differences in adaptation within its
boundaries. These differences are primarily due to vegetative variations that result from
differences in moisture, soil and altitude.
Q.      Give the merits of fenced ranges.
i) It is claimed that less labour is required. ii) It is said that over a period of year, the
fences cost less than herders. iii) The carrying capacity of the range is increased. iv) The
fences afford some protection against predatory animals. v) The sheep/goats thrive better
because they can scatter out more in grazing and they are not required to walk long
distances in bedding down, in securing water and in keeping them from other flocks.
Q.      What do you think is the proper size of range sheep/goat flocks?

PART- III                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

In general, the size of a flock (band) is determined by the number of sheep/goats that can
be efficiently handled by one person. This, however, will vary according to (i) the season
of the year, (ii) the topography of the country, (iii) type of vegetation and (iv) the
condition of ewes/does, whether they are dry, lambing/kidding, or suckling. The flocks
may be large when on the winter range than at other seasons; large when in a lush-plains-
type country than in a broken or mountainous country or where the vegetation is sparse;
and large when the band is composed of dry ewes/does than when lambing/kidding-out or
It is worth while to mention that the care given by the herder greatly affects (i) the
quantity and quality of lambs/kids and wool produced, (ii) the losses suffered from
accidents, predatory animals and disease and (iii) to some extent, the status of the range
vegetation. Range flocks, under the existing conditions, may vary between 200 to 300
head of sheep and/or goats.
Q.      Discuss the duties of skillful shepherds (herders) on ranges.
Their day begins as soon as sheep/goats leave the bed ground. They need to keep a sharp
lookout for predatory animals and guiding their flocks in the proper direction where they
are to feed and rest for the day. After 3 to 4 hours morning grazing, the flocks may shade
up during the heat of the day. The animals resume foraging about mid-afternoon and will
graze till about sunset. The herders prevent their animals from mixing with other flocks
and from straying or trespassing. They have to encourage open grazing and use dogs a
very minimum. They are required to change bedding and feeding grounds frequently to
obtain fatter sheep/goats and more wool. Select the bedding ground for the night at a
suitable time during the day; about ¼ of an hectare in size, relatively open and fairly
high. The selected bedding area be away from a ravine or canal to avoid damages to any
wandering animals.
As the animals settle down at the bed ground, the herders should determine if their flocks
are intact. The general contentment and appearance of the flocks and the presence of
certain easily recognized, odd-looking individuals known as markers, counters, or
spotters in the flock indicates that the flock is intact. At night, if the herders find that one
or two of the markers are missing, they may well conclude that several sheep have
strayed for which a diligent search should be made to bring them back into the fold. The
herders must watch over their flocks by night.
Good herders keep to a minimum the losses from poisonous plants. Grazing in areas
heavily infested with poisonous plants must be avoided. Avoid long drives followed by
rapid filling in areas where poisonous plants are present. Herders must also know the
location of water and see that flocks get water at such interval as necessary. In cool
weather and when sheep/goats are grazing succulent forage, water on every other day
may be sufficient. However, when it is hot and the forage is dry, flocks will thrive best if
watered daily. Herders must also provide their bands with an adequate supply of salt.
When the feed is green and succulent, more salt is required than when the forage is dry.
Little or no salt is required in areas where the soils are alkaline.
The welfare of the flocks and the profit derived therefrom are greatly dependent upon the
skill and diligence of herders. Thus, many stockmen believe it would pay owners to place
their herders (shepherds) on an incentive basis, giving them a bonus for lamb/kid and
wool production above and over a pre-estimated average.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      Devise a calendar of important operations concerning care and management
        of sheep/goats on ranges.
Much of the diversity that exists between range sheep/goat production and farm
sheep/goat production, arises from differences in severity of weather (winter), in fenced
versus open ranges, in availability of seasonal ranges and in the relative emphasis on
meat and wool production. Despite variations in management and timing caused by
differences in environment and/or objectives, however, sheep/goats remain the same
physiologically. This means that the basic principles of breeding, feeding, health, disease
prevention and marketing of animals and wool remain the same regardless of the system
of production.
Q.      How many sheep/goats can be kept per hectare of rangeland?
A number of factors are involved in deciding this question. These include: type of soil
(clay, sand, rock etc.), plant species (grass, weeds, woody plants), rainfall or irrigation,
climate, fertility of soil, lay of land (plane, rolling, steep hills, marsh), whether
lambs/kids or ewes/does with youngones or dry ewes/does and whether pasture can be
Small ruminants do not do as well when pasture is overstocked. The older animals suffer
the most. Their poor teeth make it harder for them to chomp on overgrazed pasture, and
with short grass they obtain less feed per bite. Even the teeth of younger ewes/does suffer
from having to harvest the short grass, for with it they are getting a certain amount of dirt
and sand. Some reports suggest six sheep/goats to an hectare of good pasture, with some
hay and grain in winter and two to three to an hectare of poor pasture, again with
supplemental feed in winter. Thus much depends upon the condition of pasture. It is
advisable to keep too few for the first year and see how they fair. On large farms, it has
been determined that 150 small ruminants will thrive better on twenty hectares provided
there are arrangements for partitioning and rotation.
Q.      What are the benefits of pasture rotation? Describe in detail.
The technique of pasture rotation is simply to divide the pasture into smaller units with
temporary light fencing or electric fence so that each smaller pasture is grazed completely
in 10 to 14 days. The sheep/goats will graze this pasture more evenly and has less
tendency to pick and choose as they would in larger pastures. When the area has been
grazed, the animals are moved to a fresh pasture unit. If you have three or four small
fields, the vegetation will receive several weeks of rest between grazings, which will
allow time for many worm larvae to die of exposure and old age. Alternating
pasture/range gives the plants a chance to recover, and gets more actual growth out of the
same amount of space. Many grasses will not reach their maximum vigour and growth
when more than half of their surface is removed. This weakened grass does not make
efficient use of soil moisture and nutrients and does not provide maximum livestock feed.
Pasture rotation serves to maximize the number of sheep/goats that a given area of forage
will support. An area close to the barn becomes almost nude, whereas the farthest reaches
of the range are undergrazed and thus become overgrown.
Small ruminants by nature would prefer not to feed continually in the same place. They
like a fresh pasture that has not been recently walked on. If with ample vegetation they
seem choosy and walk around with their noses to the grass but not eating as much, it is
time for a pasture change. There they will have fresh grass and thus will eat better.
Because of the added expense and labour, rotation fences are often neglected.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Nevertheless, these have established advantages and should be resorted to. If you rotate
your pastures and prevent excessive overgrazing, this will not only feed your animals, but
will also protect the soil from erosion by wind or water. If you have only sheep, while
rotating pastures, do not let the grass grow too tall before you turn the sheep in, since
they will trample more of the grass and will not eat it as well as they would shorter grass.
Q.      Do sheep and goats make a good combination grazing together?
Yes! they do. Range areas/natural pastures have a variety of vegetation growing there.
While sheep like to eat from 10 to 20 cm from the ground, goats like to eat from about 25
cm to as high as they can reach and are great bush and weed clearers (Figure 24). Sheep
are grazers, while goats are mainly browsers under field and range conditions. Thus you
can run sheep and goats together in a grazing area. Goats can stand on their hind legs for
long periods. They find it difficult to eat directly off the ground, normally bending down
on their knees to do so. They have a very mobile upper lip and tongue, allowing them to
consume leaves between thorns.

Q.      Can leaves of perennial grass be repeatedly removed by animals without
        injuring the plants?
Perennial grass stores food in its roots after it has made the season’s main growth. The
grass uses these reserves to survive while dormant, to make the first spring growth and to
start new growth after its leaves are closely grazed. Its ability to recover quickly after
grazing makes grass valuable for forage production, but it is a sort of self-deception to
think that leaves can be repeatedly removed without injury. If repeatedly done, the plant
keeps drawing on food stored in the roots to grow new leaves until the supply is
exhausted and the grass dies.
Q.      Discuss fencing in relation to raising of small ruminants. Give details.
Very briefly though the importance of fencing the grazing area for purposes of rotation
has already been indicated. No doubt the economic conditions of a very large majority of
small ruminant flock owners of this country do not allow them to undertake such
exercises that involve additional expense. However, it is our considered opinion that an
all round change has become evident. Soon the people would realize that whatever is
utilimately beneficial for them, must some how be adopted.
The life of any fence depends much on how hard the animals worry it and how long the
posts, especially the end posts hold up. They should be massive and solid, for if they start
rotting and the sheep/goats rub on them or put their heads through the fence and strain to
reach greener grass on the other side, that would bring your fence down. The use of steel
posts can save a lot of labour in digging and tamping dirt around posts. It is even more
time and labour saver when you are fencing through a wooded area where there are roots
and stumps. Driving a slender metal post is easier than digging a hole. Galvanized steel
posts have the longest life, followed by posts brush-painted with metallic zinc. Old angle-
iron or T-iron rails often found in a salvage yard, make good posts. Some of these already
have holes in them, if not, you may want to drill some holes to fasten the fence.
Discarded pipe from machine or repair shops is sometimes much cheaper than steel posts.
It should be at least 4 cm in diameter and 7 cm for corner posts. End posts of 10 cm
diameter can be filled with concrete. Cement concrete can be poured around the steel

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      What may be the proper height of the steel posts and the depth of setting
Line posts 2½ meter high are usually set ¾ meter in the ground. End, corner and brace
posts are set one meter deep and gateposts are set 1¼ meter deep. End posts and gateposts
are initially 3 meter high. Mechanical diggers are easier to use than shovels and there is
less earth to put back into the hole. In heavy soil or clay, oil the posthole digger so that
clay does not stick to it. Keep a bucket of waste crankcase oil where you are digging and
dip the digger frequently into it. Posts should be aligned with the rest of the fence posts
while being tamped. A fence is no stronger than its end posts and braces. The brace wire
has its ends spliced together and is tightened by twisting it with a strong stick or rod.
Leave the rod in place so that you can adjust it as necessary.

Q.      Do you think that sheep and goats exhibit similar behaviour when fenced?
In some respects their behaviour has a natural similarity, but experience of goat keepers
clearly indicates that fencing is more difficult with goats than with any other farm animal.
Goats will jump over, crawl under, stand and/or lean against and in any other way they
can think of to circumvent any boundary that is not strictly goat-proof. They can slip
through openings you would not believe, especially the Teddy goats. Thus a fence that
works well with sheep may not be equally good for goats.
As a matter of fact, for homesteaders that are keeping three, four or five sheep or goats,
which are being fed properly in the barn, there is no need for fencing. For them a small,
sunny exercise yard is sufficient.
Q.      What type of wire fencing is more practicable for sheep/goats?
For those who can afford, woven wire fencing is the most practical fence at least for the
bottom half. Stock fence is somewhat less expensive, but fencing any sizeable area means
a large investment. In countries having well developed small ruminant population, stock
fence comes in different weights, styles and heights. All the heights come in a choice of
stays that are either 30 cm or 15 cm. While 15-cm stays will stop more dogs and such
other animals, the sheep do not get their heads stuck in 30-cm stays. Goats with horns,
however, will put their heads through the fence and then be unable to get free. Woven
wire is usually sold in 100-meter rolls, having different weights. The weight depends on
the gauge of the wire. A height of one meter can be handled with ease. Build up above
that with barbed wires. Place the first wire 3 cm above the top of the woven wire. Also,
string barbed wire about 2.5 cm below the bottom of the woven wire, to discourage dogs.
A third wire half-way between the top and bottom of woven wire will help reinforce the
fence by discouraging the sheep from rubbing on it or putting their heads through. Woven
wire can be stretched only from one anchored post to another, not through all the length
at one time.
Q.      Can electric fencing be used with small ruminants?
It is, of course, being used in several western countries as well as in this country.
However, here certain Govt. livestock farms are using electric fencing as a temporary
fence. For this purpose they have portable flexible electric fencing. There are several
types of portable electric fencing. Most are made of polywire, often called electroplastic.
These are light, flexible and carry a charge well. One well known brand of portable fence
is Electronet, made in heights of 22, 33 and 42 inches. Fence experts in New Zealand

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

consider that six wires, with alternative live and earth wires are the most effective for
As of now it appears rather too early to think of the use of electric fencing keeping in
view the disorganized state of sheep and goat raising in this country. If at all some body
comes up to use it, there might be more risks than expected returns. Unless some laws
and regulations are made by the electric power suppliers and L & DD Department and
training courses are arranged in this connection, it is not advisable and most probably not
feasible because of the ever increasing charges of electricity.
No doubt it is the earnest desire of the authors that those involved in sheep/goat raising
should be able to adopt the modern practices so as to enhance productivity of their
animals and as a consequence enhance their profits.

Q.     Define pasture and name its various classes.
The term pasture is of Latin origin, from the word pastus, meaning an area of land on
which there is a growth of forage that animals may graze.
Broadly speaking, pastures may be classified as either i) seeded pastures, or ii) native
pastures. Although no sharp line of demarcation exists between the two groups, seeded
pastures include those, which either receive more than approximately 500 mm of rainfall
annually or are irrigated. The native pastures include those range pastures, which receive
less than 500 mm of rainfall annually. Their vegetative cover, known as native plants,
consists of adapted plants developed by natural selection that have existed in the area for
many years and that were not intentionally introduced. Pastures may be further classified
as i) permanent pastures, ii) semi−permanent or rotation pastures and iii) temporary and
supplemental pastures.
Q.      What are the various classes of pasture plants. Give the definition of each
i) Grass: Botanically, any plant of the family Gramineae. In grassland agriculture, grass
refers to the forage species of Gramineae when either grown alone or with a legume. ii)
Legume: Plants such as alfalfa and the clovers, that obtain nitrogen through bacteria that
live in their roots are known as legumes. The nitrogen fixation aspect of legumes will be
of increasing interest as energy sources become more scarce and costly. iii) Browse: The
edible parts of woody vegetation such as leaves, stems and twigs from bushes. iv) Forbs:
Nongrasslike range herbs which animals eat. Forbs are generally called weeds by western
livestock producers.
Q. Write a detailed note on pasture areas of Pakistan.

Of the total geographic area of Pakistan of about 80 million hectares (ha), nearly 22

million ha is under crop and the balance is pasture (Table 15).

Table 15.      Grazing areas of Pakistan (%)

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 NWF        Punjab      Sindh     Balochista         Azad            Northern

    P                                  n           Kashmir              areas

   84         49          77           98              86                98

Source: Land Utilization Statistics of Pakistan.

Because of the nature of nomadic grazing, it is not possible to isolate pasture types used

in this system from those of the home and transhument grazing systems.

Furthermore, although the respective aims of household and sedentary systems are

fattening and breeding, pastures used by these animals are common to the two systems.

Throughout the four provinces, flocks are taken out in the morning and brought back to

the holdings by sunset. This procedure has long been in existence in canal irrigated and

rain fed areas by landowning and landless breeders of all provinces except the Agencies,

Tribal areas, Malakand, Hazara and part of D.I. Khan divisions of NWFP, Cholistan and

parts of D.G. Khan division of Punjab, Kohistan and Thar tracts of Sindh, Quetta, Sibi

and Kalat divisions of Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas.

Some transhument pastures are available in each province. The word transhument means

alternative pastures, which indicate that in some livestock producing areas conditions

exist which, compel owners of animals to move away from the home locality

temporarily. Seldom do total populations migrate from a district in one season, however.

Breeders from certain areas of NWFP, Punjab and Sindh migrate to cultivated areas in

adjacent districts/divisions, because of lack of grazing and water. In Sindh province with

the onset of feed and water shortages, flocks move from the Thar and Kohistan region to

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

the neighbouring canal-irrigated districts. Flock owners of Balochistan who own land and

produce crops generally do not migrate as they have supplementary feed or grazing for

the winter months. Breeders who do not own land migrate in winter to the warmer

districts of Sibi division to graze stubbles and move back to alpine pastures at the

beginning of summer.

Q.     Give estimates of carrying capacity of various grazing areas in different

       provinces and excluded areas in Pakistan.

In NWFP, in alpine and moist temperate northern hills, Hazara and Malakand division,

Gilgit agency and Northern Areas, the average carrying capacity of a well managed range

is around 5 ha per five sheep.

In subtropical south western hills (D.I. Khan, Kohat and Bannu of well managed areas) is

7 to 10 ha per 5 sheep. In subtropical south eastern plateau (Peshawar, Mardan, upper

Indus plains of D.I. Khan), the carrying capacity under good management is 3 to 5 ha per

five sheep.

The carrying capacity for four identifiable ranges i.e. the Pothowar range (Attock,

Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Pabbi hills of Gujrat, Mianwali and Sarghodha (Salt range), Thal

tract (Part of Mianwali, Muzaffargarh, Sargodha and Jhang districts), Cholistan desert,

Dera Ghazi Khan range (area between Indus river and base of Suleman hills,

respectively) is: well managed areas 2 ha, moderate sites 7 ha and depleted sites 56 ha per

five sheep; 7 ha/five sheep, properly managed and reseeded areas 40 ha per five sheep

and 5 to 7 ha for every five sheep in protected, reseeded and watered areas.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

The province of Balochistan has five extensive range areas. The north western range

(Quetta, Pashin, Loralai and Zhob) has a carrying capacity of about 7 ha per five adult

sheep; the Pat range (Sibi) can carry at the rate of 20 ha/five sheep; the Chaghi−Kharan

range is with a carrying capacity of five sheep/40 ha; carrying capacity varies from 40 to

50 ha/five sheep in the central range (Kalat, northern Mekran and Lasbela), the carrying

capacity is 10 to 15 ha per five sheep. The carrying capacity in Azad Kashmir and

Northern Areas is around 5 ha/five sheep.

Q.     Under the existing conditions how long distances are covered in search of

       feed by sedentary and transhument flocks.

The sedentary flocks grazing road verges, water channels and stubbles after harvest,

cotton crops after picking and acacia leaves cover 5 to 8 km daily. The transhument

flocks cover distances varying from 30 to 300 km both ways. After traversing each 25 to

30 km they halt for a day or two, then they move on. Depending on the length of the

distance and the weather conditions, it might take 40 to 50 days to reach the destination.

Q.     What type of migration hazards are met with both ways while moving the

       flocks long distances?

The most commonly expected hazards are threats to the safety and health of flocks and

families and shortages of food and water. The migrants move in groups of closely related

families and remain vigilant with their watch dogs.

Sporadic cases of theft have been reported. Some mortality is reported from exhaustion,

snake bite, predators and plant poisoning. Occasional cases of abortion, sheep pox,

contagious pustular dermatitis and mange are also reported, along with warble infection

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

in goat flocks, lice and internal worm infestations, haemoglobinuria and some mineral

deficiencies. Belongings are transported on the backs of donkey, horses, mules and even

camels. In some areas losses from predators may rise to 4 to 5%. In case of intense cold

an additional loss of about 10% may occur. Temporary housing facilities exist on summer


Q.     Are there any fees charged for grazing small ruminants on state or private


Grazing charges vary from area to area. At places these are charged in cash while at

others both cash and kind payments are required. Mostly these charges are Rs. 4 to 5 per

adult sheep/goat per season or Rs. 2.00 per month for summer grazing. In addition, in

certain areas a yearling is offered for every 100 ewes/does as payment in kind. In some

cases, around Cholistan grazing is free in lieu of the manure, which the flocks deposit in

the fields during the night. Sometimes the breeders purchase acacia trees and feed their

flocks on the leaves and pods. Grazing in cotton fields is also sold after picking is over.

In Northern Areas the charges for full season are Rs. 2 for small ruminants and Rs. 6 for

large ruminants. However, prices at places are negotiable.

Q.       Discuss the distribution of sheep and ownership patterns in Pakistan.
The Punjab has by far the largest proportion of sheep (48%), followed by Balochistan
(24%), NWFP (16%), Sindh (9%), the Northern Areas (2%) and Azad Kashmir (1%).
Nationally 70% sheep are owned by farm households and 30% by non-farm households.
Regarding the number of sheep 62% belong to farm households, whereas 38% to non-
farm households. Most flocks are mixed with goats, regardless of the nature of the tract
or the use to which they are put. However, flocks of all sheep or all goats are also
common in both the plains and hills. In the mountains, sheep flocks are gradually
replaced by goat flocks as higher altitudes are reached, because of the goat’s ability to
climb and browse on steep slopes. This limitation in sheep is more pronounced in case of
fat-tailed sheep. Fat tail prevents them climbing to difficult heights.
There are nearly 32000 flocks in whole of the country, with 6% in NWFP, 43% in
Punjab, 13% in Sindh, 22% in Balochistan and 16% in Northern Areas and Azad

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Kashmir. Flock size varies widely from less than 5 to over 200. Fifty percent flocks have
one to fifteen sheep, while another 30% have 16 to 75 sheep per flock. The high number
of flocks of over 200 animals and low number of small flocks in Balochistan indicate that
sheep production is the major livelihood for more families in this province than in any
Q.      What production systems are used for raising small ruminants in Pakistan?
In Pakistan, almost all small ruminants are raised under extensive system of production.
High cost of production, illiteracy of sheep and goat farmers and almost non-existent
livestock extension services keep the farmers from adopting the intensive system of small
ruminant production.
Q.      Under extensive production system, what management systems are in vogue

       in the country?

The prevailing management systems in this country are described as nomadic, household
and sedentary and transhument. The frequency of these systems in each province is
presented in Table 16. Nomadic Flocks: According to a rough assessment, the
population of nomads in Pakistan is around 1 million, of which about 15% are herdsmen.
The family size on average is 7.5. The distribution of nomadic sheep for each province is
given in Table 17. Although exact figures regarding goats are not available, the pattern of
their distribution, with minor variations, probably would be the same.
Table 16.        Distribution of production/management systems by province (%)

                   NWFP         Punjab        Sindh      Balochistan     Pakista
 Producti                                                                  n
 Nomadic          50               26            44           73            44
 Household        17               18            12            3            12
 Sedentary         -                9             7            3             6
 Transhument      33               47            37           21            38
Source: Mackintosh (1993).

Table 17.      Nomadic sheep population as percent of population of each province
    NWFP             Punjab            Sindh          Balochistan      Pakistan
      2.5              0.63             2.39              1.45           1.38
Source: Mackintosh (1993).
Household and Sedentary Flocks: Since the management of household and sedentary
flocks is essentially the same, taking them to grazing in the morning and bringing them
back in the evening in the same locality throughout the year, they can be grouped under
one management system. This system covers the sheep population of the area classified
as ‘home pastures’. These flocks are found in settled areas of NWFP, most of the Punjab
except Cholistan and parts of D.G. Khan, Sindh except Thar and Kohistan tracts and
Balochistan except Lasbela district and Mekran division.

PART- III                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Transhument Flocks: This system is prevalent in the Tribal Areas, Agencies, D.I. Khan,
Hazara and Malakand divisions of NWFP, Parts of D.G. Khan and Cholistan in Punjab,
Thar and Kohistan in Sindh, Quetta, Sibi and Kalat divisions of Balochistan and
throughout Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas. In hilly areas of NWFP except D.I. Khan
division, parts of D. G. Khan in Punjab and Balochistan excluding Sibi, flocks move in
during summers and move out with the onset of winter due to shortage of feed and low
environmental temperatures. In D. I. Khan division of NWFP, Cholistan of the Punjab,
Kohistan and Thar of Sindh and Sibi division of Balochistan, migration is partly because
of high temperature and partly due to the shortage of feed and water.
On overall basis, 47% of total sheep population is managed under household and

sedentary system, while 52% is the transhument sheep population and the rest nearly 1%

categorized as nomadic sheep.

Q.      Discuss breeding sheep/goats on the range.

The general principles of breeding sheep/goats as discussed elsewhere in this book are

applicable to the farm and range flocks alike. Thus only those differences peculiar to

range will be discussed herein. The primary requisites of range rams/bucks are that they

be large and have utility value. They should be of acceptable meat conformation, possess

good bone and ruggedness, have a strong constitution and stand on sturdy feet and legs.

Except during breeding season, range rams/bucks are usually kept separate from the rest

of the flock.

Usually the rams/bucks are transported from farm headquarters to the area where ewe/doe

flock happens to be at the time of the desired breeding season. Stud animals on the range

are given supplemental feed during the period immediately preceding and during the

breeding season. The general practice is to arrange at breeding time 3 rams/bucks for

each 100 ewes/does. In determining the proper number of males to use, practical

operators give consideration to the age, vigour, breed and method of handling. Regardless

of the season, it is important that the entire flock be bred in the shortest possible period of

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

time, preferably with the bulk of lambing/kidding to take place within 3 weeks and not

extending beyond the period of 6 weeks. This is advisable because 1) extra labour and

feed must be provided for the lambing/kidding season, and 2) the youngones of a uniform

age can be more easily managed until marketed.

The chief concern is to make certain that water is available and to provide such

supplemental feed as may be necessary. Some sheep/goat raisers provide some sort of

shelter for stormy weather and to protect from scorching sun, but for the most part range

animals secure ample protection through such natural windbreaks as are afforded by the

topography and shrubs except, however, when lambing/kidding is due in severe weather,

shelter should be helpful. Some sort of lambing/kidding shed or tent may be used as a

temporary structure. The common supplemental feeds used on the winter range when

grasses and shrubs are sparse include hay, linseed or maize oil cake. It has been reported

that proper winter-feeding lessens mortality and results in better grown lamb/kid and

wool production. Because of sparse vegetation, the animals travel great distances for

feed. Under these conditions, one to eight hectares are required to maintain one

sheep/goat for the winter months.

The lambing/kidding season on the range is the most important of all operations, largely

determining the profit or loss derived from the enterprise. For success, there must be

large, healthy lamb/kid crop, with ownership by the mothers.

Spring Operations: The spring operations are the most numerous and important of any

season. These include 1) tagging, 2) lambing/kidding, 3) castrating, 4) migrating to the

spring range, 5) shearing of sheep, 6) dipping, utilizing the spring range. Most of these

processes have already been discussed elsewhere in this book.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.     What considerations are important for proper range management?

Good range management may be achieved if an inventory or analysis is made of the

forage resources and all contributory factors. Consideration should be given to proper

stocking rate, and safe degree of use, season of use, kind of livestock, condition and trend

of forage, stability of soil, system of use, improvements needed etc.

Q.     Write a detailed note on stocking rate.

Successful long-term operation of rangeland lies in making; 1) a reliable determination of

the land that is suitable or adaptable to grazing use over a long period of time, 2) a

realistic estimate of grazing capacity of this land, and 3) a flexible stocking rate, followed

by a) application of proper stocking intensity, and b) frequent observations to determine

the effect of stocking rate upon changes in condition of the forage cover. Too light

stocking wastes forage, while too heavy stocking results in a change of forage plant cover

from an abundance of valuable forage plants to an abundance of worthless plants.

Stocking should either be adjusted to forage yield each year, and within season or be set

at constant rate that will assure a sustained yield of most valuable forage plants. Constant

stocking at about 25% below average capacity will usually achieve the later. Animals do

not graze uniformly over a range unit. Certain areas are more attractive to them, while

others may go practically unused. For the purpose of determining grazing capacity, the

key areas⎯those rather extensive parts of the range, which are most heavily

grazed⎯must be given greatest consideration. If preferred or key areas are maintained in

good condition, the whole unit will generally remain in good condition. Conversely, if

key areas are allowed to deteriorate, the grazing capacity of the whole unit will be

endangered. If the best plants are being destroyed and soil movement is observed, the

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

numbers of animals or season of use should be reduced. Conversely, if excessive forage

remains at the end of grazing season, the numbers should be slowly increased until a

balance is struck.

Q.     Discuss season of range use in relation to successful management of a range


A prime requisite of successful management for both sheep and goats is that there be as

nearly year–round grazing as possible and that both the animals and the range thrive.

Some pertinent points in determining the proper season of use of the range follow:

a) Elevation: Generally speaking, vegetative development is delayed 10 to 15 days by
each 305m increase in elevation. Also, severe storms occur frequently at higher altitudes
than at lower locations. b) Availability of water: Certain desert areas are so poorly
watered that only the rainfall makes their use practical. c) Early forage washy: Early
spring forage is extremely washy and may be incapable of supporting stock. Spring
grazing should be delayed until the plants are developed enough to meet the nutritive
needs of animals. d) Poisonous plants: Most poisonous plants are very early growers and
cause the greatest damage when animals start grazing too early. These losses are usually
negligible if sheep/goats are detained until the best forage plants have made suitable
growth. e) Winter range should be saved: if stock are allowed to remain on winter ranges
too long after spring growth begins; the next winter’s feed will be reduced, because the
forage produced on these ranges grows mainly during the spring and early summer.
Q.       Is there any relationship between the type of range and activity of goats?
Yes, there does exist such a relationship since the type of range governs the activity of
goats. For example, goats range on sparsely vegetative grassland and on mountainous
transhumance (seasonal movement) pasture and must travel long distances daily for
grazing and watering, whereas slightly less activity is required by goats that graze semi-
arid rangeland, pasture or slightly hilly land.
Q.       Can we enhance utilization of range vegetation by combining several types of
         livestock for grazing?
Since goats characteristically travel large areas, eating the available browse (shrubs and
woody plants), they have been routinely used to control brush on ranges. Woody plants
can be cut to leave a stump about one meter high and the sprouts will provide additional
feed. In order to maximize the production potential of range areas, producers often place
goats in areas where other types of livestock are being grazed. Goats preferentially
consume a certain amount of browse. Cattle prefer grasses, while sheep readily consume
forbs (weeds) in rangelands. By combining several types of livestock, the producer can
utilize these three types of plants and increase the gain per unit of land as well as manage
the vegetative make-up of the land.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      Are available browse and forages sufficient to satisfy nutritive needs of goats
        that are raised on ranges?
Available forages and browse will satisfy many of the nutritive needs of goats raised on
ranges, but for maximum performance, it is advisable to provide supplemental feed when
range conditions become adverse. Twenty percent protein range blocks/cubes are a
popular supplement. Also, 110 to 450 g of supplement per head per day consisting of
sorghum 82%, cottonseed meal 14%, urea 2%, dicalcium phosphate 2% and vitamin A
supplement to provide 500 IU of vitamin A per kg of feed, is adequate in the winter or
during dry periods when green feed is scarce. This supplement will provide 20 % crude
Q.      Discuss the nutritive requirements of Pak-Angora goat kids being raised on
Pak-Angora goat kids gaining roughly 70 to 100 g daily, having medium activity and
producing nearly 2 kg mohair per year has the following requirements for protein and
                                              Protein                        Energy
                                              (g/day)                        (Mcal
        Maintenance (medium activity)                55                      1.77
        Growth                                       28                      0.88
        Mohair                                 9                    0.07
        Total                                 92                    2.72
Goat producers, should, however, adopt recommendations to fit their particular
Q.      Discuss briefly the feeding of does on range.
On good range in the spring, mature dry does will consume enough feed to satisfy all
their nutrient demands except salt and phosphorus. During lactation, they may need 0.25
to 0.35 kg of a supplement. The total ration, supplement plus range grass, will usually run
about 11 to 12 % protein.
During summer (when there is no rainfall) and early fall, the quality of range feed is
reduced and a higher protein supplement should be provided at the rate of 0.45 kg for
each 10 to 20 does. Some trace minearalised salt may also be included. Immature does
and those not fully developed should be provided 0.45 kg of supplement for each 5 does.
If the range is particularly poor, as usually is the case here, double the amount of
supplement my be given. In late fall and winter, ranges tend to be at their lowest nutritive
value. Poor ranges require supplemental feeding at levels of 0.45 kg for each 3 to 5
mature does and 0.45 kg for each 1 to 3 yearling or underdeveloped does. These
supplements should take care of the needs of late pregnancy and of lactation.
Does with more than two kids should be given 25 to 50 % more of the supplement during
lactation than is recommended for does with singles or twins. Does which have a history
of giving birth to more than one kid should be fed at a high rate of supplementation at
least 3 weeks before expected kidding. Additional supplementation of 110 to 150 g of
grain or range protein blocks/cubes should be fed to does 10 to 15 days prior to turning
the bucks in for the breeding season. This practice (called flushing) improves conception

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

rate by having does in a positive nutrient balance during breeding. When flushing is
practised, feed should be increased gradually and likewise, at the end of the breeding
season, the feed allowance should be reduced gradually so as to avoid upsetting the
animals’ appetite and digestive tract.
Q.      Give concrete suggestions for feeding yearling and replacement does on
Yearling range goats fit into one of the two categories: i) those retained for the breeding
herd, or ii) those, which are being prepared for market. Replacement does and bucks
should be fed rations that allow for growth.
Those which are being prepared for market should be fed so as to put on more flesh, since
goats tend to be leaner than most meat animals. These animals should be given adequate
protein, minerals and vitamin A. Playfulness is a sign of good health and vigour. When
fed properly, they will be large enough to breed at 14 to 15 months age without
interfering with their continued growth to mature size. Angora/Pak-Angora wethers may
be kept for several years for mohair production, hence they are rarely fed for meat
production. Supplemental ration for goats being prepared for market needs to be
increased gradually. If kids are to be marketed at weaning (4 to 5 months age, it is
unnecessary to castrate them. However, if they are retained until yearlings, they may be
castrated at about 9 to 10 months of age.
Both wethers and dry does do well without supplemental feed unless the range is poor.
Wethers can graze higher on brush and more vigorously than does, thus reducing the
available browse for does that have a more critical need for nutrients. On poor range,
supplementation is needed at the rate of 450 g of available grains/commercial feed for
each 5 animals. The amount may be increased during winter. In addition, they should
have access to berseem hay.
Q.      Write a note on free grazing of goats.
Different systems are appropriate in different situations and circumstances. Although a
system that allows goats freedom to browse or graze requires least effort and cost, it is
also the least desirable if improved levels of production are to be achieved. Goats that are
allowed to wander use a lot of energy in finding feed. They will only perform well if
there is a high density of feed. When grazing free, goats as well as sheep are more
vulnerable to predators and this loss may well make even productive system unviable. It
is virtually impossible to operate a controlled or selective breeding if goats wander freely
as females will be accessible to any males that are in the neighbourhood.
Q.      What do you understand by controlled grazing in goats?
Many of the problems mentioned in the note on free grazing are eliminated if the goats
are confined by a fence. However, this is only possible if a good supply of feed is
available either as a sown crop or as carried forage. Also, goats are very good at getting
out of fences and therefore, these have to be of a high standard which may make this
system too expensive. If goats are kept within fences it is important that the land is rested
to break up internal parasite cycles. Ideally, land should be left free of goats or sheep for
one year to remove the risk of reinfection. This may be achieved by alternating with other
crops. (It may be possible to restrict goats access to the sown crops, allowing them onto a
fresh part or strip each day. This is often called strip grazing). This method ensures that
they eat up all or most of the forage material before they move on to the next strip. If
given free access they may well trample down some forage when trying to reach the most

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palatable parts. Goats often refuse to eat trampled material particularly if it has become
soiled. Strip grazing, where the goats are given access to a new strip of feed each day, is
only possible if a good barrier system can be devised. If available, electrified fences are
the best but it may be possible to erect a temporary barrier out of local material such as
thorny bushes.
An alternative would be to divide a grazing area into small paddocks using permanent
fences. Each paddock would be used for just a few days until all forage material is used
and then given rest. All of these controlled situations require quite a high standard of
fencing or barrier and this may be a problem if suitable materials are not available
locally. The expense of fencing may mean that such systems would not be viable even
though an improvement in productivity would almost certainly be the result.
Q.      What are the advantages and disadvantages of zero-grazing system as used
         for milch goats?
With this system the goats are not given any access to growing crops or forage in the feed
at all. They are kept in sheds and/or yards and all feed is carried to them. This system
helps achieve the best control over the goats with respect to what they eat, their breeding,
health and security. However, it does involve a lot more labour and therefore, this system
is only viable if labour is plentiful and inexpensive. A good shed for housing the goats is
required but as long as timber or bamboo is available locally, this should not be too
expensive and if well built should last a long time. If ready-made roofs and beams are
comparatively cheaper, those may be used. With this system the goats may be housed all
the time, they may have access to a yard where they can exercise and be fed or they may
be housed for part of the year such as during monsoon and be taken out to graze freely at
other times. If the cheap labour and a suitable shed is available, the most productive
system is where milch goats are continuously housed or yarded and all feed is brought to
Q.      What is meant by rangeland improvements? Indicate what major kinds of
         improvements need to be effected on rangelands in Pakistan.
Rangeland improvements are man-made changes, which improve and facilitate range
management. The need for range improvements is determined after a careful analysis of
the problems of the range and whether the solutions are economically feasible. Major
kinds of range improvement are:
i) Water development; ii) Grass reseeding (natural and artificial seeding); iii) Planting of
fodder trees and shrubs; iv) Fencing.
Water Development: In addition to meat the requirements of small ruminants for water,
this is an effective tool for ensuring the proper distribution of animals in parts of the
range areas which remain unutilized due to lack of drinking water. Carefully planned
development of watering points is essential since in overgrazed areas they can lead to
further deterioration of the range. Water development must fit into an overall range
management plan.
Springs: Spring development has been successfully carried out in the Maslakh range
area of Balochistan where seeps or small springs have been improved. Water is collected
in a concrete tank and carried through pipes and channels to various points within range
area. This type of water development is common in mountain areas.
Tobas: A toba or dugout is another type of water development in Pakistan in desert
plains, particularly in Cholistan. Tobas depend on rain for water supply and are filled

PART- III                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

from water drained from collecting area. They are dug in a low−lying area. The depth of
a toba should be 3 to 4 meter since water from tobas less than 3 meter is lost quickly
through evaporation. Tobas have sliding sides so that livestock can have access to water.
They need desilting after 3 to 4 years.
Small Dams: Small dams and streams collect and store more water than tobas. A
number of them have been constructed in the hilly and mountainous areas but sometimes
they do not prove successful because of a lack of adequate spillways. They need regular
desilting otherwise their water storage capacity is greatly reduced.
Wells: In most range areas the dependable and common source of livestock water is
wells. Water from the well is drawn manually or by animal power. Wells may be shallow
(4 to 5 meter) along the river beds and channels but in plains some wells are as deep as
50 meter.
Windmills: A few windmills have been installed in the range areas of Balochistan and
Sindh to lift water from open surface wells. However, the problem of lack of mechanical
skills still exists in distant areas.
Grass Reseeding: Emphasis has been placed on improvement of ranges through
artificial reseeding in this country. It has been established that, if at suitable sites the four
principles of using adapted grasses such as eliminating competition, covering seed to the
proper depth and planting and sowing at the accurate time, are observed, reseeding can be
done successfully. Lasiurus sindicus and Cenchrus ciliaris have been successfully used
for reseeding in desert ranges of Thal and to a limited extent in an area in Sindh, on a
total area of 15,000 ha.
Improvement of rangeland by reseeding is a quick and effective technique for the
revegetation of depleted areas, but careful planning is required to make range reseeding.
Before attempting range reseeding the following questions should be answered:
In reseeding necessary? Will the land produce enough forage to justify investment? What
are the chances of establishing a stand of grass? Can the newly−planted area be managed
Trees and Shrubs: One of the main causes of depletion of ranges in Pakistan is the
practice of cutting and uprooting trees and shrubs for use as fuel by the rural population
because wood is the principal source of energy available. Efforts have been made to
select multipurpose trees and shrubs, which could be used for providing fodders for
animals and fuel wood for domestic cooking and heating.
Fencing: Fences are generally not erected in the open ranges in Pakistan as flocks of
sheep/goats are usually accompanied by herders. Brush fences are often used to make
sheep/goat pens and corrals are made using branches and twigs of thorny trees such as
Acacia and Zizyphus. Fencing can be effective in dividing range areas into paddocks to
ensure controlled grazing but the cost is usually prohibitive. Fencing is also impracticable
because of the pattern of ownership of range areas, which are either owned by
communities or by the government and used as free and open areas by nomads and
groups of individuals with traditional grazing rights.
Q.       Give appropriate suggestions to improve the availability of range forage for
         small and large ruminants and to give a fair deal to range livestock
a)       Technical Changes: Federal research institutes should be strengthened by the
induction of more experts and the allocation of sufficient funds to help the provincial

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range technicians carry out survey of soil vegetation and classification of the rangeland
resources. Each province and institute should carefully assess its need for trained persons
and the provincial and federal governments should finance their training to obtain
postgraduate degrees in range livestock management from local and foreign universities.
Under no circumstances should the services of the these trained persons be utilized
outside their areas of specialised training.
The research programmes of the pertinent organizations should include:
    i)      Classification of rangelands according to their conditions and trends;
    ii)     Determination of the grazing potential of the rangelands;
    iii)    Studies in grazing management with particular reference to the ecological
            effects of stocking rate, combination of animals of different feeding habits and
            rest periods.
    iv)     Testing of grazing systems suitable for various kinds of livestock.
    v)      Testing of suitable species and techniques for dune stabilization.
    vi)     Raising cultivated fodder crops with water in arid regions for the integration
            of grazing with supplementary feed supplies and the creation of fodder banks.
A research project be undertaken to demonstrate livestock handling and management of

rangelands and farmlands consistent with the socio−economic constraints. Range

improvement and management technology should be disseminated through extension,

with focus on private grazing lands. Livestock cooperatives to coordinate development

and use of private range areas, agricultural lands and adjoining government rangelands

should be established. This will facilitate marketing, supplementary feeding, credit and

health cover for animals.

b)      Institutional Changes: Broad−based range management departments should be
created in the provinces with a mandate for planning, developing and managing all
government and privately−owned rangelands. Experts or technicians of the following
specialties should be employed to carry out these range activities:
i)      Plant science and range management, ii) Livestock management and breeding, iii)
Animal nutrition, iv) Fodder production and pasture agronomy, v) Ecnomics and
marketing, vi) Extension and cooperatives.
A comprehensive national range policy should be formulated, emphasizing the
importance of rangelands and proper range livestock management in the national
economy. An expert committee of economists, livestock production and range scientists
and administrators should examine the costs of production of mutton, goat meat, beef,
wool and other products in different regions. They should take into account the real cost
of grazing, supplementary feeding, handling and management, with the anticipated
increase in production under proper management. The committee could recommend a
rational price structure and other measures to afford relief to livestock owners. A

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rangeland livestock industry can flourish only on the basis of fair income proportionate to
other commodities and services a livestock owner has to pay for.
Q.       What is a poisonous plant?
A poisonous plant is one, which as a whole or a part (e.g. flowers, seeds or roots) thereof,
under all or certain circumstances, when taken or brought in contact with an organism
will exert a harmful effect or cause immediate death due to the presence of known or
unknown chemical substances in it. There are nearly 700 species listed in Indo-Pakistan
subcontinent alone. Some are found in every tropical area, while others occur only in
restricted areas.
Q.       Under what circumstances animals commonly eat toxic plants?
In most instances, animals do not happily eat toxic plants, especially goats. Because of
the nature of goat’s eating habits, poisoning from plants is rare. She takes a bit of this and
a taste of that and will seldom eat enough of one poisonous plant to do much damage.
When however, proper feed is not available and the animals are hungry, they may eat
anything at hand. If they lack sufficient water for an extended period, this can cause them
to reduce their feed intake. Then, when they suddenly get ample water, their appetites
increase greatly and they may devour almost anything that they can get. You can see how
important it is to have water and to feed at regular times, in needed quantities.
Overgrazing of rangelands, which means shortage of grass and vegetation, can cause
sheep/goats to eat plants that they would otherwise avoid. Better to keep fewer animals,
well fed and healthy, than to keep more than your pasture and pocket can sustain.
Q.       What substances other than plants may have poisonous effects on small
Under a mixed farming programme and where other farm animals such as buffalo and
cattle are also being raised, there certainly is the need to keep various items at the farm.
Of these, some if ingested, may prove toxic for small ruminants. Some buffalo-cattle
mineral-protein blocks contain lethal levels of copper for sheep/goats. Some mixed
rations intended for large ruminants may also have copper and should not be used for
sheep/goats. Commercial fertilizer often has a high nitrate content and in the rumen of
sheep/goats is converted to nitrite, causing death. Be careful not to spill any fertilizer
where small ruminants may eat it. Store the bags away from these animals. Their nibbling
on empty bags may be risky. Symptoms are weakness, rapid open-mouth breathing and
convulsions. Immediately give one-cup vinegar per animal as a drench. Get help from
your local veterinarian.
Salt is required for health. When deprived for some time, then allowed free access, small
ruminants may ingest large quantities, causing salt poisoning. Symptoms are trembling
and leg weakness, great thirst and nervous symptoms. For treatment let the animal have
access to plenty of fresh water.
Protect and keep the animals away from the following to avoid toxic effects.
Waste motor oil, disposed off carelessly.
Old crankcase oil (has high lead content).
Old radiator coolant or antifreeze (sweet and attractive to animals).
Orchard spray dripped onto grass.
Weed spray (some have a salty taste).
Most sheep dips.
Old pesticide or herbicide containers, filled with rainwater.

