Comparison of Milk Yield and Reproductive Performance of Sheep Breeds in the West Bank, Palestine
Publication Type
Original research
  • Jihad Abdallah
  • Moayed Ahmed
The aim of this study was to compare milk production and reproductive traits of sheep breeds in the West Bank. The data included 1711 milk records on 1243 ewes and 3682 lambing records on 1837 ewes from the local Awassi breed, Assaf breed, Awassi x Assaf crosses, and two Improved Awassi strains, one of which is carrying the Booroola FecB gene. The data were collected between 2003 and 20١٠ from 21 farms covering five locations in southern West Bank (Dora, Hebron, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Ramallah) and three locations in northern West Bank (Nablus, Qalqiliya, and Jenin). The results showed significant differences (P < 0.05) in performance among and within breeds in different locations. Milk production was highest for Awassi x Assaf in Nablus and Jenin (least-squares means of 330.6 kg and 267.6 kg for total milk yield in 150 d of lactation, respectively) and Assaf in Jenin (268.1 kg), and was lowest for Awassi in Jerusalem (124.6 kg). The Improved Awassi strain carrying the FecB gene had the highest reproductive performance (mean litter size of 1.69 lambs and mean lambing interval of 304.3d), while the lowest performance was for Awassi (mean litter size of 1.12 to 1.21 lambs and mean lambing interval of 347.3 to 416.6 d). The means of litter size and lambing interval for the Improved Awassi strain not carrying the FecB gene were 1.28 lambs and 353.5d. Introgression of the FecB gene may be utilized to improve reproductive performance of sheep breeds in the West Bank, particularly Awassi. Key words: milk yield, litter size, lambing interval, Awassi, Assaf, West Bank.
An- Najah Univ. J. Res. (N.Sc.) Vol. 27
Publisher Country
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)