Thursday, July 18, 2024

Different Breeds of Sheep and Goats (Sheep and Goats Breeds)

In the tropics, sheep and goats have characteristic features that make them to survive in the environment. These features make these animals to develop a kind of tolerance to the peculiarities (difficulties) of the environment.

They have developed certain features that make them live and survive in the humid or arid environment. For example, these animals have long legs to walk long distances in search of food and water.

Types of Sheep and Goats

In the West African sub-region and especially in Nigeria, two types of sheep have been identified while three types are known for goats. For the sheep, we have the West Africa Dwarf sheep and the West African long-legged sheep. The three types of goats are the Sahel, Maradi and Dwarf.

1. Breeds of Sheep

1. West African Dwarf Sheep

Sheep and Goats Breeds
Figure: West African Dwarf Sheep (Ram)

This breed of sheep is found in the coastal forest areas of the country from the South-West to the South-East. They have small size and usually with an average weight of about 30 kg when fully mature.

They have a height of 40 – 60 cm. The sheep have varying colour ranging from all black to all brown or mix colour of white and black. The female sheep (ewe) is polled i.e. without horn while the male (buck) carry horns which could be lateral or spiral. They scavenge for food around the village or town and often time left to roam the street.

2. West African Long-legged sheep

This group of sheep are found in the savannah and sahelo-sudan areas of the Nothern part of Nigeria and other West African countries.

They are characterized by long legs because they have to travel long distances for grazing as they are mostly owned by the nomadic Fulanis that are known for transhumance movement.

The height of the sheep is 65 to 90 cm and weighs between 30 and 50 kg at maturity. They have droopy ears. The male carries horn while the female is hornless. They have long thin tails. There are many breeds of sheep found in this group of which we shall discuss some.

3. Udaor Fulani

Different Breeds of Sheep and Goats (Sheep and Goats Breeds)
Figure: Ouda Breed of Sheep

The breed is found in the Sahelo-sudan region of Nigeria. It is large, long-legged with convex face. It has a characteristic pied coat – colour pattern of entirely black or brown from the forehead to the lumbar- abdominal girth and white posteriorly.

The ears are large, long and pendulous. The rams carry large, wide and spiral horns while the ewes are polled. Matured weight range from 30 to 45 kg for ewes and 35 to 60 for rams

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4. Yankasa

This breed has a typical white coat colour with black patches around the eyes, ears, muzzle and sometimes the feet. The rams carry curved horn and a heavy hairy white mane.

Mature weights vary from 25 to 35 kg for ewes and 30 to 40 kg for rams. It is perhaps the commonest breed of sheep in Nigeria as it is found in all areas north of latitude 14oN.

5. Balami

Different Breeds of Sheep and Goats (Sheep and Goats Breeds)
Figure: Balami Breed of Sheep

This breed is found mostly in the North-eastern part of Nigeria especially in Borno state. It is a big, predominantly white-coat coloured sheep with a convex facial profile. The ears are large and droopy.

The tail is thin and long. The males carry prominent horns while the females are polled. It is perhaps the largest breed of sheep in Nigeria. Mature rams weigh between 45 to 65 kg while ewes weigh 35 to 40 kg.

2. Different Breeds of Goats

1. Sahel Goats

Different Breeds of Sheep and Goats (Sheep and Goats Breeds)
Figure: Sahel Breed of Goat

These goats have short fine coats which could be white, black, red or spotted. They have medium to large body size at maturity. The ears are short and possess horizontal or drooping horns in both male and female.

The goats are well adapted to long distance trekking for grazing. They are found throughout the Sahel or desert areas of Nigeria. It is a medium or large- sized goat with long leg that have adapted very well to nomadic life or wide range grazing of sparse vegetation.

The ears are short and both sexes carry horns. Mature weight in buck is between 25 to 30 kg and 20 to 25 kg in ewes. Like all other breeds of goat, they are used for meat and popularly called “Ogufe” in most of the eateries in Nigeria especially in the South-west.

2. Maradi or Red Sokoto

Different Breeds of Sheep and Goats (Sheep and Goats Breeds)
Figure: Maradi or Red Sokoto Breed of Goat

This breed of goat is found mostly in the Sokoto area of Nigeria and part of the Niger republic. It is the most well defined breed of goat perhaps in Africa. It has red skin coat that is of good quality for leather production.

Other varieties of the breed are the Kano brown or Boronu white. Both sexes carry horns with short ears that are horizontally positioned. At maturity, Maradi goats weigh between 20 and 30 kg.

3. West African Dwarf Goats

Different Breeds of Sheep and Goats (Sheep and Goats Breeds)
Figure: West African Dwarf Goat

The West African dwarf goats found in the forest zone of Nigeria. The goats are small in size with compact body and short legs. The short legs enable them to move under thick vegetation of the forest region.

The colour of the coat varies from black to grey to white or multi coloured. Their height is 40 to 50 cm at withers and weighs between 18 and 20 kg at maturity. They have the ability to produce twin. The breed is very hardy and resistant to trypanosomiasis.

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Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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