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Old auto batteries (sheep/goats like the salty lead oxide taste).
Q.      List important factors, which affect the prevalence of animal poisoning by
i)      Season of year: Some plants grow well in one season and are dormant in others.
They may be highly toxic at an early stage of new growth.
ii)     Climate: Generally, high humidity and temperature favour the growth of
poisonous plants and development of poisonous principle in them. However, similar
conditions favour the growth of palatable forage and thus reduce the chances of animals
ingesting the poisonous plants.
iii)    Accessibility: Many highly toxic plants seldom if ever cause poisoning because
they are not readily accessible to livestock.
iv)     Palatability: It is a relative term. Animals on a satisfactory plane of nutrition will
not eat poisonous plants. However, during drought they may graze on such plants. Some
highly toxic plants are never consumed because of their unpalatability due to bitterness,
presence of spines, woodiness of the plant, presence of a repulsive aromatic smell, or the
ability to cause blistering, or a rash around the mouth of the animal that accidentally
ingested the plant.
v)      Species and age of animal: Some animal species are tolerant of some poisonous
plants while others are susceptible. Horses are usually more susceptible but sheep and
goats are somewhat tolerant to some of the toxic plant species. Young animals are usually
more susceptible.
vi)     Familiarity: Animals may become familiar with a poisonous plant through past
association and thus may avoid consuming it again. Nevertheless, it is not an established
vii)    Part of the plant which is toxic: Many plants are toxic in all their parts. Some
only in one or two parts, for example the seeds or the flowers or the roots. Obviously if
the seeds are toxic, animals will be affected only when seeds are present and this is again
related to season. If only roots are toxic then cattle, sheep, goats and horses are unlikely
to be poisoned.
viii) Parasitic fungi: Poisonous fungi can invade and render toxic a plant which is
itself harmless. Two of the better known ones are Aspergillus flavus and Claviceps spp.
which attach themselves to grasses and render them toxic.
ix)     Variability of toxic principle: Many plants which make a perfectly good forage,
become toxic under certain conditions of climate, soil type etc. These under conditions of
good growth followed by rapid wilt, produce large quantities of hydrocyanic acid and
thus become toxic. Some highly toxic plants when dried and treated in some way, are
rendered harmless.
x)      Soil type: The type of soil has a marked influence on the toxicity or otherwise of
plants which grow on it, for example high selenium soils may be very clearly marked by
the selenium ‘accumulators’ growing on them.
Q.      Discuss characteristic symptoms of plant poisoning in animals.
Generally the effect of the poison is on more than one body system, but occasionally only
one may be clearly affected. Nervous poisons are probably most commonly seen.
Overstimulation such as caused by Datura and strychnos, may be followed by paralysis
and finally death. Irritant poisons produce skin blistering or dermatitis such as caused by
Euphorbia with milky fluid, which they secrete. Other irritants are plant hairs and spikes

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which cause acute haemorrhagic gastroenteritis such as caused by many species of
Araceae. Muscular poisons mostly cardiac glycosides, similar to digitalis, directly affect
the muscles and cause convulsions and paralysis. Plants containing cardiac glycosides for
example urginea (squill) and strophanthus (West African arrow poison) belong to this
group. Blood poisons affect the red cells or the haemoglobin or plasma, causing jaundice,
anaemia, cyanosis and petechiation of mucous membranes. Examples are Ricinus (castor
oil), Manihot (cassava) etc.
Photosensitization affects animals ingesting plants containing substances, which after
circulating in the blood stream and passing thus to the unpigmented cutaneous tissue are
acted upon by sunlight in such a way as to cause damage to the skin. An example is
Cyanogenic glycosides owe their toxicity to the production of hydrocyanic acid by
enzymes. This action occurs with some well-known forage plants under certain
conditions of climate. Examples are Sudan grass (Sorghum halepense) and couch grass
(Cynodon dactylon).
Q.      What measures would you suggest to prevent losses from poisonous plants?
i)      Know the poisonous plants common to that area. By identifying the poisonous
        plants common to the area, it will be possible:
     a)     To avoid areas heavily infested with poisonous plants.
     b)     To eradicate the poisonous plants effectively by mechanical or chemical
     c)     To know what first aid to apply where a veterinarian is not readily available.
     d)     To allow grazing by such animal species only that is not harmed by the
            particular poisonous plant(s).
     e)     To shift the grazing season to a part of the year when the plant is not
            dangerous since some plants are poisonous only at certain season of the year.
ii)     Knowledge of symptoms that generally indicate plant poisoning, makes it
        possible to take early action.
iii)    Provide supplemental feed during droughts and after plants become mature.
iv)     Avoid turning out very hungry animals where there are poisonous plants.
v)      Remove animals from infested areas when plant poisoning becomes known.
vi)     Treat promptly affected animals. Rapid and proper treatment may save such
Check with your local agricultural officer/forest officer, as to what plants in your
particular area are poisonous. With any new grazing area, walk around it and note any
unusual or unfamiliar plants. Find out what these are and if toxic, these should possibly
be eradicated before turning out animals there. In case you are unable to identify the
plants, you can send several fresh whole plants, wrapping them in several layers of
newspaper, to the nearby agricultural college/research institute to identify them and
advise as to their being toxic or not.
Q.      Name some of the common poisonous plants found in the Indo-Pakistan
Lantana: The most common being Lantana camara, a shrub; affected animals show
severe jaundice and photosensitization generally in the form of severe dermatitis,
especially in light coloured areas. If large quantities are consumed, death from
haemorrhagic gastroenteritis may occur.

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Ratti seeds (Abrus precatorius): It is a leguminous climber with red and black seeds,
which are highly toxic; a toxalbumin called ‘abrin’ causes blood poisoning, main
indications being violent purging, high temperature, shivering, incoordination and
Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis): Another blood poisoning plant. In untreated state,
seeds are toxic after obtaining oil from castor seeds, the remaining castor cakes, being
rich in toxic principle called ‘ricin’. Affected animals show profuse watery diarrhoea,
convulsions, dullness, incoordination of gait and animals may die in convulsions.
Nuxvomica (Strychnos nuxvomica): Within 10 to 30 minutes of ingestion, the animal
will undergo convulsions as many as 10 to 12 with an interval of 10 to 15 minutes;
spasms of the respiratory muscles may also follow. During these convulsions, the animal
Solanines (Family Solanaceae): Members of this family are the thorn apples, Datura spp.,
Solanum spp.-including the potato S. tuberosum itself. Various species of the genera
Duboisia, Nicotiana and Cestrum also belong to this group. The symptoms vary greatly
in animal depending on the plant ingested; generally, these are dullness and depression
followed by muscular tremors, paralysis, low temperature, slow pulse and respiration,
recumbency and death.
Caustic weed-Euphorbia spp.: Plants of this genus are characterized by the latex, a milky
fluid which exudes from the foliage when it is cut or broken. The latex is eaten by
grazing animal. There is some evidence that a cyanogenetic glycoside may be present in
some species in addition to the irritant latex. At least one of them causes oedema of the
head and neck of sheep.
Oleander-Nerium oleander, N. indicum: Commonly known as ‘lovers’ poison. Leaves
are highly toxic. Characteristic symptoms are vomiting, convulsions, diarrhoea and colic.
Necropsy reveals acute gastroenteritis.
Q.      Discuss treatment of animals suffering from plant poisoning.
Mostly plant poisoned animals are not discovered in sufficient time to prevent loss. Thus
prevention is considered better than treatment. Two important principles need to be kept
in mind. i) Removal of the residual poison from the digestive tract or body surface. ii) use
of chemical and physiological antidotes to the poison that has been absorbed. Other
supporting treatment such as fluid therapy in dehydration due to diarrhoea, sedatives in
excitement, stimulants in case of CNS depression comes later. Given below are some of
the routine curative measures against poisoning by certain plants or their by-products:

 Nuxvomica/strychnine       :   i) Sedation of the animals with chlorpromazine
                                hydrochloride or chloral hydrate or barbiturate
                                ii) Tannic acid orally to precipitate the alkaloid.
 Ergot                      :   No specific treatment except that i) infested
                                grain should be withdrawn and ii) vasodilator
                                drugs be used.
 Oak                        :   i) Calcium hydroxide (15% of ration) is an
                                effective antidote.
                            :   ii) Liquid paraffin in milk.
 Lantana                    :   i) Keep the animal in dark place.

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                             :   ii) Give purgative.
                             :   iii) Give glucose saline and liver tonic.
 Braken fern                 :   i) Butyl alcohol (bone marrow stimulant) 1.0 g
                                 in combination with antibiotics sub-cutaneous.
                           :     ii) Thiamine hydrochloride.
 Aflatoxicosis (Toxin of :       i) Mostly symptomatic treatment.
 Aspergillus         spp.,
 through     intake     of
 contaminated       grain,
 groundnuts etc.
                           :        ii) Infested grain should be withdrawn and
                                    treated with ammonia.
 Mouldy sweet clover            : i) Stop feeding of damaged sweet clover hay.
                                : ii) Give vitamin K20 mg intravenously.
 Linseed cake                   : It can be detoxidated by soaking in water and
                                    then boiling for 10 minutes to eliminate the
                                    hydrocyanic acid.
 Cottonseed cake                : Cooking of cake or the addition of 1% calcium
                                    hydroxide or 0.1% ferrous sulphate for
Q.        Discuss nutrient deficiencies of range forage.
Due to lack of feed, hunger is the most common deficiency on the range. There may
particularly be a shortage of energy during droughts late in the season or early in spring
when grass is washy. Under such energy-deficient conditions, sheep/goats lose weight
and condition and young ones fail to grow, also reproduction is adversely affected.
Mature, weathered native range grass is almost always deficient in protein-being as low
as 3 % or less. Protein-leaching losses due to rains may be more than 30 to 50 %.
Phosphorus deficiencies are rather common among range sheep/goats. Of the vitamins, A
is most likely to be deficient in range forage, because dry bleached range grass is very
low in carotene, the precursor of vitamin A.
Q.        Give a detailed account of diagnosing and treating sheep/goat poisoning.
If is often difficult to make a definite diagnosis of an animal poisoning. Clinical signs are
not usually specific and all signs are not always seen in every poisoned animal. The
recommended procedure for making a diagnosis of the cause of poisoning follows:
     i)      Check on the accessibility of a poisonous substance.
     ii)     Study the clinical sings. This may be difficult, especially with possible
             combinations of toxins or infectious agents.
     iii)    Possibly use a few test animals in a feeding trial.
     iv)     Make a pathological examination of the animals’ internal organs and tissues.
     v)      Chemically analyze the feed, water and animal tissues for the presence of
             suspected toxin, because many analytical methods are quite specific.
     vi)     Use a specific antidote (where available) for the suspected poison. If it
             alleviates the clinical signs, it gives evidence of the cause.

The treatment of the poisoned animals is based on the following general principles:

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     i)        Preventing injury and controlling convulsions with a sedative, usually a
     ii)       Relieving pain by use of chemical analgesics.
     iii)      Removing or neutralizing the poison by:

               a) Using a gastric lavage with activated charcoal for absorbing toxins in the
               b) Using cathartics to help faecal elimination of unabsorbed toxins.
               c) Using diuretics to help urinary elimination of absorbed toxins.
               d) Washing off any surface poison.
               e) Possibly performing a rumenotomy for physical removal of unabsorbed
               f) Using a specific antidote, if available.
     iv)       Maintaining the vital signs of respiratory, circulatory and renal functions by
               physical or chemical resuscitation, fluid theraphy etc.
     v)        Observing the animal for further treatment needs, because the toxin may
               continue to be absorbed from the skin, gut, or respiratory system of the
     vi)       A national animal poison center needs to be established which should remain
               open 24 hours a day and every day of the week with a hotline phone number.
               It should be staffed with trained toxicologists who can answer questions about
               known or suspected cases of poisoning or chemical contaminations involving
               any species of animals. Such centers are already working in several countries.

Q.          Give suggestions for improvement of sheep and goat production in the


Most of the management practices pertaining to sheep mentioned above, with minor

exceptions, are applicable to goats as well.

General Suggestions for Improvement in Sheep/Goat Production.

     •         Possibly flocks of adequate size of important breeds of all small ruminants be
               brought at the research stations of various provinces and agricultural
               universities to study their performance levels under intensive management
               system. Such data should be more reliable and helpful for future selection and
               breeding programmes.
     •         The identification of superior rams /bucks on the basis of their performance in
               various situations should be encouraged.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

   •        High mortality in suckling lambs/kids is one of the major causes of overall
            poor productivity in Pakistan. This problem needs to be investigated to
            improve the preventive measures and management systems.
   •        Studies based on the selection of more prolific sheep/goats and their breeding
            with rams/bucks from multiple births and their impact on rural flocks should
            be carried out to improve the number of lambs/kids weaned per ewe/doe bred.
   •        Studies should be carried out to determine the optimum level of sheep and
            goat population in the country under the existing conditions and resources of
            feed availability for them. Continued increase in the numbers of underfed
            animals with much lower production than the possessed potential, is not
            something, which can be boasted of.
   •        Absence of a real sheep and goat extension service at provincial level deprives
            the farmers of their rights to get the much needed advice that can lead to
            improved productivity of small ruminants and help improve the returns to the
            farmers. Recently installed district governments are in a much better position
            to tackle such problems in consultation with district officers responsible for
            livestock development, including sheep and goat improvement. Special
            allocations need to be made for sheep and goat development since this activity
            has a rural orientation and it pertains more to the landless and marginal
            farmers who are leading a life clearly below poverty line. The existing so
            called extension service wing of provincial Livestock and Dairy Development
            Departments needs to be strengthened by engaging manpower especially
            trained in livestock production.
   •        The introduction of a system of washing sheep before shearing and removing
            their fleeces completely and without injuring with the help of trained shearers
            and improved shearing machines, at proper sites.
   •        Maintenance of up-to-date statistics of sheep and goats, wool, milk, meat,
            skins and by-products by an appropriate agency, preferably at the federal
   •        Establishing a firm policy on the production of comparatively fine wools in
            selected hilly areas in the north western parts and carpet wools in the rest of
            the country.
   •        Regulation of wool trade through measures such as the introduction of
            standardized market charges and practices, provision of marketing facilities in
            important wool markets and improvement in the methods of transport and
            storage of wool.
   •        Provision of credit facilities to sheep and goat producers for better feeding of
            lambs/kids and goat producers under Khushhal Pakistan Programme.
   •        Studies should be undertaken to determine the causes and remedies for
            colouration in wools, particularly yellowness of the autumn clip.
   •        Studies need to be undertaken to determine the useful effects, if any, of so far
            crossbreeding work in sheep and goats in the country and what exotic
            germplasm can be beneficial to enhance wool, meat and milk production from
            sheep and /or goats.
   •        Research on the performance of crossbred sheep flocks produced with exotic
            blood needs to be conducted.

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   •        Determining the wool characteristics that are most important in evaluating
            carpet quality with a view to increasing the production of fleeces that exhibit
            these characteristics.
   •        A coordinated national breeding programme for the improvement of sheep
            and goat meat breeds and dairy goat breeds.
   •        Studies to determine the influence of methods of transport, distance and time
            in transit on the injuries to animals and losses in liveweight, carcass yield and
            meat quality during transport to slaughter.
   •        Studies to suggest improvements in the present sheep/goat marketing systems.
   •        Studies to determine the most economical age for slaughter of young sheep
            and goats.
   •        Improvement of existing rangelands, pastures and utilization of
            agro−industrial wastes and by-products for the formulation of nutritionally
            balanced and economical rations.
   •        Establishment of a meat research and technology institute.


PART- III                                                SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       Why good handling and working facilities are important for small ruminants?
Good husbandry, instincts and training show the producers that proper handling and management
result in comfortable, contended and productive sheep/goats. Experienced producers soon
recognize that well designed working facilities and buildings reduce the work and physical
exertion required to provide the necessary care for small ruminants. Stress on both the
sheep/goats and the caretaker is reduced. Management jobs such as health care are scheduled and
performed in a more timely and routine manner when good facilities are available, rather than
being avoided or ignored due to lack of proper handling facilities such as corrals and chutes.
Carrying out the various management jobs is possible in a more humane manner with less risk of
injury to the animals and the caretaker. Finally, in case of sheep, the wool is maintained in a
cleaner, more valuable condition. Each of these items is important, because a primary objective of
proper sheep/goats handling and well designed facilities is to increase the productivity and profit
from the sheep/goat operation.
Q.       For ideal/modern housing and handling of small ruminants what facilities are
What constitutes adequate housing and handling facilities? If it is a small-sized flock, it can be
managed even without elaborate facilities. For large flocks, more permanent facilities should be
considered. First, think about what sheep/goat management jobs need to be done on your farm or
ranch. Make a list of these jobs. Beside each job note what time(s) of the year it is done and the
number of animals handled at each time. This list will help you determine the facilities you need
for your management system. For example some people control external parasites by dipping
their animals, others by spraying. Each of these techniques requires different types of facilities.
Further, the number of animals to be handled at any one time determines the dimensions of
pens/sheds/paddocks and chutes. If holding pens are too large, you will waste time and energy
chasing sheep/goats. If too small, you will waste time and energy moving sheep/goats from pen to
pen. Allow about 1m² per animal for holding pens. When completed your list might look like this:

 Task                Facility required
 Holding             Gathering pen and forcing pen
 Sorting             Narrow sorting chute, sort gate, at least two holding pens to sort
 Deworming           1m wide chute or small pen
 Vaccination         1m wide chute or small pen
 Weighing            Weigh crate in chute
 Foot trimming       Small pen

Add or delete items from the list according to your situation. During the planning process, keep in
mind a few basic principles. To work effectively, your facility should enable you to gather and
hold sheep/goats in a gathering pen, move them into a forcing pen, which will in turn allow you
to force them into the treatment and sorting area, and then out into sort pens. To successfully get
sheep/goats to flow through pens with minimum effort and stress on both you and the animals,
basic principles of sheep/goat behaviour and handling need to be understood.
Q.       Discuss small ruminant behaviour in relation to their handling.
Small ruminants (sheep/goats) have wide-angle vision and they can see behind themselves
without turning their heads. An average sheep/goat has a visual field of 270 degrees. They depend
heavily on their vision. Lighting conditions in a small ruminant handling facility can either
improve or impede their movement. To prevent them from being spooked by distractions outside
handling facilities, solid fences should be used in chutes and crowd pens.

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Small ruminants have a tendency to move toward light. Loading them at night will be easier if the
producer places lights inside the truck. The lights should illuminate the truck and not glare into
the animal’s eyes. For unloading at night, a single lamp should be turned on at the end of the alley
so that they can see where they are going. In roofed sheep/goat-handling, spotlights can be used
to attract sheep/goats into the sorting or drenching chute. The lamps must not shine into the eyes
of approaching animals. Sheep/goats will balk if bright light glares into their eyes. Sometimes it
is difficult to persuade sheep to enter an enclosed area such as a shearing shed. Installing
skylights in the roof to provide natural lighting will facilitate handling.
Sharp and harsh contrasts of light and dark in handling facilities can cause small ruminants to
balk. Illumination should be even and diffused. A single shadow that falls across a sorting chute
or loading ramp can cause balking. The lead animal will balk and refuse to cross the shadow.
Balking also can be caused by a small bright spot of sunlight coming in through a hole in a roof.
Patching the roof may solve the problem. Small ruminants rather most of the ruminant animals
balk at shadows, probably due to poor depth perception, since they can perceive depth while they
are standing with their heads down. They have difficulty seeing depth when they are moving with
their heads up. They balk at shadows because they have to stop and put their heads down to
determine the difference between a shadow or a hole in the ground. The worst situation is when
half of the floor of the chute is shaded and the other half is in sunlight.
Noise: Excessive noise is highly stressful. Small ruminants are more sensitive to high frequency
noise than people. All handling procedures should be conducted quietly. Yelling, noise and
confusion excite animals and cause stress. Rattles may be used to move them.
Flight Zone: All sheep/goats maintain a minimum zone of security (comfort). If this zone (area)
is penetrated by a dog or person, movement away or ‘flight’ by the animal is likely to occur. The
size of flight zone varies depending on the tameness or wildness of the animal. When sheep/goats
are being handled in a confined area, pileups can occur if their flight zone is deeply penetrated.
That is why dogs should not be used inside crowding pen. Dogs are recommended in open areas,
having enough room to move away. Sheep/goats will often refuse to move if they can see people
up ahead.
Q.       Discuss the pattern of movement of small ruminants.
Small ruminants have a strong instinct to follow the leader and this behaviour can be utilized to
make handling easier. They must be able to see a pathway of escape and they should be able to
see other sheep/goats moving down the pathway or chute in front of them. When the animals are
being sorted, they should be able to see previously sorted animals through the end of the sorting
chute. Sheep/goats will balk if a chute appears to be a dead end. It is easy and practical to train
sheep/goats to lead the flock. Feed is used to reward the lead small ruminants. Sheep/goats will
move more easily through a chute or corral if they have used the route before.
If one animal balks, the tendency seems to spread to the next animal in line. When they are clam,
a small stimulus such as a rustling branch can be used to move them. If they become agitated,
they will not respond to this stimulus. Balky, vocal and uncooperative sheep/goats tend to move
to the back of the flock as they are moved through the corrals. Sheep/goats will move more
readily into the wind and more readily uphill than down. Rough handling and grabbing
sheep/goats by the wool/hair will increase costly bruises in market animals. Bruised meat should
not be used for human food. Dogs should be well trained and used in areas where sheep/goats
have room to move away. Noisemakers and rattles are useful for moving small ruminants but
excessive noise should be avoided.
Q.       What are the salient effects of previous experiences and stressful handling of small
Small ruminants may remember bad experiences for up to 12 months. Sheep/goats that have had

previous experiences with gentle handling will be quieter, easier to handle and less stressed in

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future handling. According to a recent study, animals that were turned upside down in a squeeze

chute are more reluctant to enter the same area a year later. When they are first introduced to a

new person or a new handling facility, their initial experiences should be pleasant. If the initial

experience is painful, they will take longer to recover from it. Reducing handling stresses will

improve productivity. Isolation, handling and transportation stress can lower disease resistance,

conception rates and weight gains. Dogs should not be allowed to bite sheep/goats because it

produces a hormonal stress response. Handling small ruminants with dogs and repeated sorting

and transporting 11 to 20 days after breeding can cause significant early embryonic losses.

Individual animal isolation is also extremely stressful. In fact, handling animals properly will

reduce stress on both the sheep/goats and the handler.

Q.      What principles of natural behaviour of sheep should be considered in designing
        handling facilities?
These are, that:

     •      sheep move toward other sheep and follow one another;
     •      sheep prefer to move uphill and toward open spaces;
     •      sheep will move away from building;
     •      sheep move better around slight corners or curves where they cannot see what lies
   •        sheep will move away from things which frighten them;
   •        sheep have legs and can move themselves around.
Sheep do all these things by instinct. Basically, a sheep working facility must enable sheep to be

gathered and held, treated in groups or individually and then held again in groups. Success or

failure in getting sheep to move through the pens and chutes with a minimum effort for both the

sheep and producer is related to basic principles that should be considered at the design stage of

the facility.

Q.       Discuss farm layout and infrastructure for a flock of sheep/goats.
It is important to make a plan of the land available for the farm, in order to plan its overall layout.
Consider what infrastructure is required and how best to arrange it for easy management of the
flock. Is all the infrastructure needed immediately, or can it be developed over time?
The infrastructure on a large goat farm might include the following features.

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    •        Building: housing for breeding males, housing for does, kidding pens, kid boxes,
             milking parlour and milk handling area, isolation pens for sick goats, post-
             mortem/slaughter room, office/recording room with lockable drug cupboard, feed and
             equipment store and a shed for hay storage.
     •       Possibly experimental pens, including feeding-trial pens.
     •       Water troughs, dip bath/spraying area, handling pens, weighing equipment and pens,
             burial pit, manure pit, exercise yards and fencing (if affordable).
It is important to consider the function of the house to be constructed. If the goats will be housed
only at night, the house design can be more simple and they can be housed in the groups in which
they are herded for grazing during the day. Will they be housed all the time and will feed be cut
and carried to them? If so, they will need more space, an exercise yard, good feed racks etc. The
main house will be constructed keeping these requirements in view. Three suggested house
layouts are shown in Figures 25,26,27, 27a,27b,27c.
Lambing/Kidding Pens: Lambing/kidding pens should be provided for ewes/does and newborn

lambs/kids. These pens are usually 1.5m square and are made by placing together two hinged

hurdles, which are then set against the walls of the sheep/goat barn. Provision of a lamb/kind

creep makes it possible to feed some concentrates to lambs/kids in a separate enclosure away

from the dams. A lamb/kid creep is an enclosure with openings large enough for lambs/kids to

enter, but small enough to keep out adult sheep/goats.

Shades: Providing any type of shade (including tree shade) adequate enough to protect

sheep/goats from the hot sun is among the more important and widely used devices for improving

the environment of small ruminants in hot climates. The most appropriate is to provide 0.4 to 0.6

m² of shade per animal, at least 2.0 to 2.5m high, located with a north-south placement because

the sun can get underneath them to dry out the manure and urine and are open all around so as to

permit maximum air movement.

Space Requirements of Buildings: Average space requirements of buildings for sheep and

goats are presented in Table 18.

Storage Space Requirements for Feed and Bedding: The space requirements for feed storage

for sheep and for goats vary widely and the amount of feed to be stored depends primarily upon:

1) length of range season, 2) method of feeding and management, 3) kind of feed, 4) climate, and

5) proportion of feeds produced on the farm or ranch in comparison to the proportion purchased.

PART- III                                                SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Normally, the storage capacity should be sufficient to handle all concentrate feed, silage grown

on the farm and to hold purchased supplies. Forage and bedding may or may not be stored under

cover. Dried forage and straw including paddy straw are frequently stacked in the fields. Mostly

mud plaster cover or a cheap cover of polythene sheet may be used for protection. Other forms of

low-cost storage include temporary grain bins, open-wall shed for dry forage and tomb-shaped

thatched bins for straw.

Table 18.       Space requirements of building for sheep and goats

 Class of          Building floor    Lot space (dirt)             Feeder space

                 space per animal        per head

                                                                              Height at


 Does               1.2 – 1.6 m²        2.0 – 3.5 m²    40-50 cm per head     25 – 40 cm

 Young kids         0.7 – 1.0 m²        1.8 – 2.8 m²    22-30 cm per head     20 – 30 cm

 Bucks              2.0 – 3.5 m²          6.0 m²          30 cm per head      25 – 40 cm

 Dry ewes           1.2 – 1.6 m²        2.0 – 3.0 m²    40-45 cm per head     25 – 40 cm

 Ewes with
                    1.5 – 2.0 m²        2.5 – 4.0 m²    40-50 cm per head     25 – 40 cm

 Stud rams          2.0 – 3.5 m²          7.0 m²          30 cm per head      25 – 40 cm

Ventilation: Goats are very susceptible to respiratory diseases and must therefore have good
ventilation. To maintain fresh air in the house and to eliminate contaminated air, the house must
be designed to allow air to circulate. This is achieved when hot air rises and escapes from the
house, ideally through the roof, which in turn draws fresh air into the house through side
openings. Any smell of ammonia in the house indicates poor ventilation and an unhealthy
environment. In most conditions the housing needs walls on three sides, however, where it gets
very cold and windy during winter, the animals need to be protected from cold. The roof should

PART- III                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

be waterproof and should either have air vents or have ventilation in the center of the roof
(Figure 28).
Floor: The main types of floor to consider are earth or concrete. The use of wooden slats
(Figure 29) seems impossible under the circumstances. They each have advantages and
disadvantages. A concrete floor is easy to clean, but, without bedding, is a cold hard surface and
therefore not always desirable. An earth floor is often adequate, provided it is well drained. It
should be swept clean every day and more dirt/sand put down at regular intervals.
Milking Shed: The milking shed should be a quiet, calm, easily cleaned environment, where it is
easy to milk. When goats are milked by hand, it is the easiest if they are raised on a platform with
a small feed rack (Figures 30,31). Simple wooden platforms are quite adequate.
Isolation Pens: It is a good practice to have a few isolation pens where sick goats can be kept
apart from the rest of the flock to avoid cross infection. Ideally, the pen should be quite separate
from the main goat house and grazing areas, to avoid any chance of air-borne infections. Isolation
pens should be made from such materials that are easy to clean and disinfect after the recovery or
death of the sick animal(s).
Sheep/goats do not require expensive or elaborate buildings and equipment, but dairy goats

should preferably be provided proper housing. On the contrary, it pays well to plan and construct

such buildings and equipment that will promote sheep/goat health and conserve feed and labour.

The shelter should of such a nature as to protect the flock from becoming soaked with rain. Until

lambing/kidding time, a shelter open to south on well drained ground may be satisfactory.

Open-yard Feeding: Open-yard feeding is often used by large operators who feed thousands of

lambs. In this system, equipment costs are kept to a minimum. The facility merely consists of an

enclosed and well-drained yard which may or may not have the feed bunks and natural or

constructed windbreak. If because of inclement weather, shelter in the form of sheds is provided,

it may be termed as shelter feeding. The sheds may have slotted floors. Slotted floors are floors

with slots (of varying sizes) through which faeces and urine pass to a storage area immediately


Salt or Mineral Boxes: When minerals (salt and other needed minerals) or salt mixtures are

provided on grazing area, the container should be so constructed to protect the materials from


Watering Facilities: Sheep/goats will consume from 4 to 11.5 litres of water per head daily,

with variations according to size of animal, season, type of feed offered, physiological status of

PART- III                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

animal and temperature of water. When on pastures or ranges, sheep/goats drink water from

reservoirs, springs, lakes and streams. For animals in confinement, water be piped to tanks, tubs

or troughs. The main essentials of water containers are: adequate size or number for the flock,

ease of cleaning, and convenience to animals. It is preferable that water containers be some

distance from feeders, otherwise animals will carry feed in their mouths and foul the water.

Cutting Chute: A cutting chute is easily made. It is inexpensive and extremely useful for sorting
sheep/goats. By means of one dodge gate, the flock may be sorted into two lots. With additional
gates, more sorts may be made. Dodge gates should swing from one side of the chute to the other
to permit cutting into separate pens.
Post-mortem/Slaughter Room: A simple post-mortem/slaughter room is useful; it should be
constructed next to the isolation pens. Ideally, it should have a concrete floor, side bench for post-
mortem examinations, drainage system and soak away, water and a central hook to lift carcasses
for butchering.
Burial Pit: A deep pit should be dug, far away from the flock, where infected carcasses can be
disposed. Carcasses should either be burnt or deeply buried and covered with soil and thorny
bushes so that wild animals can be prevented from gaining access to the carcass and spreading
infected material.
Dip Bath: In situations where large numbers of goats need to be regularly dipped to control
external parasites, a cement dip should be built away from the rest of the farm and should have a
soak away drain or septic tank to dispose off the waste dip-wash, without contaminating adjacent
pasture and water sources (Figure 32). Ideally, it should be constructed close enough to a source
of water to allow the easy filling of the trough. However, if the water source is a well, be careful
not to contaminate the well water itself with dip-wash.
Footbaths: Footbaths are used for preventing and treating foot rot and foot scald. Also, these are
useful to eliminate the possibility of carrying any contamination into the animal pens. The
purpose is to hold the small ruminant’s feet in contact with an appropriate chemical (zinc
sulphate, copper sulphate or formalin) long enough to kill the infecting organisms. Since
sheep/goats dislike entering and standing in water, it is thus not an easy procedure. The baths
themselves can be of any size or shape but most are made to fit inside the entrance or gate of a
handling pen, a treatment chute or a sorting chute. The depth of the walls varies from 6 to 8
inches and the length according to the animals to be treated and the time desired for them to stand
in the bath. The ideal bath would be removable, durable, inexpensive, unaffected by chemicals,
provides secure footing for the animal. Permanent footbaths can be constructed from concrete; its
floor should be rough. Portable footbaths can be made from fibreglass. Its surface is very slippery
and thus tends to excite the sheep/goats into excessive splashing and confusion.
Handling Setups: Nearly all effective and efficient modern sheep/goat handling setups include
gathering pen where animals first enter and are held, wherefrom they are moved into crowding
pen by cutting smaller number of sheep/goats from the main flock and squeezing them into much
smaller crowding pen. Therefrom walking single file they can be forced into treatment chute(s)
for deworming, vaccinating or may be sorted and moved into holding pens where they may be
pregnancy tested, dipped or separated for mating, branding, culling, foot trimming, weighing or
for sale. Gathering pen has multiple uses. It is also used for feeding and watering throughout the
year. The shape of gathering pen is important. Sharp corners should be avoided as the animals
especially sheep tend to huddle in them instead of moving on. The pen width for farm flocks
should not exceed 5½ meters, so that the shepherd can reach any animal in the pen while using a

PART- III                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

crook. Floor space measuring 1.75 to 2.0 square meter per ewe/doe should be allowed and 1.0 to
1.25 square meter for per grown lamb/kid. The gathering pen should be so located as to allow
easy movement of sheep/goats from outlying pastures or lots into the gathering pen. For very
small flocks the forcing pen and the gathering pen are one and the same.
Office and Stores: A simple office, close to sheep/goat house makes many jobs easier. The
office can serve as a focal point on the farm, where records, reference books and valuable
equipment are kept. It is handy to have a store near the office where bulky supplies and
equipment such as feed and tools can be stored securely. It is an important management practice
to keep good records of the stocks of materials in the store, so that they can be replenished in time
and to devise an effective method of controlling their use. It is good to have a few simple visual
displays about the farm in the office such as number of stock by age/sex/breed for students and
visitors. Lists of ewes/does due to lamb/kid can also be displayed, so that they can be checked
Lamb/Kid Boxes: Lambs/kids do not have a functioning rumen and do not generate much heat to
keep themselves warm. Young lambs/kids are very susceptible to draughts and cold and must be
kept warm, but also well ventilated. In winter temperatures can fall considerably at night and
lambs/kids will need help to keep warm. To avoid such problems and keep lambs/kids warm, dry
and safe, it is best to construct a lamb/kid box of some sort. The box should be constructed from
wood or bamboo. Ideally, it should have some suitable bedding such as straw or dry grass. Other
traditional methods can be used such as a large up-turned basket.
Feed Racks: Goat farmers have tried for years to design the perfect goat-feeding rack. Everyone
has a particular design and different materials available. Feed racks can be made from wood or
metal (Figure 33). Tree branches will do nearly as well, provided that they are smooth. The height
of the rack will depend on the height of the goats. It should be high enough for them to have to
reach up and pull the feed down. The width between the bars will vary according to the sort of
feed being fed. The rack may be free-standing or attached to a wall for support. Ideally, a tray
would be underneath, to catch smaller bits of feed that fall through and prevent them from being
soiled. Allow enough space for all the goats; a width of about 45 cm per animal is adequate.
Feed Troughs: These are simple wooden structures of various lengths, raised off the ground and
are adequate to feed dry supplements. If feed is offered wet, the container should be waterproof.
If individual animals are fed (as in a small flock), an old oil drum well cleaned and neatly cut in
half or a plastic bucket may be used. Allow about 45 cm per sheep/goat. If there is not sufficient
trough space, feed the animals in batches, to ensure that all have equal chance to feed. A wooden
guard-beam may be fixed over the length of the trough so that animals do not jump into the
trough and soil the feed (Figure 34).
Weighing Crate: Farms that need to weigh several hundred sheep/goats regularly will need a
weighing crate with suitable handling pens, to save workers time and grazing time. A swing gate
at the end of pen can help in sorting sheep/goats on the basis of weight. This might be useful in
selection programmes or on fattening farms that sell when a target weight has been reached.
Q.       What general factors need considerations in deciding about the layout and location
         of a sheep/goat farm?
Selecting the best site for sheep/goat handling and working facilities is not always easy, and a
number of items should be considered. Generally speaking, the site for a sheep/goat working
facility should be convenient for access both the sheep/goats and the shepherd and preferably near
water and electricity. It should be free draining and possibly sheltered. The site in question should
be centrally located on the farm or ranch to avoid long drives for the sheep/goats. This will,
however, depend on a number of other considerations such as:
     •        Topography of the site and land
     •        Drainage
     •        Shelter and/or shade

PART- III                                                 SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

     •      Water and feed supply
     •      Accessibility to electricity
     •      Economics or cost factor
Q.      Is accessibility to roads an important consideration while selecting a site for a
        modern large sheep/goats farm?
Any well-designed and well-sited working facility for sheep/goats should always be accessible to
vehicles, especially trucks, to transport animals to the market place or to seasonal or permanent
pastures not close to the working unit. Associated with the accessibility to either paved or
unpaved road is the need to have an adequate loading and unloading chute and holding pens.

