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Foreword

The economic transition in Central and Eastern European countries brought about significant changes also into the small ruminant production sector. Sheep and goat production, like the entire animal production sector, is forced to adjust its organization, structure and approach to the requirements of the market, while, at the same time - due to the lower standard of living - it becomes an essential subsistence activity for a growing number of household farms.

The genetic improvement, organization of breeding, research, extension services, alternative utilization of small ruminants as well as total quality management were among the main subjects discussed at the international workshop on "Sheep and Goat Husbandry in the Central and Eastern European Countries - A Struggle to Survive " organized in Budapest (Hungary) from 29th November - 3rd December 1997 by the Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Nutrition, Herceghalom, Hungary in close collaboration and sponsorsmurahip of FAO Subregional Office for Central and Eastern Europe, as well as FAO-CIHEAM and the European Association of Animal Production (EAAP). Hundred twenty participants from 22 countries participated in the workshop, which was very timely organized, providing the excellent opportunity for exchange of information and experience, as well as discussing possible options and ways to remedy present difficulties.

The proceedings, presented here, provide complete set of papers delivered during the Workshop as well as summary of a round-table discussion conducted at the end of the Workshop. Final conclusion may be drawn that while some of producers are struggling to survive, the others are meeting the challenge of the change, looking for innovative approaches, diversifying production, introducing total quality management and opening for the market in the attempt to reach the main goal - the long term economical sustainability.

Acknowledgement

The initiative and effort of Dr. Sandor KUKOVICS, Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Nutrition to organize and conduct efficiently the Workshop as well as print the proceedings, is greatly appreciated and acknowledged.

Also excellent organizational arrangements for the Workshop provided by Mrs. Klara BISZKUP is recognised.

The summary of the workshop

Main purpose of the workshop

The aim of the workshop was: to summarize the situation of sheep and goat husbandry in the different countries within the Central and Eastern European region, to get the necessary information about the changes occurring in these countries, about the tendencies and the possible relationships in the future, to determine the possible conditions for the future development in the region.

Participants

There were eighty participants attending the technical tour, while one hundred took part in the workshop. In addition to participants for Central and European Countries experts from France, Germany. United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Greece were also present. In total 24 countries were represented.

The programme of the workshop

Breeding livestock as well as sheep and goat products exhibition

Within the animal show, those sheep breeds were presented which were bred in the north-east region of Hungary. The following companies and breeds could be seen within the show in Gelej:
· Awassi Corporation, Bakonszeg (Awassi ewes and female hoggets);
· Bábolna Corporation, Szendr Branch, Szendr (Suffolk-, Ile de France and Bábolna Tetra ewes and rams);
· Csenger Co-operative, Tibota Co., Csenger (Fertile Merino ewes);
· South-Borsod Co-operative for Fish and Sheep Farming, Gelej (Merino, [Merino x Pleven Blackhead] F1 - and Pleven F1 x Black East-Friesian ewes);
· Hajdúböszörmény Star Co-operative, Hajdúböszörmény (Hungarian Merino and Mutton Merino ewes);
· Hortobágy Public Utility Company for Environmental Protection and Gene Conservation, Hortobágy (Black- and White Hortobágy Racka and Transylvanian Racka ewes and rams);
· Ságia Agricultural and Trade Ltd, Tiszacsege (Texel ewes and rams).

The following sheep and goat products of different companies were presented within the products exhibition:
· Awassi Corporation, Bakonszeg (different kinds of curds, cheeses and cottage cheeses, smoked and pickled meat products, wool products made for the automobile industry);
· South-Borsod Co-operative for Fish and Sheep Farming, Gelej (different kinds of curds, cheeses and cottage cheeses, different wool products: blankets, cushions, mattresses, waist-warmers, etc.,);
· Kistelek M+M Cheese Making Ltd, Kistelek (different kinds of feta type cheeses, cottage cheeses, light and hard cheeses);
· University of Veterinary Sciences, Experimental Institute, Üll-Dóramajor (goat cheeses, goat sausages and smoked goat meats);
· Agricultural Public Utility Company, Szarvas (sheep and cow cheeses with different flavours);
· Pilis Goat Farm, Pilisszentlászló (kefir and different cheeses based on goat milk);
· Gyosa Family Farm, Hajdúszoboszló (special goat cheeses);
· Nagykunság Goat and Sheep Milk Producers' Society, Kunhegyes (sheep and goat cheeses);
· Shepard's Cheese Ltd, Berettyóújfalu (different light and hard cheeses, curds and cottage cheeses from goats and sheep milk);
· Zemplén Goat Breeders' Co-operative, Hollóháza (goat cheeses with different flavours).

Scientific programme

The sessions were started with so-called country reports, following the English alphabetical order; the representatives of four countries in each session presented the situation of sheep and goat breeding in his/her own homeland. These country reports were followed by different papers, short papers and posters.

Session 1.

Session 2.

Session 3.

Session 4.

Round-table discussion

The participants were expected to find the proper answers to the following questions:
· Which production systems can be managed most effectively in the region?
· Which are the basic conditions that should be available for effective management?
· Which are the possible means of improvement under the present circumstances?
· What are the future possibilities?

Recommendations

The workshop concluded with the following general recommendations for countries of the region:
· Size of the population of small ruminants should match market demand and economic profitability.
· Efficient production systems should be introduced using the most appropriate breeds and technologies.
· The market for sheep and goats and products made of them, including by-products should be further developed. This should include an increase in national consumption as well as better utilization of export opportunities.
· Quality requirements of the market should be determined, met and maintained with the aim to increase consumer's interest and confidence in the products.
· An efficient extension system, able to deliver directly to farmers the most up-to-date scientific and development results, should be established.
· The proper exploitation of pasture lands, landscape management as well as environmental protection are of growing importance and should be pursued.
· Without the integration of producers, small farms will possibly be unable to survive in the near future, thus the creation of proper organizations is encouraged.
· A network, linked to FAO-CIHEAM Co-operative Network on Sheep and Goats, able to assist in harmonization of research and development activities in the area of small ruminants in the region should be established.

THE PRESENT STATE OF SHEEP AND GOAT FARMING
IN ALBANIA

Kume, Kristaq
Livestock Research Institute, Tirana
Albania

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ABSTRACT

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INTRODUCTION

For centuries, the Albanian farmer has considered the sheep and goats as traditional animals. Even nowadays, the growing of these animals is one of the important directions in animal production. The statistics of 1996 show that the small ruminants provide 32.6 percent and 18.3 percent of the total national meat and milk production, respectively.
During the years 1991-1994, in which political and economic transformations towards the market economy took place, the populations of these two species significantly increased. In 1995, in comparison with the year 1991, the population of sheep was about 45 percent greater, and that of the goats around 43 percent. The year 1996 presents a decrease in the number of heads for both species: it is about 498 000 heads of sheep (from these 283 000 ewes) and about 400 000 goats (from these 255 000 does) less.
Among the principal factors which influenced that decrease, the fraudulent pyramid schemes can be distinguished as a factor with a strong effect. During this year, many Albanian farmers sold their animals for meat consumption, with the idea of getting financial means by being involved in these schemes.

THE SMALL RUMINANTS ON FARMS

There are 421 800 private farms in Albania and from these 254 000 keep sheep and 213 000 raise goats. In about 40-45 percent of these farms both species are kept, in ratios that vary widely. The average number of the animals on the farms that keep small ruminants is different for different zones of Albania. Thus, in the farms situated on the coastal-plane area, flocks with an average number of 10-15 sheep are kept, and the average number of goats per flock vary from of 5 to 10 heads. In the hilly-mountainous zone of southern and south-eastern Albania, the farms keeping flocks with 40-50 sheep or 50-60 goats are more frequent, while in Albania's northern, north-eastern and eastern zones, the average number of sheep per flock varies in the limits of 20-30 heads and that of goats from 10 to 30 heads. This variability in the size of the flock is determined to a big part by the surface of the land the private farmers own and also by the surfaces of the pastures and terrain in communal use. As the average surface of the arable land per farm in Albania is 1-1.4 hectares, the availability of the communal pastures presents an important factor influencing the size of the small ruminants flocks. According to statistical data of the year 1996, the structure of the farms keeping sheep or goats in Albania is presented in Table 1.
As can be seen, about 45.7 percent of the farms keep 1-30 sheep and about 54.3 percent 1-30 goats. A characteristic in Albania is the existence of small-holder farms. However, during the last three years the number of farms raising more than 50 goats or sheep has increased from 0.7 percent to 2.0 percent and from 1.2 to 2.4 percent, respectively.
Table 1. The farm structure based on the number of animals kept

By number of
goats

No. of farms
x 1000

%

By number of
sheep

No. of farms x 1000

%

No goats 208.8 49.5 No sheep 167.0 39.6
with 1-10 goats 151.4 35.9 with 1-10 goats 180.9 42.9
11-30 41.3 9.8 11-30 48.1 11.4
31-50 11.8 2.8 31-50 15.2 3.6
51-100 7.2 1.7 51-100 8.4 2.0
101-200 0.8 0.2 101-200 0.4 0.1
more than 201 0.4 0.1 more than 201 0.4 0.1
Total 421.8 100 Total 421.8 100

THE FARMING SYSTEMS

In general, the small ruminants farming system in Albania is an extensive one. It is based on the traditional concept of year-round use of the natural grazing resources. Nevertheless, the characteristics of this system vary in the function of the flock size and geo-climatic conditions. Thus, the farmers who keep small flocks with 5-10 heads, group their animals in the pasture during the day under the supervision of a shepherd, and in the evening keep their flocks in environments close to the house. The flocks of 70-80 animals, are kept in the stable during winter and graze in the pastures close to the village, while in summer the animals are grouped in 2-3 bigger flocks and are transferred to the summer pastures on the mountain. The flocks of 100-200 animals are in motion all year. In the period November-March they move to the pastures of the coastal area and during April-October they move to the mountainous pastures. This system is especially common in sheep keeping.
The farmers who keep sheep in the lowland area, in order to fulfil animal feed needs and exploit the natural pastures, use the grazing of corn harvesting leftovers in the fields and cultivate forages such as alfalfa and green oat. These are used as green feed and also as hay during the winter time. In general, the concentrated feeds, principally maize corn and bran, are used in limited quantities and only 1-2 months before lambing. During the winter time the farmers of the hilly-mountainous zone feed the small ruminants with dried oak leaves or hay which have been prepared during summer. Farms with small ruminants having intensive production systems are not yet created in Albania, and there are very few sheep flocks where semi-intensive production systems are applied. The latter are found more in the lowland area and they are directed toward meat production. The small ruminants are raised by the Albanian farmers for meat, milk, wool and skin production, which in a large part are used for family consumption. The principal direction of the production varies according to the species and the geo-climatic zones. The goats in Albania are kept for a double purpose: milk and meat. The milk is consumed as fresh milk and a good part of it is processed into cheese, sometimes mixed with cow milk. The processing methods are skilled ones. Usually the milk is processed by the farmers themselves, but local processors also exist who collect the milk from the farms. The meat production is realized through raising kids, which are slaughtered after weaning time or at the age of 3-4 months. In the mountainous zones of Albania, the farmers use the wool and the skin for clothing and carpets (both sheep and goats). The direction of production in the sheep kept in different zones of Albania is different. Actually in the coastal-lowland zone which is more developed in the social - economical point of view and the most populated zone, which is more developed in the social-economical point of view and the most populated one, the principal direction of the production is meat. In the hilly-mountainous zone the flocks kept principally for milk production predominate. Today, the wool is considered as a by-product of a little value. The sheep milk is usually used for family consumption, fresh or processed curd and cheese. The surplus of the products beyond the quantities for family needs are sent to the market. Actually the predominant way of marketing milk is selling it to the milk collectors who further process it. The meat is marketed as live animals by the farmers themselves. This is done on fixed days of the week in the markets situated close to the towns. The export of the milk and its processed products and that of the meat has not yet started. The export of the skins has developed quick during the last five years. The main characteristic of the goat genetic fund in Albania, is the existence of the pure indigenous genetic material. The studies done on the Albanian goat population have shown that from the evolutionary aspect it may be classified in primary population groups, in which the process of the standardization is present. Although a variability among the populations kept in different geo-climatic zones of Albania exists, the variability in the visible genetic profile, in the morpho-biometric characteristics, the polymorphism of the milk proteins and the differences in the production and reproduction figures, the studies have shown that they can be considered as a genetic entity with the same origin in which the genetic niches are found. Classifying the goat populations in ecotypes, based on the surveys and measurements performed, we get the information shown in Table 2.
These ecotypes take about 27 percent of the total population. The other part is composed of indigenous goat flocks not classified in ecotypes and other crosses with the above-mentioned ecotypes.

