Modeling the Productivity of a Breeding Sheep Flock for Different Production Systems

  • Kamalzadeh, A. (Islamic Azad, University)
  • Received : 2004.07.17
  • Accepted : 2004.11.19
  • Published : 2005.05.01


Individual production traits, such as reproduction and mortality rates, are partial measures, but may be used to evaluate the performance of different systems by comparing the rate of flock growth and potential offtake. The productivity of two existing sheep production systems, one extensive, one intensive, was compared with an alternative semi-intensive system. The future flock sizes, offtakes and structures were predicted based on the age structure of the flock and age-specific reproduction, mortality and growth rates. The measurements were illustrated with reference to growth of a sheep flock of different age and sex categories. The flock was in a socalled dynamic situation. During the dry period, the digestible organic matter intake of the animals in the intensive system and both extensive and semi-extensive systems was 36 and 20.1 g kg$^{-0.75}$ d$^{-1}$, respectively. During the cold period, the digestible organic matter intake of the animals in extensive, intensive and semi-extensive systems was 34, 34.5 and 41 g kg$^{-0.75}$ d$^{-1}$, respectively. During the dry period, the animals in the both extensive and semi-intensive systems lost in body weight at a rate of 19 g per day, but the rate of gain in body weight of the animals in intensive system was 57 g per day. During the cold period, the animals in extensive, intensive and semiintensive systems gained in body weight at rates of 56, 67 and 97 g per day, respectively. The higher gain of animals during the cold period in the semi-intensive system was related to a sustained higher intake of low-quality roughage and more efficient use of the available feed. Compared to the intensive system, the annual concentrate input of the semi-intensive system was about 48% lower for each livestock unit. The productivity of the semi-intensive system was higher than that of the extensive system.


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