Q.       What type of floors in sheep/goat housing are advisable?
Pen or shed floors can be of beaten earth, stones or gravel and should be raised a little above the
surrounding ground if drainage is good. All housing needs to be well drained and easily cleaned.
Concrete is a good but expensive type of floor. It provides effective floor surface as well as
excellent footing for the animals if the floor is left rough to avoid slipping. The floor, which is
commonly of rammed earth, must be kept dry. Bedding can be made up of dried straw or wood
shavings if cost effective. A raised floor for goats made of wooden slats is an alternative
(certainly not affordable under our conditions). These slats should be narrow enough to avoid
younger goats getting trapped therein.

Q.       What factors may affect small ruminant housing design?

 Consider                         Effect on house design

 Permanent housing                Pen (1.5 m²/animal + exercise yard, feed racks, water
 Night housing                    Pen (1.0 to 1.5 m²/animal).
 Permanent ram/buck pens          3m²/ram or buck + exercise yard
 Lambing/kidding pens             3m²/ewe or doe

 Land ownership                   If ownership is permanent, build a more permanent
                                  structure. If site is on a short-term lease, build cheaper
 Climate                          If hot climate, site the structure away from sun to
                                  reduce daytime temperatures. If cool climate, house
                                  should face the sun to dry inside during day.
 Prevailing wind direction        If wind is cool, site housing sheltered from it.
 Drainage                         Build on well-drained site or raise floor of house.
 Rainfall                         Heavy rainfall requires good roof.
 Temperature                      High temperature requires good ventilation, achieved
                                  through roof design and low walls.
 Humidity                         High humidity requires good ventilation.

 Availability                     Locally available materials are usually cheap, future
                                  repairs will be easier.
 Cost                             Projected length of service.
 Durability                       If long life required, use more durable material.

PART- III                                          SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Skilled, locally available   A more sophisticated construction.




PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.      How many breeds of goats found in Pakistan may be termed as dairy goats?
Among more than two and a half dozen goat breeds found in Pakistan, hardly nine may
be termed as dairy goats. Even those do not have a match with the real dairy goats such
as Alpine, Nubian, Saanen, recognized worldwide.
Q.      Write a note on world distribution of dairy goats.
Asia leads in number of goats, whereas Europe leads in milk production per goat. About
80% of goat’s milk in Asia is produced in Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Pakistan and
Turkey. In Africa, Algeria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan produce about 70% of
the goat’s milk. Mexico and Brazil produce most of the goat’s milk in North and South
America, respectively. In descending order of goat population, Asia is followed by
Africa, South America, Europe and North America.
Q.      What factors need consideration in establishing a dairy goat flock?
Whatever the reason for establishing a flock, there are a variety of factors to keep in mind
such as selection of breed, number of animals, uniformity, health, age, soundness of
udder, price etc.
Selection of Breed: Several factors should be considered in the selection of a dairy goat
breed: personal preference, purpose of dairy goat enterprise and popularity of a breed in a
locality. The latter makes it much easier to secure replacement stock and to have good
bucks available for breeding purposes. The quality of the individual animals available
must be kept in mind.
Number of Animals: The beginner can acquire valuable practical experience with a few
goats without subjecting a large flock to the possible hazards that frequently accompany
inexperience. Ultimately the size of the flock is determined by facilities and capital
Uniformity: Goats raised for breeding purposes should have uniformity of colour, type
and other characteristics of the breed as well as those points which apply to all breeds.
These points include: comparatively straight top, wide chest, large heart girth, plenty of
feed capacity, rugged muzzle, straight legs, standing solid on the hoofs, good bone, loose
and pliable coat, proper udder and teat placement, shape and texture in females and
masculinity and ruggedness in bucks.
Health: All does selected should be in a thrifty, vigorous condition. They should have
every appearance of a life of usefulness and evidence of being good milkers and being
able to raise strong, healthy kids. Animals showing dark blue skins, paleness or lack of
colouring in the lining of the nose and eyelids, listlessness or a lack of vigour should be
regarded with suspicion and avoided.
Age: Age of the animals is a matter of preference and possibly economics. Some
individuals may find it advantageous to buy aged, proven does past their prime, then use
them as foundation breeders. Others wishing a small initial investment may buy doe kids.
Although raising kids to maturity and production means a considerable investment in
time and feed. However, invaluable experience will be gained.
Soundness of Udder: In selecting does one should give particular attention to the udders
and teats. Each udder should show plenty of capacity and be well held up to the body by
the suspension ligament so that it will not become injured by hitting stones or other
objects in the pasture or around the pen/barn. The low-slung udder is called pendulous

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

udder and is very undesirable. To the touch, the udder should be pliable and soft, not hard
and meaty. Hard lumps in the udder or teats should be discounted in judging or selection.
The teats on the udder should be large enough to be easily milked. The dairy goat udder
should be balanced in shape, with teats hanging the same length. The teats should be
uniformly placed on the udder and slightly tilted forward. After a milking, the udder
should look as if collapsed.
Price: Generally, grades are less expensive than purebreds, but there are good and poor
grades just as there are good and poor purebreds. Purebred milkers and purebred doelings
may be the most expensive, depending upon their genetic capability.
Most of the factors discussed above concerning goats, are equally applicable to sheep
with minor variations.
Q.      What criteria or bases are used in selecting animals for establishing a sheep
        flock or a dairy goats flock?
Establishing a new flock or improving an old one involves four bases of selection such
as: 1) selection based on type or individuality, 2) selection based on pedigree, 3) selection
based on show-ring winnings and 4) selection based on production records.
Q.      Discuss the role of selection in effecting flock improvement.
Once the flock has been established, improvement can be obtained only through constant,
rigid culling and careful selection of replacements-both ewes/does and lambs/kids. Such
procedure makes the flock more profitable from the standpoint of quality and quantity of
wool, meat and milk production and affords a means of accomplishing genetic gain in the
next generation. Individual animal identification and production records are requisite to
effective culling and selection. Also, those traits that are most heritable should be
considered. In the majority of the flocks, selection and culling should be based on the
following: quantity and quality of wool, meat yield in case of sheep and milk, butter fat
and protein yield per lactation, milking behaviour, fertility and prolificacy, conformation
and vigour and freedom from abnormality and defects.
Q       Discuss milk production by goats.
In temperate zone, pure dairy goats are more common and serve specific markets such as
those for soft cheeses. In UK and France, a small number of commercially run dairy goat
units exist modeled on cattle enterprises. These are highly specialized units, managed
intensively and demand high standards of management to be successful. If liquid milk is
produced for sale, a cold chain may be required to enable the milk to be marketed in a
fresh and hygienic state. A cold chain is a distribution system that transfers the milk from
producers to buyers whilst keeping the milk cool and clean. Like buffaloes and cows,
goats vary greatly in their producing ability, but excellent producers are those producing
1350 to 2000 litres per lactation. In countries like ours, goats produce milk in relatively
small amounts (on average 0.4 to 1.5 litres per day) and is consumed as fresh liquid. In
smallholder situations, either some goats may be kept to supply milk for the home with
kids being sold or consumed, or alternately milk production is shared between nanny’s
kids and the family. Yet it is an important food for many subsistence farmers. When
produced by healthy animals in sanitary surroundings, goat’s milk is highly nutritious and
healthful human food. It is usually pure white. The primary difference between goat’s
milk and cow’s milk is the relative size of the fat globules and the consistency of the
curd. Goat’s milk has smaller size of the fat globules and a softer curd. It is said that it

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has characteristics that make it beneficial to people who are allergic to buffalo or cow’s
milk or who suffer from skin condition like eczema.
Q       Write a note on lactation in goats.
Lactation is the secretion of milk or the time during which a goat produces milk.
Lactation period in most of the indigenous breeds varies from 120 to 170 days, while
lactation length in dairy goats of temperate regions is 200 to 350 days. A normal
termination of lactation is considered to be 305 days. The lactation curve for milk
produced by goats is relatively flat. It peaks at 8 to 10 weeks from kidding, whilst the
buffalo or cow peaks at about 6 to 8 weeks. The curve then gradually flattens off (figure
36). After peaking milk production declines steadily at about 10% monthly in high
producing goats, whereas it declines faster in low producing animals. Lactation is
governed by a variety of factors including hormones from the anterior and posterior
pituitaries, the thyroid, the adrenals, the placenta and the ovaries. For their size, goats
have a higher relative yield than buffalo or cattle. This is partly because of the goat’s
relatively larger udder size and volume. The udder of a goat is a greater proportion of the
total weight of the animal and contains a higher total quantity of secretary tissue than
buffaloes or cows. Goats also have a higher metabolic rate related to body size. This
leads to a greater daily intake of feed and higher production of milk per unit of body
weight (the net efficiency of utilization of ME for maintenance and milk production is
Q.      Give a list of the factors that affect milk yield in goats and discuss briefly
        each of them.
Body Size and Weight: There is a positive relationship between body weight and milk
yield. Larger does produce more milk. They can eat more roughage than smaller ones and
may be more efficient at converting poor quality feed into milk than smaller. Bigger
nannies are said to store fat in the body before kidding which can be used to boost yield
at the start of lactation. Research, however, indicates that only about 10% of the variation
in milk yield can be accounted for by body weight.
Age: Age affects milk yield, but is closely tied to body weight. Age accounts for much of
the increase in body weight. Peak yield is reached when the doe is between 4 and 7 years
of age. Does that kid earlier in life tend to have a lower yield in their first lactation than
those that kid after they are two years old. Goats that start milk production later in life
are, however, likely to have lower lifetime milk yield than earlier kidders. Dairy goats in
temperate countries normally undergo first kidding at two years or older, while many
goats in tropics/sub tropics kid before they are two years old.
Udder Size and Shape: A weak udder attachment is considered a major defect, but
udder volume, unless meaty, is highly correlated with milk yield. Bigger udders have a
higher production capacity, but such udders may be more prone to physical damage while
Growth: There is a tendency for late maturing animals, with a flat growth curve, to be
more productive.
Litter Size: Mammary growth is regulated by the number of kids born⎯the more kids,
the greater the mammary growth during pregnancy. Does with twins or triplets will
produce a higher total yield than those with singles but as this milk is shared, single kids
will drink more and grow more quickly than twins or triplets.

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Nutrition: No goat will fulfil its optimum milk yield unless it is properly fed and
provided with adequate clean drinking water during its lactation. Depending on the fat
content of milk, goats require 5 to 6 MJ of ME daily per litre of milk produced. The
protein content of the diet is normally between 9 and 10%. In hot arid conditions, lack of
water is a major constraint to milk yield. The mammary gland needs glucose to form
lactose, which in turn largely controls the movement of water in milk. A reduction in feed
quickly lowers the milk yield, since there is very little glucose stored in the body.
Season and Temperature: The season of kidding influences milk yield to some extent.
Exposure of goats to cold reduces milk secretion. One study showed that the milk yield at
–0.5°C was about 30% below that obtained from goats in an environmental temperature
of 20°C.
Disease: Disease lowers milk production, with the degree of the effect determined by the
kind and severity of the disease.
Q.       Describe the process of ejection and withdrawal of milk in goat.
The basic milk producing unit of the udder is a very small bulb-shaped structure with a
hollow center called the alveolus, lined with a single layer of epithelial cells which are
responsible for secreting milk. Their functions are three fold:1) remove nutrients from the
blood, 2) transform these nutrients into milk and 3) discharge the milk into the lumen.
Each alveolus is surrounded by a network of capillaries from which nutrients are
extracted and by a specialized type of muscle cell, called the myoepithelial cell, which is
sensitive to the effects of the hormone exytocin from the posterior pituitary. When
oxytocin is secreted into the blood, it stimulates contraction of these muscle cells,
thereupon initiating milk ejection.
Groups of alveoli empty into a duct thereupon forming a functional unit called a lobule.
Several lobules empty into another duct system forming a larger unit called a lobe. The
ducts of lobes empty into what is referred to as a galactophore, which, in turn, empties
into the gland cistern. The alveolus is in effect, a milk factory. It has the ability to take
nutrients from the blood and transform them into one of nature’s most perfect food.
Galactopoiesis is the term used to describe the biosynthesis of milk.
The ducts of the udder provide a storage area for milk and a means of transporting it to
the outside. No milk secretion, per se, occurs within ducts. The cells lining the cisterns
and duct systems consist of two layers of epithelium. Myoepithelial cells are arranged in
a longitudinal organization allowing the ducts to shorten and increase the diameter to
facilitate the flow of milk.
Milk secretion is regulated primarily through hormonal mechanisms. However, milk
letdown is initiated largely through neural mechanisms. In the udder, there is a network
of afferent (sensory) and efferent (motor) nerves. Receptors in the udder are sensitive to
touch, temperature and pain. During the preparation for milking, the washing and
cleaning of the udder stimulates these receptors and the process of milk ejection is
initiated. Motor nerves transmit impulses from the brain and regulate blood flow and
smooth muscle activity around the ducts and in the teat sphincter.
When the goat is startled or subjected to pain or any sort of stress, the hormone
epinephrine is released, which causes the constriction of blood vessels. Thus milk
ejection is slowed and production depressed. Such stress can be caused by unusual
disturbance from people, dogs or traffic. Some goats are very loath to allow themselves to

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be milked. The presence of the kid may partially overcome this problem by assisting the
milker in obtaining all of the milk from the udder.
Q.      Write a note on the composition of goat’s milk and compare it with those of
        sheep, cow and human milk.
Goat’s milk is a healthful and nutritious food. It is whiter than cow’s milk because it
contains no carotene, which causes fat to have various degrees of yellow colouration.
Butter made from goat’s milk is also white. The composition of goat’s milk is similar to
cow’s milk and varies both within and between goat breeds. Also, the composition varies
depending on milk yield, stage of lactation and level and quality of feeding. There are
noticeable differences between the compositions of milk of various species (Table 19).
Q.      Write a note on the process of let-down of milk in goat.
When the udder (especially the teats) is stimulated by a kid or a milker, 1) impulses are
conducted along the nerves to the posterior pituitary at the base of the goats’ brain, 2) the
posterior pituitary stores and releases the hormone oxytocin into the blood stream, 3) the
blood transports oxytocin back to the udder, and 4) the oxytocin causes the smooth
muscle like cells surrounding each alveolus to contract, thereby forcing the milk out of
them into the large ducts and cisterns of the udder. The milk is then ejected through each
teat into the bucket (Figure 35).

Table 19.      Average composition of goat, sheep, cow and human milk
      W     Fo Pro F Car Cal Ph Ir Vit Thi Ribo Ni                                 Vi
     ate    od tein at bo- ciu os- o ami ami flavi ac                              ta
      r     ene (g) s hyd         m     ph n n A          n    n     in            mi
     (%     rgy        (g rate (mg oru ( (IU) (mg (mg) (                           n
       )    (K          ) s (g)   )      s    m           )          m             B1
            cal                         (m g)                        g)             2
             )                          g)                                         (m
Go 87. 67. 3.3 4. 4.6 129.                  106   0.    185.   0.04   0.14   0.    0.0
at    5     0          0           0         .0   05     0                   30     7
Sh 80. 10 6.0 7. 5.4 193.                   158   0.    147.   0.07   0.36   0.    0.7
eep 7 8.0              0           0         .0   10     0                   42     1
Co 87. 66. 3.3 3. 4.7 117.                  151   0.    138.   0.03   0.17   0.    0.3
w     2     0          7           0         .0   05     0                   08     6
Hu 88. 69. 1.0 4. 6.9 33.0                  14.   0.    240.   0.01   0.04   0.    0.0
m-    3     1          4                      0   02     0                   20     4
Source: Ensminger and Parker (1986).

Q.    Give the number of teats in buffalo, cow, camel, mare, goat and sheep.
The number of teats normally are: buffalo 4, cow 4, camel 4, mare 2, goat 2 and sheep 2.
Q.    Write down the composition of goat’s colostrum.
                     Total solids                   20.0
                     Fat                             4.5

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                        Protein                         10.1
                        Lactose                                  4.5 20.0
                        Ash                              0.9
                        Moisture                        80.0
                        Source: Steele (1996).
Q.       Describe the milking routine for goats in vogue in Pakistan.
Milking twice daily is normal in commercial dairy units as well as in goats raised for
domestic purposes. Once daily is also practised with low-producing animals. Most goats
are easily milked by hand, a process that will often take only 5 to 6 minutes, including
washing and drying the udder. A regular milking routine should be followed such as that
given below, preferably every 12 hours. They should be milked from the side, on a raised
platform by hand because milking equipment is very expensive and requires a lot of
cleaning to maintain good hygiene. It can be justified only where large numbers of goats
are milked and where labour costs are high. Their udders and teats should be washed and
dried thoroughly with clean towels. Use a clean bucket to collect milk. The bucket should
be scalded before use. Hold one teat in each hand. Avoid pulling or stretching the teats or
using vigorous up and down movement of the arms or hands. Milking should begin
within 1 to 2 minutes after the udders have been washed. Eject the milk from each teat by
closing the finger against the teat and squeeze the teat between it and your thumb.
Progressively close the first, second, third and little finger until the whole hand is closed
on the teat. In this way the milk in the teat is progressively pushed down and squirted into
the bucket. The first stream of milk from each teat should be discarded into a strip cup to
check for signs of mastitis. Both teats may be milked at the same time but it is an easier
rhythm to alternate left hand, right hand to eject milk. After the milking it is advisable to
dip each teat in dairy teat dip or a solution of 4 parts Clorox and 1 part water, since teat
dips have proven successful in the reduction and prevention of mastitis. The milk should
be filtered and cooled immediately to 7°C.
Q.       Discuss the benefits of a raised milking platform or a milking stand for goats.
It can be tiring to milk more than one or two goats when they are standing at ground
level. A simple stand that raises the goat up some 40 to 60 cm will allow the milker to sit
on a stool during milking and thus reduce fatigue to the milker caused by stooping. Goats
can be trained to stand on this type of milking stand or can be restrained by the head.
Feeding them during milking will also persuade them to stand still.
Q.       What are the major sources of off-flavours in milk? Recommend measures
         for the prevention of such flavours.
Most seasoned dairy goat producers recommend that bucks should not be kept in the
same building where milking does are kept, as they impart an off-flavour to the milk.
Other factors influencing milk flavour and their causes and prevention are:
Feed and Weed: Many feeds and weeds produce off-flavours in goat’s milk such as wild
onion, garlic, turnips, berseem and certain silages. The surest way is not to give any feed
of unknown content especially green chop forages within 2 hours of milking. Usually
concentrate feeds can be fed while does are being milked without affecting the flavour of
the milk.
Oxidized: These are sometimes described as cardboard flavours. Some causes are (a)
metallic contamination from copper and iron which may be alleviated by using stainless

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

steel, and (b) exposure to daylight. Feeding vitamin E to milking animals will reduce or
eliminate oxidized flavours.
Rancid: This flavour is caused by a breakdown of the butterfat, which releases strong-
flavoured acids. This action is caused by the enzyme lipase, which is present in all milk.
The primary causes of rancid milk are (a) goats well-advanced in lactation, (b)excessive
agitation of milk and (c) slow cooing with foaming.
Barney: This flavour is caused by dirty barns/housing, poor ventilation, unclean milking,
and unclean goats, all of which can be alleviated.
Salty: This flavour, which masks the slightly sweet flavour of milk, is caused by mastitis
or certain individual goats. Milk from mastitic goats should not be marketed.
Malty: This flavour is primarily due to a high bacterial count. The remedy is to keep
bacteria out of milk as far as possible and to prevent growth of those that do get into it.
Clean and cold milk will practically eliminate malty flavour.
High-acid Sour Milk: This is due to a very high bacterial count. Milk should simply be
cooled as rapidly as possible from 32°C temperature of milk pail to near 0°C.
Unnatural off-flavours: These refer to flavours that come from medicinal agents and
disinfectants. Such off-flavours can be controlled by (a) handling medicines and
disinfectants so that the flavours or odours from them will not get into the milk (b) using
chemical sanitizers only in the concentrations indicated by the directions. Milk from
drug-treated goats should not be marketed for at least 72 hours after the last treatment.
For good-tasting milk, the dairy producer should keep it clean; keep it from contact with
air and light for long hours; keep it cold; feed silage etc. after a milking; use good quality
feed; and not include milk from problem goats and not keep bucks in the same building
where in-milk does are kept. Properly produced and handled goat’s milk does not have
any stronger flavour than good buffalo’s/cow’s milk.
Q.      Is goat’s milk marketed in Pakistan like that of buffalo and cow milk?
Subsistence farmers do not generally record yields since the individual production of
milk on subsistence farms is small but the value of this food product to the family
involved is immense. Only a small proportion of goat’s milk finds its way onto the
market locally that too mixed with buffalo/cow milk. To market goat’s milk to city
consumers requires a large, continuous supply. Because most goat’s milk comes from
flocks with small numbers of goats, this would mean a well organized collection system.
Government or a cooperative could provide such a service. Goats’ milk can be
successfully frozen in polythene bags or in waxed cartons and will defrost without loss of
nutritional attributes and still retain its composition and good appearance.
Q.      Apart from liquid milk in what other forms goat’s milk is used in various
Goat’s milk is made into a variety of products that include butter, ghee and yoghurt. In
some countries such as Greece and France, there is significant production of cheese and
butter. In France, prices of goat milk are sufficiently high to allow large-scale cheese
making and the marketing of such products to customers prepared to pay more for goat
milk products.
Yoghurt is produced by fermenting milk with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus
thermophilus. This acidifies the milk and stops normal bacteria developing. Preferably
pasteurized/boiled milk then cooled to 40-45°C is used. A small amount of yoghurt from
the previous batch, called starter is added to the milk. Commercially available starter

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cultures can also be used. Yoghurt is a very popular food item in several countries of the
world. Lassi made from yoghurt by adding water and salt/sugar to it, is a commonly used
beverage in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.
Butter is made from goat milk in countries such as Iraq, Iran. It is very white in colour
and is produced by churning the cream from the milk. Ghee is very popular in Indo-
Pakistan and Middle East where it is used as a source of concentrated fat in a variety of
ways. It will keep for long periods and is produced by boiling the butter or cream to
remove the water.
Cheese made from goat milk is produced in many countries particularly around the
Mediterranean coastline. Fresh, soft or hard cheeses are all made to meet consumer tastes
and local tradition. They can be made from whole or skimmed milk. Fresh or lactic
cheeses are eaten the next day whilst soft cheese is unpressed and consumed later. Hard
cheeses are produced in the same way as soft cheeses but are then placed in moulds and
are pressed to force out more water.
Q.       Name two important diseases that can be transmitted through milk to other
         animals and possibly humans.
Milk is an ideal medium in which many disease organisms will grow and may then be
transmitted to other animals and humans. It is therefore, extremely important to keep it as
clear of bacteria as possible. Some diseases are very dangerous to humans. Two examples
include tuberculosis and brucellosis, also known as undulant fever, which can cause
sterility. Adequate heat treatment (pasteurization or boiling) of the milk will kill such
Q.       Write a note on supply, utilization and demand of sheep milk in Pakistan.
Sheep milk as such is consumed in rural areas and is also used in the form of crude
cottage cheese and ghee. However, because it is available in only small quantities and is
mainly consumed by the shepherds themselves, there is only a small marketable surplus
and compared to milk from buffaloes and cows; it has little commercial importance in
urban areas. The annual production of sheep milk in Pakistan is estimated as 31000 tons
valued at Rs. 403 million. About 10 to 15% of this production is lost in mishandling and
by leaving ewes unmilked, thus the annual supply available for consumption as fluid milk
is approximately 27125 tons. Since lambing continues throughout the year, milk is
available in all seasons, but supplies are higher in the winter months as a result of good
growth of vegetation following monsoon rains. Sheep milk hardly accounts for about
0.5% of the total national supply of milk; the proportion of total production in different
areas of the country is Balochistan 25%, NWFP 20%, Punjab 40%, Sindh 10% and other
areas 5%. An ewe generally produces 0.5 to 1.0 litre milk per day, but may be 1.0 to 2.5
litres per day in the case of Damani, Kooka and Lohi breeds of sheep, showing thereby
potential for further increase through improved management and nutrition and reduced
mortality and disease.
Utilization and Demand: Sheep flock owners, particularly those leading nomadic or
semi-nomadic life, need milk as part of their routine diet as well as to supplement their
income through sales. Cottage cheese and ghee from sheep milk, either pure or mixed
with milk from goats and cows, are sold in Northern Areas, Multan Division, Cholistan
tract and the Tharparkar area. In some parts of Tharparkar, graziers depend solely on milk
from their herds and flocks for fluids. A liking for sheep milk and its use for cheese and
ghee making can be attributed to its fat content which averages 5 to 6% and is higher than

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

that of milk from cows or goats, though lower than that of buffalo milk. The mean fat
content of milk in sheep breeds such as Damani is as high as 6.8%. Some sheep owners
prefer sheep milk to that of goats because of the flavour often found in milk from village
goat flocks.
Q.      Suggest practical measures to enhance production of milk from milch type
Since the annual per capita consumption of milk of all kinds is low in Pakistan, efforts to
increase milk supplies should include the production of sheep and goat milk. Supplies of
sheep/goat milk should be increased by improving sheep and goat husbandry, selective
breeding, minimizing losses of milk and protecting sheep/goats against common diseases.
This could be made possible by extending developmental activities to remote sheep and
goat raising areas, and conducting research on production-oriented problems, including
sheep/goat management in hostile areas such as cold Northern Areas and the hot areas of
Cholistan and Tharparkar deserts, prevention of infectious and parasitic diseases,
regeneration of pastures in both hilly and plain areas and provision of financial aid and
incentives to flock owners.


PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       Define meat. Indicate which farm animals provide the bulk of meat in this
Meat is defined as animal tissues, which are suitable for use as food, including all
processed products prepared from such tissues. In practice this definition is restricted to a
few dozen of the 3000 mammalian species, but it is widened to include as well the
musculature, organs such as liver, kidney, brains and other edible tissues. The bulk of the
meat consumed in Pakistan is derived from sheep, goats, cattle, buffaloes, camel and
poultry. Considerable quantity of fish meat is also consumed. Rabbit, hare and deer flesh
too is liked and consumed by some people.
Q.       What are the important categories of meat?
Red meat is flesh of domestic animals such as sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo and camel.
Strictly speaking the term beef refers to the meat obtained from cattle. However, the
buffalo and camel being also large ruminants, their meat is arbitrarily named as beef.
Poultry and fish meat constitutes white meat. Game meat consists of the flesh of wild
birds and animals, which are not domesticated. Poultry meat is flesh of domestic birds,
including chicken, turkey, ducks and geese. Marine and fresh water foods are the flesh of
aquatic organisms mostly fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns.
Q.       Write a note on the importance of meat.
Meat is an important constituent of the human diet as it is nutritious, palatable, satisfying
and always in season. It is a rich source of proteins containing essential amino acids in
suitable proportions and in a digestible form. A number of minerals and B vitamins are
also present which make it an important food for children and invalids.
Although the per capita availability of meat in Pakistan has improved from 8.8 kg in 1971
to about 19 kg in 2002, yet it is well below the minimum standard of WHO, which is 28
kg of meat per head per annum. The average per capita consumption of meat in Argentina
is 110 kg and in Australia is 120 kg and so is it in several other countries.
The requirement of animal protein for a standard human diet is 30 g per head per day, but
at present the availability of animal protein in Pakistan is 20.2 g, indicating a shortage of
about 33%. In early eighties, hardly 37 % of the total requirement was available which by
mid nineties has risen to about 57 %. However, in Pakistan, proteins, especially those of
animal origin are evidently still in short supply. Adversely affected by the population
explosion, this shortage may assume acute proportion. With increasing population, rising
standards of living, industrialization and change in dietary habits, the demand for meat is
ought to increase.
The problem of animal protein deficiency, especially in low-income groups of population
is already very acute. Mortality rate in children tends to rise when their protein intake is
low. Severe protein deficiency and inadequate intake of animal proteins in infants appear
to adversely affect the brain cells and central nervous system and can cause permanent
mental retardation. Meat also has profound effect on stature, height and general health of
an individual. This situation is alarming and priority should be given to programmes for
increasing the production of foods of animal origin.
Q.       Discuss the present position and potential of meat production from sheep and
         goats in Pakistan.

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Meat production in Pakistan is a secondary farm enterprise and its potential has not yet
been fully exploited. The present methods used in livestock farming, marketing,
slaughter, processing and sale of meat, result in large losses of by-products and the
supply of poor quality and unhygienic meat to consumers and the yield of meat is also
very low. The total meat production from livestock was 2.01 m. tons in 2001, of which
0.66 m. tons was sheep and goat meat, forming 33.3% of the total production.
Of 0.66 m. tons sheep and goat meat, 0.219 m. tons was derived from sheep, while the
rest 0.447 m. tons was goat meat. The average carcass yield of sheep is 12.5 kg, and goat
11.5 kg, about half of those reported from countries having established meat industry.
Such a low yield of meat is partly because of the majority of sheep and goat flocks are
still handled as scavengers, the raising of animals specifically for slaughter is not
practised, and the meat production potential is largely ignored. There has been little
research work into the development of mutton or beef breeds, and generally the potential
of the existing breeds is not realized as they are reared under conditions of inadequate
feeding and poor management.
At present the lambs and kids are slaughtered at low body weights and in lean condition.
Fattening of these animals for 60 to 100 days could add 5 to 6 kg weight per carcass and
would also improve the quality of meat. This practice would help to increase the meat
supply by 95000 tons yearly. It is planned to increase total meat production to 3.0 m. tons
per annum by the year 2008 with annual growth rates of 4.2, 6.0 and 6.5 % for beef,
mutton (sheep and goat meat) and poultry. These increases in meat production are
possible if short term measures of fattening old and very young animals are adopted;
permanent gains could come from better genetic make-up, improved nutrition of breeding
stock and meat animals and improved health services. To attain higher production of
meat, potential constraints such as lack of improved pastures and high quality feed,
absence of suitable technology, lack of production incentives, and disorganized
marketing of livestock and meat need to be removed. Under improved conditions as
suggested above in this paragraph, Pakistan should be able to benefit from the
considerable potential for the production of high quality meat for local and, in the long
term, for foreign markets.
Q.       Why is goat meat preferred over mutton?
Goat meat production and consumption has an important place in the economy of Asian
and African countries. Mounting increase in the population of goats than sheep speaks
itself of the popularity of goats and the liking for their meat in Pakistan. Goat meat has an
edge over mutton since the number of goats slaughtered for meat far exceeds the number
of sheep slaughtered for similar purpose. Goats contribute a large part of the world’s need
for high quality protein. In south western United States, goat meat is considered superior
over mutton for sausage manufacture. It has been reported that in Botswana goats play a
much more important role in the meat industry as compared to sheep. In India where beef
is a taboo with many communities, goat meat is highly preferred. Goats are preferred by
many people for sacrificial slaughter on the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Azha.
Teddy goats appear to have made a considerable contribution in making the goat meat
more popular than mutton. It has been found by various workers that small animals take
relatively short time to reach maturity. This finding favours Teddy goat to be a preferred
animal for meat production. However, for sacrificial slaughter on Eid-ul-Azha, male
goats of large-sized breeds such as Beetal, are considered the prized animals even though

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

they may cost the people twice to thrice as much. A worker from Turkey reported that
goat meat is produced cheaper than other meats. Goats browse tree leaves and convert
poor quality roughage into an important source of useful animal protein.
The preference for goat appears to have eroded the dairy potential of Pakistani goats,
since the fastest growing males are slaughtered for meat purposes and mostly poor
animals are retained for breeding purposes. Careful selection and utilization of breeding
males can largely alleviate this problem. There are, however, several countries where
mutton is equally acceptable and at places mutton is preferred over goat meat. Thus
variations in individual likings, availability and getting used to a certain food item by
people of a certain area/country is a sort of natural pheomenon.
Q.      Are our sheep and goat breeds suitable for meat production?
With few exceptions, most of the sheep and goat breeds in Pakistan (as also of Asia and
Africa) are predominantly meat breeds, which have been improved little by conscious
efforts of breeders. Most of them still have slow growth rate and low feed conversion
efficiency. There are few scientific studies to determine growth and fattening propensities
of these breeds under different conditions of management and feeding, ranging from poor
pasturage to intensive system utilizing fodder and concentrates. Few reliable data are
available on the daily weight gain, food conversion efficiency and carcass yield of
various sheep and goat breeds.
Q.      What factors, in general, affect meat production efficiency?
Efficiency of meat production is influenced by many factors such as relative fertility,
liveweight, conformation of breeds, birth weight and growth rate. Liveweight and growth
rates of given breeds are the most important indicators of meat production potential. The
variations in size and weight of different breeds and individuals in a breed, indicate the
possibilities of selection of breeding stock for meat production. Better feeding and
management can greatly improve the growth rate and meat production potential of the
existing stock. The introduction and extension of simple management techniques such as
castration, could well improve the already valuable animals as meat producers.
Q.      Do you think external linear measurements can be helpful in the assessment
        of sheep and goats liveweights?
External linear measurements of live meat producing animals have attracted attention as
possible predictors of liveweight. High correlations have been reported between certain
measured parameters i.e. heart girth X liveweight, heart girth X carcass weight and body
weight X carcass weight. It was reported from Thailand that chest circumference could be
a useful predictor of liveweight and carcass weight in Thai native goats. An Indian
worker observed that heart girth was the best indicator of liveweight of goats (γ = 0.34-
0.86 in male and 0.26-0.80 in female at 12 months age).
Q.      What do you understand by growth and development in sheep and goats?
As an animal grows it increases in weight until mature size is reached. This is called
growth and refers to an increase in skeletal size and body weight. A knowledge of animal
growth is necessary to improve the efficiency of feed conversion in livestock as the
increase in size will, within limits, determine the quality of meat. During growth the
animal also changes in composition and shape and its various faculties become fully
functional; this is called development. The shape may give some indication of potential
meat quality, and consequently its value per unit weight.
Q.      Discuss prenatal growth in small ruminants and the factors that influence it.

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The growth that takes place before birth is called prenatal growth; this is with reference
to foetus. The growth and development of lambs and kids both prior to and subsequent to
birth are important factors since they influence the return, which the farmer will obtain
from the sale of his lambs/kids. Prenatal growth involves a series of changes starting
from the single cell zygote and resulting in an animal suitable for the external
environment after birth. It is influenced by factors such as heredity, size and age of dam,
maternal nutrition and environmental conditions. The ultimate size of the foetus is
determined by its own genotype and those of its dam and littermates, but species, breed
and strain differences in foetal size are also well known. To achieve higher birth weights,
level of feeding during pregnancy and choice of breed are important considerations. Poor
maternal nutrition may increase neonatal mortality or lead to retarded prenatal growth of
lambs/kids. Thus, post-natal growth may be slow because of a low birth weight
associated with a poor maternal milk supply.
Q.      Discuss post-natal growth in small ruminants and the factors that influence
The breed of sheep/goats, milking capacity of the dam, birth weight, plane of nutrition
and management are the main considerations that influence post-natal growth of small
ruminants. Under ideal conditions the relationship between liveweight and age can be
represented by a sigmoid curve and is similar in all species. Initially, there is a short
phase when liveweight increases little with increasing age, followed by a phase of rapid
growth during the latter stages of which the growth of muscles, bones and vital organs
begins tapering off and fattening begins to accelerate in meat animals. As an animal
approaches maturity, a retardation of growth occurs and finally stops as mature size is
reached. The basic principle of lamb/kid production is to utilize the period of rapid
growth to maximum advantage and slaughter should take place before or just at the point
where growth rate begins to decline. This point represents optimum slaughter weight. At
this stage, the cumulative TDN required to produce a unit liveweight of salable meat
were minimum.
While growing from juvenile to mature stage, the animals change shape, but the
proportions of various joints change little during post-natal growth. Thus the high-priced
muscles in the loin and hindquarters, as a proportion of total muscle in the carcass,
remain almost unchanged.
Q.      What do you know about the pattern of growth of muscle, bone and fat in
        small ruminants? Discuss the importance of such a pattern for the producer.
The major changes in growth and development take place rapidly early in life but the rate
of change gradually diminishes. The muscle, bone and fat have an orderly pattern of
growth in three distinct but overlapping phases. Early in the life of sheep/goats, bone
growth proceeds relatively faster than the muscle and fat deposition but then slows down
and muscle growth proceeds at a faster rate. When the muscle growth is in turn slowing
down, fat growth takes over. The importance of these different rates of growth is that the
farmer/producer is capable of bringing about marked and desirable changes in the
composition of his animal by choosing the appropriate time for slaughter. It should be
noted that the energy cost of depositing fat is much higher than for muscle.
The sheep and goat breeds found in Pakistan are slow maturing, reaching slaughter age at
advanced ages, whereas in developed countries, the required slaughter weight is attained
at a very young age. Thus the cost of meat production from sheep/goats, at the present

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level of performance, is very high in Pakistan and there is an urgent need to evaluate both
local and exotic breeds and their crosses.
Q.      Why is better growth rate of sheep/goats important to the
Growth of the sheep/goats is of concern to the farmer/producer because of the time that
may elapse and the feed he must provide before he can derive any income in return. Thus
better growth rate would bring him more and rapid return.
Q.      Do you think that breed, plane of nutrition and management practices
        influence the growth rate and mature weight of goats? If so, give some
Yes, the growth rate and weight of mature goats varies under the influence of above
given factors. The doe kids of Toggenburg breed reached 50 % of their mature body
weights within the first 4 to 5 months following birth. The doe kids of Saanen breed
attained 50 % of their mature weight in about 8 months. The average gain in weights per
day ranged from 43 to 51 g in Beetal kids. It was reported that mean daily gain of male
Alpine kids receiving milk replacer can reach 250 g during the first month. The mean
gain, however, tended to decrease when the liveweight exceeded 16 kg at slaughter. It
was found from another study that kids receiving high-high level of nutrition attained 15
kg liveweight in 26 weeks, while the low-low kids required 48 weeks to attain the same
weight. It was observed that kids of Barbari and Jamnapari breeds grew fast and
produced more edible meat when given 100 % and 125 % of the TDN. Another study
indicated that browsing group of goats showed 64 % higher growth rate than stall fed
group. It was reported that after the point of inflexion of the growth curve, gain in weight
of kids takes place at a lower rate. However, weight gain alone is not a suitable criterion
of response to different feeding regimes since the chemical composition of the gained
tissue may not be identical in all animals.
Q.      Discuss biological efficiency of various breeds of goats with reference to meat
        production, giving concrete examples.
It was reported that Barbari goats required 5.1 to 5.7 kg TDN/kg gain in body weight,
while Jamnapari goats required 5.9 to 7.9 kg TDN/kg gain. It was found by Indian
workers that in Alpine X Beetal goats, the TDN required per kg gain in body weight was
8.44, 7.89 and 14.14 kg in three groups fed 100, 120 and 140 % of the requirements of
Morrison’s standard for sheep. The corresponding values of DM/kg gain were 10.85, 9.28
and 14.43 kg. Another report showed that the DM consumed by Assam hill goats per kg
gain was 12.01 kg and 21.44 kg at 8 and 12 months of age respectively.
Q.      What is meant by carcass?
The carcass represents that portion of the animal, which is left after the removal of the
head, skin, feet, and viscera except the kidney and kidney fat. One of the important
factors in increasing meat production is the method of measuring carcass traits as the aim
is to obtain maximum weight gain in the form of a carcass of high quality.
Q.      What factors are generally considered important for the evaluation of a
Such factors, regardless of species, are dressing percentage, carcass weight, conformation
and composition.
Q.      Write a note on dressing percentage and carcass weight of small ruminants.