THE GOATS

According to the statistical data, the milk yield per goat in 1996 was 85 kg. This low figure is due to the systems of production. The Albanian farmer, owing to the lack of the required infrastructure which could ensure the evaluation of this product through its collection and processing, is interested in getting a production with the minimum material and financial means possible. At the same time, we must emphasize that the genetic capacity of the Albanian goat is much higher; e.g., in selected and well managed flocks, especially with feed at an acceptable level, the Velipoja ecotype has produced 520 kg milk/goat/year and the Mati ecotype achieved 430 kg /goat/year. In Albania only two goat breeds, in a limited number, are imported: Saanen and Alpine. The actual population of Saanen goats is 350 heads, and its crosses with the local breeds make 3200 goats. The Alpine breed is represented by a flock of 80 goats and its crosses of 200-220 heads. The Albanian farmer is interested in both breeds and he actually keeps them according to the concept "the goat of the family", meaning 1-2 goats per family. Their F1 crosses, according to our surveys, have expressed very good qualities. The milk production data got under extensive keeping conditions are about 90-120 percent higher. Meanwhile, the animals have inherited and expressed good qualities in facing the difficult environmental conditions.
Table 2. Average data for the goat ecotypes in Albania

   

E C O T Y P E S

Description

Unit

Dragobi

Has

Velipoje

Mat

capore

Shyte

Liqenas

Dukat

Muzhake

Number (goats)

Heads

10 000

50 000

3 300

80 000

25 000

2 000

10 000

14 000

45 000

Withers height

Cm

56-68

58-73

57-72

57-73

53-71

54-70

64-72

51-63

54-68

Live weight goat

Kg

48-56

49-58

44-55

43-52

41-52

44-53

42-50

25-32

29-37

L. Weight
B. goat

Kg

76-89

87-97

68-79

68-81

65-76

67-80

65-78

40-46

43-52

Birth LW Males

Kg

1.9-2.6

1.9-2.7

2.1-3.1

1.9-2.9

1.6-2.1

1.72.2

1.6-2.2

1.2-2.0

1.4-2.6

Birth LW Females

Kg

1.6-2.2

1.6-2.6

2.0-3.0

1.9-2.0

1.5-2.0

1.5-2.0

1.4-2.0

1.0-2.0

1.1-2.4

Weaning LW Mal

Kg

10-13

12-16

12-15

10-13

7-10

7-9

7-9

5-8

6-10

Weaning LW Fem

Kg

9-12

11-14

10-13

4-12

6-9

6-8

6-8

4-8

5-10

Milk yield

Kg

100-220

90-210

130-240

105-240

120-230

110-190

90-220

80-190

80-230

Prolificity

%

100-112

95-110

105-115

105-120

90-105

90-105

100-110

100-105

100-105

SHEEP BREEDS

During the last 40 years, in the biggest part of the sheep population, crossing with the imported breeds has been applied. Different Merino and Tcigaya types are found in it. The intention has been the increase of the wool yield, in quantity and quality, and the improvement of the milk yield, as well. The aim of these crosses is the improvement of the morpho-biometrical figures and animals' live weight. In general, the crosses were not implemented in the framework of a national programme with clear objectives and defined ways. A consequence of that is the existence of a high variability among the flocks, especially in the coastal-lowland part of Albania where about 350 000 sheep, or 25 percent of the population, are kept. Actually, a new strategy on sheep breed improvement is being applied in Albania. In the coastal-lowland part of the country the implementation of the terminal crossing with the Ile de France breed is foreseen, while in the hilly-mountainous zones the local sheep will continue to be improved through the crossing until F2 with Tcigaya and Awassi breeds and Bardhoka indigenous breed with the objective to increase first the milk yield and secondly the live weight and meat production quality. Besides the indigenous sheep known as "Rrecka" in the central, southern and south-eastern Albania, the indigenous sheep genetic fund is localized in the northern and north-eastern zones. In this area it is preserved as a purebred. The main average data of the local breeds are given in Table 3.
Table 3. The average data for the sheep of the local breed

Breed

Number
heads
`000

Live
weight
kg

Wither
Height
cm

Production

milk wool
kg kg

fertility
%

Birth.l.weig
M F
kg kg
weaning.l.weig
M F
kg kg
Rrecka 182.0

30-35

40-45

40-50

1.2

105

1.8

1.6

10.1

9.3

Ruda 114.0

44-46

56-58

80 -110

1.4

16

2.6

2.4

13.5

13.0

Bardhoke 61.8

46-50

58-64

90 -130

2.0

110

2.4

2.1

13.0

12.4

Shkodrane 24.6

36-39

40-45

80-90

2.5

110

2.2

2.0

11.2

10.8

Bace 22.2

42-45

50-56

100-110

2.3

115

2.5

2.3

13.2

12.7

Lare e Matit 9.0

33-35

40-45

60-65

1.2

110

2.1

1.8

11.2

10.5

Lare e Polisit 3.5

30-35

40-46

60-65

1.3

108

2.0

1.7

11.0

10.5

Actually, in Albania the total number of the small ruminants is found in private ownership. Every farmer keeps his animals and they are not leased. The same applies for the barns. Only the natural pastures near the village are in communal use. The alpine summer pastures are property of the state and they are rented to the farmers to exploit them. The pastures are also leased in the coastal-lowland zones where the animals from the mountainous areas of Albania come to pass the winter period.
In general, on the farms with small-size flocks, it is the family that looks after the animals. Also frequent used is the system where some family farms group their animals into big flocks and pay a shepherd to care for them. The payment is done in animal products: milk, meat or wool. In the migrating flocks two practices are frequent: either the farmer himself cares for the animals, or he employs a shepherd to look after the flock and is paid in goods. The most frequent lambing system in Albania is the annual one. In the coastal-lowland area the lambing starts at the end of November and in the mountainous areas it is concluded by the end of February. In some cases the culling ewes are stimulated with G.S.P.M and new lambing out of season is taken. The goats too, kid annually during the period January-March, with respect to the geo-climatic zones in which they are found.
As mentioned above, the Albanian farmer feeds the small ruminants by exploitation of the environment grazing capacities. The purchased feed, mainly maize corn or bran, make a small percentage of the feeding ration. All this is due to the lack of a market which could absorb the animal products, and to the low economic level of the farmer. Influential is the fact that the average farm size is very small and the family farm has to get everything from it. This explains why the farm mechanization level is very low, too. Further, the credit system in Albania, which could strongly exert its effect on the mechanization level, is very fragile and operates with much difficulty, and in general it can be considered as an inactive one.

ORGANIZATIONS

The processes of farming farmers' co-operatives are in the first steps. Actually, only the National Small Ruminants Production Association is institutionalized and it has so far had a modest activity and geographical extension. Such a fact is a consequence of the low development level of the Albanian farm and the need, yet without real support, for its further development. In a more general sense, this is a consequence of the economic level of the Albanian society. Nevertheless, as a need of the process of the production, often farmers have sought and realized the co-operation among them. They particularly feel this co-operation in the realization of the exchange of the breeding material and in the establishment of the rules for the communal use of the natural feed resources. The groups of farmers keeping the sheep of Rude, Bardhoke and Shkodrane breeds and those of such goat ecotypes as Mati, Dragobi, Dukati, Liqenasi, Muzhake etc., in flocks of more than 50 animals, have extended their co-operation in milk collection and marketing. Such organizations, however, remain at the level of fulfilling needs of the moment. These are not yet institutionalized as organizations which could undertake and solve, at the required technical level, the complex problems of animal production.
Taking into consideration the farmers' low co-operation level and being aware of the importance of the technical information, the Albanian government has undertaken and is realizing the creation and the development of the structures which must provide the technical advice and technology transfer to the private farms. This process is developing according to the strategy designed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in collaboration with its research institutes and with the financial and technical support from international organizations. Actually, in Albania governmental structures are created and operate which are responsible for producing the messages and all the required information for the transfer of in the production technology innovations, but at the same time, practically realize this transfer to the farmer's level. The aim is to provide the Albanian farmer with the required help and technical assistance needed for solving his problems. Actually this assistance is focused upon the problems of feeding small ruminants according to the different physiological situations, the ways to efficiently use of the natural feed resources, the problems of animal health and reproduction, housing and milk processing. Concerning breed improvement problems, under the actual conditions found in Albania, we can say that the possibilities for their scientific treatment are limited. What can be done today is only the organization of fairs and exhibitions through which the evaluation of the best reproducers may be realized and the exchange of the genetic material may take place among the farmers. Geo-climatic conditions and the quantity of the spontaneous vegetation cover have always favoured the development of small ruminants in Albania. Having that as a main activity, the Albanian farmer has found solutions which harmonize well development with the requirements for environmental protection. Special care is shown for the forest protection and we can say that, in general, the sylviculture and the small ruminants, especially the goats, are complementary to each other.

MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMY

The main scope of the management of small ruminants in small flocks, is the provision of animal products for family needs. This and the lack of a real possibility for data collection and financial-economic information from the farms of such size, makes their economic evaluation very difficult. Yet, we can state that the bigger the flock size, the higher the economic profitability. Two of the principal needs of the farmers who are more specialized in keeping small ruminants are: to get low interest credit to build milk processing units and to establish the structures which could realize the marketing of the animal products.

SHEEP AND GOAT HUSBANDRY IN BOSNIA AND

Muratovi, S. Brodlija, K.
Domba, E. Farm of sheep husbandry
Faculty of Agriculture Kakanj
Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina

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ABSTRACT

Bosnia and Herzegovina has some 5.1 million hectares of land, half of which is agricultural and a further 45 percent is covered in forests. Within the agricultural land area, about 40 percent is arable, 55 percent is meadows and pastures and 5 percent is orchards and vineyards.

In the same year, the average milk and wool yield of the ewes were 30 litres and 1.3 kilograms, the reproduction level was 102 percent.

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INTRODUCTION

Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated in Southeastern Europe. It is almost land-locked and has a continental climate except for the immediate hinterland of the Dalmatian coast, which has a Mediterranean climate.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has about 5.1 million hectares of land, half of which is agricultural and a further 45 percent is covered by forests. Within the agricultural land area, about 40 percent is arable, 55 percent is meadows and pastures and 5 percent is orchards and vineyards.
Historically, settlement has been in the valleys, with individual sheep farms at higher altitudes.
STATUS OF SHEEP AND GOATS HUSBANDRY IN 1991

The number of sheep by category in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991 was as follows:

Table 1. Number of sheep by category and ownership (in `000 heads) in B&H

Item

Total number

Ownership, %

   

Private

"Organized"

Ewes

971

99.0

1.0

Other sheep

346

99.1

0.9

Total sheep

1 317

99.0

1.0

Table 2 contains the average production of sheep milk, wool and sheep slaughtered in the private sector in 1991.

Table 2. Average production milk, wool and slaughtered sheep

Year

milk/ewe/year, kg

wool/sheep/year, kg

slaughtered sheep

1991

30

1.3

1.02

One of the main reasons for low production on the individual farms is the absence of scientific research work and extension services with farmers for many years (80 years).
The goat population is relatively low as a result of an edict prohibiting their husbandry since 1951. This appears to have been considered as a soil and forestry conservation measure and the keeping of goats are still regarded as controversial by a number of observers.

STATUS OF SHEEP AND GOAT HUSBANDRY IN 1997

The reconstruction of small ruminant livestock sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina need settling statistics data.
Recently, we have visited two locations (Travnik and Livno) and collected some data.
The Travnik area in 1991 had 49 000 sheep, and now the number of sheep has decreased to 22 000 (breed Pramenka - Vlai). The number of sheep in a flock is 60 heads (22-150). Farmers have about 1.5 ha of land (average) on the Vlai Mountain. In the summer, feeding of the sheep is conducted on the Vlai's grassland. During the wintertime (November to April) farmers go to North Bosnia (areas Tuzla, Brko, Biha).
The Livno area in 1991 had 20 000 heads of sheep and now number of the sheep is about 5 000. Ten individual farms have about 200 heads of sheep. Other farmers have an average 10-20 heads of sheep. Summer feeding of sheep is on the mountain Cincar, nearby Livno (10 km). During the wintertime, farmers come back to villages of the Livno area. Farmers have an average 4.0 ha of land in the Field of Livno.
MARKETS FOR SHEEP PRODUCTS

Markets are a very important economic factor in sheep production. They directly determine the trend and scope of production, although sheep are only assets and important to people living in mountainous areas. The market includes a sheep market and, last time, a goat market, as well as their products.
The market for lambs (meat) and cheese is very active; these factors enhance and stimulate development of small ruminant production. For example, Livno and Travnik cheese production grows very fast, because of the high quality as well as high prices.
At this time sheep and goat husbandry need protection of ancient breed reproductive lambs.

CONCLUSIONS

Implementation of a rehabilitation programme in sheep and goat husbandry should include serious extension and rehabilitation of scientific research work; also, the State programme of domestic breeds' protection and development should be included.
Bosnia and Herzegovina needs the assistance and support of the International community in its struggle to preserve sheep and goat husbandry.

REFERENCES

Livestock rehabilitation project in Bosnia and Herzegovina - implementation. Third joint EAAP/FAO workshop for European National Coordinators, Vienna, Austria, 1997.
Annually statistic's report of BiH, Sarajevo, 1992.

