Sheep and goats represent an important component of the farming system by providing about 12% of the value of livestock products consumed and 48% of the cash income generated at the farm level. Although diverse sheep and goats resources are found in Ethiopia, their productivity is low; the sector has not received a great deal of attention from scientists, administrators and legislators. Strategic recording and documentation of the performances of the animals in their native environment under farmer’s condition is very essential. Current survey study was conducted in Dwaro zone, Southern Ethiopia to assess productive and reproductive performance of sheep and goat kept under framers management condition. Primary data were collected from 270 household selected randomly, while secondary data from relevant written documents. Survey result showed that ewes and does were weaned on average at age of 126.2±1.44 and 145.5±1.48 and 249.0±3.10 days in order and weaning age was significantly longer in highland and midland as compared to lowland whereas ewes age at puberty does not vary significantly across agro-ecological zone but does age at puberty is significantly shorter in highland. In addition, the finding indicated that age at first lambing and kidding was 408.0±3.32 and 393.5±3.05 days, respectively. Age at first lambing was not significantly (p>0.05) affected by agro-ecological zones while age at first kidding of does was significantly (p<0.05) longer in lowland (408.6±7.75 days) as compared to midland (385.6±4.31 days) and highland (386.2±0.83 days). Furthermore, survey result revealed that mean kidding and lambing interval was 269.9±3.08 and 269.0±2.89 days, respectively and kidding interval was significantly shorter in highland (263.5±6.0 days) and midland (264.0±5.89 days) relative to lowland (281.7±3.70 days), whereas lambing interval was not affected by agro ecological differences. Furthermore, the survey pointed out that household in the study area slaughtered sheep and goat at mean age of 258.1±4.39 and 255.6±2.49 days in sequence. Lowland household were preferred to slaughter sheep and goat at younger age as compared to midland and highland household for both species that preferred slaughtering of sheep and goat at older age. Feed and other related management improvement and implementing strategic breed improvement is the area that need further work in the future.
Key words: Age at first kidding, lambing interval, weaning age, Dawro.
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