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Dressing percentage is the weight of the carcass expressed as a percentage of liveweight.
This figure depends on a number of factors, including breed, sex, stage of maturity,
degree of finish and contents of the digestive tract. Liveweight is affected by the weight
of the digestive tract and its contents and to standardize the recording of liveweight, a 12
hours fast period pre-slaughter is recommended. Also, when an animal is slaughtered
there is an initial loss by evaporation and therefore dressing percentage should also be
standardized. Hot carcass weight (immediately after slaughter) is the best estimate, but
for commercial purposes, cold carcass weight (24 hours post-mortem) is more useful.
Carcass shrinkage varies with different classes of livestock and the loss is influenced by
storage conditions. In most slaughterhouses where carcasses are weighed hot, a deduction
of about 2 % is usually made, but under adverse conditions this figure is easily exceeded.
Carcass weight is important since the aim in meat production is to obtain maximum gain
in the form of carcass. To achieve this there should be rapid growth leading to a heavy
carcass at a young age.
Approximate percentage composition of selected small ruminant boneless meat
                 Tissue           Chemical composition                    Energy
                 Lean Fat         Water Protein Fat              Ash      Kcal/kg
  Sheep          79       21      63        17           19      1        2470
  Goat meat2 85           15      66        17           16      1        2100
Source:         1. USDA. 2. R.R. Mishra and D.S. Chawala (1976). Annual Report,
National Dairy Res. Inst., Karnal, India.
On average, meat contains 17 % protein, 20 % fat, 1 % minerals and 62 % moisture.
Another source gives goat meat composition as protein, fat, minerals and moisture 21.1,
3.6, 1.1 and 74.2% respectively. Calcium and phosphorus contents are 12 mg/100 g and
193 mg/100 g in goat meat.
Q.      Write down the chemical composition of typical adult mammalian muscle
        after rigor mortis.
In a broad sense the composition of meat can be approximated to 75 % water, 19 %
protein (myofibrillar 11.5%, sarcoplasmic 5.5%, connective tissue and organelle 2.9%),
lipid 2.5 % (neutral lipid, phospholipids, fatty acids, fat-soluble substances), carbohydrate
1.2 % (lactic acid, glucose-6-phosphate, glycogen, glucose and traces of other glycolytic
intermediates), miscellaneous soluble non-protein substances 2.3 % (nitrogenous 1.65%,
inorganic 0.65%), and vitamins (various fat and water-soluble vitamins in minute
Q.      Discuss dressing percentage for sheep and goats by giving specific examples
        for both the species.
The dressing percentage for commercial sheep is generally about 50 %, for a lean animal
40% and a very fat animal may yield up to 60 %. Indian workers have shown average
dressing percentage as 57 at 6 months, 49 at 9 months and 48 at 18 months in the Mandya
breed, while in Nellore breed, the dressing percentage was 56 at 6 months and 51 at 15
It was reported that dressing percentage of Barbari goat is higher than that of Jamnapari.
Dressing percentage (DP) of Jamnapari kids was more at 9 months than at 6 months age.
DP tends to decrease with increasing liveweight because of greater volume of visceral
mass (forestomach and intestine). Higher plane of nutrition results in increased DP. It

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was reported that DP in Sudan Desert goats increased from 40.4 to 54.1 % as a result of
fattening for 80 days. The DP of Thai Native goat was 45.9 %. The proportion of edible
product was 43.06%. The following correlation was found between dressed carcass
weight on liveweight (1) and total dressed meat on liveweight (2).
                Y       =       -1.0979 ± 0.5396 X (1)
                Y       =       -1.0128 ± 0.5568 X (2)
No difference was reported in the dressed meat obtained at 9 months from castrated and
non-castrated animals. Another worker observed that males have higher DP than females
in non-descript Indian goats.
A high DP alone may not suffice, therefore, information concerning growth rate as well
as carcass weight and composition be also kept in view. Lack of reliable data concerning
DP in respect of Pakistani breeds of small ruminants points out the need to take up such
studies since these are important to determine gain in weight and DP at different ages.
The DP of castrated Teddy male goats raised at LPRI, Bahadarnagar (Okara) was
reported as 39.15, 49.76 and 48.96 at 7, 10 and 14 months of age respectively. This study
further showed that total edible and commercially valuable proportions were the highest
at 10 months, being 14.64 and 4.13 % more as compared to that at 7 and 14 months
Q.      Describe the grading system for slaughter sheep/goats and their carcasses.
Grading systems differ from country to country. Various groups of slaughter sheep/goats
in Pakistan are defined as follows: ram/buck⎯uncastrated male; wether⎯male castrated
prior to development of the secondary sex characteristics; ewe/doe⎯mature female;
lamb/kid⎯immature sheep/goat that has not cut its first pair of permanent incisor teeth;
yearling⎯a sheep/goat usually between one and two years of age that has cut its first pair
of incisor teeth but has not cut the second pair; sheep/goat⎯usually more than 24 months
of age that has cut its second pair of permanent incisor teeth. Sheep/goat carcasses are
generally graded on the basis of age, conformation, finish and appearance and grouped
into lamb/kid, yearling or mutton/goat meat on the basis of evidence of maturity present
in the carcass.
There is need for a more realistic carcass grading system, which should reflect the quality
of carcasses for cutability, red meat content and eating quality. In Australia, sheep meats
are now categorized according to dentition, sex, fatness and weight.
The absence of a suitable carcass grading system and an appropriate marketing system
for livestock and their products is a major hindrance to the development of the meat
industry in Pakistan. Grading in slaughterhouses should be undertaken by qualified
graders and a carcass grading system suitable for local markets based on age, sex, carcass
weight, fat thickness and perhaps length should be developed. Such a carcass grading
system should benefit all sectors of the meat industry. Producers would benefit from the
increased demand from local and foreign markets and incentives for higher payments for
better livestock, meat traders and retailers would benefit from the efficient handling of
well-classified units and thus by increased turnover and consumers would benefit by
being able to select the quality of meat they want.
Q.      Discuss the merit of carcass conformation (shape) in evaluating carcass
It has been reported that carcasses with better conformation have less meat and more fat
than carcasses with poor conformation and therefore, it is claimed that conformation

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probably is of little use in evaluating carcass quality. However, in the trade, carcass
conformation is considered to be an important parameter of carcass quality. The
importance of conformation does not appear to be based on yield of edible meat so much
as judgments of age and nutritional history, which affect quality and composition. As the
animal grows, its body trunk becomes a larger proportion of the whole, as compared to
the head and legs. The body itself becomes thicker and deeper and the loin area becomes
better developed, as compared with the neck and chest region. The roundness and
smoothness of the body and joints that develop as the animal grows, are largely a
reflection of the laying down of fat, particularly subcutaneous fat, and not of muscular
Q.      Discuss the use of carcass measurements as indicators of carcass quality.
A variety of length and area measurements (linear measurements) have been proposed
and investigated as indicators of carcass quality. Mostly these have not been shown to
have much value for assessing the lean or fat content of the carcass. Some of these are:

a)      Measurement of longissimus dorsi (eye) muscle.
The loin is one of the most expensive carcass cuts and consumers prefer loins that
possess a large L. dorsi cross-sectional area which accounts for 25 % of the points
allocated in one of the scoring systems. In this system the circumference of the cut
surface of the L. dorsi (eye) muscle and of the fat around it between the 12th and 13th ribs
of the right side of each carcass is traced, and the traced area of the muscle is then
measured with a planometer. Measurements are also made of the length and depth of the
muscle and depth of subcutaneous fat over the muscle.
b)      Carcass length
It may be measured from the anterior edge of the pubic symphysis to the anterior edge of
the first rib close to the vertebra for the calculation of gross fleshing index. This is an
objective measure sometimes used in carcass grading.
c)      Leg length
It may be measured from the distal level of the tibia to the bottom of the aitch (rump
d)      Measurements of fat depth in the carcass
Fat depth in the carcass either measured by calipers at the 12th rib of a carcass cut
transversely, or by subjective measures of fat cover, has been shown to be the most useful
of the simple measurements in predicting carcass quality.
Q.      Discuss the importance of carcass composition in relation to carcass
The principal tissues in the carcass are muscle, fat and bone. Muscle is the most
important constituent of meat. The weight of muscular tissue ranges from 46 to 65 % of
the carcass weight in small ruminants. Carcasses of young animals contain a relatively
high proportion of bone and a low proportion of fat, while those of old animals contain a
lower proportion of bone and higher proportion of fat. The conformation and composition
of the animal can, however, be changed by the plane of nutrition on which it is reared. A
high plane of nutrition hastens development, while a low plane delays it.
Fat is located in specific fat cells supported by connective tissue in depots throughout the
body. It is also deposited within the muscles as intramuscular fat. Fat-soluble flavours are
retained in the fat and it therefore, influences the final flavour of meat. However, the

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production of overfat carcasses requiring the trimming of excess fat is uneconomical and
inefficient as the synthesis of fat requires more nutrients than does the synthesis of
Bone is a non-edible portion of the carcass. It is of interest in carcass appraisal and
grading, however, because a fairly accurate estimate of animal age can be made from the
appearance of the bone.
Q.      Write a note on meat cutting and retail cuts.
In Pakistan, little consideration has been given to methods of cutting carcasses into
valuable and less valuable joints. However, a standardized cutting method and
nomenclature for wholesale and retail cuts are essential pre-requisites for good
merchandising and proper utilization of meat. Sheep and goat carcasses are usually
received whole at the retail shop and the retailer breaks down the carcass into retail or
consumer cuts. Cuts differ in composition and tenderness. The more tender cuts come
from the loin, rump and rib areas which contain muscles used for support, while cuts
from the leg muscles used for locomotion are less tender. The value of meat depends to a
great extent on the appearance and shape of these cuts and the variety of cuts made
depends on the weight, type and grade of the carcass.
Mutton and goat meat cuts are the legs, loin, flank, kidney and kidney fat, shoulder, ribs,
shank and breast. Yield-wise the major cuts are leg (39%), shoulder (26%), breast (10%),
ribs (9%) and loin (7%).
Q.      What constraints are hindering the development of meat industry in
The meat industry of the country is highly neglected and disorganized and probably as
yet is even below the primitive stage of development. Some of the important constraints
i)      No planned breeding programmes for improvement of sheep and goat breeds for
        meat production.
ii)     Denuded range areas, a lack of improved pastures and high yielding fodder
iii)    Poor standards of production and management of small ruminants and veterinary
        services for the control of clinical and sub-clinical diseases.
iv)     Non-existence of a strong extension service is resulting in no linkage between
        farmer/producer and the livestock production agent.
v)      A lack of economic incentives and price control based on quality, grade, cuts and
        cost of production.
vi)     Unsatisfactory transportation and marketing of livestock and their carcasses.
vii)    Poor pre-slaughter handling, slaughtering, dressing, cutting and hygienic practices
        in slaughterhouses and meat shops.
viii) Utter lack of modern facilities in slaughterhouses for efficient utilization of by-
ix)     The absence of quality control and carcass grading systems and obsolete methods
        of carcass handling and meat merchandising.
x)      An acute shortage of manpower well trained in production and management of
        small ruminants and meat technology. There is also shortage of trained workers at
        sub-professional level.

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Q.      What measures would you suggest to effect improvement in meat industry of
i)      To provide baseline data for the meat industry, information in respect of meat
        production capabilities and economic traits such as growth rate, feed conversion
        efficiency, carcass traits, muscle characteristics and meat quality of different
        indigenous sheep and goat meat breeds, needs to be gathered.
ii)     A coordinated well-thought out national breeding programme for the
        improvement of meat breeds of sheep and goats must be effectively implemented.
iii)    The most economical age for slaughter of sheep/goats on different planes of
        nutrition needs to be determined.
iv)     Development of improved pastures, improvement of existing rangelands and
        utilization of agro-industrial wastes and by-products for the formulation of
        balanced and economical rations.
v)      Modern production and management practices, disease and parasite control
        measures leading to reduced mortalities and improved growth rates, need to be
        effectively introduced through livestock production extension system.
vi)     Development of meat marketing infrastructure.
vii)    Improvement of existing and building of new slaughterhouses with facilities for
        processing by-products.
viii) Establishment of a meat research institute and a school for meat technologists.
ix)     Introduction of a course on meat technology in agricultural universities.
x)      Price controls based on production costs and the quality and grades of different
        types of meat produced.
Q.      Discuss in detail true hydration water and free water content of muscle.
Muscle contains mainly water and proteins with a variable amount of fat, small quantities
of glycogen, minerals and non-protein nitrogen. In addition, it has small quantities of free
amino acids particularly glycine, glutamic acid and histidine.
Of the total about 75 % water content of muscle, nearly 4.5 % is bound as true hydration
water and the rest is present as free water. The structural proteins are mainly responsible
for the binding of hydration water and the immobilization of free water. The amount of
free water immobilized within the muscle is influenced by the spatial molecular structure
of the muscle filaments. The content of bound water is a measure of the water-holding
capacity, which is influenced by post-mortem changes in muscle and is believed to have a
close relationship with meat quality.
Q.      Describe in detail the major fractions of muscle proteins.
Muscle contains about 18 % proteins, which can be grouped into three major fractions on
the basis of their solubility.
Sarcoplasmic Proteins: This fraction comprises approximately 30 % of the total muscle
proteins and consists of about fifty components including myoglobin and various
phosphokinases. These are soluble in water or dilute salt solution.
Myofibrillar Proteins: These are the main proteins responsible for the filamentous
organization of muscle and directly participate in the contraction and relaxation process.
The fraction comprises about 60 % of the total muscle protein and its main constituents
are myosin, tropomyosin and actin. Actin and myosin form a complex called actomyosin
which is the main structural component responsible for relaxation and contraction in the
muscles of live animals. These proteins are soluble in concentrated salt solutions.

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Stroma Proteins: These proteins exist in connective tissue, the vascular system, nerve
tissue and the material of the interstitial space. The elements composing connective tissue
of muscle are mainly collagen, reticulin and elastin fibres. Collagen has a higher amount
of hydroxyproline than any other common protein and is converted into water-soluble
gelatin on boiling in water. The reticulin resembles collagen in most aspects but does not
become gelatin on boiling in water, while elastin contains chromophoric residues which
confer its yellow colour and fluorescence and is extremely stable to heat. Elastin contains
1.6 % hydroxyproline, a few amino acids and has a higher amount of valine (18%) than
Q.       What is meant by marbling?
Marbling or intramuscular fat is embedded in the connective tissue between muscle
bundles. Its proportion in muscle varies with the nature and fat status of the animal. It
contains a considerable amount of phospholipids, unsaponifiable substances such as
cholesterol, glycolipids and small quantities of the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K.
Q.       Name various non-protein substances found in muscle.
There are 3.5 % non-protein nitrogenous substances in muscle, creatine (0.55%) and free
amino acids (0.35%) being the main ones. Glycogen (0.10%), lactic acid (0.90%) and
glucose-6-phosphate are the principal carbohydrate derivatives in muscle. The ash of
muscle consists mainly of phosphorus, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium,
copper and zinc, whose presence helps to maintain fluid balance in the living animal and
provides for better water-holding capacity of meat in the carcass. Some metals serve as
co-factors for muscle enzymes. Iron, because of its incorporation in the myoglobin and
haemoglobin molecule, is extremely important in meat pigmentation and animal
Q.       On what basis muscle is classified as red or white?
It is classified so on the basis of histological and biochemical studies. Red muscle has a
majority of narrow, myoglobin-rich fibres and white muscle has a majority of broad,
myoglobin-poor fibres. Red muscle is capable of activity for long periods of time without
rest due to its relatively high concentration of myoglobin, while white muscle is active
for short and quick bursts. Because of its low myoglobin and respiratory enzyme
concentration, frequent periods of rest and respiration are necessary.
Q.       Discuss the major biochemical events that are associated with the
         physiological activity of muscle.
The major biochemical events associated with the physiological activity of muscle are the
interactions of phosphate components with the contractile filaments of actin and myosin.
The energy needed for the contraction process comes from the breakdown of adenosine
triphosphate (ATP), while a continuous supply of ATP is provided directly by resynthesis
from adenosine diphosphate (ADP) by the efficient process of oxidative phosphorylation
or by the less efficient anaerobic glycolytic cycle. The enzymes of oxidative
phosphorylation are located in the mitochondria.
Q.       What events are associated with muscle activity after slaughter of an animal?
After slaughter of an animal, muscles become anaerobic and resynthesis of ATP through
oxidative phosphorylation stops. For a short time, however, the supply of ATP is
maintained by the breakdown of creatine, which serves to phosphorylate ADP to ATP.
Muscle also attempts to maintain the level of ATP through the anaerobic glycolytic cycle
by converting the glycogen to lactic acid and phosphorylating ADP to ATP. Consequent

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to lactic acid production, acidity of muscle goes on increasing until all the glycogen
reserves are utilized or until a pH of about 5.3 is reached, when all the enzymes affecting
the breakdown of glycogen become inactivated. The final pH attained whether through
lack of glycogen, inactivation of glycolytic enzymes, or because glycogen is inaccessible
to attack and is referred to as the ultimate pH.
Q.       What is meant by rigor mortis? Explain that rigor mortis is a complex
At the time of slaughter muscles are soft and pliable. Following slaughter, the most
obvious change that occurs is hardening of the muscles and also loss of transparency and
elasticity. This change is referred to as rigor mortis⎯the stiffness of death. It is
characterized by the muscles contracting and hardening, becoming dull due to loss of
transparency and the joints becoming stiff and immovable. Rigor starts when the animal
is killed and at temperatures of 15°C or more, proceeds rapidly and can be complete
within 10 to 12 hours of death. However, if carcasses are refrigerated at 5 to 7°C, rigor
may take 24 hours or longer. After rigor mortis the muscles slowly relax once more.
The muscle may not be contracting at the moment of slaughter but nevertheless energy is
required to prevent the spontaneous breakdown of the muscle cells. The most immediate
change caused by bleeding is the loss of oxygen carried by circulating blood and one of
the results of this is that ATP is no longer produced and that already present in the
muscles is gradually reduced in amount. As it disappears completely, myosin and actin
combine to form actomyosin which causes the muscles to contract and become stiff and
firm. Relaxation of the contracted muscle is caused by an unknown factor (Marsh-
Bendall factor), which pumps the cations out of the system thus reversing the sequence of
events and resulting in an extended muscle.
Q.       What factors may influence the development of rigor mortis?
The development of rigor mortis is influenced not only by atmospheric temperature but
also by the state of animal before slaughter. When an animal is suffering from a fever or
is not rested before slaughter, the contractions of rigor may be slight and the onset may
be rapid and may pass off quickly, as for example in hunted animals. Any factor which
reduces the concentration of glycogen in muscle immediately before death will reduce the
time and course of rigor.
Q.       With reference to rigor mortis, what type of meat we commonly eat in
Much of the meat eaten in Pakistan is fully contracted or in perfect rigor mortis since it is
consumed about 10 to 16 hours after slaughter. If meat is cooked after 24 to 30 hours
after slaughter, it will be less tough because the muscles will have started to relax and the
cross-linkages between the actin and myosin will be breaking down. With refrigeration
(as practised in most of the western countries), this improvement in tenderness will
continue for a week in the case of small ruminants and two weeks in case of beef. This is
called the ripening or conditioning period and usually the carcass is left for this period in
a cool place at about 5 to 7°C. The rate and extent of the ripening of meat depends on
temperature and in general, a higher temperature will produce a given degree of
tenderness in a considerably shorter time than will a lower temperature. Conditioning or
ageing of post-rigor meat is due to the breakdown of the connective tissue and the
myofibrillar proteins by enzymes present in meat. The rate and extent of tenderizing thus

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varies between species as the rate decreases with lower temperatures and the extent
increases with the length of storage time.
Q.      Define meat quality and what may be the ultimate test for it?
Meat quality can be defined as that combination of physical and chemical characteristics
which results in maximum desirability of appearance and palatability of meat. The
ultimate test of the value of meat is its acceptability to the consumer.
Q.      What factors might influence the appearance and eating quality of meat?
The factors which influence the appearance of meat include colour of lean, colour of fat,
while those which contribute to the eating quality are tenderness, juiciness and flavour.
Colour: Discriminating consumers generally have an idea of the optimum colour of
meat for different species of animals and age classification within the species. The colour
of mutton is purplish-red and that of beef is generally cherry-red. The colour of fresh
meat depends mainly on the physico-chemical state and concentration of myoglobin in
the muscle, but this varies between and even within muscles. It is also associated with the
ultimate pH of meat; meat with a high pH is usually darker than normal. Consumers, in
general, discriminate against yellow-coloured fat, preferring a creamy-white colour.
These days most consumers prefer eating joints, which are not excessively fat.
Tenderness: Although mutton/goat meat, when properly processed and cooked, is
usually good in this respect; tenderness and freedom from stringiness are of prime
importance. This mostly depends upon the treatment of the animal before slaughter and
of the carcass after slaughter. Stress at slaughter leads to a watery lean with a consequent
loss of moisture in the carcass when it is hung. The length of time the meat is left hanging
and the method of freezing (if practised), through an effect called ‘cold shortening’, can
affect the tenderness. There is some evidence that tenderness of meat is reasonably
heritable as are fat content and lean content.
Tenderness has been divided into three organoleptic components i.e. initial ease of
penetration, ease of fragmentation of muscle fibres and the amount of residue left after
chewing a piece of meat. The degree of tenderness can also be related to three categories
of proteins in muscle, those of connective tissue, of the myofibril and of sarcoplasm.
Juiciness: Meat that is dry when cooked is not desirable. Maltreatment of the animal
before slaughter causing stress or exhaustion can lead to excessive moisture loss. The
sensation of juiciness of cooked meat is due to the liberation of meat juices during the
process of chewing. These are liberated in two stages and consequently two effects can
be noted. Firstly, there is rapid release of fluid which gives the impression of initial
wetness and secondly, after further chewing, there is a slow release of fluid which gives
the impression of sustained juiciness. The principal sources of juiciness in meat are the
intramuscular lipids and water, especially the bound water. Certain flavours also
stimulate extra salivation, which may give the impression of extra juiciness.
Flavour: It is an important component of meat quality, which involves the sensations of
odour, taste and texture. True meaty flavour develops only on cooking. Thirty-one amino
acid containing compounds were found in the water extracts of mutton and beef, when
these extracts were heated, a meaty aroma developed and large amounts of these
components were lost. The fat content of meat, while contributing to juiciness, also
influences flavour. The flavour of each species resides in the fatty tissues. In some parts
of the world there is some consumer resistance to the odour of mutton when cooking as

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also there is some aversion to the goat odour emanating from the meat of entire male
Q.      Briefly discuss the yield of usable meat.
For any meat type of small ruminants, the yield of usable meat shows a sharp increase as
weight increases. This is partly a reflection of the increased dressing percentage and
partly a reflection of decreased bone content. It was shown that well fed sheep when
slaughtered at 9 weeks and 41 weeks age having liveweights 27.8 and 81.7 kg
respectively, the yield of usable meat from them was 40 and 54 %. It may be stated that
the larger the portion of meat that can be cut from a carcass, the better. Small carcasses,
whatever else their merit, tend to give chops and joints that do not compare favourabley
in size with meat from larger carcasses. Another aspect is that many of costs of handling
and processing sheep/goat carcasses are related to the carcass as a unit, thus increasing
the costs per unit of meat for small carcasses.
Q.      Write a note on growth rate of various breeds of sheep and goats in Pakistan.
Planned studies on growth rate of sheep and goats have not been undertaken. However,
some information can be derived from the liveweight data on several breeds from state
farms. In local sheep, the growth rate varied from a low of 99 to a high of 180 g per day
in males and 100 to 164 g per day in females. Per day growth rate in various important
breeds of sheep has been recorded in male and female animals as: Lohi 155 and 145 g;
Kachhi 136 and 123; Thalli 137 and 123 g; Kajli 180 and 164 g; Sipli 99 and 100 g;
imported Awassi 200 and 182 g. Awassi crossbred with Lohi (213 and 188 g) and Kachhi
(193 and 181 g) also showed higher growth rate. Corresponding figures for goats are as
Beetal 264 and 230; Hairy 207 and 164; Nachi 135 and 136; Dera Din Panah 135 and
132; Teddy 80 and 77; Angora 260 and 208 g per day. The best growth rate is in Beetal
with 264 and 230 g per day in males and females, respectively. As expected the lowest
growth rate is in Teddy goats. It may be mentioned that the growth rates given above
have been derived from liveweight data between birth and weaning (120 days). The
growth rate declines after a certain age and on attaining a certain body weight. These
might vary to some extent in various breeds of sheep and goats. It has been reported that
under optimal conditions, the highest rate of growth in lamb, occurs between 1 to 5

Q.      Discuss fattening performance and feed efficiency of sheep and goats.
It has been reported that besides the effect of genotype, other variables such as the type of
ration, forage-concentrate ratio, level of digestible energy, initial body weight and
environmental temperature influence the fattening performance of sheep and goats.
Highly significant correlation between dry matter intake and body weight gain has been
observed. Using regression analysis daily body weight gains of 75 to 176 g were
predicted with daily dry matter intakes of 0.95 to 2.20 kg. The level of crude fibre content
in the ration is significantly correlated to liveweight gain and feed efficiency. Both of
these parameters improve with decrease in crude fibre content. For example, the weight
gain per day was 86 g and the feed efficiency 7.3 when crude fibre content was 35%. But
with a crude fibre content of 10%, the weight gain increased to 167 g and feed efficiency

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Another example shows the effect of initial body weight on daily weight gain and feed
efficiency. When the initial body weight was 10 kg, the daily weight gain was 115 g and
feed efficiency was 8.9. However, when initial weight increased to 30 kg, the daily
weight gain increased to 140 g, but the feed efficiency declined to 11.3.
Comparing the fattening performance of sheep and goats, highly significant differences
were reported in favour of sheep. In terms of daily weight gain and feed efficiency (feed
conversion ratio), sheep performed significantly better than goats, especially under
intensive feeding systems.
Q.       Describe the growth and development of various body components such as
         anatomical and chemical components.
Important changes that occur in general in the main components of small ruminants body
as it grows are as follows:
A)       Anatomical components
i)       Brain and nervous tissue: The proportion of this component falls progressively as
         growth proceeds e.g. in well fed animals, the brain as a proportion of liveweight
         fell from about 1.6 % at birth to 0.1 % at 41 weeks of age.
ii)      Other essential organs: Other organs such as the heart and liver also form a lower
         proportion of the adult than of the youngone at birth. The heart and liver
         respectively fell from 0.7 and 2.0 % of liveweight at birth to 0.3 and 1.2 % at 41
iii)     Bones: The skeleton as a whole is an early maturing component of the body; the
         proportion fell from 17.3 % at birth to 5.9 % of the liveweight at 41 weeks of age.
         Individual bones vary in their rate of development. For example the skull bones
         are relatively earlier maturing than the whole skeleton, whereas the ribs are later
iv)      Muscle: The proportion of muscle as a whole, in the body, shows less change as
         the small ruminants grow. The proportion fell from 27 % at birth to 24 % at 41
         weeks age. Within the total, however, individual muscles show large differences
         in earliness of maturity; the head and neck muscles are relatively early maturing
         compared with the total muscle mass, whereas the loin muscles are later maturing.
v)       Fat: The adipose tissue depots of the sheep/goat’s body are later maturing than
         the body as a whole. For example the high plane lambs showed only 3.7 % total
         fat (including kidney fat) at birth compared with 31 % of the liveweight at 41
         weeks. Subcutaneous fat depots are later maturing, whereas intramuscular
         deposits and kidney fat develop earlier than the fat as a whole.
B)       Chemical Components
i)       Water: The water content of the body falls as the animal matures. This is a
         reflection of the increased proportion of fat to lean, fatty tissue being associated
         with little water, whereas lean muscle contains a high water content.
ii)      Ash content: The ash content as a measure of the total mineral content of the
         body falls as the animal grows; this is to be expected because the mineral content
         is largely associated with the skeleton.
iii)     Crude protein: On a dry matter basis, there is an appreciable fall in the crude
         protein of small ruminant’s body and carcass when comparing the animals at birth
         with older sheep/goats. This shows a substantial increase in fat. It is the
         association of the crude protein with a relatively high proportion of water in

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         muscle tissue that accounts for the much smaller decline of muscle proportion as
         carcass weight increases.
iv)      Fat content: The fat content as estimated from ether extracted samples of
         carcasses, shows a marked increase as the animal grows. Expressed on a dry
         matter basis, the increase in fat content is more marked and about 60 % of the dry
         carcass is fat. It was reported that body fat percentage was higher in sheep of all
         age groups (8.9 to 45.2%) compared to goats of similar ages and fattening stages
         (5.5 to 29.7%). Another report indicated that fat content in various age groups of
         Malawi goats was 6.43 % (4-8 months), 12.01 % (9-14 months) and 11.30 % (15-
         24 months).
Q.       Give a list of the factors that might influence the pattern of growth and
         development in small ruminants.
Genetic influences or genotype, age, size and nutritional state of the dam, sex of
offspring, length of gestation period, number of young born, climate and disease control
are the important factors that influence the growth and development in small ruminants.
Q.       How would genetics and breeding affect the growth and development of
There are differences in quality characteristics of different breeds of sheep as well as
goats when compared at the same carcass weight i.e. in proportion of muscle, fat and
bone carcass yield and dressing percentage. Under the same conditions of feeding,
various breeds can be broadly ranked according to rate of growth and earliness of
maturity. Where mature size and rate of growth tend to increase, earliness of maturity
tends to decrease. The rate of growth and earliness of maturity are closely associated with
the mature size of the breed. Early maturing breeds tend to lay down fat at a relatively
young age and yield a higher dressing percentage than the late maturing breeds.
Generally early maturing breeds have smaller mature size than late maturing breeds.
Genetic and environmental factors are closely interrelated and favourable environmental
conditions are necessary for the full expression of individual genetic capacity. The
selection of sheep/goats for improved performance is practicable on the basis of
heritability estimates for birth weight, weaning weight, post-weaning growth and feed
utilization efficiency. Some reports indicate that breeding has little or no effect on the
palatability of lamb meat, while others showed differences in tenderness among breeds of
lambs. Crosses between fine wool and medium wool breeds gave lambs with the most
tender rib chops.
Information regarding the carcass composition and meat quality of different breeds of
local sheep/goats is not available. Detailed studies should be undertaken to compare
different breeds for growth rate, retail cuts, carcass composition and meat quality to
identify those breeds which are efficient in feed utilization and produce good quality
carcasses at young ages.
Q.       Discuss that sex does influence growth and development of sheep/goats.
It has been clearly shown that entire males have distinct advantages in weight gain over
castrated males, which in turn gain weight faster than females and the differences in size
between the sexes result in differences in the development of body proportions. Thus the
carcasses of male animals have a lower proportion of fat and a higher proportion of lean
meat than those of female animals of similar slaughter weight. In some European
countries, a premium price is paid for quality meat from entire males, who are said to

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have a higher proportion of lean meat, better growth rate and feed conversion. In
Pakistan, castration is performed in a limited way and not all the surplus males are
subjected to it.
The rearing of entire males has been shown to be an efficient and simple way of
increasing meat production and it could also help to avoid the problem of tissue residues
associated with the use of certain types of growth promotants such as steroid hormones in
castrate males. It is probable that in the future in many countries, meat from entire males
will be used more commonly, despite a few problems associated with managing these
animals and a traditional bias against this type of meat, especially from bucks.
Management problem may be overcome by the use of induced cryptorchidism and partial
castration. These techniques render the animal sterile without suppressing the endocrine
function of the testes, but the results have not been entirely satisfactory.
Q.      What is the use of “induced cryptorchidism” and how do we perform it?
This is a simple method to render the ram/buck sterile but it avoids the penalties of
castration. This method entails squeezing the testes into the abdominal cavity shortly
after birth and sealing the neck of the scrotum with a rubber ring to prevent their descent.
The scrotum and the ring eventually drop off and the intact testes are retained in the
abdominal cavity. Normal sperm development is inhibited by the high temperature within
the abdomen and the male animal, although similar in most respects to an entire
ram/buck, yet has been rendered sterile.
Q.      Discuss the role of sex hormones in growth and development of small
Sex differences in growth and development are a result of the operation of the sex
hormones, steroids released from the gonads, which influence a number of the animal’s
complex physiological systems. Sex hormones are also responsible for the so called
secondary sexual characteristics. The ewe/doe differs from the ram/buck in that it has a
slower rate of growth, a more early maturing carcass and reaches a lower mature size,
due to the effect of estrogen in restricting the growth of the long bones of the body.
Castration or removal of the testes of the ram/buck leads to a reduced growth rate,
particularly to a restriction of muscle growth, giving an earlier maturing and fatter carcass
with reduced feed conversion efficiency.
When administered in appropriate doses, some natural or synthetic hormones can lead to
substantial growth promotion, particularly in the castrate, associated with increased
muscle growth and the leaner carcass of a later maturing animal. The male hormones, or
androgens act as anabolic steroids, promoting muscle growth in most species. Two
synthetic compounds, diethylstilboestrol and hexoestrol have much the same action as
natural estrogens in promoting growth in ruminants. These have substantial effects on the
growth and carcass quality, particularly of wether lambs but no consistent economic
benefit has been widely established for their use nor is their mode of action completely
Q.      Write a note on the effects of plane of nutrition on the pattern of growth and
        development in sheep/goats.
The plane of nutrition is the most important factor affecting the growth and body
composition of meat animals. A high plane of nutrition has the effect of decreasing the
time scale of the phases of growth so that animals enter the fattening phase of growth at

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an early age and a low plane has the opposite effect, thus influencing the conformation
and composition of animals even if they are of the same breed and weight.
Several studies have subsequently shown that the carcass is far less affected by
underfeeding than was once thought, particularly the fat-free body components. The
amount of fat and the distribution of fat in the body can be adversely affected by feed
restriction during growth, but no significant effect can be demonstrated on bone: muscle
ratio, in carcasses compared at the same total fat-free weight.
Fasting meat animals for a long period results in nutritional stress, leading to a
lower grade of carcass as all cuts with the exception of neck are significantly
reduced in weight, causing a considerable loss in meat production. However, it has
been shown that underfed young lambs given a high plane of nutrition for an adequate
period of compensatory growth, produced meat of the same quality as conventionally
grown lambs.
Inadequate feeding of animals is one of the main constraints to increasing meat
production in Pakistan. Research into the nutritional requirements of different species of
small ruminants is urgently needed, together with evaluation of the available feedstuffs.
Q.       In what different ways the quality and quantity of meat is affected by the age
         of the slaughtered sheep/goats?
As an animal increases in weight from birth to maturity, the muscle fibres increase in size
until their maximum growth capacity is achieved. There is a close relationship between
the diameter of muscle fibres and total musculature of the animal. Irrespective of breed
and sex, the chemical composition of muscle varies with age. With increasing age, there
is an increase in intramuscular fat, myoglobin content, total and sarcoplasmic proteins
and a decrease in stroma and water content in the L. dorsi muscle. The muscles from
older animals have been shown to contain less connective tissue than those of young,
while the muscles of young animals may contain more reticulin and a higher
concentration of salt-soluble collagen. The collagen from older animals is more highly
cross-linked than collagen from young animals.
The age of the animal also affects the ultimate pH of carcass muscle, which decreased
from 5.61 for 6 months old calves to 5.46 for 18 months old cattle. With increasing age,
muscle tissues darken in colour, a factor which is sometimes discriminated against by the
consumer. Pale colour of muscle tissues of very young animals may be equally disliked
by consumers, although the colour changes due to age are related to an increase in
myoglobin contents of muscle. Young animals yield more tender meat than older
animals. Increased toughness due to increasing age may be related to the changes in the
composition of connective tissue. Meat from older animals also has more flavour than
that from younger ones, which may be due to myoglobin concentration, but the late-
developing characteristic of marbling of the animal tissue is also responsible to some
In this country, slaughtered animals are either very young or very old. The yield and
quality of meat is poor and research is needed to establish a point during the growth cycle
of small ruminants where maximum muscle development, minimum fat deposition and
high quality of meat can be obtained for the least cost.
Q.       Discuss that whether climatic conditions affect the growth rate, body
         composition and performance of small ruminants?

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Environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity affect the growth rate, body
temperature and performance of animals. The optimum temperature for meat animals is
15 to 30°C, but for the most part temperatures below this range have less effect on the
overall productivity and efficiency of meat animals than temperatures above it. In
temperate areas, small ruminants are generally of moderate size and compact
conformation, with short legs and mostly thick wool/hair coat, whereas in tropical areas,
sheep/goats, in general, have long bodies, legs, ears and tail and have a coat of short
wool/hair. In arid areas some breeds of sheep have an enlarged fatty tail which serves as
an energy reserve and its location does not impede heat loss, as it would if spread over
the body surface as subcutaneous fat.
Climatic conditions in Pakistan are extreme with very hot summers and very cold winters
and thus there is need to provide shade in summer and shelter in the winter.