PRESENT SITUATION IN SHEEP AND GOAT FARMING OF BULGARIA

Dimov, Doytcho
Agricultural University of Plovdiv
Department of Animal Husbandry,
Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria

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ABSTRACT

According to different geographical locations (lowlands, hills or mountains), different breeds exist. Bulgaria has a great diversity of genetic resources for sustainable sheep and goat farming. These genetic resources need better monitoring and management.
In the beginning of 1997, 98.89 percent of sheep and 99.95 percent of goats were in private ownership, but 83.17 percent of pastures are state or communal. During the grazing period all herds feed on communal pastures. Lots of work on sheep and goat farms is done by hand.
At the end of 1995 the Ministry of Agriculture started a project for building the National Agricultural Advisory System (NAAS). NAAS can be considered as a prototype of an "Extension Services" system.
The basic weakness of sheep and goat husbandry in Bulgaria is the lack of integral connection between farmers, processing and marketing of sheep and goat products.
The present production system is very difficult to manage. Existing farmers' and breeding organizations are new organizations with insufficient experience and resources to protect the economic interests of the new farmers. Also missing are well-trained people for effective management of sheep and goat production.
The purpose of the new government is to create favourable conditions for production without active intervention in the production sector. In this situation farmers' initiative is of great importance for successful development of sheep and goat farming. The presence of effective farmers' and breeding organizations is a key factor to achieve sustainability of the sheep and goat industry.
In the present situation, possible means to improve production systems are: (i) a careful study of the present production system; (ii) setting up a parameters of sustainable production in local ecological and market conditions; (iii) moulding of new production strategies for direct access of farmers into the market; (iv) development and implementation of pilot-projects with participation of farmers for modern sustainable sheep and goat production.
-------------------------------------

INTRODUCTION

Table 1. The number of sheep and goats

Year

Number of sheep

Number of ewes

Number of goats

Number of does

1990

8 130 000

5 006 000

432 923

366 559

1995

3 397 610

2 357 000

795 436

655 611

1996

3 383 034

2 386 451

833 325

668 250

1997

3 019 600

1 999 693

848 742

619 168

Actually, the reduction of the sheep population is on account of the former co-operative sector. Before 1990, the dominant part of the sheep population were Merino and Semi-merino breeds. When large co-operative farms were disrupted after 1991-1992, the private sector could not accept these breeds because they were not profitable.
Nowadays, the high interest in goat farming is due to the low standard of the rural and mountain population. Many people keep goats to satisfy their own needs of milk, milk products and meat. In comparison with cattle, goat keeping is easier. They are not demanding regarding the forages and they require less expense.

The number of sheep and goat farms

In the beginning of 1995, the number of sheep in the private sector was 92.3percent, kept on 486 627 farms (6.4 sheep per farm). Total number of goats was 99.9 percent, kept on 373 900 farms (2.12 goats per farm) - the information is from the National Institute of Statistics - 1995. Under these conditions, the term "farms" is not very proper. "Individual farmers" is a more accurate expression.

The farm structure

The small size of the herds is a typical characteristic of today's sheep farming. A lot of people keep sheep to satisfy their family needs of milk and meat. There is a limited percentage of farmers who keep large herds over 100 ewes (Table 2).

Type of production

Flock size and production technology for most of the farmers determine an extensive production system. With regard to milk yield per ewe in lowlands, where Pleven Black-head, Stara Zagora and Maritza sheep are kept, there is a semi-intensive production system.
Table 2. Flock sizes of sheep farms of Bulgaria (private sector)

Number of sheep

Number of farms

Structure (percent)

  • 1-10

428 789

88.12

  • 11-20

43 236

8.88

  • 21-50

12 231

2.51

  • 51-100

1 831

0.38

  • > 100

540

0.11

Total number of farms

486 627

100.00

(Source: Lazarova 1995)

The main products and their importance

Figure 1. Structure of the income for 1997 in the herds of Maritza sheep

Market and relative importance of the markets from the economical point of view

Table 3. Household consumption of foods from small ruminants in Bulgaria (per capita)

Products

1994

1995

Meat    
Lamb and kids, kg

2.4

2.2

Mutton and goat, kg

1.4

1.3

White cheese*, kg

10.0

9.2

Yellow cheese,* kg

1.6

1.5

Table 4. Exported ratio of some products of small ruminants

 

1994

1995

1996

Export Total export

(%)**

Total export

(%)**

Total export (%)**
Live animals (x 1000) (n)

944.5

 

499.9

 

748.28

 
Carcass, (t)

4 151.0

7.30

1 732.0

3.40

   
Cheese *, (t)

15 200.0

25.37

6 300.0

11.90

5 700.00

13.93

* cow, sheep and goat cheese - total; ** percent from total production

Main export markets and prices of products

It was until recent years that Bulgaria exported small ruminant products (lamb, mutton, cheese) to Arabian countries - Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. Nowadays, the exports to these countries is being restricted.
In 1995, the export of live animals (499 934 small ruminants) was mainly oriented to Greece (57.2 percent), Syria (31.7 percent) and Italy (8.5 percent). Carcass export chiefly concerns Greece (52.9 percent), Italy (18.2 percent), Jordan (6.3 percent), etc. Average export price per kilogram was: live body weight US$1.58; carcass US$4.39.
During 1995, total export of cheese (white and yellow) amounted to 6 300 tonnes, but in 1996 it decreased to 5 700 tonnes. During the last years total export of cheese showed a constant trend of decreasing (67 percent in comparison with 1990) which is a result of reduction of dairy animals (cow, ewe and goat). White and yellow Bulgarian cheeses are sold all over the world. The exports of 1995 are distributed throughout European countries, the United States of America, Australia and Arabian countries.

Selling products from farms

Table 5. Selling products from the farms

Year

Ewe Milk (t)

Goat Milk

(t)

Wool (t)

Meat *
(t)

1990

262 000

62 100

27 800

168 925

1995

119 587

142 700

8 790

115 818

1996

110 308

139 000

9 193

127 220

Export forms of products

Traditionally, main forms of small ruminant export are: live animals, carcasses and cheese (white and yellow). The skins (raw and leathers) are not a significant part of the total export from small ruminants. The clothing and fur industries are not very proper parameter for small ruminant products, since responsible companies preferably use imported materials. During the last years in the country, the regular import of wool has been from Russia.

Breeds (and their names) bred in Bulgaria

Sheep Breeds

In the mountains, Tzigai, Karakachaska and other local sheep are dominant breeds. Some rare breeds still exist in the hill area of the country - Local Karnobat breed, Coopery-red Shumenska.

Goat Breeds

The predominant part of goat population are local goats, well adapted to local geographic and husbandry conditions. Genetically they are heterogeneous groups with different fur- color. Milk yield varies from 250 to 400 litres.
It is wise to breed Bulgarian White Milky (BWM), which successfully combines the high productive traits of Saanen goat and fitness characteristics of local goats. Milk yield is about 375 litres per 210 days (Terziyska et al.,1994). High interest exists in the Saanen goat, Togenburg, Anglonubian and their crosses, but their numbers are not significant.

The status of property

Table 7. Status of property on the sheep and goat populations of Bulgaria (01.01.1997)

Status of property

n

percent

Sheep

Private 2 986 314 98.89
Co-operative + State 33 286 1.11
Total 3 019 600 100.00

Goats

Private 848 292 99.95
Co-operative +State 450 0.05
Total 848 742 100.00

Table 8. Status of property of arable and pasture lands in Bulgaria

Thousands hectares

State and communal

percent

Agricultural co-operatives percent

Private
percent

Arable lands

6 164

21.1

35.5

43.4

Cultivated lands

4 693

5.7

42.4

51.9

Pastures

1 470

70.1

13.6

16.3

Lands and Barns

Farm labour

In the lowlands, the following situations can be observed:
· Shepherds keep their own herds, but sometimes they use the family to help. This system is dominant in the herds of Local Maritza sheep, Pleven Blackhead, and Stara Zagora;
· During the grazing period, some farmers practise different forms of co-operation, collecting their herds on the communal pastures. During the night, herds usually come back to the barn of the owner. The farmers take turns to look after the sheep during the week;
· In winter, sheep are kept in the barn by the farmer. During the grazing period the farmer employs herdsman.
In the mountains, farmers use only family labour during the winter. During the grazing period some farmers collect their own herds and lead them to communal mountain pastures for a long period. Some of them take herdsmen; occasionally, others take them in turns to look after the herds.
Based on the current production system, thoroughly changed in the last seven years, we are not supplied with any scientific research or detailed description of labour organization at the farm level.

The lambing system

Usually farmers practice only one lambing per year. A second lambing during the same year can be found accidentally. In the lowlands, the lambing season starts in the middle of December and continues into the middle of March, while in the mountains February to March is the typical lambing season.

The origin of feeds used on the farms

During the grazing period all herds feed on communal pastures. In the lowlands the grazing period comprises 7-8 months, while in the mountains it is restricted to 5-6 months. Farmers use different methods of supplying feed for the winter period. Depending on the size of the owned lands, three possible systems can be found: self produced, purchased or mixed.

The presence of necessary equipment and machinery on the farms

Lots of work on sheep and goat farms is done by hand. The most labour-consuming process in sheep farming, for example milking, is done manually nowadays. Although machine milking was widely practiced in Bulgaria (mainly on former co-operative farms), at present machine milking of sheep is saved as a technology used only in the Research Institute of Cattle and Sheep Breeding in Stara Zagora. Some local dairy sheep breeds in the private sector are suitable for machine milking, but small size of flocks and the high price of milking parlours is a great obstacle for implementation of machine milking in sheep farming. One of the more specific processes in sheep farming - shearing, can be easily mechanized, because the clippers are accessible in the market. About 20 percent of the Breeding Association of Maritza Sheep members use clippers. Tractors and other small-scale machines are available for transport operations.
It seems that machine milking at this moment is more acceptable for goat farming, especially for those who keep and intend to keep more goats per flock.

Breeding and Farmers' Organizations in Bulgaria

Before 1990, 27 government services functioned in the animal breeding area. They served mainly the former co-operative sector. During 1994 they were reduced to 9 centres. By recommendation of the EAAP Task Force on Central and Eastern Europe (K. Meyn 1996) these services have been saved. Now, they are normatively authorized to continue livestock improvement programmes of the government.
During 1990, the first non-government breeding organization was established - the Breeding Association of Maritza sheep. This is a small organization of forty members. The main task of this association is to preserve Maritza sheep as a valuable genetic resource. In the beginning of 1993 the milk recording programme of local Maritza sheep was started with the support of private farmers from the Plovdiv region and the national fund for scientific researches. Since 1996 monitoring of Maritza sheep has been supported by the Agricultural University of Plovdiv. Because of the local distribution of Maritza sheep, the Breeding Association of Local Maritza sheep definitely obtained regional importance and contribution to Bulgaria.
Unfortunately, this initiative has not been followed by the farmers who kept Pleven Blackhead and Stara Zagora breeds, which are larger populations. Instead, by the initiative of former government services, another structure was established - The National Union of Sheep and Goat Farming (1994). This process was prompted by the government structures because it was obvious that the process of grouping and confederation among shepherds and goatherds had been delayed. The expectations are that this union will be able to support farmers. Now this National Union has to prove its successful existence.
The Council of sheep and goat farming was created in 1995. This counsel consists of well-known scientists who have to prepare a national programme for sheep and goat farming restoration.

Extension services for the farmers

At the end of 1995 the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) started a project for building the National Agricultural Advisory System (NAAS), with co-operation of the Agricultural Academy and financial support from the programme PHARE. This is the governmental policy to establish adequate structures into the field of agriculture in Bulgaria. NAAS can be considered a prototype of "Extension Services" system.
Lots of farmers directly contact a scientists and specialists from agricultural universities and research institutes, where they can be advised and helped.

Aids and governmental supports available for the farmers

The main problems which have to be solved for the new farmers

The basic weakness of sheep and goat husbandry in Bulgaria is the lack of integral connection between farmers, and the processing and marketing of sheep and goat products. In Bulgaria there doesn't exist a good example, like the Awassi Corporation in Hungary (Kiss et al., 1997), that can be followed by the other farmers. A great contribution in the rebuilding of the sheep industry could be done by those who can integrate these three parts of the production chain: production - processing - marketing.

Alternative utilization of small ruminants in the country

Lately, more attention has been given to ecological aspects in animal husbandry. The society set up requirements for ecologically clean production. Some projects for building demonstrative ecological farms of sustainable agriculture have been started. On these farms, agricultural animals were included as an important element of the whole agro-ecological production chain. For example, at the Agricultural University of Plovdiv, a mixed ecological farm was established as an Agro-ecological centre. A sheep farm there was built with a small herd of 40 sheep.

What kind of economical situation could be seen regarding different sizes of farms?

The farms with 21 to 50 and 51 to 100 sheep per flock can be the basis of farmers' organizations and future breeding work.

Availability of governmental programmes to save and rebuild the sheep and goat industry

During forthcoming years, the economy of the country will work under conditions of a "Currency board", which started on 1 July 1997. Strong reductions of the governmental budget are expected. The government will not be able to support farmers financially and directly.
State funded "Agriculture" is available for the farmers to draw credits, but until now there has been a low interest to draw credits.
The purpose of the new government is to create favourable conditions for production without active intervention in the production sector. In this situation the farmers' initiative is of great importance for successful development of sheep and goat farming. The presence of effective farmers' and breeding organizations is a key factor to achieve sustainability of the sheep and goat industry.

Conclusions

The present production system is very difficult to manage. Reasons:
· Existing farmers' and breeding organizations are new organizations with insufficient experience and resources to protect economical interests of the new farmers.
· Lack of well-trained people for effective management of sheep and goat production.

For successful management, it is necessary for farmers to have access to the final markets of sheep and goat farming. This could be achieved if:
· Farmers have their own cheese factories to process ran materials and sell the final products on the market.
· The farmers are on a contractual basis with processors and dealers in order to access the market.

At present the possible means to improve production systems are:
· A careful study of present production systems.
· Setting up parameters of sustainable production in local ecological and market conditions.
· Moulding new production strategies for direct access of farmers into the market.
· Development and implementation of pilot-projects, with participation of farmers, for modern sustainable sheep and goat production.

