The study was conducted in Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha and Bora districts from east Shoa zone as well as Kofele and Asasa from west Arsi zone of Oromia regional state. The objective of this study was to describe the breeding objectives of the farmers who keep indigenous sheep found in the study areas. The study was conducted using semiâ€“structured questionnaire, followed by focus group discussions. A questionnaire was used to interview 180 sheep farmers in four districts (45 each). The parameters studied in the survey included socio-economic characteristics, production and management, herd structure, purpose of keeping, feeding and fattening practices, selection and sheep production constraints. Results indicated that the mean sheep flock size per household was 14.5 and differ (P<0.05) between the study areas. Accordingly, the average flock size was higher (P<0.05) at Asasa with negligible differences across the other areas. The selection criteria of majority of the households were larger body conformation followed by coat color for both male and female sheep. About 92% of the farmers reported that they provide a permanent housing for their sheep. The major feed sources offered to sheep in all the study areas included natural pasture, crop residues, crop aftermath and non conventional feeds. The primary reason of keeping sheep was for income generation. Feed shortage and prevalence of diseases were the most pertinent constraints in all the areas studied. Thus, in all the cases there have to be efforts aimed towards improving the genetics, management and seasonal shortage of feed and fodder have to be taken care of.
Keywords: Arsi-Bale; breeding objective; local sheep; selection