Q.      Do you think disease control in small ruminants can help enhance meat
        production from them?
Disease control is an important factor in the success of any livestock enterprise and so is
it with meat production from small ruminants that can be infected with parasites, bacteria,
fungi and viruses. Diseased conditions of animals can affect their productivity by
reducing weight gain and feed conversion efficiency. Due to important factors such as
poor management, malnutrition, denuded ranges, parasite problems, the average weight
of dressed carcasses of sheep/goats is considerably less than the average in other
countries. However, reliable data indicating annual losses in production of meat due to
disease in Pakistan are not available.
Parasitic control measures adopted in other countries have shown a clear advantage in
carcass weight and thus an efficient and practical deworming schedule for livestock needs
to be developed in Pakistan. Farms in this country are small and most producers are not
aware of the benefits of drenching at the appropriate time and this may be one of the
factors resulting in considerable loss of weight gain in the animals. An effective
programme is needed for the treatment of animals against clinical and sub-clinical
diseases and farmers should be trained in methods of drenching and other husbandry
practices for which a real extension service wing in the Dept. of Livestock and Dairy
Development in each province should be organized and manned with those especially
trained in livestock production management.
Q.      Discuss various technological factors influencing the quality and quantity of
Pre-slaughter Handling: The production of high quality meat starts with the live animal
on the farm. However, it can be greatly affected by the transport of animals to the point
of slaughter. During this time they are usually deprived of feed and for some of the time
of water as well and they are often transported over a considerable distance. During
transportation they may also suffer from bruising and even suffocation resulting in death.
Unimportant losses in liveweight consist of dung, urine and body secretions, but losses of
carcass tissues are of considerable importance. It was found that the loss of carcass
weight was a linear function of fasting time for up to four days of fasting, occurring at a
rate of 1.5 % of the animal carcass weight per day. The animals lose weight between the
time they are mustered to be selected for slaughter till the time they are slaughtered at an

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Rough handling of animals during transit and the immediate pre-slaughter period can
adversely affect meat quality since stress can cause high ultimate pH in muscles, dark-
cutting carcasses, pale, soft, exudates (PSE) or dry, firm, dark (DFD) meat and blood
splash. Main stress on livestock is due to the loading and unloading periods and the
duration of the journey rather than to the distance travelled. No information, however, is
available in Pakistan on the effects of the methods of transportation, distance and time in
transit, and seasonal variation in weight loss and meat quality.
Ante-mortem inspection should be carried out in order to segregate sick or suspected
animals thus protecting the other animals and workers against any contagious diseases. In
Pakistan the Slaughter House Act requires ante-mortem inspection but this mostly occurs
in a loose manner only in recognized slaughterhouses, whereas many animals are
slaughtered in unauthorized premises and rural areas. Ante-mortem inspection of animals
for slaughter should be strictly enforced to ensure that the handling of sheep/goats is done
as quietly and humanely as possible.
Slaughter Procedures: In Pakistan, as in most Islamic countries, animals are slaughtered
without prior stunning. However, to minimize cruelty and pre-slaughter struggling, it is
considered compulsory in many countries to stun or render the animal unconscious before
bleeding. Methods used include electrical stunning, hammer stunning, carbon dioxide
anaesthesia etc. Electrical stunning consists of passing an electric current of 7.5 to 8 volts
through the brain for at least 7 seconds; bleeding should commence within 5 seconds of
stunning otherwise blood splash may occur in the meat. In carbon dioxide stunning,
animals are passed through an atmosphere of carbon dioxide and air.
Slaughtering techniques have a definite effect on carcass and meat quality. Whatever
method is used, the purpose is to remove as much blood as possible from the carcass
since it can cause unpleasant appearance and is an excellent medium for the growth of
microorganisms, but how much effectively bleeding is done, only about 50 % of the
blood is removed. After stunning the small ruminants, bleeding is done by making an
incision in the jugular furrow close to the head and severing the carotid artery. At the
same time the head is jerked back to rupture the spinal cord at the base of the skull to stop
the reflex muscular action. This method is mostly practised in western countries.
According to Islamic method of slaughter, a transverse cut is made around the neck
cutting both carotid arteries and jugular veins with the simultaneous severing of
parasympathetic nerves. This has been shown to result in quick and a well-bled carcass.
Jews also use this method. Thorough bleeding may also depend on whether the animal is
lying on the floor when the neck vessels are severed. Some quarters claim that better
bleeding is obtained by cutting the main blood vessels in front of sternum of hoisted
animals rather than in animals lying on the floor.
Following bleeding, carcasses are dressed to separate the feet, skin, excess fat, viscera
and offals. In modern slaughterhouses, after stunning and bleeding, animals are dressed
on the line system where they are shackled by the hind legs and lifted to an overhead rail
before being skinned. This system appears more hygienic and efficient than the system
where carcasses are dressed on the floor of the slaughterhouse. The latter system is
mostly in vogue in this country.
Q.       Write a note on slaughtering facilities in Pakistan.
Slaughterhouses and slaughtering facilities in Pakistan are mostly obsolete, unsanitary
and poorly managed, resulting in poor marketable products. At present there are over 300

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recognized slaughterhouses in the country, having the daily capacity to slaughter about
50,000 large and 25,000 small animals. Most of the slaughterhouses lack basic facilities
such as potable water, electricity and efficient sewerage systems and adequate modern
facilities for mechanical slaughtering, inspection, grading, refrigeration and
transportation of carcasses. Facilities also lack for the efficient utilization of by-products
and wastes such as blood, bones, bile, hooves, horns, pancreas and other glands. Workers
are not well-trained and there is a considerable loss of by-products and damage to hides
and skins resulting from improper slaughtering. The situation is rather disappointing in
rural areas where generally there is one butcher in each sizeable village and animals are
usually slaughtered under a tree.
For efficient meat production and marketing, the establishment of modern
slaughterhouses is a must, where animals are properly handled and slaughtered and by-
products are collected hygienically and properly processed. Meat (if) processed in the
slaughterhouses should be kept in adjacent cold storage or chilling rooms to maintain its
quality as the major meat quality problems at this stage are of hygiene. Contamination of
the carcass is often a hazard since caked dirt and droppings on the coats of sheep/goats
can be brushed on to the carcass being dressed. Existing slaughterhouses should be
remodeled and equipment for sterilization and disinfection should be provided. New
slaughterhouses should be established and hygienic methods of slaughter, dressing,
cleaning and disinfection need to be developed.
Q.       What effects the use of specific nutrient supplements, growth promotants etc.
         in animal feed, might have on meat produced from small ruminants?
The recent use of animal manure as a source of organic nitrogen in feedstuffs can lead to
tainting of meat if used in concentrations which are too high. Vaccines and medicines can
also have serious consequences in the production of meat from livestock. The illegal
presence of drug residues in meat or in edible offals has become a problem for the meat
industry in many parts of the world and as a result many countries have programmes to
detect and control these residues. The withdrawal period must be observed in order to
prevent the presence of residues in meat, which may be harmful to human health.
Chemicals such as turpentine, ammonia and linseed oil cause tainting of meat and thus
may lead to rejection of the whole carcass. It is inadvisable to use volatile chemicals
when there is a possibility that an animal may have to be slaughtered soon afterwards.
There are reports that the use of pesticides may cause abnormal odour in meat. The effect
of dieldrin on crops fed to livestock has been reported to cause tainting of meat, apart
from undesirable contamination.
A number of off-flavours are detected in the meat of sheep when these graze certain
pastures (such as lurcerne, rape, green oats and perennial ryegrass) for some weeks
before slaughter. The effects are more noticeable at certain times of the year and at
certain stages of growth of the plants. From time to time, phenolic substances, used in
dipping sheep, have been detected in the meat at the time of consumption.
The effect of nitrite resulting from microbiological reduction of nitrate used in curing
meat is very serious for infants since foetal haemoglobin is particularly susceptible to
oxidation until they are three months old and the enzyme systems capable of reducing
metmyoglobin back to myoglobin are often deficient in the very young.

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More recent awareness that nitrite can react with secondary and tertiary amines to
produce carcinogenic nitrosamines, has led to a further reduction in the permitted level of
residual nitrite to 200 ppm in cured meat which at present is not much in use in Pakistan.
When meat products are smoked, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including
carcinogenic substances such as 3,4-benzpyrene, may precipitate on to surfaces, but it is
only when fat falls on to hot cinders during charcoal grilling of meat that the levels
become significant.
Various hormones are administered to enhance the growth of animals. Some of these,
such as hexoestrol, are believed to be carcinogenic. Synthetic estrogens have thus been
prohibited in a number of countries. It seems unlikely, however, that residues of these
would be present at significant levels in meats. Moreover, it has been calculated that it
would be necessary to consume 200 tons of beef liver or 200 tons of lean meat from
cattle implanted with diethylstilboestrol to obtain the amount of estrogen administered in
a single birth control pill.
It was reported that meat could be the vehicle for various mycotoxins produced by
moulds. These could be acquired when animals ate contaminated feeds. Alfatoxins
produced by Aspergillus spp. are believed to be carcinogenic to man. The places where
mechanically recovered meat is used, high concentration of heavy metals such as lead,
barium, and strontium in bones could be hazardous.
The use of pesticides in agriculture, especially those which are persistent, such as the
organochlorine group, could lead to their deposition in the tissues of animals grazing
treated pastures or feeds. Various surveys of pesticide residues in meat indicated that
withdrawal period must be observed before the slaughter of such animals is planned.
Q.      Write a detailed note on meat-eating and health hazards.
A vigorous controversy continues about the effects on health of long-term consumption
of meat, since it has been alleged to be associated with the development of carcinoma,
cardiovascular disease and hypertension. There is some evidence that increased
consumption of meat, with concomitant alterations in other dietary constituents, and
increased gut transit time, may play a role in the development of carcinoma of large
intestine. Increased proportion of anaerobic organisms such as bactericides in the
intestine produce 7-a-dehydroxylase, which converts cholic acid to the suspected
carcinogen, deoxycholate. Insofar as meat consumption tends to reflect affluence, the
impression that cancer of the bowel is more prevalent in richer societies may appear
logical: conversely, cancer of the stomach appears to be more prevalent among the less
The balance of present opinion, however, indicates that meat consumption as such is not
a factor in carcinogenesis. On the other hand, in that meat could be the repository of
extraneous carcinogens (residues of benzypyrenes from smoking operations, anabolic
hormones) it could constitute a hazard, as could any other food so contaminated.
Since the intake of the saturated fatty acids, lauric, myristic and palmitic, raises plasma
levels of cholesterol and these are found in high concentration in animal fats, an
association between this phenomenon and meat consumption might be anticipated. It has
been suggested therefore, that a high ratio of unsaturated: saturated fatty acids in the diet
would be desirable since this might lower the individual’s susceptibility to cardiovascular
diseases, in general, and to coronary heart disease and cerebral vascular disease, in
particular. However, it is now acknowledged that any relationship between

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cardiovascular diseases, the consumption of fats and blood cholesterol is complex. There
are indications that, whereas cholesterol itself may be benign, its oxides may be toxic;
that, whereas the feeding of polyunsaturated fatty acids has been reported to lower the
incidence of cardiovascular conditions, it has been related to increased deaths from
carcinoma. Tissue damage caused by peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids may be
A connection between a high intake of salt and hypertension has long been recognized.
Except cured meats, fresh meat per se is a minor source of dietary salt, thus may not
cause hypertension unless extraordinarily large quantities are consumed as a routine.
Although diets rich in protein (including meat) elevate serum levels of uric acid and thus
restriction in their consumption may be advised in certain circumstances. Their reported
association with gout is not clear as the condition is now thought to be hereditary. Since
meat is an important source of essential amino acids, it is desirable to refer briefly to
some disturbances of protein metabolism which constitute pathological conditions such
as disorders of digestive enzymes (e.g. cystic fibrosis of the pancreas) and faulty
mechanisms of intestinal amino acid transport (e.g. cystiurea leading to faulty absorption
of cystine and dibasic amino acids and malabsorption of tryptophan). There are also
certain genetically determined conditions in which the intermediary metabolism of one or
several amino acids is defective.
Amongst the more positive attributes of meat is its ability not only to supply iron⎯and
that from meat is it absorbed 3 to 5 times more readily than iron from plant foods, but
also to enhance the absorption of iron from non-meat sources which are concomitantly
The concept that meat may cause carcinoma, cardiovascular or other diseases in the
otherwise healthy individual is far from being proven, the evidence being contradictory
and the idea biologically unlikely. It is evident that we know too little, as yet, about the
biochemical requirements of the individual human consumer to accept generalizations
against meat-eating.
It is a universal truth that excessive consumption of any thing could be harmful. This
should be equally applicable to excessive consumption of meat. Therefore, in view of
prevailing fear, consumption of red meat, especially beef, may be restricted to moderate
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
recommended that no more than 30% of the calories in the human diet come from fats.
The average person in USA obtains approximately 37% of his calories from fats.
Nevertheless, today’s liking for lean meat fits well into the AHA recommended diet and
more extensive acceptance should reduce that figure (Romans et al., 1994).
Other Sheep and Goat Products
Q.       Besides meat, milk and wool/hair, mohair, what other sheep and goat
         products are of economic importance in Pakistan? Discuss any one of these.
Other sheep and goat products of economic importance in this country are body fat, skins,
casings, bones, offals and voidings.
Body Fat: The fatty tissue obtained from various parts of sheep and goats consists of
abdominal fats such as kidney fat, omentum and mesenteric fat and subcutaneous or back
fat. Fat collected from dead animals is used in the manufacture of inedible products such
as glycerine, washing soaps, lubricants and animal feeds.

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The annual production of fat from sheep and goats is estimated at 70000 tons including
11600 tons from dead animals. Since fat is not collected for rendering from about 10 %
of slaughtered and 80 % of dead sheep and goats, the quantity wasted is approximately
16000 tons per year, thus consumption is nearly 54000 tons per annum.
Fat collected from slaughtered animals is used as a cooking medium, as a base in
pharmaceuticals and in bakery products, while inedible fats are largely used for making
detergents such as milled soap, flakes and washing powder and products such as glyerine,
nitroglycerine, explosives and lubricants. Portions of fat, white tissue, skin and bones are
used in the preparation of products such as gelatin and glue.
There is unlimited demand for both edible and inedible products obtained from body fat
by a growing population and rising consumption of commercial products. Carcasses of
large animals, in particular, can help meet increasing demand for fat since 5 to 6 times
more fat can be obtained from large carcasses than those from sheep and goats.
The production, collection, processing and consumption of body fat throughout Pakistan
should be surveyed to delineate measures aimed at increased collection and improved
marketing. Fat should be removed from animals dying of harmless and non-
communicable diseases for conversion into non-edible commercial products. The
physical, chemical and biological characteristics of body fat should be investigated to
determine its most economic uses and as a basis for grading and standardizing edible and
inedible fats.
    Q. What do we do with sheep and goat skins? Do these have any economic
Skins are valuable and important source of raw material for local leather industry. They
also constitute one of the major items of Pakistan’s export trade. Estimated production of
skins during 2002 is 39 million. Their value has been estimated at Rs. 6450 million.
Lamb/kid skins fetch better prices than the others. Considerable care is required to be
taken when the skin is removed from the carcass after slaughter. The preparation and
drying of skin is an art by itself and calls for a certain amount of skill.
Nearly 80 to 90 % of the skins produced are from slaughtered animals and the rest may
be from fallen animals. To make them value added, the export of raw skins is
discouraged. Recent reports indicate that about 15% of the skins are damaged because of
flaying cuts and another 6 to 8 % are spoiled due to defective curing. A considerable
number of pieces are also spoiled due to manage, mites and other skin diseases.
Q.      What is meant by pelts? Discuss their categories, value and quality.
Pelts here denote lamb/kid skins. These are valued worldwide because of their many fine
features. Enhancement of pelt quality can help improve producers returns. Lamb/kid
skins generally can be classified into two categories according to end use such as wooled
skins (shearling) and pulled (wool –free) skins. Wooled skins, if unblemished and ked-
free can be used to make very fine coats, footware and other accessories. Similarly,
pulled wool skins, if ked-free and undamaged are typically manufactured into fine leather
goods such as garments, purses and accessories. The value and quality of pelts may be
improved by observing the following practices. It is possible for a producer or a group of
producers to receive a premium based upon a comprehensive pelt quality improvement
Genetic enhancement of wool quality is an important part of sheep pelt quality
improvement. Management for improved pelt quality should include the following:

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i) Where branding is necessary, use scourable paint brands and avoid excessively heavy
applications or use alternative sheep /goat identification methods such as ear tags,
tattooing etc. ii) Avoid shearing and vaccination scars. Vaccinate high on the neck. iii)
Possibly avoid grazing sheep where they have access to burs, plant seeds or vegetable
matter such as wild oats, spear grass that might get matted in the wool or irritate sheep’s
skin. iv) Avoid holding sheep/goats in muddy areas. v) Do not pour feed or allow dry
forage to drop over the sheep’s backs. vi) Use non-staining drenching medications. vii)
Control keds and ticks.

Q.     How to effect ked control?
Keds (Melophagus ovinus), called sheep ticks by many, are parasites of sheep only and
cannot live for any great length of time if separated from them. They feed on the sheep by
repeatedly puncturing the skin, causing a series of firm, dark nodules that develop in the
dermal layer, seriously damaging the skins by causing defect known to the pelt industry
as ‘cockle’ and result in a rash–like bloch or blemish in the skin. Cockle does not accept
dye to the same degree as surrounding areas and the finished leather is discoloured by
these blotches. Keds are mostly prevalent in the temperate parts of the world. Their
numbers increase during the fall and winter and then decline during the warm months.
Keds are transferred to young lambs in the spring to start the cycle again. It has been
reported that ked infestations cost producers about 8 % lower lamb weaning weights and
7 % lower fleece weight. The entire flock should be treated at shearing time. Insecticides
used as a dip are both effective and not very costly. Any new arrivals introduced into the
flocks should be so treated.
Q.      Write a note on sheep pelts.
The sheep pelt (skin) is by far the most valuable product of sheep slaughtering. Pelts are
handled in one of two ways: either (a) fresh or (b) salted, with the manner of handling
determined by the distance from the plant/factory where wool is processed. Sheep skins
(pelts) with short wool, 0.75 in. (about 20 mm) or less in length are usually tanned with
the wool on and are used for coats, robes, rugs, slippers etc. Pelts with longer wool are
sent to the pullery. The pulling process consists of applying a depilatory solution (made
of sodium sulphide, slaked lime and water to the skin side of the pelt and then pulling the
wool loose from the skin after the chemical action has loosened the hold on the fibres.
Pelts are sorted into different grades, based primarily on length and quality of wool as
determined by breeding, nutrition, climatic conditions and whether previously clipped
and if so, the lapse of time since last clipping.
The grades and groups of pelts are as follows:
    a)       Shearlings and Fall Clips: These are the pelts from sheep that have been
             shorn and the fleece has not grown out sufficiently to be classed as wool pelts.
             Fleece measurement is taken at the shortest place on the pelt.
    b)       Wool Pelts: These come either from (1) sheep that have been shorn in spring
             and a new coat of wool has grown out again or (2) spring lambs that have
             never been shorn.
    c)       Miscellaneous Pelts: These include the groups shown in each of the two
             preceding grades, but they are burry or seedy.
Q.      Write a note on goat skin.

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The skin of the goat is a very valuable by-product if properly prepared and preserved. It

can be worth 10 to 15% of the total value of the animal. Tanning skins and manufacturing

leather products from them can increase the value of skins by four to five times. The

main types of leather made from goat skins are kid leather, semi-chrome leather, full-

chrome suede garments etc. Western leatherware manufacturers prize high quality goat

skin for making gloves, leather jackets, handbags, wallets and diplomas. Thicker, coarser

skins are made into shoes. Pakistan has developed its own leather industry. Some breeds

such as Red Sokoto in Nigeria and Black Bengal in India, are well known for the quality

of their skins.

The value of any skin is reduced when care is not taken during the slaughter and curing
process. Some skins are damaged when the animal suffers from disease or physical
damage and this will reduce their value. Any form of indiscriminate branding on such
parts of the body as flank, which scars it, considerably reduces the value of the skin in the
market. It is better to brand below the shoulder and stifle as these areas will not be part of
the cured skin. Scratches from barbed wires and wounds also reduce the value of skin.
Q.       Suggest appropriate practical measures for skinning and curing of
         sheep/goat skins.
The skin is best removed from the freshly slaughtered sheep/goat using a round-ended
knife. The traditional point-ended knife is liable to cause tears in the skin, which reduces
its value. The knife is used to slit open the skin but it is better to pull the skin from the
carcass by hand to avoid any damage. Removal is easier if the carcass is hung from its
back legs and still warm. Skin should be cut as shown in (Figure 37), where the animal is
initially lying with its back to the skinner. If skins can reach a tannery within one day, no
treatment will be required to preserve them. However, in many situations it may not be
possible. Thus if the skin is to be preserved, processing must begin immediately after
The cheapest and simplest method of curing is air drying. This must be done in a well
ventilated situation away from rain and direct sunlight. The direct heat of the sun will
cause any fat on the skin to melt or turn rancid. The skin should be suspended and
stretched. If the skins are dried on the ground, the underside gets very humid and the
quality of the skin is reduced. Air drying will take between 10 and 14 days. Skins can be
suspended on frames or in rings of bamboo and hung appropriately somewhere.
Salt may be used to help preservation although it requires much labour. The salt is
applied to the fleshy side of the skin and rubbed in at a rate of 30 to 40% of the weight of
the skin. The salt removes water from the skin and stops bacterial growth that will cause
rotting. Sodium fluoride can also be added to the salt to restrict bacterial growth. When
salting, a number of skins are usually stacked one on top of the other on a wooden pallett

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fleshy side up to allow excess brine to flow away. The pile of skins is left for 7 to 10 days
then restacked with the topmost skins at the bottom. This will encourage maximum
impregnation of salt through all the skins. In the hot tropics, salt is best applied without
water. Damaged skins, cut into strips, can be made into a very good rope. Fish oil or
animal grease, but not engine oil, will help soften the rope if rubbed in well. A good
quality well cured goat skin will weigh between 1.5 to 3.0 kg.
Q.      Discuss that skins of small ruminants are considered an important by-
        product of mutton industry.
Sheep and goat skins are an important part of mutton industry in Pakistan. They are used
for various purposes in semi-processed or processed form. Nearly half of the skins
available for home consumption, are tanned to produce leather for footwear and 30 % for
garments, handbags, cushions and decorative household articles, while 20 % are used for
making caps, bellows, prayer mats etc. In addition to an increased demand for shoes,
there has been witnessed a steep rise in the demand for garments and particularly there is
a large export demand for Pakistani leather and leather goods made from skins as well as
hides. The value of exported leather/leather goods during recent years, ranks fifth on the
country’s list of exportable commodities.
The production of small ruminant skins for 2002 in Pakistan is estimated to be 39 million
pieces, divided between sheep and goats in the ratio of 1:2. Nearly 84 % of the total
production is obtained from slaughtered animals and the remainder, termed ‘dead’ or
fallen skins, from dead animals. The number of skins from dead animals is small because
sheep and goats injured in accidents or suffering from ordinary ailments are often
slaughtered for meat. Nearly 2 % of fallen skins are lost because animals dying of serious
diseases are not flayed, or carcasses are thrown away to carrion eaters for want of flayers.
Of the remainder, 25 % are badly damaged as a result of faulty flaying, defective curing
or storage and skin injuries caused by parasites and organisms during the life of the
animals, leaving 29 million pieces of skins of good quality for the market. Since all
damage to skins depreciates their value, there is a recurring loss of millions of rupees per
Flaying of carcasses is defective in as many as 15 % cases and curing of skins in as many
as 10%, resulting in defects such as marks and cuts on the visceral surface, remnants of
muscular tissue on the skin and putrefying patches, resulting in production of poor quality
leather with marks, holes, discolouration and a spongy texture. The defects in curing
particularly occur with sub-optimal dressing of salt and other curing agents. Skins are
marketed as green, dry-salted, wet-salted, or pickled and sorted into wooled and
dewoolled pieces. These are sold according to size (extra large, large, medium and
small). Long-distance transport of dry-salted skins is often in bales of 500 pieces and of
wet-salted ones in casks of 100 pieces. Since the export of raw skins is banned and the
entire production of sheep and goat skins is used in the country. Leather garments, shoes
and other goods are exported overseas in large quantities, however.
Q.      What measures you would suggest to produce skins of better quality?
i)      The extension service of the Departments of Livestock and Dairy Development in
        various provinces of Pakistan should launch a campaign to train the butchers and
        flayers to ensure minimum injury to skins by employing effective methods of
        flaying and curing skins of all carcasses that are free from dangerous diseases.

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        Infestation of sheep and goats with parasites and infectious organisms must be
ii)     Facilities should be provided for communicating improved technology, training
        and licensing of butchers and flayers and devising effective methods of
        preservation and storage of skins. Skins should be sold under regulated market
iii)     Appropriate methods of appraising raw, cured and tanned skins should be devised
        and disseminated.
iv)     Cottage industries should be encouraged to produce fancy goods from sheep/goat
        skins, by fostering research on effective methods of processing and using skins
        and by placing these industries on a cooperative management.
v)      Characteristics of skins that affect their suitability for different purposes should be
        identified and these related to differences between breeds and regions, and
        methods of skinning and preparation.
Q.      Write a note on lambskin production in Pakistan.
In northern hilly areas of Pakistan, fur and fancy skins have been used as caps, garments,
bedding and prayer rugs since prehistoric times. Lambskins are used for making high-
class goods such as caps, fur coats and hand gloves. No precise data indicating the
production of lambskins in Pakistan are available but estimates based on trade enquiries
place their annual production at 0.5 to 0.6 million pieces valued at Rs. 80 to 100 million.
These skins are mostly obtained from sheep thriving along the north-western hilly belt,
Multan division and areas around Khairpur, Sukhar and Larkana. They are obtained by
slaughtering lambs within three days of birth or by slaughtering pregnant ewes near
lambing and removing the skin of the foetus.
Lambskins are cured, dried and mounted by fur merchants and taxidermists in
conventional ways, leaving ample room for improvement in this, especially for assuring a
long life and attractive appearance. About 20 % of fur skins show sings of defective
flaying and curing, involving a price depreciation of about 50 %. Approximately this loss
amounts to Rs. 10 to 12 million per annum. This loss, however, could be minimized by
coaching flayers and curers in the proper skills of handling furs. Export of lambskins not
allowed unless these have been graded under Pakmark and accompanied by a certificate
of quality.
To effect further development in this respect, a national survey needs to be conducted on
the production and marketing of lambskins to point out flaws in the systems of
production and sale along with suitable remedies. Upgrading of sheep in suitable
localities of the north-western belt to produce fine Karakul pelts should be done as has
been undertaken at Khairewala (Punjab). Also, production, preservation and utilization
should be organized by providing technical know-how to small-scale industries and
cooperatives. Marketing of lambskins should be brought under regulated market act.
Q.      Discuss briefly the supply and utilization of gut and casings in Pakistan.
The production of gut is estimated to be 39 million pieces, on the basis of estimates for
slaughtered and dead skins, including those from dead sheep and goats. Nearly 8.2
million pieces remain uncollected, either because the animals died of dangerous diseases
or because flayers are not available. Furthermore, about 15 % pieces are damaged while
flaying and eviscerating the carcasses and represent an almost total loss. Monetary loss
from this damage is particularly high in case of dead animals and in the event of solitary

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slaughterings on festive occasions such as Eid-ul-Azha, when several unskilled so called
butchers offer their services to people to slaughter their animals at comparatively low
charges. Over 150 tons of casings are exported annually.
Gut is used mainly as casings for sausages (about 80%), while prepared gut is used in the
preparation of goods such as tennis rackets, musical instruments and spinning wheels (15
%), and a small quantity is used as catgut (5 %) in surgery.
Gut for casings comes from slaughtered animals and has various sizes based on the
minimum diameter of a piece. The usual length of a piece from a sheep/goat brought to
the market varies from 18 to 28 meters. Casings meant for export are washed, cured with
brine, and cut into lengths of 1.5 to 2.0 meters. Casings meant for export have to be
graded under Pakmark. Casings and gut meant for home consumption as well as prepared
gut, are not graded.
There is, however, a lot of room for improvement in production and export of gut and
casings. The collection of gut from carcasses free from communicable diseases should be
enhanced by publicizing their utility, establishing gut collection depots in suitable
localities, and improving the methods of preservation. Stockowners, butchers and gut
dealers should be acquainted through short courses with flaying, preservation and
packing for different uses. The present market should be surveyed to determine the more
profitable end uses for gut of different kinds, commercial uses to which gut can be put if
unsuitable for use as casings and prepared gut and appropriate technology for possible
use of fresh and preserved intestines as human food in suitable forms.
Q.      Discuss the collection, utilization and economic importance of sheep and goat
The estimated production of bones from sheep and goats per year is 45000 tons and
67000 tons, respectively, this figure is based on an average availability of bones of about
3.0 kg per animal slaughtered or dead. Bones from sheep and goats are not collected in all
cases and nearly one-half of the total production of bones is lost every year. Seasonal and
annual variations in collection are not significant. Collections continue coming to markets
throughout the year except a minor decline in collections during the monsoon months
owing to disruption of communications. Collection from rural areas are sold at nearby
markets by the collectors.
After collection, bones are usually exposed to the sun and rain until they are clean and
dry since washing is rarely practised. Seasoned bones fetch 25 to 35 % more than greasy
or unseasoned bones and clean bones from restaurants and butcher shops are priced at 10
to 25 % more than those from fallen carcasses. All types of bones are collected, seasoned
and marketed in mixed lots in primary markets. However, in secondary and tertiary
markets, especially those catering to the export demand, bones, horns and hoofs are
crushed and sold separately. The usual forms into which bones are converted include
bone grist, bone meal, sinews, horn meal and hoof meal.
Bones, horns and hooves are valuable raw material and are used for the preparation of a
number of commercial goods and products including animal feeds, fertilizers, gelatine,
glue, glycerine and lubricating oils. Bones are also used for clarifying sugar and knuckles
(long bones) are used for fancy goods such as jewellery, buttons, knife handles, toys and
other decorative household articles.
The value of sheep and goat bones, collected even at the current low level, is estimated to
be Rs. 115 million per year. The use of bone and horn in cottage industries is rising. The

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exports of crushed bones and bone meal are also rising. The export of these products
from all animals is roughly over 20000 tons, valued at about Rs. 45 million per year.
Q.       Give an estimate of annual production of blood obtained from sheep and
         goat slaughter. What different uses blood may be put to in Pakistan?
The annual production of blood from sheep and goats slaughtered is estimated to be
50000 tons, but as blood is collected only from animals slaughtered in large
slaughterhouses, the aggregate amount of collections is small, not more than 40 %.
In these slaughterhouses, blood is collected in containers placed under the neck of the
animals being slaughtered, or by sweeping blood from drains with pieces of flesh, excreta
and dust. Preservatives and anticoagulants are not generally used and it is bulked and
dried in the sun or by heating in open pens without purification. Dried blood is converted
into blood meal and used in the preparation of livestock and poultry feeds as well as
fertililizers and small quantities are exported. It can be used for preparing a number of
industrial products such as pharmaceuticals, adhesives for plywood, insecticide sprays
and textile dyes.
The municipalities and corporations owning large slaughterhouses, auction the blood to
manufacturers or exporters. Thus there is no set price for such collections, particularly
when the auctions include sweeps of blood and other carcass parts. Methods should be
devised for proper collection and preservation of blood from major slaughterhouses and
to set up industries to utilize blood in the vicinity of large abattoirs. Efforts should be
made to reduce unwarranted wastage of blood and to ensure its conversion into useful
products since blood is a rich source of proteins of high biological value and essential
amino acids. The average yield of blood per animal varies from 1.5 to 2.0 litres in small
ruminants and from 10.0 to 13.5 litres in large ruminants. If the carcasses are left
hanging, more blood may be obtained. However, in this country no separate bleeding
compartments and special bleeding rails are available in slaughterhouses. Thus the
amount of blood wasted is more than the amount collected from slaughtered animals.

Q.      Name some important glands that can be obtained from slaughtered animals
        and may serve as a source of certain pharmaceutical products.
Hormones such as insulin, thyroxine and testosterone can be extracted from the pancreas,
thyroid and testicles, respectively, but in practice these glands are either eaten as meat or
thrown away and the pharmaceuticals imported. Some common products in demand are
insulin for diabetics, progesterone for preventing abortion, thyroid extracts for goiter,
adrenocarticotrophic hormones from the pituitary, cholesterol from the spinal cord, rennet
from stomach and heparin from the liver and lungs for use as an anticoagulant.
In view of the loss of glands from sheep and goats as well as other livestock slaughtered
for meat, it is advisable to investigate the production, collection and utilization of animal
glands, so that plans for the development of local production of glandular extracts can be
Q.      Discuss that excreta of sheep/goats is a valuable by-product.
In intensive livestock units or where sheep/goats are collected together at night, it is
possible to collect the animal droppings or manure for use or sale as a fertilizer or fuel
source. Sheep/goat manure makes a very good fertilizer. Under pastoral system in vogue
here, sheep/goat flocks may seasonally graze crop stubbles, indirectly returning valuable

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nutrients to the soil. Sheep/goat keepers earn payment for keeping their animals on
ground that the landowner wishes to be fertilized. The dung and urine that the animals
deposit there, is an integral part of the cropping system. The quantity and quality of
manure depends on the quantity and quality of the diet consumed. As a rough guide, a
sheep/goat is likely to produce 1 to 2% of its weight as dry matter (DM) of manure per
day. Therefore, a 40 kg sheep/goat might produce 400 to 800 g DM manure per day,
depending on the feed intake and digestibility of the diet. With minor variations the
composition of sheep/goat manure is: moisture 40 to 60%, nitrogen 1 to 3%, phosphorus
0.2 to 0.8%, potassium 0.4 to 0.8%.
The quantity and quality of manure that can actually be collected and used will vary
according to the system in which sheep/goats are kept. Urine is particularly rich in
nitrogen and potassium. Wet goat wastes are approximately 66% solid waste and 33%
Q.       What is meant by composting the manure? Give details of composting
The droppings can be mixed with forage residues, soil or urine to rot before use. If fresh
manure is put directly on crops, it may cause scorching resulting in plants shrivelling or
turning brown. Removing manure from livestock areas is a good practice in any event
since it stops parasite and bacteria build-ups. Composting the manure will improve its
quality as a plant food. Traditionally, manure is left as a heap above ground level to allow
bacteria to break down the products in the heat. In dry conditions, this method may not
succeed as the top of the heap quickly dries out and bacteria are unable to perform the
breakdown process because they do this best in warm moist condition. An alternate
method in the arid conditions is the pit sandwich procedure.
In this process, as shown in (Figure 38), the manure is put into pits alternately with layers
of straw (forage residue). The depth of each straw layer is usually twice the depth of each
layer of manure. Each layer is watered (sprinkled) as it is put in and 2 to 3 kg of urea
fertilizer or urine is poured on. This acts as a starter to encourage the bacterial breakdown
process. The layering of the pit continues until it is full when it is sealed off with 15 cm
of the soil dug from the pit. Pits should be filled and sealed over in as short a time as
possible and then left for 6 to 8 weeks for all the contents to rot down. The size of the pit
depends upon the quantity of manure produced per day. However, it should be deep
enough to retain moisture without being too deep so that it is below the water table.
After 6 to 8 weeks period the compost should be sampled and is ready to use when it is
moist but crumbly in the hand. In very arid conditions it may be necessary to soak the pit
occasionally from above to aid the decomposition process. The pit is emptied in one go
and the contents allowed to stand for a short period to dry. It will be relatively odour free.
In some countries composted manure fetches a good price.
Q.       Besides the milk, meat, wool/hair, skin and manure, what other salable by-
         products the sheep/goat carcass yields?
    •        Fat used in soap manufacture and animal feeds
    •        Meat, bone and blood meal used as an animal protein feed and as a fertilizer
             when dry
    •        Horns and hooves used in handicrafts
    •        Gelatine used as food
    •        The guts used as sausage skins

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   •        Edible by-products−liver, lungs, spleen, kidney, heart, brain, stomach,
            testicles and tongue.
The amount of edible by-products from a sheep/goat varies between cultures. In S.E. Asia
the total edible proportion of a carcass varies between 50 to 60% because many by-
products are considered delicacy items.
Q.       Discuss the potential of our goat breeds for meat production
Most of the existing goat breeds in Pakistan can be termed as meat breeds. They have
been called so because they are not good dairy breeds otherwise they do not really
possess the cherished characteristics of meat animals. They have been improved little by
conscious efforts of breeders. Again most of them still have slow growth rate and low
feed conversion efficiency. There are few scientific studies to determine their growth and
fattening capabilities under different conditions of management and feeding, ranging
from poor pasturage to intensive system utilizing fodder and concentrates.
Q.       Suggest a few practicable measures to effect increase in meat production
         from small ruminants in Pakistan.
The increase in meat production is possible if short term measures of fattening old and
very young animals are adopted. Permanent gains could come from a coordinated
national breeding programme for the improvement of small ruminant meat breeds;
improved husbandry practices, disease and parasite control measures leading to reduced
mortalities and better growth rates, better genetic make-up, improved nutrition of the
breeding stock and meat animal’s potential constraints such as lack of improved pastures
and high quality feed, lack of production incentives, absence of suitable technology and
disorganized marketing of livestock and meat need to be removed. Prices should be based
on production costs and the quality and grades of different types of meat. Manpower well
trained in animal production can properly cater the needs of different facets of the meat
Q.       What points need to be considered before formulating a balanced ration for
         sheep/ goats?
The following points should be considered:
    i)      Availability and cost of different feed ingredients;
    ii)     Composition of feeds under consideration, feed composition tables or average
            analyses should be considered only as guides because of wide variation in
            composition of feedstuffs;
    iii)     Moisture content of feeds;
    iv)     Soil analysis of the area wherefrom feed ingredients have originated will help
            in estimating the mineral composition of soil and its effect on plant
            composition; and
    v)      Nutrient allowances should be known for the particular class of sheep / goat
            for which a ration is to be formulated.

A satisfactory ration should be palatable and digestible, economical and adequate in
protein content, but not higher than is required. It should contain adequate vitamins and
minerals to meet the requirements of the rumen microbes and the animal itself, without
mineral imbalances.
Q.     What are the prospects of fattening small ruminant surplus stock meant for

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As people become richer, they are able to afford more animal protein in their diet.
Farmers/producers who have access to urban markets may be able to take advantage of
these markets and fatten surplus stock for sale and slaughter on religious occasions such
as Eid-ul-Azha, when prices rise. Farmers may fatten stock, which they have reared
themselves or buy young males for fattening and sale.
Some reports indicate that it is probably not economical to spend money on concentrate
feeds for indigenous breeds that are unable to respond to the high level of feeding. It is
doubtful whether a large scale feedlot system with intensive feeding of batches of
lambs/kids for slaughter, would be profitable with indigenous breeds of sheep/goats.
However, the less intensive fattening of surplus stock on low- value feeds is an option for
farmers who have access to comparatively cheaper agricultural by-products or high
quality forages. A more intensive fattening system might be appropriate using crosses of
indigenous breeds with suitable temperate breeds. If the farmer is going to spend money
on purchased feed supplements, it is important to know if the supplementation really does
result in a cash profit. This can be calculated by using a partial budget. The following
information is needed to calculate the profit/loss of a small change;

        Cost                                           Benefit
        Extra cost + reduced returns                   Extra returns + reduced costs
        = Total costs                                  = Total gain
                       Total gain – total costs = Profit/loss
The age of fastest growth is between weaning (3 to 4 months) and acquiring the first pair
of permanent incisors at 13 to 14 months. It is probably not economical in most
circumstances to feed the animals very intensively for about 10 months after weaning.
The semi-intensive fattening after weaning, using high-quality forages or crop by-
products, might be profitable.
Q.      Write a note on comparative growth rates of sheep and goats.
Despite the high prolificacy of some breeds of meat goats, their growth rate is low, rather
considerably lower than that of sheep. For example in USA under ideal conditions goats
grow 150 to 230g per day, while sheep grow 300 to 400 g per day on a similar ration
(Figure 39). Low growth rates also lead to poor feed conversion. It may be due to limited
genetic potential and poor nutritional conditions. However, through genetic improvement
and proper feeding, increased growth rate may be obtained which should help improve
feed conversion. Under our conditions growth rate of both of these species is low.
Growth rates of young goats can vary from 20 to 180g daily although they are generally
considered to grow more slowly than lambs. Mostly growth rates are likely to be at the
lower end of this range. A report indicated that average daily gain in weight was 43 to
51g in Beetal kids. Male kids grow faster than females while females get fatter on a
similar diet. Higher preference for goat meat appears to have eroded the dairy potential of
local goats since the fastest growing males are slaughtered for meat and only poor
animals remain there for breeding purposes.
Q.      What factors, in general, influence growth rate in small ruminants?
The rate of growth of a small ruminant depends mainly on the amount and quality of feed
available and the health of the animal but is also influenced by its genetic make-up and its
sex. In most of the situations, small ruminants in Pakistan receive a diet that is poor in
quality and insufficient in quantity. Because of these factors, they tend to grow very

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

slowly. In addition, the rate of growth is reduced by diseases, infection and parasite
burdens. Environmental conditions also affect growth. The combination of high humidity
and high temperatures, for example, reduces growth by depressing appetite and thus feed
intake. Lack of access to water can also affect growth through stress. This is less of a
problem in goats than sheep, but in very high temperature conditions or where animals
are in poor physical condition it can be an important constraint. On a good diet large
breeds will grow much faster than small ones. When the diet is very poor, this potential
of larger breed is not fulfilled and they have little advantage over smaller breeds. During
dry season lack of forage restricts actual daily growth or causes animals to lose weight.
This may also happen during the high humidity situation. Once animals return to better
feeding or better environmental conditions they grow and recover weight at a much faster
rate than one would expect from the quality and amount of feed given. This is known as
compensatory growth (Figure 40).
Q.       Briefly describe an ideal meat type conformation of sheep/goats and an ideal
         fleece type conformation of sheep.
For the meat type breeds, this ideal means plenty of size and growthiness; heavy
muscling⎯especially in the leg and loin; blocky appearance straight, widely set legs,
low-set body (not leggy); in case of sheep a fleece of acceptable weight and quality. If
purebred, the animals should show the characteristics of the breed represented. Ram/buck
should show boldness and masculinity and ewes/does should be feminine. When the
production of wool is the main source of income, weight and quality of fleece are of the
utmost importance. The fibres should be long, preferably fine and of good crimp; the
fleece should be dense, clean and bright. Animals with fleeces having coloured fibres and
those that tend to be hairy, loose or open should be rejected. Wool type sheep are more
angular with less muscling throughout.
Q.       Describe the characteristics of goat carcass.
The goal of raising meat goats is to obtain edible, salable carcasses. The meat of the
young kid is referred to as Cabrito and is regarded as a delicacy for the barbecue trade in
some countries while the meat of mature goat is sought in other countries including
Pakistan. Whatever the age, goat and kid carcasses are typically thin, shallow, becoming
thicker and compact as the carcass weight increases. The kid carcass looks rather
scrawny. Furthermore, a common feature of goat carcasses is their thin fat cover.
Compared to sheep, there is a lack of subcutaneous fat cover on the goat carcass,
especially over the loins. Body fat percentage was higher in sheep of all age groups (8.9
to 45.2%), compared to goats of similar ages and fattening stages (5.5 to 29.7%). This
lack of fat is seen by some as an advantage with current market and consumer trends. The
body fat of goats is concentrated in the visceral and intermuscular areas. It can be clearly
seen from the Table 20 that goat carcasses are more lean but also have more bone than
lamb carcasses. Dressing percentage is influenced by nutritional status and diet. Reports
show dressing percentages ranging from 37 to 55%, which generally is lower than those
of sheep. If entire male kids are to be slaughtered older than 4 to 6 months of age,
particularly if this means during the mating season, it is likely that the meat will be

Table 20.      A comparison of lamb and kid carcasses
 Species                 Muscl    Bone Sub-cut Intermuscul                Kidney

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                             e                    fat            ar fat          fat
 21 kg lamb carcass         55        12          16               17            4.1
 21 kg kid carcass         55.9      15.4         6.7             14.3           8.1
 (dairy breed)
 20.5 kg kid carcass        56       14.6         12.5           17.0            4.6
 (Angora x British
Source: Mowlem (1992).