REFERENCES

Bulletin of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food industry 1996. Analysis of situation and tendencies in Animal production sector.
Kiss, B.- Kovács, P. - Székelyhidi, T. & Kukovics, S. 1997. Breeding aims to develop sheep milk production. In: Proceedings of the meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Network of Co-operative Research on Sheep and Goats, Toulouse, 9-11 March.
Lazarova, M. 1995. Structural problems of the Animal Production. "Which way in Animal Production sector". In: Proceedings of the Scientific conference, October 18.
Meyn, K. 1996. EAAP task force on Eastern Europe. Livestock Production Science, In: EAAP News 46: 143-145.
Mikhailov, M. 1995. Structural problems of the Animal Production. "Which way in Animal Production sector" In: Proceedings of the Scientific conference, October 18.
Mikhailova, R. 1997. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Agrarian Reform. Personal communication (21-00-842/29.07.97).
National Institute of Statistics 1995. Agricultural animals to 1st January, 1995. Sofia. In: Statistical yearbook of Bulgaria. 1996.
Statistical Book of Reference 1997.
Tersiyska, M. - Popov, Zh. - Petrova, N. & Dochevski, D. 1994. Milk productivity and composition of milk of two breeds - Bulgarian White Milky (BWM) and Saanisated crosses, In: Journal of Animal Science 134-135.

BREEDING AND PRODUCTION OF SMALL RUMINANTS
IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

Mikulec, Kre_imir
Veterynary Faculty University of Zagreb
Department for Animal Breeding and Technology
Croatia

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

Concerning goats, there are about 950 breeders, have herds of 50-70 heads, i.e. about 83 percent of breeders, and the rest have herds of 1-50 heads and more than 70 heads, i.e. about 13 percent.

---------------------------------------------

State of sheep and goat production

Figure 1. Total number of sheep and goats in period 1970-1995 in the Republic of Croatia

The largest number of goats was on the territory of Dalmatian Zagora (Benkovac, Obrovac, Knin, Sinj), then in a smaller amount along the coast and on the islands of the Adriatic Sea (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Distribution of sheep and goats


Figure 3. Percentage of sheep and goat breeders according to the number of animals in flock

Grassland - the basis of sheep and goat-breeding

Table 1. Acrage of grassland and its productivity

REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
TOTAL ACREAGE
5 650 000 ha

TOTAL AGRICULTURAL ACREAGE 3 224 000 ha

100 %

GRASSLAND (MEADOWS AND PASTURES) 1 565 000 ha

MEADOWS 410 000 ha
PASTURES 1 155 000 ha

26.2%

984 000 tonnes of hay
574 400 tonnes of hay

1 558 000 tonnes of hay

104 000 tonnes of meat

Breeds and production of small ruminants

Table 2. Total quantity of mutton and the share of lamb meat in the period from 1991 to 1994

Year

Total amount of mutton (tonnes)

Share of lamb meat (tonnes)

Share of lamb meat (%)

1991

5 062

2 746

54.25

1992

3 816

2 418

63.36

1993

3 320

2 042

61.51

1994

3 201

1 995

62.32

Moreover, the milk production was about 5120 million litres (Figure 4).


Figure 4. Production of sheep milk for the period 1975-1994 in the Republic of Croatia


Figure 5. Production of wool in the period from 1965 to 1994 in the Republic of Croatia

Table 3. Production of milk of the controlled cultivated breeds of goats in 1994

Breed

Number of goats

Lactation in days

Milk quantity kg

percent of milk fat

Saanen

612

256

508

3.55

Alpine and Bunte Deutsche Edelziege

3 651

261

505

3.48

Today there is a great interest for the breedings of good quality as well as for a melioration of goats to increase the production as well as economic effects of small family husbandries. The past production of kid's meat and dairy products was not officially registered, so it is used for the needs of population and domestic market respectively.

Nutrition and reproduction of small ruminants

Stimulating measures for intensifying the production of small ruminants

MAJOR NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL TRENDS IN
SHEEP-BREEDING

Abayné-Hamar, Enik
College of Agriculture
Gödöll University of Agricultural Sciences
Gyöngyös, Hungary

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

Sheep breeding gives an export output worth US60 million on areas featuring poor characteristics for other agricultural activities.
The EU can fulfil 80 percent of its demand from its own sources, so sheep products will be saleable in the future, too. Favourable market and breeding conditions in Hungary would justify an increase in sheep stock, but in spite of this a continuous decrease is recorded.
If one studies statistical data of sheep breeding he/she can see that there has been a considerable increase in the number of private sheep breeding farms. Unfortunately these do not perform serious breeding activities, their technology is mostly outdated and there has been no development in foraging or organization of work.
Lands that can only be used as grasslands must be used for sheep breeding and for this a sound financial support system is to be established. Sheep breeding based on grassland management with low investment costs is competitive as compared to other animal husbandry activities. Among well-balanced production conditions the output per unit of fixed and current assets is also favourable. Sheep breeding may be competitive compared to crop production units, too if we consider the fact that sheep breeding gives marketable products on lands representing low value for crop production.
Usually private farms do not deal only with sheep breeding. Their stocks are low (50-300 ewes) which results in a fairly low yearly income (HUF 2000-3000/year/ewe).
Small farms make full use of individual and special possibilities not always available for large companies (eg. selling side products, using harvested corn fields). Some of the large sheep breeding companies are successful; in most of the cases they are those which do the distribution for themselves.
As far as the mutton production in the world is concerned China's production level has increased considerably while a slight decrease has been registered in various areas of Oceania. The same agro-economic indicator dropped sharply in eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union. In the EU this has hardly changed.
The drop in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was caused by political changes. Stocks in Australia and New-Zealand decreased as a result of the price crash in 1990 and drought in the early 1990s. We can not expect boosting sales since the level of trade is affected by the regeneration of stocks.
The wholesale purchasing price of the mutton has registered a positive development compared to other species. In the case of slaughter sheep, mutton represents 90 percent of the income, wool and milk bring very little.
If is unfortunate, however, that milk and cheese distribution has dropped since much higher export outputs could be achieved if farmers took the time to milk the ewes. Merino is not appropriate for milk production but there are brilliant breeds that could form good stocks for specialized farms.
I follow the changes in sheep breeding closely, analyse the data and calculate trends for prices and production. Hopefully, as a result I will be able to give viable solutions to the actual problems of Hungarian sheep breeding.
---------------------------------------------
The changes in the sheep industry

Sheep-breeding in Hungary gives an annual export output of US60 million on areas that are otherwise not appropriate for other profitable agricultural activities while needing very low investment.
A high percentage of the products are exported to the EU, mostly to Italy.
The self distribution potential of the EU as far as sheep products are concerned is around 80 percent, thus there will continuously be a demand to be met. These favourable market conditions should result in an increase in sheep stock, but despite all this the stocks are decreasing.
Analysing the dynamics of sheep stocks, one can see a sharp rise in the number of private farms. Unfortunately we cannot talk about serious breeding activity on these farms. The technology is outdated and there has been no change in work organization either.
According to Jávor et al. (1997) in September 1996, 6 799 persons and legal persons owned ewes. Private individual farmers owned 78.8 percent and 21.2 percent belonged to different sheep-breeding companies (Ltds, deposit companies).
Private farmers in a typical situation perform other activities besides sheep-breeding. They usually own relatively few ewes (50-300), and sell mostly lamb reaching moderate income levels (HUF 2 000-3 000/year/ewe).
The 1996 distribution of ewes based on ownership and stocks is presented in Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1. Distribution of ewes according to the flock size in % (1996)

Figure 2. Distribution of ewes according to their ownership 1996 (Total 811 263 heads)

Private farms can make full use of specific local conditions, i.e. grazing on harvested corn fields, free grasslands, etc. (Marselek, 1993). Sheep-breeding is profitable in larger companies too, mostly where processing and distribution are done in-company.

Prices and economy

Lands that can only be used as grasslands must be used for sheep breeding and for this a sound financial support system is to be established. Sheep breeding based on grassland management with low investment costs is competitive as compared to other animal husbandry activities. Among well-balanced production conditions the output per unit of fixed and current assets is also favourable. Sheep breeding may be competitive compared to crop production units, too if we consider the fact that sheep breeding gives marketable products on lands representing low value for crop production.
The wholesale purchasing price of the mutton has registered a positive development compared to other species (Figure 3). In the case of slaughter sheep mutton represents 90 percent of the income; wool and milk bring very little.

Figure 3. Wholesale prices

Table 1. Export balance 1990-1995 (tonnes)

Export value

US$ 78 million

US$ 59 million

Export mutton-sheep

27 400

19 200

Export mutton with bones

1 670

331

Export sheep cheese

782

266

Export raw wool  

5 504

Source: Kukovics et al. (1997)

The numbers show a decrease in production levels together with a decrease in stocks. In 1996, 909 658 lambs were exported with an average weight of 20.78 kg. The amount of mutton with bones exported was 417 355 kg. Raw wool production decreased to 2 396 tonnes. There was a sheep milk production of 1.2 million litres.
Export prices showed an increasing trend in May.

Table 2. Export lamb prices 1995-1997

 

1995

1996

1997

Milk lamb 13-16 kg

362

366

509

514

601

550

Milk lamb 16-20 kg

351

353

482

492

600

518

Separated lamb 20-24 kg

317

320

439

453

529

477

Ewe lamb 24-27 kg

288

288

386

409

479

415

Ewe lamb 27-30 kg

261

260

335

365

463

379

Ewe lamb 30-35 kg

248

245

313

303

379

336

Ram lamb 24-27 kg

286

-

-

-

-

428

Ram lamb 27-30 kg

283

278

377

396

452

414

Ram lamb 30-35 kg

262

256

344

369

438

370

Ram lamb 35-40 kg

245

265

323

330

402

333

Source: Jávor (1997)

The Hungarian lamb export represents a two percent market share in western Europe. Further decrease would jeopardize our negotiation position. Only 14.8 percent of our production stocks are on "R" level in the EUROP quality control system (Table 4). This is a poor result compared to other countries.

Table 4. Percentage per country according to the EUROP system

Country

Category

E

U

R

O

P

The Netherlands Texel 17-17 kg

-

43

54

3

-

  Texel 21-24 kg

2

57

39

2

-

  Texel 26-28 kg

3

47

47

3

-

Great Britain Suffolk x Mule lambs 18.5 kg

3

33

43

22

-

  Oxford x Mule lambs 18.5 kg

-

17

53

30

-

Hungary Suffolk 16 kg

-

-

44.4

55.6

-

  Ile de France 14.7 kg

-

60

40

-

-

  German Mutton Merino 14.3 kg

-

50

40

10

-

  Comb Merino 14.1 kg

-

-

80

20

-

  Bábolna Tetra 16.1 kg

-

10

90

-

-

  Fertile Merino 13.2 kg

-

-

100

-

-

  Production stocks 13.7 kg

-

-

14.8

69.0

16.2

Source: Molnár, Jávor (1997)

It is unfortunate, however, that milk and cheese distribution have dropped since much higher export outputs could be achieved if farmers took the time to milk the ewes. Merino is not appropriate for milk production but there are brilliant breeds that could form good stocks for specialized farms.
A set of data related to collecting sheep milk and sheep cheese production is presented in Table 5.

Table 5. The dynamics of collecting sheep milk, sheep cheese production and

whole-sale price

Year

Collected milk
(million litres)

Whole-sale price
(HUF/l)

Produced
sheep-cheese (t)

1960

4.8

-

729

1970

22.9

-

2120

1980

4.4

18.31*

518

1990

3.9

32.50

775

1996

1.2

64.80

400**

*: 1981 **: estimated data Source: own collection

As far as the mutton production in the world is concerned, China's production level has increased considerably while a slight decrease has been registered in various areas of Oceania. The same agro-economic indicator dropped sharply in Eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union. In the EU this has hardly changed.
The drop in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was caused by political changes. Stocks in Australia and New Zealand decreased as a result of the price crash in 1990 and drought in the early 1990s. We cannot expect boosting sales since the level of trade is affected by the regeneration of stocks.


Figure 4. The dynamics of mutton production in the world (1990-1996)

The raw wool production shows a slight decrease worldwide. There is a sharp rise in China; however, in Australia and New Zealand statistical data show a certain level of decrease. These three countries give almost half of the world's wool production.
Based on the data presented one can conclude that ewe stocks in Hungary should be increased by 20-40 percent. The EU quota regulations would also justify such a measure since we should not join the EU with ewe stocks lower than our real potential.
Increasing stocks is essential, thus an appropriate financial support system is to be established, which would motivate breeders to boost their stocks.

REFERENCES

Molnár, Gy. & Jávor, A. 1997. Tények a juhtenyésztés versenyhelyzetének megítéléséhez. In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding]. 1997. Vol. 9: 4-5.
Jávor, A. - Békési, Gy. - Kukovics, S. - Molnár, Gy. & Koleszár, Gy. 1997. A hazai juhállomány jellemz adatai. In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding]. Vol. 2: 4.
Jávor, A. 1997. Mélyrepülés, vagy válság? In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding]. 1997. Vol. 6: 1-3.
Kukovics, S. - Jávor, A. & Székelyhidi, T. 1997. A juhágazat fejlesztési programja [The development programme of the sheep branch]. In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding]. 1997. Vol. 3: 1-7.
Marselek, S. 1993. Juhászati ágazat gazdaságossági tényezinek vizsgálata. In: Kandidátusi értekezés. p. 120.