Q.      What do you understand by ‘Chevon’? Discuss briefly.
Chevon is the trade name for goat meat comparable to beef, mutton. The name Chevon
was contrived from the French word ‘Chevre’ for goat and to ‘on’ from the word mutton.
Nevertheless, the name Chevon is occasionally used and one should be aware that it
refers to goat meat.
Q.      Compare the nutritive value of Chevon, mutton and beef.
Table 21 shows the nutritive value of chevon (goat meat) compared to mutton and beef.
In general, goat meat is similar to mutton and beef, but it contains less fat and food
energy while it has more moisture and somewhat higher contents of calcium. Goat meat
is also a good source of phosphorus, zinc, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin,
vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Meat and animal products are the only major food sources of
vitamin B12.

Table 21.     Nutritive value of chevon, mutton and beef

 Meat       Weight Moisture  Food Protein                Fat (g)    Calcium       Iron
             (g)    (%)     energy    (g)                            (mg)         (mg)
 Chevon    100      71       165.0   18.7                  9.4            11.0     2.2
 Mutton    100      61       263.0   16.5                 21.3            10.0     1.2
 Beef      100      48       340.0   23.6                 27.3            10.0     3.1
Source: Ensminger and Parker (1986).



PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION


Q.       What is wool?
It is the natural clothing of sheep and is one of the two important products obtained from
sheep-wool and meat. Sheep raisers obtain about 15 to 20% of their total cash income
from wool and the rest from sheep and lambs. The natural function of wool is to protect
and conserve the warmth of the animal’s body. A covering of hair or feathers performs a
thermoregulatory function for warm-blooded animals, to protect them from heat or cold.
As wool fibres are poor conductors of heat, they serve to prevent any abnormal loss of
heat from the body.
Q.       Discuss important qualities of wool.
Although certain other fibres may equal or excel in one or several qualities but no textile
fibre seems to match the total virtues possessed by wool.
i) Wool is porous and can absorb as much as 18% of its own weight in moisture without
even feeling much damp. ii) Wool is a superior insulator. It is as effective a protection
from tropical heat and sun as it is against the gale-driving storms of winter. iii) Wool is
light. iv) Wool is very elastic. Because of the resilience, wool garments resist wrinkling,
stretching or sagging during wear. v) Dyestuffs are less likely to fade and are faster on
wool. vi) Wool is durable. vii) Wool is strong. Diameter for diameter, a wool fibre is
stronger than many other textile fibres. viii) Wool is almost nonflammable. It will stop
burning almost as soon as it is taken away from a flame. ix) Wool can be felted easily.
Q.       Enlist below important uses of wool in Pakistan.
About 66.5 % of the wool consumed in Pakistan is carpet wool and 33.5 % is apparel
wool. The greater part of the carpet wool is used in the manufacture of carpets, floor
coverings, winter uniforms for army, police, for a part of railway employees, for
manufacturing country type blankets, knit boots and heavy, full socks. A small quantity
of apparel wool produced in the country is mixed with some imported wool and is
consumed in the spinning of woolen and worsted yarn which is used in the production of
suiting, dress fabrics, coatings, blanketing, knit goods including sweaters, hosiery, gloves
Q.       Write a note on the structure of a wool fibre.
Wool is the natural protective covering of sheep. It differs from other animal fibres by
having a serrated surface; a crimpy, wavy appearance; an excellent degree of elasticity,
and an internal structure composed of numerous minute cells. In contrast, hair has a
comparatively smooth surface, lacks in crimp or waviness and will not stretch. Wool is
similar in origin and general chemical composition to the various other skin tissues found
in animals such as horns, nails and hoofs.
From the standpoint of microscopic structure, wool fibres consist of two distinct cell
layers and some fibres have a third layer. The outside cell layer is called epidermis; the
one underneath is called cortex. The third layer is medulla (Figures 41,42).
Epidermis: It is the outside or surface layer of the fibre, made up of flat, irregular horny
cells or scales, overlapping one on the top of the other, much like the scales of a fish,
with the free end projecting outward and upward toward the tip of the fibre to present a
serrated appearance. Fine wool has more serrations per centimeter. They run from
235/cm in low grade wools to 1180/cm in the finest of Merino wools. The epidermal cells
impart felting qualities to wool.

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Cortex: This cell layer constitutes the principal body of the wool fibre. It lies
immediately below the epidermis. It is made up of long, flattened, more or less twisted,
spindle like cells. The cortical cells impart strength and elasticity to the fibre.
Medulla: Most medium and coarse wools possess a third cell layer known as the
medulla, which usually is absent in fine wools. Where present, it is the innermost layer.
These cells, often like a honeycomb, may occur throughout the length of the fibre or only
in certain areas. Wool fibres containing medulla are not desirable. Such fibres are
generally coarse, uneven in diameter and harsh to touch.
Q.      Briefly discuss the chemical composition of wool.
Chemically, wool is chiefly the protein ‘keratin’, which is also the primary constituent of
hair, nails, hoofs, horns and feathers. Keratin is composed of amino acids. It is noted for
its high content of sulphur containing amino acid cystine. A typical chemical breakdown
of wool is as follows: carbon 50%, oxygen 22 to 25%, nitrogen 16 to 17%, hydrogen 7%
and sulphur 3 to 4%.
Q.      What are the important characteristics of wool that are of interest to both
the producer and the manufacturer? Discuss briefly.
These are: 1) grease, 2) length, 3) density, 4) diameter and 5) variations in wool from
different body areas (such as fineness, length, density and yield).
Grease: Grease refers to all the impurities found in unscoured wool, including the yolk,
suint and soluble foreign matter but not the vegetable matter. Shrinkage of fleeces varies
widely, with many factors affecting it. On average, grease wool shrinks about 50 %. The
commercial value of a clip of wool is largely determined by the amount of clean wool
fibre that it yields. In the raw state, grease wool contains the following types of
impurities: i) Natural Impurities: These result from the glandular secretions and include
the yolk and the suint. The yolk is a mixture of a number of materials; the principal one is
cholesterol, which protects the fibre against the detrimental action of the weather. When
scoured out and purified, as lanolin, the yolk is used in making ointments, cosmetics,
leather dressings and rust preventives. Suint is mixed with the yolk, but it can be readily
dissolved out by water. It mainly consists of potassium salts of various fatty acids and
smaller amounts of sulphates, phosphates and nitrogenous materials. Suint results from
sweating and it appears to be the source of the distinctive odour associated with sheep. ii)
Acquired Impurities: These are picked up by the animal and include dust, sand, vegetable
materials consisting of straw, burs, twigs and grasses and dung. iii) Applied Impurities:
These include such identifying substances as tars and paints and the residues of dips and
Length: Together with quality, length constitutes the principal basis of classification and
grading in buying and selling wool and it largely determines the use to which wool will
be put. In judging sheep, fibre length is based on an appraisal of the annual growth, as
determined by parting the fleece at three body areas⎯the shoulder, side and britch. Fibre
length varies from 3 to 50 cm.
Density: It is often defined as the number of fibres per unit area of skin. Density of wool
varies in different breeds, body areas and individuals. Estimates for the number of wool
fibres per animal vary from a low of about 16 million to a high of 120 million. Coarse-
wool breeds have low fibre density while breeds such as Merino have high density.
Fleece density is an attribute in determining fleece weight. By grasping the wool on the

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

side to feel its fullness and compactness and by parting the fleece to examine the apparent
closeness of the fibres, one can determine fleece density in judging.
Diameter: The fineness of wool is important because the character of the yarns and
fabrics produced is determined to a great extent by the variations in the diameter of fibre.
Wool sorting is based on fineness of fibre. In the trade, the wool expert is able to estimate
the fineness by visual inspection and handling. Under microscope, the shape or contour
of fibres varies greatly. Fibres are irregular and possess varying degrees of ovality and
ellipticity. In judging sheep, the number of crimps is usually accepted as an index of
fineness. The diameter of wool fibres varies anywhere from 18 to 50 microns and the
number of crimps 2 to 14 per cm.
Variations on Different Body Areas: There are wide differences between breeds and
individuals in such wool characters as fineness, length, density and yield. Based on
investigations, it appears possible to reduce the wool character distribution of body areas
to a common pattern, with rankings of each character from most desirable to least
desirable. Thus the head wool is the finest, whereas the britch wool is the coarsest. The
britch wool is the longest and the head wool is the shortest. From density standpoint, the
head wool ranks at the top while from yield standpoint, it is the lowest.
Q.       What type of wool is mainly produced in Pakistan?
Coarse or carpet type wool is mainly produced in Pakistan, since this country does not
have real fine wool producing sheep breeds, except a few including the crossbreds, which
yield comparatively fine wool. However, the fineness of such wool has no match with
those of Merino, Rambouillet or Corriedale.
Q.       How much wool and hair are annually produced in Pakistan?
Wool: 39.5 thousand tons (2002)
Hair: 19.3 thousand tons (2002)
Q.       What is the utility of wools produced in this country?
One major single utility of Pakistan wool is in the manufacture of hand-knotted carpets.
Other important uses are the manufacture of coarse warm clothing as provided for
uniforms to army, police and railway officials as well as to night guards of other
departments. Blankets of various types are manufactured as cottage industry using hand-
and power looms. A part of the wool which is considered comparatively fine is mixed
with the imported fine wool, and is used in the manufacture of fine woolen cloth for
domestic use as well as export to other countries.

Q.     What are the important uses of hair produced in Pakistan?
Mixed with carpet wool, hair are used for the manufacture of rough and tough type
country blankets, namnahs for putting under horse and camel saddles, for making floor
and prayer mats as well as ropes for use in animal and crop agriculture.
Q.     Give an estimated figure of foreign exchange (converted into Rs.) earned
from the export of carpets during the last two years as well as name the countries
which are the main importers of Pakistan carpets.

Rs. 16.0 billion (2001)
Rs. 15.0 billion (2000)

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Main importers of carpets from Pakistan are: UK, Germany, France USA, Malaysia and
Q.       What are the main factors that determine wool type?
Heredity is the main factor that determines the wool type, but its quality and strength
depend on the health and nutrition of the sheep during each year of fleece growth. One
serious illness or a period of poor nutrition can cause tender, brittle wool and a weak
portion in every fibre of the whole fleece.
Q.       What does wool grading mean? Indicate various measures of wool grading.
It is a system of classifying wool, based mainly on its fineness. This process, more or
less, has relation to industrial and manufacturing uses of wool. The finer the wool, the
more valuable it is.
One method of designating the grade of wool is the ‘spinning count’, which originally
meant that one pound of wool of a particular designation would spin that many ‘hanks’ of
wool, a hank being 560 yards. Thus 70s would spin 70 hanks and 60s would spin 60
hanks. The count system usually went only as fine as 80s, but German Saxony Merino
has been known to grade 90s, where one ounce of the single fibres laid end to end would
stretch 100 km. Count is always expressed in even numbers. Another way is the blood
system of grading the fineness of wool, which originally indicated what fraction of the
blood of the sheep was from Merino breed, which produced the wool of finest diameter.
This term no longer relates actually to Merino or part-Merino blood, but qualifies the
degree of fibre diameter. The ‘micron’ system is an industrially accurate measurement of
the average diameter of wool fibre, a micron being one thousandth of a millimeter. The
coarser the wool, the higher the number of microns.
To illustrate the comparative placing of the three systems of wool grading, a table
showing the relationship of the blood, count and micron systems is given below.
Examples are approximate and as expected there are variations within most breeds.

 Grades based on          Count system          Micron system    Examples
 blood                    approximations        approximation
 Fine                     64s,70,80s            19-20 or less    Merino
 ½ blood                  60s,62s               22-24            Rambouillet
 3/8 blood                56s,58s               25-28            Corriedale
 ¼ blood                  48s,50s               29-31            Oxford

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 Less than ¼ blood          46s                      32-33           Romney
 Common and braid           36s,40s,44s              34-39           Leicester
Q.      What is meant by lumpy wool?
A chronic skin infection, mycotic dermatitis, damages the wool, which becomes matted
and hard to shear. Such wool is named as lumpy wool.
This disease also predisposes sheep to fleeceworms (maggots). A well nourished sheep
with a dense fleece is not so prone to this infection. Injections of pen-strep and a dipping
or spraying with 0.2% solution of zinc sulphate are useful in checking the spread of the
Q.      Why is proper shearing of wool so important to the sheep producer?
Since wool is one of the important products obtained from sheep. If its shearing is not
done in a proper way at a proper time, it would mean wastage of wool and a loss to the
producer who already seems to be making no big gains from sheep business. Wool
shearing should only be done by experienced persons so that wastage of wool and
wounds to the sheep may be avoided. Most of the people involved in shearing wool in
this country are illiterate. They have learnt this art from their elders and are completely
ignorant of the technicalities.
It appears very appropriate to suggest to the Dept. of Livestock and Dairy Development,
Punjab as well as other provinces to advise all such Farm Superintendents where sheep
are maintained, to arrange one day sheep shearing schools every year for those who are
already in shearing business. They should be properly trained in using hand and electric
shears. Sheep owners may also participate. As an incentive they may be paid Rs. 50/- per
head per day. This effort eventually will result into obtaining better shorn wool and
would fetch more money to the producer.
Q.      How is shearing done?
Shearing may be done by electric shears or hand shears. In this country, mostly hand
shears are used. Hand shears are an inexpensive way to start with. No electricity is
needed, shearing can be done any place. These are easy and quick to sharpen with just a
hand stone. These are light weight and thus easy to carry with. Here shearing is done
twice a year, first in March and then in September.
The trick in shearing is not just the pattern of the shearing strokes, which lessens the time
involved in completing the shearing, but is the immobilizing of the sheep by the various
‘holds’ that give the sheep no leverage to struggle. A helpless sheep is a very quiet sheep.
This cannot be done by the use of force alone, since forcible holding will make the sheep
struggle more. The person shearing the wool may like to use a shearing belt to lessen the
strain on his back. The belt should be wider in the middle part which fits well across the
shearer’s back. Various steps have been given below to properly complete shearing along
with illustrations showing the various ‘holds’ on sheep, often by use of the shearer’s foot
or knee (Figure 47):

 1.   Slip left thumb into sheep’s        2.    Bend sheep’s head sharply over her
      mouth, back of the incisor                right shoulder and swing sheep
      teeth and place other hand on             toward you.

PART- III                                               SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

         sheep’s right hip.
3.       Lower sheep to the ground as       4.    Start by shearing brisket and up
         you step back. From this                 into left shoulder area. One knee
         position you can lower her flat          behind sheep’s back, other foot in
         on the ground or set her on her          front.
         rump for foot trimming.
5.       Sheep is on her left side. Trim    6.    Place sheep on her rump, resting
         top of head, then hold one ear           against your legs. Shear down the
         and shear cheek and side of              shoulder while she is in this
         the neck as for as the shoulder,         position.
         into the opening you made at
         the brisket.
7.       With sheep in this position and    8.    Hold her left front leg up toward
         with you holding her head as             her neck and from this position
         shown, shear down the left               shear her side and belly.
9.       With only a minor shift in the     10. By pressing down on the back
         position of the sheep, you can         flank, the leg will be straightened,
         now shear the back flank.              making it easier to shear.
11.      From this position the sheep is    12. By holding up the left leg it is
         shorn along her backbone and           possible to trim the area around the
         a few centimeters beyond, if           crotch.
13.      Half the shearing is done. The     14. Holding one ear, you start down the
         shearer’s feet are so close to         right side of the neck. Do not hold
         the sheep’s belly that she             the ear tightly enough to hurt her.
         cannot get up.
15.      Shearer holds sheep with left      16. Sheep is pulled up against the
         hand under her chin and                shearer to expose her right side so
         around her neck and shears the         that he can shear it.
         right shoulder.
17.      Shifting his position, he shears   18. Shifting his position he finishes the
         farther down the side and the          right flank and shears the sheep’s
         rump.                                  rear end.
19.      He again moves his position        20. The sheep is back on her feet after
         and holding up the rear leg, he        complete shearing of wool.
         shears the right side of crotch.

Q.        Give some helpful suggestions in connection with wool shearing.
     •       Shear as early as weather permits. Shearing injuries will then heal before fly
             season. Ewes can be sheared before lambing (but carefully and gently),
             removing dirty wool tags the lamb might suck on.
     •       Sheep should be given a bath a week before shearing so that dirt, sand etc. are
             washed out.
     •       Never shear when the wool is wet or damp. It is very hard to dry it enough to
             sack or store. Damp wool is combustible and can also mildew.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

   •        Hold the sheep in a pen in the afternoon prior to shearing, so that they are not
            full of feed when sheared.
   •        Remove dung tags and do not tie them with the fleece.
   •        Shearing should be done on a clean tarpauline, shaken out after each sheep.
   •        Shear fleece in one piece, but do not trim legs or hooves onto the fleece.
   •        Avoid making second-cuts i.e. going twice over the same place. This practice
            reduces the fibre length and such wool gets very low price.
   •        Roll fleece properly and tie with paper twine.
   •        If selling to hand spinners, pack unrolled fleece gently in a clean paper bag,
            one fleece to a bag, or lay it out into a large shallow box. You can shake out
            much of the dust, vegetable matter and second cuts before bagging to make
            the fleece more valuable.
   •        Skirting the fleece (removing a strip about 7 cm wide from the edges of the
            shorn fleece) is proper.
   •        Black sheep and those having coloured spots should be shorn last of all white
            animals. Solid black animals be shorn separate from those having spots of
            different colours on their body. Do not contaminate white fleece with dark
            snips or vice versa.
   •        Put the rolled fleece in nylon bags and not in jute bags and label the bags
            according to contents.
   •        If you have to wait for something for better market rates, store the fleeces in a
            dry room, a bit elevated from the floor.

Q.      State very briefly that how would you roll the fleece?
Generally acceptable method of rolling the wool is to spread out the fleece skin side
down and fold side edges in toward the middle. Then fold neck edge in toward the center.
Last, start rolling from tail-end of fleece and make a compact roll. Using paper twine, tie
around one direction, cross the twine and tie around the other direction and knot securely.
Put the rolled fleece in a nylon bag and label it accordingly.
Q.      How would you test for a sound staple?
Weak staple can be caused by illness, poor feeding during later part of pregnancy, feeds
deficient in protein, vitamins and minerals and is called as tender wool. To test for
soundness, stretch a small tuft of wool between both hands. Strum it with the index finger
of one hand. A sound staple will give a faint, dull, twanging sound and will not tear or
Q.      Write a short note on sheep coats.
Sheep coats are also called sheep blankets, covers or sometimes as rugs. No doubt sheep
coats are not in vogue in Pakistan but countries such as Australia, New Zealand and
partly in USA, where sheep industry is well advanced, these have been found
instrumental in keeping the fleece clean, 13 to 27% longer staple length of wool, and
increased body weight even under harsh range conditions. The use of coats also makes
shearing much easier, partly because the fleece is cleaner. In areas of severe winter, the
sheep can conserve energy. Cost seems the main factor in making sheep coats less than
practical. Cotton coats were not durable around barbed wire or bush pasture. Sturdy
nylon-based coats were more durable, but had the disadvantage of making the sheep
sweat during warm weather. Woven polyethylene sheep coats were found most

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

practicable during large-scale tests in Australia. Being woven, they allowed the wool to
‘breathe’, so hot weather was no problem. Because they partially protect wool from rain,
the coats minimize fleece rot and skin disease. Coats are put on sheep right after shearing.
When using these coats for young growing sheep of a long-wooled breed, check the fit
after six or eight months to be sure that the coat is not becoming tight. Elastic rather than
fabric loops are better for this reason, although elastic does have a shorter use-life and
will need replacing annually.
Q.       What production and handling practices can result in marketing a higher
quality wool?
Protect on-the-back fleeces from straw, trash and burs. Remove tags from time to time,
but none should be present at shearing time. Avoid using any branding fluid if possible.
Consider using coloured plastic ear tags. Use proven scourable products according to the
directions on the label. Never use cotton, jute, sisal string or wire. Use paper twine. To
pack wool properly, use new wool bags, preferably paper lined. Avoid used grain and
feed bags. Pack the different kinds of wool⎯ewe, ram, yearling, burry/seedy, black and
floor sweepings separately and mark each bag so as to identify its contents. Never use
paint to mark bags. Keep bags off the ground and store under shelter. When transporting
wool, clean trucks be employed. Keep bags dry.
Q.       Write a brief note on recent shearing innovations.
High shearing costs and the scarcity of proper sheep shearers have spurred interest in
finding an easier and less costly way of removing the fleece from sheep. Three
experimental approaches, appear promising: 1) chemical shearing, 2) laser beam shearing
and 3) computerized shears.
Chemical Shearing: This approach still needs to be declared as a safe shearing
technique. It involves the use of the chemical cyclophosphamide (CPA). When the CPA
pill is given to sheep orally (with a balling gun), it temporarily stops cell growth,
constricts the fibre at the skinline and causes it to break. From 7 to 12 days after
administering the drug, sheep may be sheared with the bare hands. They can be stripped
naked without nicks, second cuts or shearing skill. So far no harmful side effects have
been reported from the use of CPA, including its use on pregnant ewes. However, some
problems may not allow its wide scale use. i) The necessity of handling sheep twice,
when administering the pill and when defleecing 7 to 12 days later, especially with large
flocks. ii) The susceptibility of bald sheep to sunburn or cold. iii) The loss of wool by the
animal’s rubbing on posts and brush. iv) The variability of different body areas in
response to the chemical; the wool on the back, shoulders and sides is removed rather
easily, whereas that around the face and legs comes off with difficulty. v) Variations
between animals in the time interval required from dosing to defleecing.
Laser Beam Shearing: A group of Australians headed by a former sheep shearer
developed this technique. The laser actually severs the wool by burning. They are
working on it so that it will selectively cut only wool. It is being so designed so that it
will automatically switch off when the beam strikes tissues or any other material differing
in density from wool.
Computerized Shears: This is a mechanical hand, guided by a computer. The computer
first creates a contour drawing-a computer map of the sheep’s body. An experimental
version at an Australian University shears a sheep in 3 minutes.
Q.       Give a list of requisites of wool and describe very briefly each of these.

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Good wool possesses character, purity and strength of fibre, good condition, cleanliness,
low shrinkage, no excessive grease, uniformity and a bright white colour. These
requisites apply to all wools regardless of class or grade.
Character: Character in wool is an inherent characteristic. It is judged largely by the
crimp, which is the waviness in wool. Fine wool of good character may have 10 to 12
crimps per centimeter, while a similar wool, lacking in character, would have only about
6 or less crimps per centimeter. Coarse wool may have only two or less crimps per
centimeter, whereas poor wool would be practically straight. Colour, feel and general
make up of fleece also enter into character of wool.
Purity: A fleece is pure if it is only true white fibres. Some sheep breeds produce black
or grey fibres. Wool of this type cannot be used for white fabrics. It must be dyed a dark
colour. Kemp is another type of fibre that affects the purity. It is malformed, chalky white
and very brittle. It is very wasteful in manufacturing and shows up as a defect in the
fabric because it does not take dyestuff. Some wools are off-colour in that they have
yellowish cast. They do not scour out white.
Strength of Fibre: Strength of wool varies greatly from fine wool to coarse. Good wool
has approximately the same strength throughout its length. Defective wool has one or
more weak places along its length. If the weak spot is pronounced, the fibre will not stand
the strain of manufacturing on the worsted system, but can be used only to make
woolens. Some of the common causes of weak or tender wool are: illness of sheep,
radical changes in feed and nutritional.
Condition: When used in connection with grease wool, it refers to the amount of grease,
sand, dirt and other solubles present in the wool. A wool that has high shrinkage is said to
be heavily conditioned. Hence, the amount or percentage of condition is an important
factor when determining the grease wool value. Grease wool requiring a minimum of
effort to remove impurities brings the highest price. Farmers and ranchers can do much to
lessen the amount of straw, chaff, grain and other vegetable matter found in wool.
Shrinkage: It is the weight of impurities lost in the wool scouring. The result is usually
expressed as a percentage of the grease weight. An example of fleece shrinkage is as

       4.5 kg grease wool before scouring
       2.4 kg clean wool after scouring
       2.1 kg loss in wool scouring. It is = 47% shrinkage and represents 53% yield of
clean wool.

A wool buyer must possess the ability to examine grease wool and to estimate its
shrinkage. Shrinkage consists of: i) the natural impurities⎯yolk and suint, ii) acquired
impurities such as tags, sand, dirt, vegetable matter etc., and iii) added impurities such as
Oil or Grease in the Fleece: Wool is bathed with a greasy substance during the growth
of the fibre. This natural grease protects the fibres during growth and prevents adjacent
fibres from becoming cotted or felted on the sheep’s body. Wool grease in its natural
form is called degras, which is really a wax. It is refined and marketed under the name of
lanolin. Wool grease is not soluble in cold or warm water. It is generally removed from
wool by emulsifying it with soap, water and alkali. It is soluble in naphtha. Too much

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wool grease, as in case of some heavy-conditioned ram fleeces, is not desirable because
of the high shrinkage. Wool also possesses suint. The grease, suint and other impurities
are commonly referred to as the yolk.
Evenness of Fibre and Uniformity: It is desirable to have wool as even and regular as
possible. Wool of many kinds is found on one sheep. The finest wool is found on the
head and shoulders and the coarsest on the britch. An even fleece is easier and quicker to
sort than an uneven fleece. Uniformity is the result of good breeding and good
Colour: Colour is an important consideration in evaluating wool for manufacturing
purposes. The whiter the wool, the greater its value. Very little, if any, farm wool is true
white. It usually has a yellowish tinge. The presence of pronounced yellow wool (called
canary-stained) is objectionable because the colour does not come out in the scouring.
Hence, such wool cannot be used for white yarn. Except for a trained person it is difficult
to spot a fleece containing only a few black fibres mixed among the white fibres. Such
fleeces are discounted and sell at the same price as black wool. It is advisable for owners
to examine their sheep carefully for patches of blacks, grey or brown wool and to
consider it when they are culling their flocks. Urine or manure-stained wool is another
type of off-coloured wool. Wool with this defect should be separated out by the sorter.
Q.       Discuss the types and uses of wool.
Four major types of wool are recognized in the industry here and abroad.
i)       Fine Wool: Fine wool from the Merino and other fine-woolled breeds is the most
expensive of all types and is produced largely in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa,
USA etc. These wools usually have a fineness of 25µm or less, while the average length
is about 100 mm. These wools are soft and have superior spinning qualities. These are
used in fine worsted and woolen cloth such as suitings, flannels.
ii)      Medium and Crossbred Wools: Wools from crossbreds such as Corriedale
developed from crosses between long wool and fine wool breeds have diameters ranging
from 22 to 30µm and staple lengths upto 150 mm. The fibres have a high crimp content
giving the wool characteristics such as spongy, springy or crisp to handle. These wools
are used for suits, coats and tweeds of medium quality. Also used in hosiery and knitted
goods of medium quality. Their high crimp content provides bulk and greater resistance
to felting.
iii)     Long Wools: Wools obtained from some sheep breeds are extra long, usually
above 150 mm with a fibre diameter of 35 to 40µm. These wools are usually
characterized by their luster. Foreign breeds such as Lincoln and Leicester are considered
as long wool breeds. Long wools are generally employed for the production of plain
cloths, tweeds, surges, overcoats, blankets and felts.
iv)      Coarse or Carpet Wools: Coarse wools from Pakistan, China, India and most
parts of Asia and Africa are known as carpet wools. These wools are in fact a mixture of
longer heavy fibres (the outer-coat) and fine true wool (the under-coat). The average
fineness is from 30 to 45µm, while the average length varies from 50 to 200 mm and
depends whether shearing is done once or twice a year. Three different types of fibres
have been recognized in carpet wools. True wool fibres comprise the under-coat and are
the finest having no medulla. Heterotypical fibres are medullated in varying degrees,
some are fully medullated and form the outer-coat of the fleece, while others with partial
medullation are intermediate between true and medullated fibres. Kemps are fibres shed

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

by the follicles and lie loose in the fleece as they are short, brittle, opaque and can be
easily distinguished, especially under a microscope. Most breeds in Pakistan are of the
carpet wool type. The proportions of the different fibre types in these breeds are given in
Table 22.

Table 22.      Types of fibre in Pakistan breeds of sheep (%)

 Breed          True wool         Heterotypic       Medullated        Kemp fibre
                fibre             fibre             fibre
 Balochi        68.9              23.7               6.3               1.1
 Bibrik         59.4              16.4              12.8              11.4
 Buchi          51.6              40.0               6.4               2.0
 Cholistani     48.3              30.2              17.9              3.6
 Damani         49.3              35.4              11.3              4.0
 Dumbi          56.6              22.8              19.8              0.8
 Harnai         76.7              17.5               5.2              0.6
 Hashtnagri     63.3              20.4              10.6              5.7
 Kaghani        73.0              21.4               4.5               1.1
 Kail           75.9              22.0               1.5               0.6
 Kajli          45.2              28.3              17.5               9.0
 Kooka          60.0              22.2              13.5               4.2
 Latti          71.4              18.4               9.6               0.6
 Lohi           53.5              27.6              15.2               3.7
 Michni         70.7              15.0               7.1              7.2
 Rakhshani      70.8              20.0               8.4              0.8
 Thalli         52.2              31.8              10.8              5.2
 Tirahi         71.0              17.5               6.1              5.2
 Waziri         70.1              20.3               6.8              2.8
Source: Naqvi (1982).

As the name indicates, these wools find use in carpets and other types of floor covering.
The properties that make them desirable for carpet production include resilience,
resistance to abrasion and soiling, bulk and resistance to matting and crushing. Pakistan
produces ideal types of carpet wool and this has enabled the country to become one of the
major producers and exporters of hand-knotted carpets.
Q.      Write a detailed note on shearing of sheep.
Seasons of Shearing: In Pakistan, sheep are generally shorn in spring (March) and
autumn (September). Shearing is earliest in Sindh, then in Punjab and later in
Balochistan, NWFP and adjacent areas. About 45% of the clip is produced in spring and
55% in autumn as a result of the good grazing available during the preceding monsoon

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

months. The spring wools are white and the autumn wools yellow, which is attributed to
the combined effects of moisture and sun on the fleece during the rainy summer months.
In major wool producing countries such as Australia, sheep are shorn only once a year to
ensure a long staple for apparel wools and for economy of labour. In Pakistan, where the
bulk of production comprises carpet wools, fibres of sufficient length for making carpets
(50 to 75 mm) grow in about six months and labour costs are comparatively low.
Washing of Sheep: The number of flock-owners who wash their sheep before shearing is
very small and usually confined to organized farms or localities where water supply is
plentiful. However, washing of sheep before shearing is desirable since fleeces from
washed sheep sell at a premium price. Sheep when washed should be allowed to dry well
before shearing. If washing is not possible, sheep should be kept off fresh pastures for at
least one to two days before shearing and fed in paddocks/barns where available.
Unwashed wools with coloured tufts fetch low prices owing to low yields and difficulties
in decolourizing and dyeing for particular end uses. As far as possible, colour marking for
identification and decoration should be avoided and methods like earmarking should be
adapted. When unavoidable, scourable dyes should be used and the fleeces washed or
marketed in separate lots.
Methods of Shearing: Shearing may be done either with hand-held shears or shearing
machines. Mostly hand-held shears are used which have 20 to 30 cm long blades that
often have pointed tips, which may cause injuries to the skin of sheep. The use of
shearing machines is gradually becoming popular. Shearing is generally entrusted to
professional shearers, but may be done by flock owners themselves. One shearer may
shear 40 to 50 sheep daily. On average about 30 to 40g of wool remains on the body of a
sheep after hand shearing. This results in an annual loss of approximately one million kg
of wool. However, while shearing should be uniform and close to skin, some cover is
necessary to protect the sheep from sunburn or chilling. The ultimate character, utility
and price of wool depend on the skill with which it is shorn, sorted and cleaned before
sale. Wools need to be sorted into like groups from the beginning. Grading wool has
regularized the export trade but the overall objective of improvements in wool marketing
can be achieved only when modern sheep-shearing centers are established in wool
producing areas to obtain properly classed wool, of uniform quality, in easily marketable
lots. Some of these shearing centers could be developed into organized wool markets and
used for extension services.
Q.      Write a note on pulled wool.
Pulled wool is obtained from the skins of slaughtered or dead animals by hide and skin
merchants in their curing yards as well as during the process of leather production in
tanneries. In the former case, wool is removed after salting or soaking skins in brine to
loosen the wool fibres from their follicles by scraping with wooden blades. In the latter
case, wool is removed from skins after coating lime paste on the flesh side and piling
them up overnight folded to ensure heat production and salt action to loosen the fibres.
Limed wool is also obtained from skins immersed in lime water for 1 to 2 weeks, after
which skins are placed over a slanting beam with wool side up and the fibres removed by
scraping with a blunt knife. Removing fibres with chemicals like sodium sulphide is not
popular, mainly because cheap manual labour is available. All types of pulled wools are
washed thoroughly with water and then dried for sale. Pulled wool fetches low price
because of their poor quality resulting from short fibres, fibre damage and the presence of

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

traces of chemicals. This affects the spinning and dyeing of wools and restricts their
ultimate uses.

Q.       Discuss in detail the sorting and bulking of wool.
In Pakistan, fleeces are generally not sorted into different quality categories at shearing,
nor they are grouped into body wool, skirtings and coloured wools except by some flock
owners. After shearing fleeces are bulked together and sold to itinerant traders or stored.
The present system for the collection and disposal of fleeces has several flaws: haphazard
mixing of all types of fleece makes sorting and classification of wools according to the
end-user’s needs difficult and expensive; haulage of wool in bags or in loose condition is
cumbersome, time consuming and expensive; at each stage the wool becomes more
contaminated with dirt; variation in size of gunny bags for transporting wool act as a
trade barrier; and wool trading is unorganized which ultimately leads to poor returns for
producers and high prices for consumers. Thus there is need to introduce a system of
preliminary sorting of fleeces into body wool, skirtings and coloured wools at shearing
and where possible, transport as hand-pressed bales.
Q.       Explain the process of final sorting and cleaning.
Wools assembled by merchants are heaped into different lots, often according to their
burr content, colour and sometimes fineness. Visible extraneous matter such as stones,
straw, leaves and droppings is removed by hand, while excessive burrs are clipped away
with a pair of scissors or beaten out on cemented platforms or stone slabs with bamboo
sticks or pairs of flat iron tongs. After picking and sorting, wools are washed in cement
tanks or scrubbed with water on concrete floors and the washed wool is squeezed and
dried on mats or cement floors under the sun. To remove traces of extraneous matter and
obtain homogenous blends, the dried lots are either caned with long, thin bamboo sticks
or passed through willowing machines. To prepare specific types or blends, merchants
mix more than one lot type of wool before caning and willowing operations. In the final
stage, beaten or willowed wools are passed over large sieves with 125 mm mesh to
remove extraneous matter and undesirable tufts and the clean wool is then sold to local
buyers after packing in gunny bags or hydraulically-pressed bales. The usual weight of a
bag is 100 to 120 kg and of a pressed bale 145 to 190 kg.
If a consignment of wool is intended for export, it is cleaned, graded and packed under
the supervision of Wool Grading Inspector of the Federal Department of Agricultural and
Livestock Marketing and Grading. All export wool mist be graded under Pakmark. A
certificate of quality is then issued by the Government Wool Test House at Karachi.
Q.       Write a note on wool production in Pakistan.
The estimated production of wool in Pakistan during 2002 is 39.5 thousand tons of greasy
or 23.5 thousand tons of clean wool, valued at Rs. 715 million, based on an average yield
of 1.8 kg greasy wool per adult sheep and 1.1 kg per lamb (28% of the sheep population)
and clean fibre content of greasy wool of 60%. Of the total, 5% is lost during shearing,
handling and transportation. While most estimates of wool production are based on the
number of sheep and their annual yield, some are based on wool marketed or consumed.
Variations in different estimates of production reflect a paucity of reliable
statistics.According to the 1996 census (Livestock Census Organization, GOP, 1996), the
proportions of sheep in different provinces are Punjab 26.1%, Sindh 15.7%, NWFP
11.9% and Balochistan 46.1%. Average annual production of wool per sheep, 1.1 to 1.8

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

kg, is low compared to 4.5 to 13.6 kg in countries such as Australia, Newzealand, and
USA. Thus there is considerable scope for improvement. Furthermore, the amount of
wool produced by individual shepherds is low, mainly because of the small size of their
flocks (Table 23), which causes difficulties in the collection of fleeces.
Table 23.       Size of sheep flocks in Pakistan
 Size of flock               Average No. of sheep         Percentage of total
 (number of sheep)           per household                sheep population
 1-5                            2.4                       11.7
 6-15                           9.3                       16.4
 16-30                         22.1                       18.5
 31-50                         39.3                       15.1
 51-75                         60.9                         9.9
 76-100                        87.2                         6.0
 101-150                     121.7                          6.8
 151-200                     173.7                          5.0
 Above 200                   314.4                        10.6
Source: Mackintosh (1993).
Pakistan wools are ideally suited to the production of carpets and rugs and are marketed
as such in Pakistan as well as overseas, even though one-third of the supply comprises
relatively fine wools suitable for the production of medium quality apparel. This is due to
the practice of collecting and marketing wools in different trade varieties with a territorial
nomenclature and no uniformity of fibre characteristics in any one of them. However,
Pakmark grades are now replacing the trade varieties for export. About 80% of the local
production is shorn wool and the remainder pulled wools. Table 24 shows the annual
production of greasy wool in Pakistan.
White, yellow and coloured wools account for about 39, 48 and 13% of the total clip.
Compared with the number of sheep in 1976, nearly 20% increase took place on overall
basis as found from 1996 census of livestock. However, province wise breakdown
showed that there was about 20% decrease in sheep numbers in Punjab, about 45%
increase in Sindh, 22% decrease in NWFP, while almost 50% increase was noticed in
sheep numbers in Balochistan. Since 1996 till 2002, no noticeable change seems to have
taken place in sheep numbers in Pakistan.
Table 24.       The annual production of greasy wool in Pakistan
 Year                                       Quantity (000 tons)
 1996                                       38.1
 1997                                       38.3
 1998                                       38.5
 1999                                       38.7
 2000                                       38.9
 2001                                       39.2
Source: Livestock Division, GOP (2001).
Q.       Discuss imports and exports of wool with reference to Pakistan.
Imports of wool during 2000 totaled 4.4 thousand tons, valued at Rs. 465 million and
comprised fine and crossbred wools from Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Imported
wools are used mainly to manufacture worsted or woolen apparel, shawls and knit-wear
and to a small extent for the production of fine carpets such as Wilton, with or without

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

blending with local wools. About one thousand tons of wool valued at nearly Rs. 60
million is also imported annually in a semi-processed state as tops and yarns for the same
purpose. Exports of raw wool during 2000 totaled two thousand tons valued at Rs. 109.8
million. These carpet wools were sent to countries such as UK, Iran and Australia for
manufacturing carpets and other woolen goods often after blending with wool or
synthetic fibres. Figures for the annual imports and exports of wool are given in Table 25
and show that the import of fine wool markedly increased in 2000 compared to the last
three years, mainly due to an increase in demand for locally-made fine fabrics. Exports
are gradually declining because homegrown wools are being increasingly used for the
production of hand-knotted and machine-made carpets and rugs, but occasionally may
rise abruptly owing to increased international demand.
Table 25.       Annual imports and exports of wool into/from Pakistan
  Year                        Imports (000 tons)           Exports (000 tons)
  1996                        3.8                          9.1
  1997                        2.6                          10.8
  1998                        2.6                          5.2
  1999                        2.5                          2.7
  2000                        4.4                          2.0
Q.       Look at the table given below and enlist the factors used to determine the net
available supply of wool in Pakistan.
Table 26.       Net available supply of wool in Pakistan (2000)
                                   Quantity (000 tons)
  Item             Coarse          Fine wool** Total
                                                   Greasy         Clean
  Production       26.0            12.9            38.9           23.3
  Imports          -                4.4             4.4            4.2
  Exports           2.0            -                2.0            1.7 (consigned
                                                                  as carpet wool)
  Net available supply
  a)               24.0              17.3             41.3        25.80
  b)               -                 1.0              1.0         0.98 (imported
                                                                  as tops and yarns)
  Total (a+b)      24.0              18.3             42.3        26.78
         +      Determined according to Mackintosh (1993).
         *      Below 48s or above 34 µm in diameter.
         **     Lamb wool plus 15% of comparatively fine wool from adult sheep.
Q.       Discuss the status of present consumption of wool in Pakistan.
The paucity of reliable statistics is a serious problem in dealing with present consumption
trends. For example, data on the national consumption of wool in cottage industries are
not available. Manufacturing industries do not always report their production or
consumption and records of the quality of wool and its products do not exist for the
import-export trade. An estimated figure indicates that Pakistan annually consumes 26.78
thousand tons of clean wool, 47.7% as hand-knotted carpets, 28.5% as machine-made
blankets and 11.9% as shawls. Machine-made carpets and woolen cloth use small
quantities of wool (10.7%) and knitwear even less (1.2%).