GOAT BREEDING IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

Gyarmathy, Egon
Dubravska, Jarmila
Slovak Agricultural University
Department of Animal Husbandry
Nitra, Slovak Republic

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

There are two milk breeds of goats (white short-haired and brown short-haired) and two hair breeds (mohair goats and cashmere goats). As in the past, the goats can have horns. The white short-haired goat breed is descended from the Saanen goat.
Two new breeds were imported in 1991 from Denmark and New Zealand. They were mohair goats and cashmere goats. Our country had a five-year market contract with Denmark to puchase our hair production, because we were not able to make products from hair; we had no technology to separate cashmere. Unfortunately the contract was canceled and problems with breeding started. The mohair production was used to produce mohair wool of high quality, but we had only 200 mohair goats (for a big factory it was not economical to produce only 1 000 kg of mohair). At this time we have only a small herd of mohair goats on one state farm and these animals are too old for production of high quality mohair. The cashmere goats were bred also in the state farms but due to problems with cashmere production they were leased to private farmers who used them only for grazing. We can say that these two breeds were bred for six years but it is possible that they will disappear from the Slovak Republic. During these six years, animals of these breeds were evaluated through their hair production (Slovak Agricultural University, Research station for breeding sheep and goats).

SOME TECHNOLOGICAL QUESTIONS AND RESULTS OF SHEEP PROPAGATION

Tóth, István
College Faculty
Gödöll University of Agricultural Sciences
Meztúr, Hungary

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

---------------------------------------------
INTRODUCTION

There are many factors which influence the profitability of sheep breeding, like the features of reproduction-biology, the facilities of keeping and forage and the conditions of the sales. Utilization of the possibilities - which can be external and internal, too - underlies the increase of the profitability in the sheep-branch. The existence or the lack of the possibilities influences the complement of the stock, the volume of the production, the orientation of the utilization, as well as the standard of the breeding and keeping (Illés, 1995; Lengyel, 1995; Daróczi-Kukovics, 1995).
Due to the attrition of the sheep, the senescence of the ewes and in direct ratio to this the decrease of the genetic value, we could not utilize our export possibilities in mutton during the last 7-8 years. We can attribute the reasons for these in the first place to the decrease of the living lamb-crop (80-90 living lambs/100 ewes) and to the loss during upbringing (18-22%), and in the second place to the multiple increase of the forage costs and the extra low salesprice of the wool.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

The basic aim of the examination was to find an answer for the question: How one can increase the lamb crop using applied breeding technologycal methods and decrease loss of the born-lambs by using high quality forage and applying better lambing technology.
The most important factor impeding the increase of the lamb-crop (Becze, 1981) is that the Merino, which breed is the most common in our country, is mono-oestrus by nature, so it lambs 2-3 times a year.
The main season of the oestrus - due to our geographical location - is the early autumn; after the 150-152 days of pregnancy the birth is in the end of winter or early spring. The characteristic short-term pregnancy and fast growth of the lamb-crop could permit refertilization within a relatively short time.
The biggest problem of refertilization is that the early spring is a rest term for the sheep - there is no oestrus and ovulation. So, in the first place the profitability of the branch revolves around the volume of the products (mutton, milk, wool), the input of the branch and the ruling price of the products. Recently this problem could be solved by the increase of the reproductive ability and by the decrease of the loss during upbringing, but one must not neglect the cost of the production. The application of reproductive-technical methods is conducive to an increase of the lamb-crop (Becze, 1977), because multiple births depend less on the number of the conceptions than on the ability of the pregnancy with more embryos; after all, the base of the twinning-birth is multiple ovulation which occurs regularly in sheep. If, however, all the ovulated eggs can impregnate the mother depends on the physical condition of the ewe. Therefore, fitting conditions must be created for the ewes which facilitates impregnation and gestation before polyovulation occurs.
This problem does not occur with ewes rutted in the main season, because in this time the mothers body has enough time to prepare for the gestation.

RESULTS

The increase in reproduction and the expansion of production and products could not be safely projected based only on the traditional rutting season. One should strive for the utmost utilization of the possibilities derived from the biological capabilities of sheep. One of the possibilities is gestation out of the traditional rutting season, in which case several methods are known.
I carried out my examination in 1975-1979 at a producers' co-operative with 4 500 ewes. The data are old, but I hope the results of the method used in my examination will be adaptable in the future again.
I experimented with several methods to precipitate oestrus out of season:

I got clean-cut results with just one of the above-mentioned methods, the oestrus-synchronization ("e" method). The results of the methods are contained in Table 1.

Table 1/a. The methods and results of the applied precipitation of the oestrus

 

Ewes

Sending

Ruttish ewe

Ewe in lamb

Lambed

Empty ewe

Method

stock

for (day)

stock

%

stock

%

stock

%

stock

%

Biostimulation

450

40

247

55.0

223

49.5

220

48.8

230

51.1

Foddershock

275

70

212

77.0

201

73.0

195

70.9

80

29.0

Fodder

327

35

59

18.0

55

16.8

54

16.5

273

83.4

Pheromone-effect

923

45

174

18.8

160

17.3

152

16.4

771

83.5

Hormone-product

10 064

-

10 064

100.0

9 115

90.6

8 141

80.9

1 923

19.1

Table 1/b. The results of the applied precipitation of the oestrus

 

Ewes

Sending

Ruttish ewe

Ewe in lamb

Lambed

Empty ewe

Method

stock

for (day)

stock

%

Stock

%

stock

%

stock

%

Buck and he-goats without stimulation

350

40

75

21.4

70

20.0

68

19.4

282

80.6

Foddershock

331

70

31

9.3

26

7.8

24

7.2

307

92.5

Normal fodder

327

35

8

2.4

8

2.4

8

2.4

319

97.5

Pheromone-effect

350

45

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hormone-product

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Table 2. contains the conformation of the lamb-crop. I attach it to show its importance.

Table 2. The conformation of the lamb-crop

Year

Average ewe-number

Baby-lamb

After an unforced oestrus

After an oestrus-synchroni-zation

Addition of the oestrus-synch. %

Crop / 100 ewes

Crop 1975=100%

Number of ewes 1975= 100%

1975

3 453

3 165

3 165

-

-

91.65

100.0

100.0

1976

3 564

5 277

3 525

1 752

33.2

148.06

131.5

103.2

1977

4 475

5 006

3 420

1 586

31.6

111.86

122.0

129.6

1978

4 526

6 203

4 418

1 786

28.7

137.05

149.5

131.1

1979

4 509

7 145

2 632

4 513

63.1

158.46

172.8

130.6

Total

26 796

17 159

9 637

35.9

-

-

-

The results of the oestrus synchronization are shown in the data of Table 3.

Table 3. The number of oestrus-synchronized ewes, and the results of the method

 

1976

1977

1978

1979

Total

Ewe
-handled, piece

1 990

1 490

1 610

4 974

10 064

-fertilized, piece

1 990

1 490

1 610

4 974

10 064

-die off, emergency slaughter, piece

80

30

26

92

228

Aborts
-ewe, piece

57

40

29

280

406

-lamb, piece

64

49

27

310

461

Still-birth
-ewe, piece

84

48

50

288

470

-lamb, piece

96

60

69

300

525

Fallen ewe, piece

1 504

1 342

1 397

3 868

8 141

Born lamb, piece

1 752

1 586

1 786

4 513

9 637

Ewe with twinling, piece

210

105

331

645

1 291

Gestationed ewe, piece

1 685

1 459

1 489

4 482

9 115

Gestation %

85.0

92.48

91.08

90.10

90.72

Living lamb-crop / 100 tupped ewes: 97.75 pieces
Living lamb-crop / 100 lambed ewes: 118.37 pieces
Total lamb-crop / 100 tupped ewes: 105.55 pieces
Total lamb-crop / 100 lambed ewes: 125.86 pieces
Twinning % / lambed ewes: 15.85 %
Twinning % / tupped ewes: 12.82 %

Progesterone is the active substance of the product used to evoke artificial oestrus. The progesterone is embedded in silicon-gum; this product is called SIL-ESTRUS, from the firm ABBOT.
The implant must be inserted under the skin, among the muscle-membranes by the help of a special instrument, through a 0.5 cm wide cut. After the implantation the wound must be sewed with two cross-diamond stitches. On the 14th day the implant must be taken away and 500 Ui units of PMSG must be injected under the skin. After 36-39 hours of this the ewe can be fertilized. The fertilization must be repeated after 452 hours. I established in the process of my examinations during fertilization (2 or 3 times) that the third fertilization increased the gestation by 1.1 percent, which explain the theory (Becze, 1981) that the oestrus or the ovulation is presumably after the 60th hour.
The adapted PMSG products are as follows: PROLAN-A, GESTYL, CEVA, FOLIGON, GONADOTROFIL. These products gave nearly the same results with gestation. In respect to the cost, the difference was greater (48.1 HUF/dose and 23.8 HUF/dose) but if we reduce these for present value they will be equalized by the inflation.
The material cost of the oestrus-synchronization is on the average 74.8 HUF/lamb (1975-1979) which corresponded to the open-market price of one kilogram live-weight and this material cost is in our days also the same like the cost of one kilogram lamb weight (630-650 HUF/kg). We can state that the incretotherapy increased the forage costs by 5-8 percent, which is derived from the additional feeding after the fertilization and from the preparation (raised dose provender). I examined the lamb-crop of two flocks of sheep with additional feeding and without additional feeding. We can state that the plus-progeny is bigger in the flock with additional feeding by 11-14 percent because the ewes were in better condition.
Nowadays and in the past too, the main problem of the sheep-branch is the high die-off rate of the baby lambs. This fact can be esteemed as important because the low rate of progeny with the high rate of die-off impacts the already low quantity of the sheep products for export. If this tendency turns out to be long lasting, then we cannot employ the available export quota in mutton and we should enter the EU with this present amount of mutton.
The loss during upbringing has its origin in many reasons. The first and perhaps the most important problem is the bad condition and the inadequate preparation of the ewes. The other problems are the insufficiencies of the birth-technology, the crowding, the lack of tools and material, the losses, the carelessness and the lack of skills of sheepherders.
If there is an adequate method for the increase of the lamb-crop, we have to find the solution for saving the baby lambs, too. Therefore, I felt it necessary to analyse the adopted birth-technologies, which are appropriate for lambs born in great numbers at the same time. I estimated with which birth-technology application (traditional birth in herd, birth in divided herd, birth in small group, individual birth) the loss turned to most advantageously.
The traditional birth in herd results in the highest rate of die-off. A smaller die-off rate was at the birth in divided herd with the allocation of the even-aged lambs (30-50 ewes with their lambs). In both methods the desertion of the lambs increased, 5-10 percent of the lambs lost their mother and some of these lambs recovered the required milk for themselves by stealing, but the others died off.
The artificial upbringing, the fostering, did not give a reassuring result. On the basis of the latest research (Csízi, 1997) the tests with nanny goats show good results.
I saw good results in the first year of my examination (Tóth, 1982) at the beginning of the "birth in small group" technology. From the results the lamb-technology (AGROCOOP) was defined and with the application of this technology (10-15 ewes with their lambs) a unit was built which could be watched easily; possibly it can regroup again and the feed can be suited to the demand of the ewes. So the ewes and their lambs easily find each other and the level of the die-off can be kept back to 5-10 percent.
I found as an optimum solution the individual birth method at which each ewe and its lamb(s) are kept separately in a box with 1.2m x 1.2m of ground-space. I feel the separate keeping until 10 days of age of the lambs (when the voice- and smell-contact evolve between the ewe and lamb) is necessary. After this the sheep are settled in groups (30-40 sheep). The result was: 620 ewes brought up 832 lambs and the loss was just one lamb. The lone disadvantage of this method is the great material cost.

CONCLUSIONS

To sum up the matter it can be stated that the induced oestrus with incretotherapy is absolutely alike to the oestrus in season, the ewes looked for the bucks remarkably, the "harem" evolved. The adopted hormone-products do not influence the oestrus in season or the fertility of the ewes. The meddling can be made without any mistake because the ewes were handled several times. The preparation and the measure of the forage can be determined economically on the basis of the condition of the ewes separately in herds.
By the help of the instrumental pregnancy control the lean ewes can be selected and they will be rearranged in other groups. The lamb-crop can be stabilized at a high level with the oestrus-synchronization and by its continuity the demand of the market can be satisfied. The fertilization costs for one kilogram of mutton, which is free from the preparation cost (additional forage) were lower than the live-weight costs based on the open-market price. By the method of birth (lamb) in small groups the rate of die-off decreased measurably.

REFERENCES

Daróczi, L.-Kukovics, S. 1995. [Shortage of the ewe-milk - troubles - possibilities]. In Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding] 10: 2-3.
Illés, B. Cs. 1995. [Examination of the factors influenced the profitability of the sheep-branch, possibilities of the increasing of the competition]. In: Dissertation.
Lengyel, L. 1995. The profitability situation of sheep-milk production in Hungary. In: Cercetaaria stientifica si tehnica in spriinul dezvoltarii si restructurarii agriculturii. Timisoara. pp.11-18.
Becze, József 1981. Reproduction-biology of the females. Mezgazdasági Kiadó. Budapest, pp. 341-371.
Becze, József 1977. The bases and possibilities of the increasing of the reproductiveness and reproduction capacity. In: Állattenyésztés, 2:119-125.
Becze, József - Látits, György - Mátrai, Tibor 1971. Oestrum-precipitation of the ewes, out of season, with one-shot injection meddling. In: Magyar Állatorvosok Lapja. Budapest. 4:211-212.
Botkin, M.P. - Lang, R.L. 1978. Influence of severe dietary restriction the dry period on subsequent ewe productivity. In: J. Anim. Sci. Champaign. 5:1147-1150.
Rattkay, P.U. - Jagusch, K.T. - Smith, J.F. 1978. Sheep flushing ewes on pasture and silage. In: Ruakava, F.M.R.S. Conference, Wellington. 30:24-26.
Veress, László 1974. The possibility of the increase of the reproductiveness in the sheep-breeding. In: Állattenyésztés. No.3.
Csizi, István 1997. Milk-source in the fold, catch each penny. In: Magyar Állattenyésztk Lapja. Budapest. 9:14-15.
Tóth, István 1982. Keeping-technology of the lamb-progeny at the state farm in Meztúr. Dissertation. Gödöll. pp.1-111.
Tóth, István 1982. Technical-economical examination of the technological equipment by the fall and suggestions for the modernization. Meztúr. pp.24-78.

SITUATION OF SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION
IN SR YUGOSLAVIA

Krajinovi, M.
inkulov, Mirjana
ujovi, M.
Meki, C.
University of Belgrade,
Faculty of Agriculture
Beograd-Zenum, Yugoslavia

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

---------------------------------------------

USEFUL ANCIENT SHEEP BREEDS IN THE DANUBIAN REGION

Gáspárdy, András
Eszes, Ferenc
Bodó, Imre
University of Veterinary Science
Dept. of Animal Husbandry
Budapest, Hungary

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

The DAGENE (Danubian Countries Alliance for conservation of Genes in Animal Species) undertook the description and comparison of different traits of the native sheep breeds of the area. The purpose of the preservation of genetic resources is to serve the aspirations of humanity for the unknown distant future. It seems, however, that some niches of the market are open for some products of native sheep breeds even nowadays.
This is the reason that the goal of scientific investigation on the characteristics of sheep breeds in the Danubian area is

---------------------------------------------

ANCIENT BREEDS IN DANUBIAN REGION

Table 1. Measurements of Tsigai varieties

Characteristics

Zombor type Tsigai

Csóka type Tsigai

height at withers, cm

78.3

65.4

depth of chest, cm

37.0

33.6

length of body, cm

93.0

71.7

canon girth, cm

8.9

8.1

Table 2. Native sheep breeds

Country Sheep breeds
Austria Kartner Brillenschaf, Steinschaf, Waldschaf
Bosnia Pramenka
Bulgaria Pleven Blackhead
Croatia Ruda Paska
Czech Republic Sumavska, Primorska, Valachian Tzigai
Germany (Bavaria) Steinschaf, Bergschaf, Waldschaf, Valachianschaf
Hungary Racka, Tsigai, Cikta
Northern Italy Frabosana, Sambucana
Romania Valachian, Tzurkana, Racka
Slovakia Valachian, Tzigai,
Slovenia Bovska, Pramenka, Jazerskosolcavska
Switzerland Spiegelschaf, Schwarzbraun Bergschaf, Luzeiner Fuchsfarbenes Engadienerschaf., Elbschaf, Brindner Oberlander

THE RECENT USE OF ANCIENT, LOCAL BREEDS

Table 3.: Results of milk recording 1966

Breeds/herds

Number of ewes

Days of lactation

Milk yield, kg

Milk yield per milking day, kg

British milk sheep/
ÁTK Herceghalom

39

118

94

0.80

Tsigai/ Lédeci B., Cegléd

119

79

66

0.84

Lacaune/ PATE Moson-magyaróvár

62

80

55

0.69

Hungarian Merino/ Ács-Tiszaörs

57

106

44

0.42

Crossed for milking/ Délborsod Gelej

1 546

128

90

0.70

Crossed for milking/ PATE Mosonmagyaróvár

123

88

66

0.75

Crossed for milking/ Hortobágyi, Hejkeresztúr

23

102

48

0.47

Awassi/Bakonszeg Corp.

532

87

70

0.80

Resource: Sheep Breeders Ass'n (1997)

CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES

Bodó, I. 1985. Hungarian activity on the conservation of domestic animal genetic resources. In: AGRI 4:16-22.
Bodó, I.- Dunka, B.- Karle G. & Gera I. 1991. The fur production of Racka sheep In: Genetic characteristics of native domestic breeds (Univ. Vet. Sci. Edit) 2: 49-64. (In Hungarian)
Bodó, I. 1994. The Hungarian Racka. In: AGRI 13:83-91.
Dunka, B. 1984. A magyar racka (The Hungarian Racka) In: Hortobágyi Nemzeti Park, Debrecen 9 p. In Hungarian
Sheep Breeders' Ass'n 1996. Magyar Juhtenyészt Szövetség idszaki Tájékoztatója. (Temporary report of Hungarian Sheep Breeders' Association) Authors : Hajduk P., Sáfár L. and Hrabovszky Pálné. Sziriusz Nyomda Budapest. (In Hungarian)

EXAMINATION OF PROGRAMMING OF THE REPRODUCTION AND MILK PRODUCTION OF THE AWASSI BREED IN INTENSIVE BREEDING

Kiss, Barnabás Látits, György
Awassi Corporation Institute of Animal Husbandry
Bakonszeg, Hungary Gödöll University of Agricultural Sciences
Gödöll, Hungary

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

The Awassi Corporation imported 450 Awassi sheep from Israel in 1989-1990 to create a nucleus flock of a high-yielding dairy sheep in Hungary. For the purpose of becoming more acquainted which the reproductive and propagative attributes of the Awassi breed, we worked out a reproductive-biological programme based on hormone treatment. The goal of the examination was to create a propagation and milk production program which comes up to the domestic milk production system.

Key words: Awassi breed, reproduction , hormones
---------------------------------------------

INTRODUCTION

The Awassi Corporation is a privately owned company specialized in the production of special sheep products. For increasing the sheep milk production, the company imported 450 extremely high milking ability Awassi sheep from Israel. The naturalization of the Awassi was completed in Hungary, but we do not have exact knowledge of the reproductive and propagative attributes of the breed. For the purpose of becoming more acquainted with the exact data of the reproductive biology of the breed, we decided to cooperate with the Animal Breeding Institute of the University of Agriculture of Gödöll.
An oestrus inducing and synchronization experiment was made with respect to the breeding goals in the three important and critical seasons in 1996-1997, to clear up the results of the application of the classic and time-honoured methods in the case of the high milk producing Awassi flock.

The motivation of the planned experiment was the following:

· The literature concerning the reproductive biology of this breed was poor.
· This breed is not native in Hungary and the naturalization of the Awassi has not yet been completed.
· The ewes' endocrine system is much more complicated (because of the high milk production) than in other Hungarian breeds.
· The connection between the seasonality of the reproduction and the milk production was not known.
· To know the possibility of programming the reproduction and milk production of the breed through intensive breeding.

The main goals of the examination were:

· to find out how the Awassi ewes' (both those which were in lactation and those which had finished lactation) sexual activity and synchronization of rutting can be worked out in Hungary, where the main breeding season is based principally on the Merino breeding season;
· to examine whether the rutting - induced by hormones - would lead to normal ovulation;
· to fix the time of the ovulation in order to determine the optimal time of the insemination;
· to conform to the original programme (out of season lambing in Hungarian sheep industry);
· to be acquainted with the method and result of how the Awassi ewes responded to superovulation (which was generated by hormone treatment).

MATERIALS AND METHODS

According to the goals, the experiments were carried out in three different seasons :

· in breeding season (October 1996)
· in passing season (February-March 1997)
· in out of season (June 1997)

Table 1. The programme of the hormone treatment in June,1997

Calendar date

Programme date

Time

Procedure

June 04

Day 1

AM

Insert sponges

First group /non lactation/:

Calendar date Programme date Time Procedure
June 16 Day 13 9 AM

Pulling out sponges and

1000 NE PMSG

June 17 Day 14 9 AM

1000 NE Choriogonin

June 19 Day 16 AM

Operation

Table 1. continue

Second group:

Calendar date

Programme date

Time

Procedure

June 15

Day 12

8 AM

1000 NE PMSG

June 16

Day 13

8 AM

Pulling out sponges

June17

Day 14

8 AM

1000 NE Choriogonin

June 19

Day 16

AM

Operation

Third group:

Calendar date

Programme date

Time

Procedure

June 15

Day 12

8 AM

1000 NE PMSG

June 16

Day 13

8 AM

Pulling out sponges

June 17

Day 14

20 PM

1000 NE Choriogonin

June 20

Day 17

AM

Operation

Fourth group:

Calendar date

Programme date

Time

Procedure

June 15

Day 12

8 AM

1000 NE PMSG

June 16

Day 13

8 AM

Pulling out sponges

June 17

Day 14

8 AM

1000 NE Choriogonin

June 20

Day 17

PM

Operation

We put the regular and classical oestrus inducing and synchronization treatment into practice using 14 day-lasting progesterone +PMSG i.m. For the progesterone treatment sponges (Chronogest, Intervet) were used in all cases. The dosage of the PMSG (Folligon, Intervet) was modified according to the changing of the breeding seasons as follows:

The process of the ovary was examined by diagnostic operation after the dosage of PMSG, in the same way in all cases, after 55-60 hours, 65-70 hours and 75-80 hours.
RESULTS

The Awassi ewe flock which were not in lactation gave an excellent response to the classical oestrus inducing and synchronization treatment during the fall breeding season. The ovulation proceeded between 65 and 80 hours after the hormone treatment (similar to the domestic Merinos).
The oestrus inducing treatment with the dosage of 750 NE PMSG also proceeded with good results in the passing season. The growth and maturation of the folliculus proceeded uniformly to the haemorrhage phase of the ovulation, but the time of the ovulation was late by a few hours compared to the fall breeding season. But this change was not great enough to give us reason to modify the exact time of the insemination.
The experiment which was done in early summer was compared to the results of the earlier two experiments. The Awassi ewes gave an extremely good response to the hormone treatment in that season which is out of season in Hungary, and gave us a good reason for the efficiency of flushing embryos from the donor Awassi ewes.

Table 2. Summarized results of three experiments

Experiment

Time of the experiment

Type of the treatment

Numbers of the folliculus

1st

October 96

  • Synchronization

20

2nd

February-March 97

  • Induced rutting

16/11 ewes

3rd

June 97

  • Superovulation

97/18 ewes

CONCLUSIONS

According to the results of the experiment, the adaptation to the Hungarian environmental circumstances in the case of the Awassi sheep was surely completed. It is well shown by the neuero-endocrine system, which is responsible for the normal reproductive and propagative attributes of the animals. In the "out of season" time the regular use of this method and the up-to-date hormone medicines can give us good possibilities for producing more sheep milk during this non-productive season. This way in those sheep flocks which were based recently on intensive milk production, we can milk one part of the ewes all year with the help of lactation programming.

REFERENCES

Becze, Gy. & Látits, Gy 1978. Relationships of frequent lambings with meat production in sheep breeding. In: Proceedings of the Research Institute for Animal Husbandry, Hungary Herceghalom TOM. 4. N.1:161-165.
Kanyicska, B. - Látits, Gy. - Holdas, S. & Szegedi, B. 1985. Study of the role of the endogenous opioids in the regulation of the seasonal cycling in ewes. In: Reports of the Research Centre for Animal Production and Nutrition. Gödöll, 67-73 p.
Kiss, B. 1996. Introducing the Awassi Corporation. In: The shepherd. Vol. 41. 9: 38-41.
Kiss, B. - Kovács, P. - Székelyhidi, T. & Kukovics, S. 1997. Breeding aims to develop sheep milk production. In: Data Collection and Definition of Objectives in shhep and goat breeding programmes: New programmes 137-141 p.
Látits, Gy. & Becze, J. 1975. Az ovuláció idbeli lefolyása szezonon kívül indukált ivarzásban, tekintettel a termékenyítési idõ megválasztására. In: Állattenyésztési Kutatóintézet Közleményei II. kötet 1.szám 51-53 p.
Látits, Gy. 1989. Magyar Merinó anyajuhok szezonális ivari mködése. In: Kandidátusi értekezés, Herceghalom
Látits, Gy. 1986. Comparative study of some oestrus-inducing hormone preparation. In: Reports of the Research Centre for Animal Production and Nutrition. Gödöll, 67-73 p.
Látits, Gy. 1985. Examination of sexual and breeding maturity of the Hungarian Merino ewe lambs. In: Reports of the Research Centre for Animal Production and Nutrition. Gödöllõ, 59-65 p.
Látits, Gy. 1987. Study of Hungarian Merino ewes' ovarian function regarding factors that influence breeding seasons on large scale production. In: 38th Annual Meeting of the Europian Association for Animal production. Lisbon, Portugal
Látits, Gy. & Bártfai, E. 1996. Climatic influence on the endocrine control of seasonal reproductive activity in ewes. In: 47th Annual Meeting of the Europian Association for Animal production.Lillehammer, Norway.