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Hand-knotted carpets are made all over the country, in a variety of colours, patterns with
floral, geometrical or pictorial designs such as Bokhara, Kashan and Kandhar. Woollen
carpets rank high among the country’s list of exportable products earning Rs. 16 billion
in 2001. These exports could be further boosted if more attention was paid to producing
superior quality products and export-oriented designs with good appearance and finish,
but to attain these objective facilities such as training programmes and export incentives
would have to be provided. The machine-made carpet industry is mostly concentrated in
and around Karachi, Lahore and Quaidabad with the bulk of production consisting of
Axminster and Wilton carpets, though a small quantity of other types like tufted and
bonded carpets is also being manufactured. The annual export of machine-made carpets
is worth Rs. 120 million. Both hand-knotted and machine-made carpets are manufactured
from local wool and only a small quantity of imported fine wool is used for blending to
produce the special types of carpets with fine yarn and a certain amount of shine
demanded by some buyers.
Q.       Name the major industries/products that use a large part of the wool
produced in Pakistan or imported from abroad.
Hand-knotted carpets, machine-made carpets, machine-made fabrics, machine-made
knitwear, machine-made blankets and shawls and cottage industry articles such as
blankets, ‘lois’, upholstery, twines, decorative domestic goods, yarn and felted wool for
namdas (namnahs) are the main items manufactured from wool.
Fine quality apparels are manufactured from fine imported wools and medium quality
fabrics from blends of imported and local wools. The common varieties of machine-made
cloth are serge, flannel, coating and tweed, made in woolen mills. Local cloth like ‘patti’,
a kind of tweed, is made in cottage industries using local wools or after blending with
camel hair, in areas of Swat, Bannu, Hazara and Loralai. Mills generally demand wools
64s to 72s for fine quality, 48s to 58s for medium quality and 40s to 48s for coarse
products, but some of the relatively fine wools from north-western part of the country are
suitable for use in medium quality apparel. Knitwear and hosiery yarns are manufactured
from tops of 48s to 64s quality wool and are used for the manufacture of hosiery goods
such as pullovers, socks and gloves as well as knitting wool.
Blankets are made mostly from local wools and to a lesser extent after blending with fine
and crossbred imported wools. Those made by cottage industries are usually coarse and
unfinished but those from mills are of medium or fine quality and are popular with the
wealthy people and institutions such as hospitals and defence forces. Cottage industries
making blankets exist in all sheep raising areas, while mills are located in towns and
cities such as Bannu, Harnai, Lahore and Karachi. Like blankets, light blankets, ‘lois’ and
shawls are manufactured by cottage industries as well as mills from local wools or blends
of local wools with imported wools or synthetic fibres. Though a wide range of wools is
utilized for making blankets, those of 40s to 58s are popular, although for superior quality
blankets, ‘lois’, and shawls, still finer counts are preferred. Woolen articles prepared by
cottage industries include carpets, tweeds, blankets, ‘lois’, shawls, namnah (felted wool
mats) and a variety of domestic goods such as druggets, upholstery, hand bags, produce
bags and shoes. For some articles wool is blended with goat hair, camel hair and other
fibres, thus wools of all types and qualities are used.
The consumption of wool in both cottage industries and mills is reasonably steady but it
is brisk during the pre-winter and winter months. The consumption of wool and woolen

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

goods during the last decade has risen by 10 to 15% per annum but wool production is
not commensurate with demand, thus the gap between the supply and demand of textile
including carpets, has been filled with other natural or synthetic fiber such as cotton,
acrylic or polypropylene.
Q.      What factors are responsible for enhanced consumption in relation to supply
of wool in Pakistan?
Pakistan’s wool requirements will remain above the annual wool clip and imports of fine
wools to the extent of 15 to 20% will continue in the near future due to slow growth rate
of wool production and increased rate of consumption. Factors possibly responsible for
this are: increasing human population, increased per capita income, international
popularity of Pakistan’s carpets particularly hand-made ones, improved sheep husbandry
operation to increase wool, meat, skins and a greater awareness of the need to develop
home grown wool industries rather than encouraging the use of inferior quality and
hazard-prone synthetic fibres for the present import of fine quality wools is inevitable
because Pakistan does not produce fine wools like Merino, whereas relatively fine wools
produced in hilly areas such as Harnai and Pahari and those from lambs are not sorted
and marketed as such . Also, sheep producing wools have not yet been improved to yield
fibres with desirable characteristics such as uniformity of diameter, freedom from kemp
and reduction in medullary contents. It is advisable to concentrate on developing some
industries such as carpets, rugs, shawls and decorative articles primarily for export
Q.      What characteristics of wool fibres help determine their suitability for
manufacturing of various products?
There are a number of characteristics of wool fibres which help determine their suitability
for manufacturing purposes and their behaviour during scoring, spinning, weaving and
other processes. For good quality woven or knitted fabrics, fibre diameter, vegetable
matter, length, strength and colour are most important with additional contributions from
resistance to compression or bulk and fibre diameter distribution. For coarse wool,
especially those used in carpets are modern design, fibre diameter, medullation, length,
bulk and colour are most important.
Q.      Write a note on luster in wool.
The scales of the wool fibre reflect light and produce luster or sheen in its appearance.
Three types of luster are distinguished: silver luster such as in fine and crimpy Merino
wools; silk luster in long stapled and long–wooled English breeds; glass luster in straight,
smooth and coarse hair like mohair. Lustrous wools are valued because of their ability to
dye bright and give a good finish to the final product. These are generally obtained from
sheep reared under good conditions of nutrition and management. Pakistan wools have a
dull luster, indicating a need for better management practices.
Q.      Write a note on staple length.
Staple refers to the length of the fibre, but in a more restricted sense it is used for a lock
of wool in the fleece. Staple length is the length of a staple from tip to base. It varies
considerably according to the breed and environment. The usual staple length of Pakistan
wools is 50 to 75 mm, though it varies from 25 mm for the Bibrik and Thali breeds to 175
mm for the Khorasan and Kaghani breeds, while fibres on the head and legs are only 12
to 75 mm long. Wools of 50 to 75 mm length are considered of good quality for use
without combing in the woolen system, while those with longer staple are preferred for

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

use after combing in the worsted system. For carpet wool a staple length of about 100
mm is preferred. Staple length of Pakistan breeds of sheep along with certain other fibre
characteristics are given in Table 27.

Table 27.       Fibre characteristics of Pakistan breeds of sheep
 Breeds                Staple length         Fibre diameter         Spinning count
                       (mm)                  (µm)
 Balkhi                83                    45.1                   <36s
 Balochi               73                    30.7                   50s
 Bibrik                52                    43.5                   <36s
 Buchi                 59                    36.3                   44s
 Cholistani            70                    46.6                   36s
 Damani                50                    43.3                   36s
 Dumbi                 60                    38.5                   40s
 Harnai                70                    31.5                   50s
 Hashtnagri            64                    35.0                   44s
 Kaghani               42                    32.5                   50s
 Kail                  50                    33.7                   46s
 Kajli                 52                    37.1                   40s
 Kooka                 50                    41.1                   <36s
 Latti                 84                    35.3                   44s
 Lohi                  52                    40.2                   36s
 Michni                54                    30.7                   50s
 Rakhshani             48                    30.9                   50s
 Thalli                53                    37.7                   40s
 Tirahi                61                    34.5                   44s
 Waziri                65                    35.0                   44s
Source: Mackintosh (1993).
Q.      Write short notes on kemp and med fibre in wool.
Kemp: Kemp is the coarsest fibre grown by sheep. Kemp consists of chalky-white fibres
with a hairy and brittle structure, shed from the skin follicles and found mixed with the
wool fibres. They are short with tapering ends and large diameters (110 to 140µm), resist
impregnation with dyes and have very poor spinning and weaving capabilities. Some of
the breeds such as Harnai and Bahawalpuri are almost free of kemp, while most others
show kemp content of 1 to 2% and a few such as Bibrik and Sindhi contain 3 to 4%.
These fibres can be reduced by planned breeding and improved management practices.
Kemp is undesirable as a fibre grown by fine and medium wool sheep and should be
genetically selected against, unless it is an important characteristic of the sheep being
Medullated Fibre: Med fibre (hair or heterotype ) are medullated and tend to be finer
than kemp fibres. They tend to be longer than true wool fibres and generally lack crimp.
While medullated fibres are undesirable in apparel wools because dyeing produces a
leathery effect and spinning is retarded, but they are an asset in carpet wools especially
when they are of the heterotypical type i.e. the fibre is partially medullated which aids in
the production of a strong and springy product. There is a need to find the optimum

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

content of heterotypical fibres and amount of medullation for the production of ideal
types of carpets.
Q.      Write a note on bulk and resilience of wool.
For carpet wools in particular, good bulking characteristics are essential. Such wools
must resist the compressive forces applied during wear and also recover their bulk when
the compressive forces are removed (resilience). Bulk and resistance to compression
vary greatly depending on the level of crimp in the fibres. Straight fibres give low values;
while curly ones may have bulk or resilience values two to three times greater. Resilience
does not vary greatly and all wools have good recovery property. The term springiness
relates to resistance to compression rather than resilience. Similarly, the elastic properties
of wool fibres are very constant and variations in this respect are mostly due to thin or
tender regions in the fibres and not associated with fine structure of the wool protein.
Pakistani wools show good bulk properties and some are very springy, for example the
Punjab superior, Bahawalpuri and Harnai varieties. Bulk and resistance to compression
may also be of importance in fine fabrics where they influence such factors as thickness,
mechanical and comfort properties
Q.      Write a short note on felting ability of Pakistani wools.
The felting ability of wool fibres emanates from the specific structure of their scales. As
the scales overlap each other and have all projected ends on one side, the free fibres
always move in the direction of their roots and such movements cause a close
interlocking of fibres. All wools possess this property although the rate of felting varies
greatly. Wools of high crimp content do not felt rapidly whereas straight fibres do.
Fleeces composed of very straight fibres often felt, or become ‘cotted’, on the sheep’s
back. No other fibre characteristics have much influence, although length has a
significant effect on the felting of yarns of higher twist. Crimpy wools resist felting but
are difficult to process, producing more waste in carding, more noil in combing, and, in
addition, they have to be spun at lower speeds. However, they produce finished cloth of
better quality in terms of comfort and performance.

The distribution of coloured fibres in Pakistan sheep breeds
 Breeds             Colour of wool (percent of fibres)
                    White                Grey              Black
 Balkhi             -                    22.0              78.0
 Balochi            90.0                 8.0               2.0
 Bibrik             100.0                -                 -
 Buchi              99.4                 0.2               0.4
 Cholistani         95.1                 1.8               3.1
 Damani             97.2                 2.8               -
 Dumbi              99.6                 -                 0.4
 Harnai             94.3                 5.7               -
 Hashtnagri         87.1                 -                 12.9
 Kaghani            9.6                  70.6              19.8
 Kail               88.2                 3.3               8.5
 Kajli              100.0                -                 -
 Kooka              94.4                 5.6               -
 Latti              99.5                 -                 0.5

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 Lohi             98.4                      1.2                  0.4
 Michni           97.5                      2.5                  -
 Rakhshani        96.5                      3.3                  0.2
 Thalli           89.8                      3.4                  6.8
 Tirahi           -                         99.6                 0.4
 Waziri           91.7                      7.7                  0.6
Source: Naqvi (1982).

Q.       Discuss the processes involved in market preparation of wool.
The preparation of wool for market begins at the time it is removed from the sheep and
ends at the time of its sale. The preparation covers bulking, sorting, cleaning, washing
and grading of wool in commercial lots. The preparation starts when the fleeces reach
secondary and tertiary markets in towns and cities where wholesale merchants and
commission agents assemble wool for preparation and distribution to the ultimate buyers
or consumers. The most favoured practice is to export after scouring as this ensures
yields of 90 to 100% and saves the unnecessary payment on dirt and grease. Market
preparation also includes the preparation of small samples of wool for publicity as well as
labeling lots and their samples meant for buyers. Exportable bales are always marked
with stencils, indicating the origin of the produce, the name of the exporting company
and the grade of the wool in the bale. Bales for local sale may or may not be labeled.
Grading: Except for classification into customary trade varieties, grading of wool for
local sales is not undertaken but all wools meant for export are graded according to
Pakmark specifications. No consignment of wool can be exported unless it has been
cleaned and graded, and is accompanied by a certificate of quality. Under this system,
wool merchants having wool baling facilities register themselves with the Wool Grading
Scheme of the Central government and become entitled to receive official guidance and
assistance. There are Wool Grading Centres in Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur and Karachi.
The local wool grading inspector visits the premises of the authorized wool merchants
and supervises the cleaning, sorting, grading and pressing of wool. These consignments
are then sent to Karachi, while a report on the wool is sent to the Wool Test House,
Karachi. Here core-bored samples are taken and tested to determine the Pakmark grades
which are then marked on the individual bales, and each consignment is issued a
certificate of quality bearing the description of fibres. Since the introduction of the Wool
Grading Scheme more than 50 years back, the preparation of wool for market has
improved markedly. The clean fibre content of wool, which averaged 35% prior to the
introduction of this scheme, has risen to an average of 85% and vegetable matter has
fallen to an average of 2%. Pakmark grading has regulated the export trade of wool.
Karachi Wool Test House has provided a laboratory testing service for the benefit of
merchants and mills, who assess the quality, utility and price of their wools on the basis
of laboratory results and it initiated research on wool fibre characteristics in Pakistan for
the first time.
Q.       Give a brief description of factors affecting wool prices.
i)       The most important factor determining the price of wool is its yield. The clean
content of wool in primary, secondary and tertiary markets is 50 to 60%, 60 to 70% and
75 to 85% or higher for scoured wool and prices received are in the same proportion. The
prevailing market rates for wool in local sales are normally quoted for a yield of 80% and

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

in foreign sales for a yield of 100%. Yield is assessed visually and manually except in
export and some local sales in which it is determined in the laboratory. Occasionally,
merchants wash wool with soap and dry it to estimate its approximate yield.
ii)     Since wool is hygroscopic it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and gains
weight depending on factors such as atmospheric humidity and temperature, exposed
surface area of the lot and wind type. This is reported as percentage moisture content or
as regain expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the dried sample. Under
ordinary conditions Pakistan wools contain 10 to 15% moisture. Price discounts for moist
(more than 10 to 15% moisture) lots are 16 to 25% or more. The Wool Test House at
Karachi has fixed Pakistan’s standard regain at 13.64%.
iii)    Vegetable matter reduces the yield of clean wool but the price discount is much
higher than suggested by the decrease in yield. It is because the vegetable matter remains
in the scoured wool and has to be removed during carding and combing and small thin
broken up portions may even survive processing and produce a fault in the final fabric.
Export of wools containing more than 5% vegetable matter is disallowed.
iv)     The presence of grease in wool lowers its yield and the price falls proportionately.
Pakistan wools contains 1 to 2% grease with a minimum of 0.1% in Sindhi and maximum
of 11% in Kandhari varieties.
v)      The price of wool varies with its quality in terms of the fibre characteristics
discussed earlier. For example, the prices of white, pale yellow, yellow and coloured
wools are often in the ratio of 100, 85 and 55. For staple length, the prices fall by 5 to
10% below a length of 50 mm and by 20 to 25% or more below a length of 25 mm.
Likewise, the price variation for fibre fineness in Pak Superior, Pak Medium and Pak
Coarse grades is approximately 100, 95 and 92%. A premium of up to about 5% is paid
for soft and springy wools, but other characteristics are usually not considered in
determining the price of local wools because precise information about them is still
Q.      Do you think locality, international factors and season affect wool prices?
Prices of wool are at the lowest level in villages, intermediate in small towns and highest
in big cities owing to yield variations and costs of handling and transport at different
places. The main international factors affecting prices are variation in banking rates and
currency revaluations in importing countries and trade booms and recessions.
International prices also fluctuate in accordance with the quality of raw and finished
goods, for example a deterioration in the general quality of exportable wool would cause
lower prices and vice versa. It, however, appears that the prices of wool do not fluctuate
widely from month to month. A fall of 14% below the annual average during September-
October results from the increased supply of the autumn clip, while a rise of 16% during
May-June is due to the end of spring clip sales.
Q.      What units of sale of wool and basis of quotation are in vogue in this
In primary markets the unit of sale of wool is a maund of 40 kg and its denominations or
a fleece, and the price is quoted per maund or per fleece. The weight of a maund in
remote areas is often taken to be 41 to 42 kg although the prices of wool paid to the
shepherds do not vary proportionately. In secondary markets the unit of sale is a maund
of 40 kg. In tertiary markets the unit of sale and basis of price quotation for local sales is

PART- III                                           SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

also a maund, but it is a kilogram for international sales. To ensure a healthy trade,
standard weights should be popularized in all markets, especially in remote rural areas.
Q.       Write a note on market intelligence.
Producers of wool and village merchants obtain market news on wool either from
itinerant traders visiting rural areas or through personal visits to nearby markets, while
town merchants, commission agents and exporters establish contacts with local and
foreign dealers. Information on wool markets and prices is published periodically by a
few newspapers and bulletins on monthly and annual prices are issued by the government
and autonomous organizations such as the Dept. of Agricultural and Livestock Products
and Grading, the Central Statistical Office, Radio and TV and banks. However, the prices
are often compiled and issued long after the reporting period is over and are not of direct
interest to the producers or the trade. Information on wool other than prices, for example
the commencement of sheep-shearing operations, market arrivals, dispatches of wool,
specific requirements of local mills and the state of international wool trade is not
compiled and disseminated by any agency. The assurance of increased returns to
shepherds by extension activities such as training of shepherds to assess the quality of
their clips, enforcing the use of standard weights and measures in rural areas and
instituting market intelligence services of help to the producers, traders and consumers of
wool are still lacking.
Q.       Discuss the producer’s share under the present system of wool marketing.
To derive the full benefits from the production and consumption of wool, it must
exchange hands under a system of marketing that ensures adequate returns to all engaged
in the trade. Presently it is not so and it can be attributed largely to the unorganized
channels of assembling and distribution of wool with poor returns to producers and high
prices for consumers. The worst affected is the shepherd / producer who being illiterate
and ignorant of market conditions, suffers the most and his share of the price paid by the
ultimate consumer is small. This is borne out by the average figures for the price of wool
obtained through market investigations.
Producers share of consumers price :             45%
Preparation expenses                     :       12%
Market charge                            :       8%
Transport charge                         :       10%
Intermediaries profit                    :       25%

To enhance the producers share in the price of his wool he should be trained to assess the
quality of his produce, to estimate its clean fibre content and to make use of market
intelligence services on wool. The number of unnecessary intermediaries in the wool
trade should be reduced and market charges and practices should be standardized under
marketing legislation.
Q.      Name and discuss the agencies involved and the methods used in the
assembly and distribution of wool in Pakistan.
Such agencies include producers/shepherds, village merchants, village itinerant traders,
wholesale merchants and exporters. The village merchants usually deal in a variety of
agricultural and non–agriculture provisions including wool. The itinerant merchants, who
may also act agents of the wholesale merchants, collect wool from the shepherds or
village merchants in sheep raising areas and deal mostly in wool. The wholesale

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

merchants and exporters, who may also work as commission agents, operate in towns and
cities and deal exclusively in wool, although some of them may transact business in allied
products such as goat hair, hides and skins. Merchants acting as commission agents sell
one party’s collections to another or buy wool themselves for sale to the mills and foreign
buyers and many lots of wool change hands among several merchants before reaching the
wholesalers specializing in export. Transactions in rural areas among the producers,
village merchants and itinerant traders are usually negotiated directly without assistance
of wool brokers. In secondary markets, the sellers and buyers conclude business directly
when they are well known to each other and through the brokers when a mutual
confidence in dealings does not exist. In tertiary markets most of the transactions among
wholesalers and exporters are concluded through the agency of brokers who appraise the
quality of wool in salable lots and negotiate price. The brokers are not licensed.
Q.       What are the different types of markets where wool marketing is carried
The primary markets or sale centers for wool are located in villages and small towns.
These may be permanent such as village merchants’ shops or temporary such as sheep
shearing sites or ‘Hatas’ and ‘Melas’ which are periodical markets. The secondary
markets, locally called ‘Mandis’, are situated in towns and cities. These comprise shops
with or without wool godowns and cleaning yards and are held daily to transact business
in raw as well as prepared wools. Being located in towns and cities such as Shikarpur,
Bahawalnagar, Jhang, Peshawar and Loralai, they usually possess marketing facilities.
These markets number a little over a dozen and this number is too small to cover the
wool trade spread all over the country. Tertiary markets include terminal markets in big
cities such as Karachi and Lahore where from wool is exported abroad and consist of a
number of business offices, godowns and cleaning yards for wool. They possess all
marketing facilities. The godowns and cleaning yards in most markets could be improved
by moisture-and vermin-proof construction, cemented premises for cleaning and drying
wool, sewerage disposal system and general sanitation.
Q.       What kind of market charges are levied on wool?
    i)      Commission is paid by sellers or buyers or both to commission agents for the
            services they provide for the sale of wool assembled at their premises.
    ii)     Brokerage is paid to the brokers arranging sales, by sellers or buyers or both
            according to the prevalent custom in a market.
    iii)    In some markets a market fee is charged by the owners for the provision of
            marketing facilities, but in practice very little of these funds are spent for the
    iv)     Octroi or terminal tax was used to be charged by local bodies when wool
            entered their jurisdiction for sale or consumption. Presently, however, octroi
            charges are no more there.
    v)      Miscellaneous expenses such as weighing charges, deductions for extra wool
            allowed by sellers to commission agents in lieu of boarding and lodging
            facilities and other charges such as collections towards a charitable fund,
            contributions for constructing a public utility and correspondence charges are
            again paid by sellers or buyers according to market conventions. Variations in
            different charges are a serious hurdle to straight forward trading. Regulation
            of the wool trade through measures such as the introduction of standardized

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

            market charges and practices, provision of marketing facilities in important
            wool markets including the establishment of new markets in needy areas, and
            improvement in the methods of transport and storage of wool.
    vi)     There is another set of expenses incurred on the export of wool. These include
            baling charges and a grading or testing fee paid on consignments intended for
            export. These expenses are incurred by the merchants who grade, bale and
            export them. The charges for pressing wool vary with the density of wool in
            bales and place and time of pressing, which at present range from Rs. 120 to
            Rs. 150 per bale. The grading or testing fee presently charged by the
            government Wool Test House at Karachi is Rs. 0.50 per kg of exportable
            wool, irrespective of the quality of wool in a consignment. These expenses are
            added to the value of wool before being offered for sale.
Q.      Write a comprehensive note on methods of sale of wool.
In internal sales, wool is sold by private treaty. The lots of wool piled up by the
merchants and commission agents on their premises are inspected by buyers or their
representatives for quality and offers made verbally, on a chit, or under the cover of a
scarf or another piece of cloth by clasping fingers. When a price is agreed to between the
two parties, it is announced publicly and the lot sold after weighing. Sales on open
bidding or auction are rare. In the case of wool in pressed bales, the same procedure is
followed after breaking open a few bales for assessing the quality of wool. Negotiations
under cover or on a chit keep the price a secret and cause uncertainty and suspicion.
Therefore, it appears advisable to replace the secret bidding with open auction of wool.
In external sales, wool is sold either on consignment or by contract. The first system is in
vogue for sales to the UK where wool is sold to continental buyers at Liverpool and
London auctions through brokers. In the second system, the exporters negotiate sales
directly with foreign buyers. The quality of wool is decided beforehand by sending
samples of wool or showing prepared wools to the buyers’ representatives visiting
Pakistan and the price is determined on yield given on the Certificate of Quality.
However, importers and exporters sometimes have additional tests made for yield abroad.
The contract forms used for overseas transactions vary in terms and conditions from one
importer to another. To remove this discrepancy, a standard contract form should be
introduced. As sales on consignment place the exporters at the mercy of their brokers and
overseas buyers, these need to be replaced with sales on contract.
Q.      Discuss the transportation of wool.
Wool is transported by road, rail or sea. In rural areas small quantities of wool are hauled
to the village and nearby town markets as head and sling loads, pack loads on horse,
donkey and camel. Large quantities are carried by carts and trucks. Transport between
secondary and tertiary markets is by road in trucks, by rail in goods wagons and by sea in
passenger boats as well as cargo ships. Wool is transported within the country either
loose in bags or in pressed bales, but for overseas markets compressed bales are preferred
owing to their small dimensions and low freight cost.
In general, wool moves by road and rail southwards to important wool markets such as
Lahore, Multan and Karachi, for sale to local mills and foreign buyers. Transport charges
are high for haulage by road, low for transport by sea and intermediate for rail. Many
traders prefer haulage by road since they can arrange for the loading and unloading of

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

wool under the supervision of their own men and send wool directly from their own
godowns to those of the buyers.
Q.       What type of storage for wool is presently used in Pakistan? Give suggestions
to improve it.
When shepherds/producers wish to store wool for a few days, they do so in their own
abodes which may be mud huts with thatched roofs built with bricks or stones and even
tents, almost all with earthen floors. Village merchants and itinerant traders store wool in
their houses on cement or earthen floors and wholesale merchants, commission agents
and exporters have their own godowns, usually attached to their wool-cleaning yards with
concrete roofs and floors. Most godowns do not provide protection against dampness,
dust and vermin.
Most producers sell their wool on the day of shearing and only a few store it for more
than a week. Village merchants and itinerant traders also seldom store wool beyond a
couple of weeks, while wholesalers and exporters store it for 2 to 6 weeks and
occasionally 6 months or more. Prolonged storage is resorted to when factors such as bad
weather, non-availability of transport and a falling market compel them to do so. Storage
charges vary from one godown to another. There is certainly a need to encourage the
construction of proper godowns with cement blocks and concrete roofs and floors. The
Dept. of Livestock and Dairy Development in various provinces should train, encourage
and provide incentives to wool producers in this respect.
Q.       Discuss various methods of financing the wool business.
Wool producers generally finance their operations from their own resources but often the
itinerant traders and wholesale merchants make advances to the shepherds, often up to 50
to 75% of the expected value of the clip and the accounts are settled at shearing. The
producers generally receive lower returns for their wool in such cases, but sometimes
they borrow money without interest from their relatives and friends, especially on
occasions such as marriages.
The itinerant traders and village merchants finance their own businesses and in some
cases act as agents for wholesale merchants, while in others they may borrow from their
relatives and friends on a profit-sharing system. Wholesale merchants either invest from
their own resources or borrow from banks. In many cases merchants dispatch wool to
Karachi and obtain loans from banks on receipts for their dispatch and the accounts are
cleared after the buyers remit the sale proceeds. The exporters mostly conduct business
with their own capital plus borrowings from banks, which fix the limits of loans
according to the business standing of the exporters and their relations with banks. In the
cases of contract sales, letters of credit generally covering 90 to 95% of the price of wool
prove helpful but the overall borrowings from banks have to be within the borrowing
limits conceded to individual exporters. Overall wool producers and merchants need to
expand their credit facilities for the production and marketing of wool, including the
introduction of producers’/shepherds’ cooperatives, insurance cover for sheep and easing
of bank-loan limits and terms. Institution of a Wool Marketing Board at the national
level, to take care of wool at all stages between its production and consumption, seems a
dire need.
Q.       What is meant by wool grading? Discuss in detail the various grading

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Wool grading is based primarily on fibre diameter or fineness, but consideration is also
given to length. Many manufacturers desire wool of certain fineness only. This means
that the wool must be separated at the warehouse and like fleeces must be piled by
themselves. This process is called wool grading. Grading does not infer that the wool in a
pile is all of one diameter. Any single fleece of wool as it comes from the sheep may
possess several different grades of wool. Thus, a 60 to 62s combing wool simply means
that the greater part of the wool on the fleece is of that fineness and length. The
manufacturer knowns that some wool in these fleeces, especially on the shoulder part,
will be finer and some wool, as on the britch, will be considerably coarser. Because of
this, a further separation, known as sorting, follows.
Grades of Wool: A wool grader can roughly separate wool into three broad market
grades according to diameter: 1) fine wool, 2) medium wool and 3) coarse or braid wool.
More precisely, there are three methods of grading wool according to diameter, with
several grades in each. The older method is the blood system; the newer methods are the
numerical count system and the micron system.
Blood System: This system divides all wool, from finest to coarsest, into six market
grades. These are: I) fine, ii) ½ blood, iii) 3/8 blood, iv) ¼ blood, v) low ¼ blood and vi)
common and braid. Originally, these fractional blood names denoted the amount of
Merino blood in the sheep producing wool. At the present time, these names indicate
wool of a certain diameter only and have no connection with the amount of Merino blood
in the sheep.
Numerical Count System: This system divides all wool into 14 grades and each grade is
designated by a number. The numbers range from 80s for the finest wool down to 36s for
the coarsest. Theoretically, this system is based on the number of hanks of yarn (each
hank representing 560 yards (512 m) that can be spun from 1 pound (0.45 kg) of such
wool in the form of top. Wool of 50s quality, therefore, should spin 50 x 560 yards per
pound of top. In actual practice, this is not always true and wools rarely spin to their
maximum limit. Therefore, neither the blood system nor the numerical count system
denotes accurately what it is supposed to indicate according to derivation of the
respective terms.
Micron System: This system is more technical and provides accurate measurement of
the wool fibre. Sixteen grades are used and are based on the average fibre thickness as
measured by a micrometer. An 80s wool, for example, averages about 18 microns, which
is less than half a 36s wool that averages 39 microns. A micron is one thousandth of a
millimeter. Wool too variable to fit within the limits of one grade is placed in the next
coarser grade.
Q.       Write a brief note on sorting of wool.
Sorting is the operation of taking an individual fleece, untying the twine, opening the
fleece and separating it into the various grades as grown on different body areas. The
objective of sorting is to obtain large lots of wool that are very uniform in fibre diameter,
length, strength and other characteristics. Sorting is always done on the grease wool.
Sorting is necessary on wool if a uniform worsted yarn with a certain spinning count is
desired. This operation is usually done in the mill since a mill knows exactly what
qualities of wool it wants to use into a fabric.

PART- III                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION


Q.      What is mohair? Discuss its important characteristics.

Mohair is the fibre produced by the Angora goat, one of the oldest animals known to

humankind. It possesses qualities all its own. It has less crimp and smoother surface

scales than sheep’s wool. These qualities add luster, softness and dust resistance. Mohair

has remarkable resistance to wrinkles, great strength and great affinity to brilliant, deep

colours that resist hard wear. The Angora goat is bred on commercial basis for fibre

production in five countries such as South Africa, Turkey, the United States, Argentina

and Lesotho. There is a bit of mohair production in Pakistan too. There is considerable

international trade associated with the raw products and the processed goods, since the

processing of mohair is done largely in countries other than those in which it is produced.

England, Japan, France, Itlay, Spain and Russia. all import the raw materials.

The Angora goats in USA on the average, shear an annual clip of 1.8 to 3.9 kg of

unscoured fleece per animal. Purebred herds often clip double this amount. At places

mohair is taken off in two clips per year, in the spring and the autumn, whereas Turkish

mohair is usually allowed a full year’s growth prior to shearing. The three types of

fleeces, based on the type of lock are: the tight or spiral lock, the flat lock and the fluffy

fleece. The tight lock hangs from the body in ringlets and is associated with the finest

fibres. The flat lock is usually more wavy and coarser, but it is associated with heavy

PART- III                                                SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

shearing weight. The fluffy fleece is objectionable because it is easily broken and is torn

out by brush to a greater extent than the other types.

The length of fibre averages about 30 cm (12 in.) for a full year’s growth and 15 cm (6

in.) when animals are shorn semi-annually. Some animals do not have a tendency to shed

and when special attention is given to tying the fleece up, mohair up to 1m (3 ft.) long is

produced in a period of 3 years. Such long fibres are used in making doll’s hair and

theatrical wigs. In fineness or diameter, mohair is somewhat coarser than wool. Length

and luster are more sought than fineness.

The fibres are usually very strong, high in luster, whitish in shade, fairly soft to touch and

straight in staple appearance. However, most mohair contains considerable kemp, which

is undesirable from manufacturer’s stand point. The amount of kemp can be lessened

through breeding and selection. Mohair shrinkage in scouring averages from 15 to 17%

and does not depend on fineness, as does wool, since adult mohair shrinks as much as

does kid mohair.

Q.     What are the different grades and uses of mohair? Discuss in detail.

Kid hair is the finest and is especially sought by mills. The fleeces from adults, especially

bucks and old wethers are the coarsest and those from yearlings are intermediate between

other classes. Mohair obtained from different classes should be packed separately, at

shearing time. The fleeces that are extremely coarse, weak and shorter than 15 cm (6 in.)

or those having an excess of kemp, burs or other foreign matter, should be kept separate

from clean, strong fleeces of desirable length and fineness. Grease mohair refers to the

fleece as it comes from Angora goats. White mohair top is the processed fibre obtained

after raw mohair has been scoured, carded and combed. As with wool, the grades of

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

mohair are based primarily on the presumed spinning count obtainable on the number of

560-yard hanks to the pound. In practice, fineness is associated with softness and is

recognized by the experienced touch when handled between the thumb and fingers.

Mohair has certain physical and chemical properties, which are basic to its commercial

value as a textile fibre. The characteristics affecting grease mohair value are its average

diameter, length and yield of clean mohair, strength, luster and colour. The official grades

of grease mohair and the specifications of each as applicable in USA are given in Table


Uses of Mohair: Mohair is in demand for sweaters, coats and velour articles of clothing.

The long-fibred mohair may also be used for manufacturing wigs and hair pieces for

theatrical purposes and for doll’s hair.

Table 28.      Specifications for the official grades of grease mohair

                                                Fibre diameter

 Grade                        Limits for average (µ)         Maximum SD (µ)

 Finer than 40s                     Under 23.01                      7.2

 40s                                23.01-25.00                      7.6

 36s                                25.01-27.00                      8.0

 32s                                27.01-29.00                      8.4

 30s                                29.01-31.00                      8.8

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

 28s                               31.01-33.00                      9.2

 26s                               33.01-35.00                      9.6

 24s                               35.01-37.00                      10.0

 22s                               37.01-39.00                      10.5

 20s                               39.01-41.00                      11.0

 18s                               41.01-43.00                      11.5

 Coarser than 18s                   Over 43.01

Q.      Write a brief note on marketing of Mohair.
Although mohair is usually accorded more neglect than wool, the principles involved in
the economical production and profitable marketing of a high quality product are the
same as for wool. The discussion already presented relative to the handling and
marketing of wool is equally applicable to mohair. The market channels and leading
market centers for wool and mohair are identical in countries where mohair production is
undertaken. Pakistan as yet is not on the list of countries that are producing a substantial
amount of mohair.
Q.      Write a note on Cashmere.
Cashmere is goat down. This fine undercoat of goat hair is produced by the secondary
follicles. The term cashmere is apparently derived from the geographic region Kashmir in
Asia, though not much of cashmere is produced in valley of Kashmir today. Pashmina is
a term used somewhat synonymously with cashmere. Today, most of the cashmere is
produced from goats that range in the Mongolian Republic, in the northern provinces of
China (inner Mongolia and Sinkiang), parts of Iran, Afghanishtan and Russia.

Q.     What are the different types of hair obtained from goats?
These are mohair, pashmina (hairy undercoat) and hair of common goat.
Q.      Discuss hair growth.
Hairs are produced by hair follicles. These are not considered live tissue, as these have no
nerve cells or blood vessels. Hairs are made of high protein keratin and thus are similar in
composition to nails, horns and feathers. The number of follicles on a developing goat
foetus is determined in late pregnancy. The density of fibres is related to the number of

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

follicles and the number of fibres in each follicle. The follicles are arranged in groups
called bundles. In each bundle there are primary and secondary follicles. The primary
follicles give long, coarse guard hairs, which are hollow and brittle. The secondary
follicles give fine short undercoat fibres. Most goats have more primary than secondary
follicles, the Angora being the exception.
Q.      Write a detailed note on goat hair.
Estimated annual production of hair in Pakistan is 19.3 thousands tons (2002) valued at
Rs. 250 million. Most of this quantity comes from goats. Hair fibres should not be
mistaken for wool. The former are coarse and have a hard core that makes them non-
pliable and resistant to the spinning twist or to the absorption of dyes. Hair being a
thicker fibre and lacking in elasticity, the yarn prepared from it or hairy wool is of a
lower count and rough to the feel. Such fibres have a tendency to uncoil themselves from
the yarn and this lessens the durability of the fabric. In trade, the wools containing hair
are considered inferior and fetch lower prices of the two coats which most goats have, the
short fine undercoat or down is called cashmere. The single coat of lustrous coarse non-
hairy fibre, which only the Angora breed grows, is called mohair. Both cashmere and
mohair are valuable products used in clothing manufacture.
In practice, while most breeds have an undercoat of cashmere the quality and quantity of
fibres do not make it economical to harvest. The outer coat is made up of ordinary or
common hairs, which are a mixture of straight, fine and coarse fibres. Their colours and
lengths vary, but black, brown and grey are very common. These are traditionally made
into mats, tents, bags or ropes. These outer hairs are also imported into Europe to make
brushes, coarse cloth and carpets for motorcars. Much of this common hair is from
cashmere-bearing goats, which are clipped once the valuable cashmere has been combed
out. Pakistan probably is the largest exporter of common hair selling over 3500 metric
tons per year in three grades defined by length. The longer the hair length, the more
valuable it is. Most common goat hair is clipped from the live animal, although a
percentage comes from the skins on slaughter.
    Q. Describe the characteristics of cashmere, its world production and trade. Also
    name the countries that produce cashmere.
Cashmere fibre has scales on it and is not smooth like mohair. It can thus be spun as a
pure fibre and need not be mixed with other materials. Its value varies relative to the
length of the fibre, the quality of the fibre (its diameter, uniformity, luster, colour) and
yield per goat like wool, raw cashmere can contain impurities, which reduce its value.
These must be removed before processing. To retain its purity, it should not be put in
synthetic bags or tied with man-made fibres since synthetic fibre can flake off into the
cashmere and spread during processing. Manufacturers separate the coarse fibres out in a
process. This reduces the yield to 45 to 50% of the original greasy, raw weight. The
Chinese are the biggest producers of raw cashmere. They grade it on the basis of average
clean fibre content. The quality of fibres also relates to their diameter. All fibres must be
elastic and uniform along their whole length. When good quality yarn is produced, it is
spun using at least 25 to 30 fibres. Good quality fibres measure between 8 and 25
microns, long fibres and those of a uniform length are more valuable, being asier to spin
into yarn. Fibres above 2.0 cm in length are the most valuable (Table 29).