MEAT QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF HUNGARIAN SHEEP GENOTYPES

Molnár, Györgyi
Jávor, András
Department of Animal Production and Nutrition
Debrecen University of Agricultural Sciences
Debrecen, Hungary

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

There are several qualification systems determining live animal and carcass quality. Researchers and breeders use some: such as the CT test used in Hungary. Trade uses others: the live animal and the EUROP qualification. The third group of systems consists of methods used by breeders and traders as well (boning and meat quality test after slaughtering).
Traders use the simplest and the cheapest one, but this is the least reliable, because it includes subjective elements. There are differences among results of different methods, but certain amount of observations makes the comparison possible. Therefore, rules of this process must be determined. At the same time, differences in emerging Merino qualification must be also determined, since different genotypes, slaughtering age and individuals with different growing ability are considered.
Different aspects, relationships derived from different genotypes, husbanding systems and that which may have a potential role in selection need to be understood.
Analyses were conducted on eight genotypes (Suffolk, Ile de France, German Mutton Merino, Bábolna Tetra, Prolific Merino, British Milksheep, Hungarian Combing Merino, Prolific Merino x Texel F1). Animals were from controlled breeding flocks. The control was the domestic production flock. In total, 617 animals were slaughtered at the average weight of 29.73 kg.
The objective is to provide information on domestic breed choice, including rams for breeders, in order to develop their breeding strategy considering slaughtering and meat quality characteristics important in the European Union.
A further target is to determine the Hungarian sheep variation, the relationship between parameters (body size, dressing percentage, meat nutritional parameters, organoleptic quality etc.) and the appearance, as well as how closely animals meet the requirements of the EU in association with the subjective-objective qualification method. ,,TOBEC" tissue qualification that has never been used on sheep is also carried out with an EM-SCAN SA-3203 instrument.
What kind of other measurable factors can provide information for the qualifier to decrease subjective elements? Are there opportunities in rams of domestic varieties to improve meat quality_ These are the most interesting questions covered in this work.
The followings are the most important findings:
· The EUROP qualification results of the domestic Merino flock don't meet demands. The Ile de France, the German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep, among analysed breeds, are suitable for conformity improvement.
· Neither PSE nor DFD meat quality were found in sheep breeds.
· Conformity data can be well predicted from certain body parameters, therefore these can be utilized in direct selection.
· Results of organoleptic qualification supported the Merino popularity among consumers.
· The TOBEC method is suitable for determining tissue composition of sheep; 4 500 Ft can be saved using this method. An equation for sheep meat analyses was determined.
· The breeding value predicting equation must be changed with the knowledge of results.
---------------------------------------------
INTRODUCTION

There are several qualification systems determining live animal and carcass quality, as well. Researchers and breeders use some: such as the CT test used in Hungary. Trade uses others: the live animal and the EUROP qualification. The third group of systems consists of methods used by breeders and traders as well (boning and meat quality test after slaughtering).
Traders use the simplest and the cheapest one, but this is the least reliable, because it includes subjective elements. Nevertheless it is worthy to note that the CT-test and the classification after slaughtering are very expensive. New, cheaper methods must be found besides these. The TOBEC is such a method. Certainly, there are differences among results of different methods, but certain amount of observations makes the comparison possible. Therefore, rules of this process must be determined.
The objective of this study is to provide information on domestic breed choice, including rams for breeders, in order to develop their breeding strategy considering slaughtering and meat quality characteristics important in the European Union.
A further target is to determine the Hungarian sheep variation, the relationship between parameters (body size, dressing percentage, meat nutritional parameters, organoleptic quality etc.) and the appearance as well as how closely animals meet the requirements of the EU in association with the subjective-objective qualification method. "TOBEC" tissue qualification that has never been used on sheep is also carried out with an EM-SCAN SA-3203 instrument.
What kind of other measurable factors can provide information for the qualifier to decrease subjective elements? Are there opportunities in rams of domestic varieties to improve meat quality_ These are the most interesting questions covered in this work.

· The EUROP qualification results of the domestic Merino flock don't meet demands. The Ile de France, the German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep, among analysed breeds, are suitable for conformity improvement.
· Neither PSE nor DFD meat qualities were found in sheep breeds.
· Conformity data can be well predicted from certain body parameters, therefore these can be utilized in direct selection.
· Results of organoleptic qualification supported the Merino popularity among consumers.
· The TOBEC method is suitable for determining tissue composition of sheep; 4 500 Ft can be saved using this method. An equation for sheep meat analyses is determined.
· The breeding value predicting equation must be changed with the knowledge of results.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Analyses were conducted on eight genotypes (Suffolk, Ile de France, German Mutton Merino, Bábolna Tetra, Prolific Merino, British Milksheep, Hungarian Combing Merino, Prolific Merino, Prolific Merino x Texel F1). Animals were from controlled breeding flocks. The control group was the domestic production flock. In total, 617 animals were slaughtered at the average weight of 29.73 kg.
The following parameters were analysed:

Live weight
Warm carcass weight
Carcass parameters:
· length of leg
· width of hindquarters
· back width
· width of shoulders
· length of body
· thickness of thigh
S/EUROP classification
· EU body classification category
· EU-fat cover category
Meat samples from the longissimus dorsi at the 12th vertebra:
· pH 1 at 45th minute
· pH 24
· tenderness and taste of meat
· oven loss
· smell
· dry-matter content
· crude fat content
· crude protein content

Body weights of individuals before, and the warm carcass weights after slaughtering were measured. During the first one hour the pH1 above the 12th vertebra and body parameters were recorded. Carcasses were also classified in accordance to S/EUROP on the same day. Body parameters were recorded by arc-compasses. Cold carcass weight and pH24 were measured just before cut. Samples were taken from the longissimus dorsi at the region of 12th and 13th vertebrae. These were analysed in the Central laboratory of the Debrecen Agricultural University. Methods used were from booklets of the National Research Institute for Meat Industry (Vadáné Kovács Mária, 1975). Tenderness and smell of meat were estimated on scales of 1-5 and 1-3, respectively. Crude fat and crude protein were analysed on the basis of MSZ. 5874-2/1985 and MSZ. 5874-8/1978 standards, respectively.

RESULTS

Table 1, containing the percentile distribution of EUROP classification results, shows that only 15 percent of the domestic commercial flock is in the acceptable (R) category. Excellent results of Ile de France, German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep and the fact that Merino-breeding flocks surpass the domestic average should be underlined. The American Suffolk is underestimated in the EUROP system attributed to its long and lean body.

It is pointed out from results of correlation analyses presented in Table 2 that reliable correlation coefficients are between body weight and body length, backwidth, width of shoulder and thickness of thigh, as well. Furthermore, the EU score can be forecasted well from width of shoulder, thickness of thigh and backwidth.

Table 1. Percentile distribution of conformation and fat cover concerning EUROP

   

Conformation/%/

Fat cover (%)

Country

Category

E

U

R

O

P

1

2

3

4

5

H

Suffolk
15.2 kg

-

1.52

63.2

31.6

-

-

63.2

31.6

5.2

-

 

Ile de France
14.7 kg

-

65

35

-

-

-

40

60

-

-

 

German Mutton Merino
14.1 kg

-

55

45

-

-

-

75

25

-

-

 

Hungarian Combing Merino
14.1 kg

-

3.3

70

26.7

-

-

76.6

23.4

-

-

 

Bábolna Tetra
13.9 kg

-

3.1

85.5

9.4

-

-

68.8

31.2

-

-

 

Prolific Merino
13.0 kg

-

-

100

-

-

-

40

60

-

-

 

British Milksheep
14.9 kg

 

50

50

     

60

40

   
 

Producing flocks
13.7 kg

-

-

14.8

69.0

16.2

4.8

70.7

24.0

0.5

-

NL(1)

Texel
16-17 kg

-

43

54

3

-

25

71

4

-

-

 

Texel
21-24 kg

2

57

39

2

-

9

82

9

-

-

 

Texel
26-28 kg

3

47

47

3

-

16

74

10

-

-

GB(2)

Suffolk x Mule
18.5 kg

3

33

42

22

-

         
 

Oxford x Mule
18.5 kg

-

17

53

30

-

         

Great Britain(2): 93 % of flock is in 2 and 3L categories

Source: 1: G. C. de Graaff, 1996; 2: MLC yearbook, 1996; 3: own data, 1995-1996

Table 2. Correlations among certain parameters

 

Live weight

Warm carcass weight

Length of leg

Width of hindquarter

Back width

Width of shoulder

Body length

Thick-ness of thigh

EU confor-mity

Live weight 1                
Warm carcass weight

0.78

1              
Length of leg

0.70

0.35

1            
Width of hindquarter

0.36

0.79

0.20

1          
Back width

0.80

0.45

0.42

-0.09

1        
Width of shoulder

0.79

0.65

0.30

0.28

0.74

1      
Body length

0.81

0.80

0.63

0.62

0.59

0.58

1    
Thickness of thigh

0.72

0.73

0.37

0.38

0.38

0.55

0.53

1  
EU-conformity

0.49

0.59

-0.17

0.56

0.53

0.76

0.36

0.36

1
Fat cover

-0.00

0.32

-0.31

0.44

0.10

0.07

0.29

-0.32

-0.43

Significance level: P_0,05

Four critics participated in the organoleptic qualification, and meat was classified on four aspects. Results of this process are presented in Table 3. There is no influence of genotype on pH right after slaughtering and after 24 hours (Table 4). Carcasses of all breeds correspond to scientific literature.

The following conclusions can be made:
· The meat of Merino was the most palatable.
· Also, this meat was the most favourable from the tenderness aspect, followed by the Texel F1 and German Mutton Merino samples in decreasing order.
· The smell of Merino and Bábolna Tetra sheep meat are the least favourable.
· The greatest quantity of chewing was needed for the meat sample of Ile de France.
· EUROP classification results of the domestic Merino flock were behind the desirable level.
· The Ile de France, German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep, among breeds analysed, were suitable for conformity improvement.
· None of the breeds in the domestic flock had extreme PSE or DFD values.
· Certain live body parameters were suitable for forecasting values of conformity, therefore these were well utilized in indirect selection.
· Results of organoleptic qualification supported the Merino popularity among consumers.
Table 3. Results of organoleptic qualification

  Tenderness Taste Smell Number of biting
Prolific Merino

2.45

1.90

1.46

20.91

(Prolific Merino x Texel) F1

2.79

2.29

1.92

20.17

Hungarian Combing Merino

2.35

1.62

1.37

21.18

German Mutton Merino

2.85

2.03

1.45

21.5
Bábolna Tetra

2.53

1.83

1.37

22.05

Ile de France

2.65

1.87

1.5

22.77

Total 2.6

1.92

1.51

21.48

Table 4. The most significant meat parameters (%)

 

DM %

OVEN LOSS

CP%

CF %

pH1

(45 min)

pH24

(24 hour)

     

REL.

ABS.

REL.

ABS

   
  • Prolific Merino

30.32

23

73.31

22.12

22.77

6.99

7.15

6.60

  • Hungarian Combing Merino

29.18

24

76.02

22.08

19.78

5.88

6.71

5.71

  • German Mutton Merino

30.63

29

76.58

23.29

21.17

6.62

6.93

5.78

  • Bábolna Tetra

30.29

22

73.06

21.70

24.09

7.72

6.9

6.00

  • Ile de France

28.74

22

73.98

21.12

22.09

6.51

6.9

5.79

  • Total

29.83

24

74.59

22.06

21.98

6.74

6.90

6.02

REFERENCES

Molnár, Gy. & Jávor, A. 1997. The meat production of genotypes and the meat quality. In: Book of Abstracts of the 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Vienna, Austria 209. p.
C. de Graaff 1996. - personal communications
MLC yearbook, 1996
Kukovics, S. - Jávor, A. - Molnár, Gy. - Ábrahám, M. & Molnár, A. 1997. A juhtenyésztés minségének fejlesztése. In: Agro-21" Füzetek, Az agrárgazdaság jövképe, 17:. 76-100.
Fabregas, X. - Torre, C. - Caja, G. - Casals, R. & Rivas, F. 1989. Comparison of carcasses of Ripollesa, Precoce x Ripollesa, German Mutton Merino x Ripollesa lambs slaughtered at light and heavy body weights. In: Agriculture, EUR-Publication, No. 11893: 383-388.
Meat and Livestock Commission (1990): Sheep carcass classification results. In: Sheep yearbook 1990, 35-44 p.
Eraso, E. - Cabrero, M. & Garcia-de-Siles, JL. 1982. Some aspects of carcass grading and characters in sheep. In: Anales del Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias, Granada, No. 13: 27-31.

S/EUROP MEAT QUALIFICATION OF SOME SHEEP BREEDS IN HUNGARY

Molnár, András
Research Institute for Animal
Breeding and Nutrition
Herceghalom, Hungary

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

Based on the results, the use of meat type breeds could be recommended in improving the meat traits of the native Merinos even if the light lamb production is preferred.
---------------------------------------------

INTRODUCTION

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Self-performance tests of ram and ewe lambs of seven breeds, namely Hungarian Merino, German Mutton-Merino, Prolific Merino, Bábolna Tetra, Suffolk, British Milksheep, and Ile de France were completed in the last two years. The test was followed by trial slaughters of five male and five female sheep of each breed.