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Table 29. Length and diameter of mohair and cashmere fibres
 Fibre              Country                        Diameter (µ)      Length (cm)
 Mohair             Turkey, S. Africa,                24-45             10-25
 Cashmere           China,Iran,Afghanistan             15-19              2-8
 Wool (Merino)      Australia                          17-25             6-12
 Camel        (two- China, Mongolia                    16-25             3-5
 humped) hair

Fibres vary considerably in their cross-sectional shape, with circular fibres being better
than oval or flat ones. From commercial point of view, the lighter the colour, the higher
the price paid since it is simpler to dye lighter colours when the final clothing colour is
selected. White, grey, cream, fawn and brown are the common colours of cashmere
produced in China, Iran, Ladakh, Mongolia and Tibet. Cashmere is sold as a luxury fibre
and clothing manufacturers require a soft luster. However, luster is difficult to measure
and buyers rely on feeling the raw product for softness, lightness, bulk, warmth and
moisture when they purchase.
World Production and Trade of Cashmere: Annual world production of cashmere is
estimated at 3000 metric tons. Most of this comes from China, Iran, and East Asian part
of the former USSR. Smaller quantities are produced by Australia and New Zealand. The
major users are the USA, Japan and the UK where it is manufactured into luxury clothing
including sweaters, scarves and overcoats. Cashmere clothing is very light, soft and

Q.      Discuss harvesting and average yields of cashmere.
Traditionally the down (undercoat) from cashmere goats is either combed from the goat
in the spring or collected as it sheds naturally at the end of winter. The average length of
outer fibres of a cashmere goat is 15 cm with an undercoat of 6 cm. Most ordinary breeds
have a down/undercoat but only the cashmere and some associated breed produced
sufficient fibre to make harvesting economical. The undercoat is normally of a paler
colour than the hair. A black goat may have a grey undercoat. Cashmere and Angora
flocks have a higher proportion of white goats as a result of planned breeding policies to
provide fibre for textiles. Yields per animal are normally very small, 50 to 200 g. In
China cashmere goats yields an average of 125g (80-200g) with a quality from 13-16
microns. Coarser fibres originate from Afghanistan and Iran with quality at 18 microns.
Yields from these animals tend to be higher than from those producing finer quality.
Coarser breeds include the Russian Oreburg (220 to 375) and the Don (450 to 1150g).
Fibres below 16 microns are usually used in knitwear and those above are used in cloth.
Very coarse fibres are mixed with wool in the manufacture of coats.
    Q. Write a note on Angora goat world population including mohair quality and yield.
Mohair is the fleece of the Angora breed of goats. It develops from the secondary hair
follicles, which are long enough to mask the primary fibres. It is used to make
furnishings, rugs ,blankets, wigs etc. The best quality mohair obtained from kids is used

PART- III                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

for light-weight suits. The Angora breed is centered in Turkey but export of live animals
to USA, South Africa and Lesotho have resulted in significant populations developing
there. Smaller groups are found in Australia. Argentina and New Zealand.
The Angora has also been used in crossbreeding programme in India, Madagascar, Fiji
and Pakistan. In Pakistan, this programme resulted into a strain called Pak-Agora, but
because of lack of sustained efforts, this strain has not made the required headway.
Presently South Africa has the largest population of Angora (over 6.5 million) followed
by Turkey (3.2 million), USA (1.5 million) and Lesotho (about 1 million).
Mohair Quality and Yield: Mohair fleeces grow in curly ringlets or flat waves to a

length of 10 to 25 cm. Mohair is less fine than cashmere and averages a diameter of 24 to

25 microns. Typical average annual yields per animal are: Lesotho, 5.3 kg; USA, 3 to 5

kg and Turkey 1.5 kg. Shearing twice yearly will increase yield but also increases

percentage of kemp. Kemp is the hair produced by the primary follicles and is brittle and

considered an impurity. Staples that are far too short do not meet the processors

minimum requirement of 11 cm of staple for cloth production. Undersize staple is sold at

a lower price than longer staple. Fleece weights are also affected by nutrition, disease etc.

Very long fleece lengths cause processing problems. Overall mohair quality is defined

by: i) fibre fineness, ii) kemp percentage, iii) vegetable matter content. Very young goats

have more kemp than older ones.

Q.       What do you understand by skirting and grading? Discuss briefly.
As applied to wool fleeces, the term skirting implies the practice of separating all inferior
portions from the bulk of the fleece at shearing. This would normally involve the removal
of head, lower leg and belly wool together with urine and blood-stained, faecal-
contaminated fibres and skin pieces. The products of skirting are termed skirting wool
and skirts. Wools from the top of the head, jaw and cheeks tend to be short and mostly
heavily contaminated with plant material and thus should be packaged separately. Belly
wool is usually lower yielding and may contain more vegetable and coloured fibre
contamination than the bulk of the fleece. Since the term skirting generally implies
removal of all wool that does not match the bulk of the fleece, therefore short wool,
matted pieces, paint brand, skin pieces, areas of the fleece heavily contaminated with
plant parts and especially coloured wool (stained and pigmented) all fall into the skirts
category. Related but different terms are grading, classing and sorting. Wool fleeces
differ most in measurable characteristics such as fineness, yield, vegetable matter type
and content, length, strength and colour. When fleeces are grouped according to any or
all of these characteristics, the process is called grading. The term ‘classing’ originated in

PART- III                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Australia but is also used to mean essentially the same as ‘grading’. When individual
fleeces are subdivided according to any or all of the above characteristics, the process is
called sorting. Sorting is usually a function performed by a specialized wool dealer or the
textile company itself. Since sheep do not produce wool fibre of a single diameter,
colour, length, strength or degree of cleanliness, normal quality control requires that wool
be graded and sorted prior to scouring.
Various methods have been developed with the specific purpose of adding value to wool
at shearing time. Such innovations include ‘Shearer or floor skirting’ in which Shearer
makes an effort to drop the leg and belly wool onto the shearing floor in a way that it can
be easily picked up and placed in a designated bag. In addition, the remainder shorn
fleece is placed flesh side down on a slatted table, at which time all remaining skirts are
removed prior to rolling and packaging fleece.
The most critical aspect of skirting wool is the amount actually removed. Crutching (or
tagging) will normally account for 5 to 10 % of the total fleece weight. Belly wool and
other skirts from fine wool fleeces have been reported to compose a further 8 to 20%.
Economics dictate that skirts (not including crutching) should constitute no more than
10% of the overall fleece weight.





PART- IV                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

           SHEEP AND GOAT

                   Bakht Baidar Khan
                       Arshad Iqbal
                  Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa

             Department of Livestock Management
            University of Agriculture Faisalabad

PART- IV                                                                                  SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

The past more than half a century is a witness to the fact that except a few, no serious attempts have been made to write books even on a few of the so
many wide open aspects of the field of animal sciences. Among other factors that keep the animal science sector lagging behind, utter lack of relevant
books of local origin is probably the most important. The dearth of documented information concerning various species of our farm animals adversely
affects the learning potential of our students, who have been reported to complain about the non-availability of professional books written in Pakistan. I
personally feel that as animal scientists we cannot exonerate ourselves of this responsibility. Of course, not all of us would have the aptitude to write
books. However, those who opt to take up this tiresome and time-consuming job, their efforts must be appreciated. We must not forget that beginnings
are always small.

It is really encouraging to learn that sheep and goats being the victims of a long neglect, have attracted the attention of experienced animal scientists and
teachers of long standing to write a book on them. A look into the contents of the book ‘Sheep and Goat Production’, makes me believe that it would
adequately serve the purpose for which it has been produced. Its made-easy format would be rather more helpful to the students, field workers and
progressive farmers. A collection of over 650 questions along with their answers should more than suffice to cover the discussion on important topics in
relation to sheep and goat production.

                                                                                                                     Sajjad Zaheer Malik
                                                                                                                      Director General (Ext.)
                                                                                                                    L & DD Dept., Punjab

Innumerable publications on sheep and goat farming/production are there in the world market. More than 98% of them are of foreign
origin and are thus either not available here or their prices are beyond the means of a common man. The book under discussion has not
been produced to burden the market with another such publication rather it has been brought out employing a novice format to meet
the requirements of beginners who venture to plan a small ruminant enterprise, but are found confronted with a series of questions.
Answers to many of such questions are already embodied in this ‘easy to read and understand’ book. In addition, feasibilities in
respect of keeping sheep and goats (pertaining to one breed of each spp.) have been outlined herein to facilitate the solution of their
input: output dilemma.

Another section of society most pertinent to books is professional students community. It often happens that even at the end of an
academic session/semester, many students in a class, would not know what type of questions, relevant to a course, may be asked in the
Exam. This book, for sure, would create an awareness in them as to the type of Exam. questions and as to the manner of answering
them. Among other features of the book are: the discussion on behaviour and welfare of small ruminants and clues on the application
of biotechnology in animals. A comprehensive review on terminology related to various aspects of small ruminants is also a part of
this book. Most of the answers to the questions included in this book have been picked up as such from various sources of literature
listed under references at the end. We feel highly obliged in sharing the fruit of hardwork of those so many authors/editors. Under the
circumstances it does not seem possible for us to individually convey to them our grateful thanks, but indeed we remain indebted to all
of them.

No book will ever be complete and this one is no exception since knowledge about sheep and goats is increasing so rapidly that no
book can be an absolute ultimate. We feel no hesitation to mention here that at places details of a few most sophisticated techniques
used abroad in small ruminant production have been intentionally avoided simply because farmers/producers here have yet to go a
long way to enable themselves to take full advantage of such costly tools and techniques.

We would like to record our thanks to our colleagues, namely Drs. Muhammad Younas, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Yaqoob,
Syed Hassan Raza and Prof. William Hohenboken, a friend from USA; all of them provided us a lot of useful literature for this book.
Special thanks are extended to Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Dr. Akhter Saeed and Dr. Asad Saeed for arranging recent literature for the
purpose from abroad.

Suggestions in black and white from any quarter to effect further improvement and to remove any omissions in the contents of this
book will always be welcome.

March, 2003                                                                                Bakht Baidar Khan
                                                                                           Arshad Iqbal
                                                                                           Muhammad Iqbal Mustafa


PART- IV includes following contents of the book:


PART- IV                                              SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION


Q. Are the teeth of sheep/goats helpful in determining their
Mature sheep and goats have 32 teeth, of which 24 are molars and 8 are incisors. As in
buffaloes, cattle and camel, all incisors are in lower jaw. The two central incisor teeth are
called pinchers; the adjoining ones are called first intermediates; the third pair is termed
as second intermediates; and the outer ones are called as corners (Figure 44). The
temporary teeth (milk teeth) of lamb/kid are small and narrow, while permanent teeth are
larger and broader. There are no tusks.
Until sheep are 4 years of age, the front teeth of the lower jaw furnish a fairly reliable
guide as to their development. In the newborn lamb mostly no teeth may be present or
sometimes 2 pinchers and the first 2 intermediates are cut through or may be pressing
through the gums. By three months a full set of temporary teeth is present. Between 12
and 15 months, the temporary pinchers are replaced by the 2 permanent ones. By 2 years,
the first temporary intermediates are replaced by permanent teeth and by 3 years the
second temporary intermediates are replaced by permanent teeth. Then by 4 years of age,
the 2 temporary corner incisors are replaced by permanent teeth, giving the sheep a ‘full
mouth’. The permanent set consists of 8 incisors, 12 premolars and 12 molars. The order
of eruption of teeth, with very minor variations, is the same both in sheep and goats.
After the sheep/goats have a solid mouth (at about 4 years), it is difficult to tell the exact
age. With more advanced age, the teeth merely wear down and spread apart and finally
become loose and the degree of wearing or spreading is an indication of age. The normal
number of teeth may be retained until 7 to 8 years, but often some are lost after about the
fifth or sixth year, resulting in a broken mouth. Outstanding producers should not be
disposed of just because they have reached this age, especially in a purebred flock. If an
animal is still valuable for breeding purposes, it may be retained and fed specially
prepared feeds. Teeth represent the degree of development rather than the exact age.

Q. What different methods are used for weighing small
The regular weighing of small ruminants is uncommon in countries like ours except on
research stations. It can, however be very helpful in selecting stock for breeding or for
sale. For example when a young female reaches 70 to 75% of the average adult body
weight, it is at its most efficient size for mating. There are three methods for weighing
small ruminants:
Spring Balance: The simplest method of weighing a small ruminant is to use a canvas or
leather sling and a spring balance. The spring balance can be hung from a tree or
suspended from a metal tripod. Small pocket spring balances can be used to weigh
lambs/kids. The animal is lifted into a canvas, which is then hooked on the scale. Once
the sheep/goat is still and all four feet are clear of the ground, the weight can be read on
the scale. The animal is then lifted down.

PART- IV                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

The Weigh band: This is a simple tape measure that predicts the liveweight of an animal
from measuring its girth. The band can be made from a piece of string, which is marked
off in kilograms. It should be calibrated against a spring balance or platform scale for
accuracy because there are differences between breeds. When using the band the goat
must be standing squarely on level ground. The string is then run under the animal,
behind its front legs and up to the top of its shoulders.
Platform Scales: Commercially available scales can be used for weighing small
ruminants. The scales are built like a small cage with doors at each end and a clock scale
on top. For large numbers of animals it is useful to have a holding pen that funnels the
animals into the scale. Care must be taken to see that sheep/goats have all four feet on the
floor of the cage when they are weighed, that the measuring indicator returns to zero after
each animal leaves and that the scales are kept clean. This will help to ensure accurate
Q.      Do you know any other method that can provide a reasonable estimate of
        body weight of small ruminants?
Scientific workers have developed equations that allow the measurement of the chest of a
small ruminant, known as heartgirth, to be converted into an estimate of its liveweight.
Table 12 presents heartgirth measurements (cm) and their liveweight equivalents (kg).
The animal should be standing square and simple tailor’s measuring tape put around its
chest, just behind the front legs. This method gives only an estimate of the liveweight
(Figure 45).

Table 12.       Conversion of heartgirth measurements (cm) to weight equivalents
        Heartgirth measurements                      Weight equivalents
                     63                                    20.0
                     65                                    22.5
                     68                                    25.0
                     70                                    27.5
                     72                                    30.0
                     76                                    35.0
                     80                                    40.0
                     84                                    45.0
                     88                                    50.0
                     91                                    55.0
                     95                                    60.0
                     98                                    65.0
There are other, more expensive, methods of weighing; they include a special mobile
crush and weighing platform or the use of load-cells underneath a platform with a digital
Q.      Give some useful hints in respect of small ruminant weighings required for
        experimental work.
Each small ruminant weighed needs to be identified so that it can be easily traced later on
or so that recordings over a period of time can be compared. The animals should be
weighed at the same time of day every time they are weighed. In one day they can eat and
drink roughly a weight equivalent to 15% of their body weight, thus it is the best always

PART- IV                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

to weigh them early in the morning before they go out grazing or are watered, to obtain a
standardized weight. Regularly check the accuracy of the scales against a known weight,
to make sure they are giving accurate readings. The whole weighing operation is made
simpler if an assistant is available to help. It is particularly important to keep any
recording sheets away from hungry sheep/goats.
Q.      Write a note on weighing small ruminants.
There are times when you want to weigh your sheep/goats such as to determine the
growth rate of lambs/kids, to determine if an ewe/doe is old enough/weighs enough to
breed, to check any unusual weight gain or loss or to estimate how much meat is on a
wether or a cull ewe/doe. Since not many flock owners consider it worth purchasing an
expensive livestock platform scale, therefore, some other means to determine the weight
of small ruminants can be used. Those animals up to twenty-three kg may be hung from a
sling on the milk scale. For larger animals, weighing tapes convert heartgirth into an
estimate of weight or measure the heartgirth with a dressmaker’s tape and use the below
given conversion chart to get an estimated weight. Place the tape snugly around the barrel
just behind the front legs and convert the measurement into an estimate of sheep’s/goat’s
weight. If you record this estimate and the date on each animal’s data sheet, it may help
detect unusual changes that may signal nutritional or disease problems.

                            Estimating weight of goats
              Heartgirth                                 Weight
                   In centimetres               Pounds            Kilograms
  In inches
     12.75                32                       7                   3.2
     14.75                37                      11                   5.0
     16.75                42                      17                   7.7
     18.75                47                      25                  11.4
     20.75                52                      33                  15.0
     22.75                57                      42                  19.0
     24.75                62                      54                  24.5
     26.75                67                      66                  30.0
     28.75                72                      78                  35.4
     30.75                77                      90                  40.0
     32.75                82                     105                  47.7
     34.75                87                     125                  56.8
     36.75                92                     145                  65.9
     38.75                97                     165                  75.0
     40.75               102                     185                  84.0
     42.75               107                     205                  93.2

PART- IV                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.       Discuss transportation of small ruminants, indicating modes of
         transportation and the care required in this respect.
Improper handling of small ruminants immediately prior to and during transportation
may result in excessive shrinkage, high death rate, bruises and crippling losses,
disappointing sales and dissatisfied buyers. Unfortunately many small ruminant
producers who do a good job of producing animals waste their efforts by doing a poor job
of preparing and transporting to market. Generally, such omissions are due to lack of
know-how. In preparing small ruminants for transportation, the producers should
consider the following:
    i)      Select the best suited method of transportation. Pastoralists often walk large
            numbers of animals over very long distances to pastures and markets. A
            majority of small ruminants are walked to market in Asian and African
            countries where distances of 10 km are commonly covered. When the
            distances are too long, the producers should decide between truck and rail.
            Today truck shipments account for the majority of sheep/goat transportation
    ii)     Avoid transportation during extremes in weather⎯very hot or very cold.
            During warm weather, avoid transporting animals during the heat of the day;
            travel at night or in the evening or early morning.
    iii)    Feed and water properly prior to loading. Never transport small ruminants on
            excess fill. Instead feed and water lightly. Withhold grain feeding 12 hours
            before loading and do not allow access to water within 2 hours of loading. The
            animals may be allowed free access to dry well-cured grass hay, but more
            laxative type feeds should be avoided. The animals that are too full of
            concentrated feeds or those having eaten succulent feeds will scour and
            urinate excessively. Thus the floors become dirty and slippery and the animals
            befoul themselves. Such animals undergo a heavy shrinkage and present an
            unattractive look when unloaded.
    iv)     Keep animals quiet. Prior to and during loading, animals should be handled
            carefully. Hot, excited animals are subject to more shrinkage and injury and
            higher mortality.
    v)      Never lose your temper. Although loading may prove very laborious at times,
            but better take it easy. Avoid hurrying and striking the animals. Never beat
            them with pipes etc.
    vi)     Consider health certificates, ownership papers and permits. When animals are
            to be transported to another province, regulations of that province relative to
            health have to be observed. Therefore, certificate from the local veterinary
            officer about the animals being healthy needs to be carried along. Be careful
            and do not transport the animals to an area where some disease outbreaks have
            taken place.
    vii)    Use partitions when necessary. The animals may be separated into groups e.g.
            big males, small lambs/kids, horned animals⎯to prevent injuries and
    viii) Animals should not be transported by truck or rail for a longer period than 28
            consecutive hours without unloading for giving feed, water and rest for a
            period of at least 4 hours.

PART- IV                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Some additional precautions to be observed during transportation of small ruminants to
reduce marketing losses from bruises, crippling and death.
          a)      Do not feed grain heavily just prior to loading rather omit one feed.
          b)      Remove protruding nails, bolts or any sharp objects in truck or rail car.
          c)      Use good loading chutes (ramp); not too steep.
          d)      With two decks, have upper deck high enough to prevent back bruises
                  on animals below.
          e)      Use partitions in very long trucks to keep animals from crowding from
                  one location to another.
          f)      Drive trucks carefully. Slow down on sharp turns and avoid sudden
          g)      Inspect load enroute to prevent trampling of animals that may be
                  down. If an animal goes down, get it back on its feet immediately.
          h)      Back truck slowly against the unloading ramp. Unload slowly. Do not
                  drop animals out from truck.
          i)      Never lift sheep/goat by the wool/hair.
          j)      Provide proper bedding during transportation.

Q.      Give an estimate of number of sheep/goats that may be loaded in a truck or
        railroad car.
Overcrowding of animals in a truck or railroad car causes heavy losses. The suggested
number of animals is guided by the factors such as hauling distance, livestock class,
weather conditions and road conditions. For comfort during transportation, the truck or
railroad car should be loaded heavily enough so that the animals stand close together, but
overcrowding must be avoided. Depending upon the size of the animals, 40 to 50 can be
loaded in a normal-sized truck and 50 to 60 in a railroad car. In a long vehicle the number
will increase accordingly.
Q.      Is bedding needed to cover the floor of truck or railroad car being used for
        transportation of small ruminants? If so, what kind of bedding and footing to
        use for small ruminants?
Proper bedding and footing are very important for animals in transit. This applies to both
rail and truck shipments. Bedding such as straw is recommended for warmth during
transportation of small ruminants during very cold weather and as cushioning for
breeding stock or other animals loaded lightly enough to permit their lying down. Footing
such as sand is required at all times of the year, to prevent the car or truck floor from
becoming wet and slick, thus predisposing animals to injury by slipping or falling. Sand
used as bedding for sheep/goats during warm or moderate weather should be clean,
medium-fine and free from brick, stones, and coarse gravel. In hot weather sprinkle water
over sand before loading and while enroute.
Q.      Discuss air/sea transportation of small ruminants.
With modern communication and transportation, the world is becoming smaller and
smaller. Also, there is an increasing need and desire to move animals efficiently between
countries separated by great distances. During the late 1960s, the concept of air
transportation of large numbers of animals was born and whole planes were modified and
adapted for livestock comfort and maximum capacity. Animals can thus arrive at any
destination in the world within hours, thereby minimizing stress and virtually eliminating

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death losses. Numerous cattle, calves, small ruminants, horses, chicks and exotic animals
have been successfully airlifted worldwide. Some of the larger aircraft can carry 1500
sheep/goats, 950 calves, 50 horses and about 200 cattle.
Modern sea transportation although is not as fast as airlifting but it is very massive.
Recently some oil tankers have been converted into large carriers of small ruminants
capable of accommodating as many as 125,000 sheep/goats. These floating stockyards
are used for shipping sheep from Australia to the Middle East. Aboard the 14-deck ship,
conveyors and piping systems feed and water animals automatically. Such arrangements
have given a spur to Australia’s sheep industry.
Q.       Define shrinkage in sheep/goats during transportation. What factors affect
The shrinkage (or drift) refers to the weight loss encountered from the time animals leave
the farm until they reach their destination or are weighed over the scales at the market.
Thus, if an animal weighed 50 kg at the farm and had a market weight of 47 kg, the
shrinkage would be 3 kg or 6%. Shrinkage is usually expressed in terms of percentage.
Most of this weight loss is due to excretion in the form of faeces and urine and the
moisture in the expired air. Some tissue shrinkage also takes place due to metabolic or
breakdown changes. Factors affecting shrinkage are:
Time and Distance in Transit: The longer the animals are in transit and the greater the
distance, the higher the total shrinkage. Also, the shrinkage takes place at a rapid rate
during the first part of the haul and then gradually decreases, but if the distance is too
long, it again increases.
Truck vs. Rail Transportation: Truck shipments result in less shrinkage than with rail
for short hauls, whereas the rail shipments result in less shrinkage than with truck for
long hauls.
Season: Extremes in temperature, either very hot or very cold weather, result in higher
shrinkage. Shrink is at a minimum between 25 and 30°C.
Age and Weight: Young animals of all species shrink proportionally more than older
animals because of their lower carcass yield caused by less body fat and greater amount
of fill in proportion to liveweight.
Overloading and Underloading: Overloading always results in abnormally high
shrinkage. Unless animals are partitioned off properly, underloading will also result in
excess shrinkage.
Rough Ride, Abnormal Feeding and Mixed Loads: As evident each of these factors
will increase shrinkage.
On average, small ruminants shrink from 6 to 10% during transportation.
Q.      What do you understand by judging small ruminants?
Judging as practised in livestock shows, in contests or on the farm, is an attempt to place
or rank animals in the order of their excellence in body type. Scoring or type classifying
means that an animal is classified and compared to an animal that is theoretically perfect
and a rating is assigned on that basis. There is considerable question as to the degree of
correlation between type and production, for appearance is not always indicative of
sheep’s /goat’s productive ability. Yet it is generally recognized that desirable type is
indicative of the functional value of the animal. Moreover, attractiveness and desirable
type enhance the market value of purebred animals.

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The requisites for proper judging of small ruminants: the judge must know the language
that describes and locates the different parts of sheep/goat (Figure 54); he must know
what he is looking for. That is he should have a clearly defined ideal in view; he must be
able to observe both good conformation and defects and to evaluate the various both good
and bad features; he must possess honesty and courage in evaluating the animals, the
judge needs to follow a logical procedure.
Q.      What may be a logical procedure for judging small ruminants?
Good judging procedure consists of the following: observing at a distance of 6 to 7
meters and securing a panoramic view where several animals are involved, using close
inspection and handling, moving the animal in order to observe action, and viewing an
animal from all directions e.g. side view, rear view and front view, thus avoiding
overlooking anything.
No animal is perfect. In judging, therefore, one must be able to recognize and appraise
common faults and give due credit to good points.
A major requisite in judging or selection is to have clearly in mind a standard or an ideal.
To be further clear about an ideal type and conformation, the example of a dairy type
goat is presented here:
A dairy goat should be angular, not round, the hip bones prominent, thighs thin, the
animal should possess considerable length of neck and a long body; tendency to be short
and thick of body, short of neck and thick in thighs or in any way fat and meaty indicates
lack of dairy type. Meatiness is the opposite of dairyness. Good dairy goat will be sleek
and alert, not fat and sluggish. The doe should be possibly straight on top and strong in
chine and loin areas; less slope from hip bones to pin bones is desirable. Shoulders
refined not coarse, withers or top of the shoulder sharp and refined, not rounded as
desired in meat type animals; ribs well sprung, making more room for roughage plus two
or more kids, ribs long and far enough apart to slide one finger between the ribs,
openness of ribs denotes dairy temperament in the goat as well as in the buffalo and cow;
width in floor of chest desirable; width plus depth of body denotes lung capacity and
constitution and is associated with strength and ruggedness.
The legs should be straight with adequate width of bone for strength but not coarse. The
animal should walk easily and freely so that it can forage on pasture; hoofs well-trimmed
so that feet do not become deformed, long pasterns make the legs look crooked; they
should have some angle but not be so long that the dewclaws touch the ground. Breeding
bucks, particularly, will be heavily discounted in show-ring if they are long in the
pasterns; skin smooth, thin and pliable, hair reasonably fine to denote quality.
The udder should show plenty of capacity and be well held up to the body so that it will
not be injured by banging on stones or other objects in the pasture or around the paddock;
low-slung pendulous udder undesirable, udder be pliable and soft, not hard and meaty,
hard lumps in udder or teats highly undesirable, udder to be balanced in shape with teats
hanging the same length and slightly tilted forward, the teats to be large enough to be
milked; after a milking the udder should collapse and be pliable like a soft leather glove.
The head should have an alert, intelligent appearance and the head and ears shape should
conform to the particular breed.
Q.      What is meant by scorecard judging? Give a brief explanation.
A scorecard is a listing of the different parts of animal, with a numerical value assigned
to each part according to its relative importance. The use of the scorecard involves

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studying each part, then assigning a numerical score to it. Show-ring judging or actual
selection on the farm is not accompanied by a scorecard. But a scorecard is a valuable
teaching aid in acquainting students and beginners with the various parts of an animal and
the relative importance of each. It systematizes judging and avoids any part of the animal
being overlooked. The American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) provides its judges
with a scorecard to evaluate dairy goats. The scorecard for does assigns 30 % to general
appearance, 30 % to the mammary system, 20 % to dairy character and 20 % to body
capacity. For bucks, the scorecard assigns 40 % to general appearance, 25 % to dairy
character, 25 % to body capacity and 10 % to the mammary and reproductive system. In
addition the judge must see that each animal meets the breed standard for the breed.
Q.        What may be the most important purposes of small ruminant shows/fairs?
One of the purposes to hold small ruminant shows is to select animals, which come the
closest to the ideal of a sound, productive performance of sheep/goats. Awards and
publicity accruing from shows/fairs encourage breeders to adhere to the ideal for
continued improvement of small ruminants. Shows put quality sheep/goats in the public
eye to improve their public image. Also, shows give sheep/ goat producers recognition
for long months of work at the farm, plus an opportunity to talk to other
breeders/producers. This occasion can also be availed for buying / selling the salable
Q.       Write a note on fitting and showing of small ruminants for presenting at a
Sheep/goats carefully selected for the purpose, need special feeding 6 to 8 weeks prior to
the show day, depending on the condition of each animal. The animals should not be
over-fattened, but should be fed enough extra grain to add bloom to the coat. Additional
bedding is needed to keep the animals clean and avoid stains. Regular leading and posing
several weeks prior to the show day will prove helpful in contests. To look at their best,
animals should have their hoofs trimmed and polished. Daily grooming the goats with
stiff-bristled brush (not densely bristled) keeps them clean stain–free. Show



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animals should be carefully clipped, particularly the long hair along the backbone and
In case of sheep, the first rough blocking is designed to make the top level so that the
animal appears as wide, deep and blocky (for meat animals) as possible and to make fat
wethers firm to the touch when handled over the back and loin. The second trimming is
designed to impart the desired appearance and to give a blending together of all body
parts. The final trimming of fleece consists of alternate brushing, carding and trimming in
such manner as to enhance the natural lines of the individual to the maximum. Some
shepherds then pat the fleece lightly with the back of a wool card. This packs the fleece
and improves the appearance. Some exhibitors resort to oiling or dressing the fleece with
wool fat or olive oil. It may be best applied by putting a light coat on the hand and gently
rubbing them through the fleece. All of this handwork on the hair/wool and skin
improves the quality of the skin and hair/wool.
For show day, the exhibitor should be immaculate and wear the prescribed dress. The
exhibitors must take animal feed and supplies with them to shows. These include a water
bucket, a brush, polish, cloth and possibly milk utensils and sheep/goat covers. Health
requirements/certificates should meet the rules of the show/fair. Upon arrival at a show,
animals should be inspected before being unloaded. If signs of illness are found, the
animals should not be unloaded. During transportation, sheep/goats should be protected
from all sorts of stress. After the show, the show animals should be kept isolated from
other animals and watched for at least 10 days for the development of symptoms of any
infectious disease.
The animals at shows are first divided by breed. Within each breed, they are further
divided by sex and then into age classes.

Q.     Why are sheep/goat farm records important?
Good records help you to assess your standing in the farm business. Only with accurate
records can the sheep/goat farmer evaluate the production of his animals, keep an account
of the amount of feed consumed for unit production and determine whether his operation
is profitable. Records also help to provide adequate information for breeding and genetic
improvement of the stock. Besides, records form the basis on which you can make future
planning such as the total feed and fodder requirement of your flock or labour
requirement on the farm.
Records of small ruminant farm comprise two types−technical records (dealing with
performance of animals) and business records (dealing with accounts, purchases,
disposal, dead stock etc.). The kind of records kept pertaining to the sheep/goats farms
vary according to the scope and nature of the enterprise. Generally, however, the
following records are essentially maintained:
i) Farm diary, ii) Animal inventory, iii) Feeding records, iv) Breeding records, v)
Pedigree sheets, vi) Production records (wool, milk surplus stock etc.), vii) health
records, viii) Labour records, ix) Purchase and sale of animals and mortality records.
Proformas pertaining to each aspect of farm records have been given in the following
pages, which can be helpful in maintaining the required records.

PART- IV                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

Q.     Give some examples of calculations concerning important flock production
Flock production records tell many things about an individual sheep/goat unit and offer
clues for places to improve production efficiencies. Often the figures are available but
need to be converted for interpretation. Some common calculations are given below:

1.     Percent of ewes/does that gave birth

                      Number of ewes/does that gave birth
              =       ____________________________________ X 100
                      Number of ewes/does turned to rams/bucks

2.     Percent of ewes/does that settle on first cycle

                      No. of ewes/does lambing/kidding in 20 days
              =       ____________________________________ X 100
                      No. of ewes/does turned to males

3.     Percent of lamb/kid crop born of females exposed

                      No. of lambs/kids born
              =       ____________________________________ X 100
                      No. of ewes/does turned to rams/bucks

4.     Percent lamb/kid crop born of ewes/does lambing/kidding

                      No. of lambs/kids born
              =       ____________________________________ X 100
                      Total No. of ewes/does lambing/kidding

5.     Percent lamb/kid mortality from birth to weaning

                      No. of lambs/kids that died
              =       ____________________________________ X 100
                      No. of lambs/kids born

6.     Percent of total lamb/kid mortality that occurred from birth to 5 days of age

                      No. of lambs/kids dying between birth and 5 days
              =       _________________________________________ X 100
                      No. of lambs/kids dying between birth and weaning

7.     Percent of total lamb/kid mortality that occurred from 5 days to 1 month of age

                      No. of lambs/kids dying between 5 days and 1 month

PART- IV                                            SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

               =      ___________________________________________ X 100
                      No. of lambs/kids dying between birth and weaning

8.     Percent of total lamb/kid mortality that occurred from 1 month of age to weaning

                      No. of lambs/kids dying between 1 month and weaning
               =      _____________________________________________ X 100
                      No. of lambs/kids dying between birth and weaning

9.     Average weaning weight

                      Total kg of lambs/kids weaned
               =      __________________________ X 100
                      No. of lambs/kids weaned

10.    Weight of lambs/kids weaned per ewe/doe exposed

                      Total kg of lambs/kids weaned
               =      _________________________________ X 100
                      No. of ewes/does turned to rams/bucks

11.    Average fleece weight

                      Total weight of wool
               =      __________________ X 100
                      No. of sheep shorn

Q.      What is meant by dipping? Explain when and how it is carried out?
Dipping is a management practice meant to control and treat external parasites and skin
diseases of sheep/goats. For the control of ticks, lice and scab mites, most flocks need to
be treated with an insecticide at least once a year, in sheep soon after shearing when the
shear cuts have healed. The frequency between dippings also depends on the disease risk.
Immersing animals is rather effective than spraying them with chemicals, but animals are
not keen to jump into a dip bath and will have to be forced. The operation should take
place on a bright sunny day. The insecticide for dipping should be used according to the
instructions of manufacturers. Rectangular dipping vats are of variable length but the rest
of the dimensions are rather standard: 1.2 m (4 ft.) deep, 25 to 30 cm (10-12 in.) inside
width at the bottom and 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in.) wide at top. Concrete permanent vats
should be constructed with suitable entrances, inclined exit and a drain platform. The
construction of the vat must not allow sheep/goats to jump out or through the bath
without getting thoroughly soaked. Dips that animals wade through may be better than
ones where they have to swim. A simple design for a dip is given in Figure 32. It has
small pens so that small groups of sheep/goats can be handled. Animals are forced
towards the dipping vat where an operator catches each animal and puts it in the dip.
Another assistant pushes the sheep’s/goat’s head under as it swims by to ensure that it is

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totally immersed. He can use a forked stick to push the animal’s down. The sheep/goat
resumes its swim to the end of the bath and climbs up to the steps to the draining areas,
which slope back towards the dip. The strength of the insecticide in the bath will be
diluted as more animals pass through. Extra chemical dip must thus be added for every 70
to 80 animals so that the dip remains strong enough to kill parasites and the dip is deep
enough to cover each animal. Before sending the animals for dipping they must be
provided adequate amount of water to drink so that do not take water from dipping vat.
Also keep the animals from licking each other while they are dripping on the draining
platform. Dipping should be done on a sunny day.

Routine Management Skills
Q.      Give a list of important management skills required for proper management
        of small ruminants.
A list of some very basic skills is as follows:
Catching and restraining, disbudding, deodourizing, dehorning, castration, feet trimming,
identification, wattle removal, management clipping, culling and dipping.
Q.      Give a brief account of catching and restraining sheep/goats.
Sheep: if sheep are to be caught and handled for any reason, they should first be confined
to a small corral, corner or shed. Sheep may best be caught around the neck, by the hind
leg or by the rear flank. Never should they be caught by the wool. Such rough treatment
results in badly injured skin and tissue, which may require weeks to heal. When animals
are confined to a small area, move up quietly on the desired animal after working it into a
position near you. With a swift, sure movement, grasp well up into the right rear flank
with the right hand and while holding firmly, grasp under the lower jaw with the left
hand. With the left hand firmly grasp a fold of flesh under the lower jaw. Place the right
hand securely over the dock; the right hand in this position can be useful in moving the
animal. As the animal quiets down, the right hand may be removed. In observing the
fleece and skin, part the wool well down on the shoulder, side and leg. Opening the fleece
on the back should be avoided, as it will allow water to run in.
Goats: Most of the information given for catching and handling of sheep is equally
applicable to goats as well. The easiest way to catch a goat is to bribe it with feed. If this
fails a group of goats can be herded into a pen or enclosure from where individual
animals can be caught. Approaching from the side and catching horns, leg or neck usually
succeeds. The goat can be manhandled to a sitting position by first reaching under the
belly and gently pulling the two furthest legs towards you. With the goat now on its side,
lean over to catch both front legs, back up the goat towards you so that it sits on its
bottom (Figure 46).
An alternative method is to put one hand on the shoulder and one under the neck and
carefully twist the goat into the sitting position. Mind the horns! Feet can be examined
and hooves trimmed. Crooks (Figure 47) can be used to catch both goats and sheep. The
hook at the end of the crook is made to catch either the foot or neck. Once the crook is
around the goat, the catcher uses it to pull the animal towards himself. If the goat is
friendly it can be restrained in a standing position using a neck crush (Figure 48). The
neck is trapped between two pieces of strong upright planking. One piece is fixed and the

PART- IV                                             SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION

other moves within a frame to allow the head to be put through and then closed to hold it
in place. The frame can be driven into the ground or mounted on a wooden platform on
which the animal stands. It makes working on the animal easier if the platform is raised
up. A less expensive alternative is the use of rope loop fixed to a tree. The loop is just
large enough to allow the goat’s head through. The rope loop must not tighten so that the
goat can strangle itself. This can be avoided by tying a knot that does not slip but holds
the loop at a fixed size.
Q.       Write short notes on disbudding, deodourising and dehorning.
Disbudding: Some kids are born hornless, but as a practical management procedure,
every kid, male and female, should be examined for horn buds. Horns are a danger to the
operator and to the flock. Disbudding is the practice of removing horn buds from very
young kids. The best method for disbudding is the use of a disbudding iron which heats a
circular tip to a red-hot temperature. It is best to disbud kids when they are a few days old
and the horn buds can be clearly felt. To disbud, preheat the iron. Then follow these
With a finger, locate the horn buds. Clip well the hair from the area of horn buds. The
kids can be held between the knees or thighs for disbudding. However, a holding box
makes the job easier. Center the iron on each horn bud, applying it with a circular motion
and light pressure for 5 to 10 seconds, depending on the size and development of the horn
bud. If a horn bud is large, a second burn after a few minutes rest is advisable. A proper
burn leaves two copper-coloured circles. The kids should be checked every 2 to 3 months
for scur growth. Scurs should be immediately removed with the disbudding iron (Figure
Deodourising: Bucks are noted for smelling bad. They label their territory and every
thing in it with their buck goat aroma by rubbing their head against everything claimed.
The buck’s shed, feed buckets and even the does will acquire the buck aroma. The scent
or musk glands responsible for this odour are located immediately behind and along the
inside edge of each horn base. In a polled kid they are in the same position. Making two
additional burns at the time of disbudding will easily deodourinse goats as kids. The red
hot disbudding iron should be applied about 13 mm (0.5 in.) behind and toward the center
from the disbudded horn buds for about 10 seconds. The hair should be clipped from
these areas before the application of hot iron. After disbudding and deodourising there
appear two sets of overlapping circles as shown in Figure 50. After the hair over the area
have been clipped, the scent glands can be identified as areas of skin that are shiny and
darker than the surrounding skin. Older animals may also be deodourised, they, however,
require more restraint.
Dehorning: It is far better to be certain that kids are disbudded very young. If, however,
for some reason, beyond the control of the farm operator, a mature animal has a set of
horns, they should be removed. To dehorn a mature animal is quite a task and may be
best done by a trained person who can use a local anaesthetic. Dehorning can be done
using a hacksaw or a wire saw to remove the horns along with 6 to 13 mm (0.25 to 0.5
in.) of the skin growing up from the base. Before the horns are removed, the hair at their
base should be clipped so that the skin line can easily be seen and the horn be painted
with pyodine. Bleeding should be as minimum as possible. After the horns are removed,
sulfa powd