RESULTS

CONCLUSION

S/EUROP classification of carcasses

  • Breed

Sex

Conformation

Fat cover

   

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

Hungarian ram

U0

R0

R-

R-

U-

2+

2+

20

2+

3-

Merino ewe lamb

R0

R0

R+

R0

U-

2+

2+

3-

20

2+

German Mutton ram

R0

R+

R+

R+

U-

20

20

20

2+

2+

  • Merino
ewe lamb

R0

R+

U-

U-

R0

2+

2+

3-

3+

3-

British Milksheep ram

U0

R-

U-

R-

R+

2+

20

20

2+

20

  ewe lamb

U0

U+

R-

R0

R-

20

30

20

3-

30

Suffolk ram

R-

R0

R+

R-

R+

20

20

2+

2+

2+

  ewe lamb

U-

U-

R-

R-

R+

3-

2+

2+

4-

2+

Bábolna Tetra ram

R0

O+

R0

R0

R+

3-

20

2+

3-

20

  ewe lamb

R0

U-

R0

U-

R+

3-

3-

20

3-

2+

Ile de France ram

R+

U0

U-

U0

U0

30

2+

2+

2+

3-

  ewe lamb

U-

U-

U0

U+

U-

4-

3-

3-

2+

20

 

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SHEEP AND GOAT PRODUCTION SYSTEMS IN HUNGARY

Kukovics, Sándor Jávor, András
Research Institute for Debrecen University of Agricultural Sciences
Animal Breeding and Nutrition Debrecen, Hungary

Herceghalom, Hungary

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

The production conditions of sheep and goat farming in Hungary has basically changed in the last 6-8 years. There were changes not only in the property structure but also in the production system elements. The number of small ruminant farmers has significantly increased while the animal stock of Hungary has been broken up into small stocks. This new situation has influenced the use, the breeding, the keeping and the feeding of animals. Owing to this and to the market, the costs and yields have also been changed and this might lead to a change in the production systems applied. In this paper we analyse the main characteristics of production systems and their effects on sheep and goat farming at present in Hungary.

Key words: farm size, available land, breed, market demands, reproduction systems, farming type, costs and incomes.
---------------------------------------------

INTRODUCTION

The production system applied is influenced by several factors. The most important factor is the farm size, the size of the land used, the species, the type of the enterprise, the market demand, the price and the revenue. These factors are only slightly modified by the employment, the use of land and the social security. However, labour has a significant effect on the system.
At the end of the 1980s large-scale farming was characteristic of the sheep sector in Hungary but in 1997 the majority of farms are small-scale private farms. In the goat farming sector, small-scale farming was predominant even in the last decades; however, there were also some large scale goat farms (cooperatives and state farms). At present goat breeding farms are private farms of small or large scale.
We would like to present here the main characteristics of the present sheep and goat farming systems.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

In the evaluation of the sheep and goat breeding systems, we applied the data of the survey of the Sheep Produce Council and the Agricultural Chamber of Hajdú-Bihar county. These included data on 1 300 sheep breeding farms in the country and 273 in the county of the period between 1994 and 1996. The questionnaires used in the survey - containing all the accessible information on the two kinds of animals - have been prepared by the Institute for the two organizations. In the evaluation of goat farmers data we used the information obtained from the various associations. A small part of the processed data of the questionnaires received will be presented in the description of the characteristics of the production systems.

RESULTS

Farm size

The survey of the Sheep Products' Council shows that by the end of 1996, 6 799 natural and legal entities were dealing with sheep farming in Hungary. Ewe stock in the property of individual farmers was 78.8 percent; 21.2 percent did farming in cooperatives in the forms of Ltd companies and other small companies (Table 1). In the case of individual farmers the average number of ewes did not reach 100 (96.6), however the size of farms varied considerably (1-5000). In the case of the 107 cooperatives the average number of ewes was 959, at Ltd companies 1 025, while at small companies there were 670 ewes. The average number referring to the whole stock was only 119 animals; be profitable, two or three times more animals would be required. In more than 4 950 farms less than 100 ewes were to be found (Jávor et al., 1997). Such small-scale sheep farming is not at all or only slightly profitable.
In general, farms of more than 300 ewes are profitable. The data available on the goat stock are not sufficient. The average farm size was several tens of animals; in most farms there were 10-15 nanny goats and their offspring, although there were also farms of several hundreds of animals at the beginning of 1997. However there were not more than 5 farms like that, and there were not more than 20 where there were more than 100 goats. The total number of animals was estimated to be between 50 000-70 000. Obtaining a correct number is impossible as the number of goats in sheep farms is unknown at present.

Table 1. Distribution of flock sizes in Hungarian sheep farms (1996)

No. of ewes Private farms Companies Altogether
  No. of farms No. of ewes No. of farms No. of ewes No. of farms No. of ewes

1-10

1 294

8 503

0

0

1 294

8 503

11-50

2 540

69 691

5

179

2 545

69 870

51 -100

1 100

87 322

7

541

1 107

87 863

101-200

870

132 571

16

2 505

886

135 076

201-300

400

101 375

19

4 828

419

106 203

301-400

173

60 644

15

5 408

188

66 052

401-500

107

49 400

15

6 823

122

56 223

501-1000

104

72 739

48

34 695

152

107 434

1 001-2 000

21

28 805

34

49 238

55

78 043

2 001-3 000

7

16 856

12

29 245

19

46 101

3 001-4 000

2

7 478

5

17 146

7

24 624

4 001-5 000

1

4 145

3

13 079

4

17 224

5000-

0

0

1

8 047

1

8 047

Altogether:

6 619

639 529

180

171 734

6 799

811 263

Species

Surveys show that the majority of sheep stock was Merino (Table 2). The survey performed in the most important sheep farming county has justified this distribution (Jávor et al., 1996). Ninety-five percent of this was Merino. This distribution determined the production system. Merinos are mainly used for meat and wool production, and a small part is used for milk production (in the county survey the crossbred milking stock was not included).

Table 2. The breed structure (%)

Flock size
  • Merinos

  • Meat sheep

  • Milk-sheep

  • Cigája

  • Racka

  • Others

1

-

20

87.71

5.00

0.30

3.46

1.24

7.53

21

-

50

84.20

3.33

2.53

3.29

0.60

5.50

51

-

100

82.12

6.08

0.65

12.90

3.23

2.06

101

-

200

76.42

8.13

0.81

9.76

0.81

4.07

201

-

300

87.26

4.71

0.00

4.57

2.31

1.14

301

-

500

80.66

10.52

1.38

3.97

1.07

2.41

501

-

1 000

64.63

10.53

4.21

15.37

0.00

5.26

1 001

-

3 000

90.42

9.17

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.42

3 001

-

 

97.50

0.00

2.50

0.00

0.00

0.00

In the last years a significant part of the sheep stock has been rented, and in the categories of 1 000-3 000 the proportion of ewes as a function of the stock has reached 25 percent. The data of the county survey mentioned above show that the proportion of rented sheep has decreased in 1996; its proportion was 1.5-2.5 percent of the whole sheep sector.
Regarding goat farming, the stock distribution by species structure was not so homogeneous. Several kinds of imported species were found in the stocks (Sanen, Alpin, Toggenburg), however the majority of the stock was of various coloured types of the native Hungarian species and the crossbred types of the imported species.

Land use and feeding

The size of the land used influenced the number of animals kept on the area. The number of animals and the area used (rented and owned) are directly proportionate. Forty-two to forty-eight percent of sheep farmers had their own grazing fields while the others used rented lands. Seventy-six to eighty-two percent of these farmers also worked in plant production. The majority of the farms were of mixed farming; that is besides sheep farming they were also working in other fields of production (Table 3) (Kukovics-Jávor, 1995/a).

Table 3. Land used according to different flock size

Flock size
(heads)

Private property (ha)

Rented land
(ha)

Arable land
(ha)

Pasture
(ha)

   

x

s

x

s

x

s

1

-

20

5.2

7.5

2.9

12.7

3.9

7.7

1.1

3.9

21

-

50

6.8

9.5

2.4

6.7

5.6

13.4

5.4

28.3

51

-

100

15.6

19.1

10.1

21.9

9.9

13.9

10.5

18.0

101

-

200

16.4

24.8

24.2

101.3

19.5

77.0

13.7

26.2

201

-

300

36.7

33.6

101.9

370.6

26.3

70.5

44.5

67.6

301

-

500

31.3

51.6

254.9

831.3

33.5

63.3

65.4

77.6

501

-

1 000

376.1

1 349.3

111.5

182.8

345.5

1 159.8

108.1

146.2

1 001

-

3 000

1 437.0

2 572.7

921.1

1 671.4

1 290.3

1 817.4

287.4

311.4

3 001

-  

2 150.0

3 040.6

4 000.0

2 828.4

2 000.0

2 828.4

2 250.0

1060.7

The area available determined the feed resources. In general, in small-scale farms feed was purchased (roughage and fodder), while in large-scale farms feed was ensured by the farmers' own production. Sixty-seven percent of sheep farmers could make use of stubble fields and only 59 percent were able to make use of other by products. This has significantly increased the feeding costs and - especially in late summer and mid-autumn - has significantly modified the production systems. On 44-47 percent of the farms the cereal fodder was purchased (mainly pelleted mixed fodder); the rest ensured feeding by the farms' own production. Seventy percent of the farms produced roughage by themselves and 50 percent of the farms purchased it. Only 20-25 percent of the farms used fermented fodder (senage, silage) The material required for fermented fodder was produced by 50 percent of the farms; the rest purchased it.
The area used by goat farms and the types of feeding were basically similar to sheep farming discussed above. Grazing type of feeding was determinant, only a few farms were semi-intensive or intensive.

Type of enterprise

Based on the results of the surveys sheep farming can also be categorized by the type of enterprise. Of the sheep farmers, 685 are small-scale farmers, 11 percent entrepreneurs, 9.5 percent economic organizations (cooperatives, Ltd companies, other small companies). There are 1.5 percent full-time and 10 percent part-time sheep farmers. Categorizing this way is mainly important regarding income and expenses.
The significant part of goat farmers are small-scale farmers, and most of them do farming part-time; moreover, this is mainly the responsibility of the wives or children.
Market demand

Almost all the lambs produced in the Hungarian sheep industry is exported to Italy. This market requires a perpetual supply, nevertheless there are special seasons (Easter, Christmas, Ferragusto) which cover two-thirds of the total sales. For example, in 1996 - calculating on a quarterly basis - 264, 234, 206 and 206 thousand live lambs, respectively (altogether 910 thousand heads), were exported to Italy. In addition to this 6, 5.5, 13 and 15.5 thousand slaughtered lambs, respectively, were exported to Italy (Jávor et al. 1997/b). Our export market demands mainly lambs with a live-weight between 16 and 27 kg, nevertheless the weight of lambs exported ranged from 13 to 40 kg. Taking into consideration that the majority of the farms' income is generated from selling lambs, the farms concentrate on producing lambs within the above-mentioned weight range. In most cases lambs of 16 - 24 kg are sold, so meat production per ewe is lower than could be expected. The suckling lambs (16-20 kg) and the weaned lambs (20-24) sold consume small amounts of feed, therefore the expenses and the revenues are low. In many cases it was less advantageous keeping the lambs until they reached 25-30 kg, since the excess did not result in proportionally higher revenues.
The permanent demand influences the utilized lambing peroid as well as the applied lambing system (Tables 4 - 5). The small-size sheep farms traditionally operate with a lambing period for Easter sale, and with the increase of the stock the lambings are divided among the three lambing periods. With the increase in the sheep stock, the proportion of the sheep farms using traditional lambings have greatly decreased and the proportion of farms using frequented and divided lambing system are increasing. (Kukovics- Jávor 1995 a/, b/).
Only a low proportion of the domestic sheep stock has been milked in the past few years. The number of sheep that have been milked is about 60-70 thousand heads, most of which are Merino, however an increasing number of pure-bred milking and cross-bred stocks have also been milked. The cheese processed from milk is sold for Kashkaval and cream cheeses, which have been exported to 26 countries. Considering the fact that compared to the demand the amount of sheep milk available for processing is small, the major objective is to increase the amount, although the nutritional value of the sheep milk was of high importance when determining the price.
The market demand for goats did not have a great influence on goat producers. Most of them have produced kids to be sold at Easter; after Easter the amount of meat for sale sharply decrease. The market demand is not permanent, though in the spring and summer months there was moderate interest for goat kids meat at a substantially lower price. Despite the demand, only a small number of kids were sold at the end of the year. The goat farmers are involved in kidding once a year and milking afterwards. Keeping meat goats will be the opportunity of the future. Large-scale cheese-making plants have not been established. Several small producers make home-made cheeses and cottage-cheese type products from their own milk. Cooperatives at micro-regional and regional levels started to be established in 1997. The influence of these cooperatives on the production system expected to be observed beginning next year.
Of the disintegrated stock, 10 000-12 000 kids weighing from 8 to 18 kg have been exported per year, mostly to Italy together with the sheep shipments. Due to the work of the local cooperatives and breeding associations, this number can increase.
Table 4. The utilized lambing seasons (%)

Flock size

  • December-February
  • May - June
  • October -December
  • Other

1

-

20

73.59

3.04

16.31

6.43

21

-

50

70.91

6.37

20.85

6.95

51

-

100

48.39

10.00

30.85

11.26

101

-

200

50.54

11.95

24.05

13.68

201

-

300

45.94

12.03

25.94

16.09

301

-

500

47.67

15.33

28.83

8.17

501

-

1 000

33.25

22.75

25.50

18.00

1 001

-

3 000

50.58

9.58

34.42

5.42

3 001

-

 

50.00

17.50

32.50

0.00

Table 5. Lambing systems used (%)

 

Lambing

 
  • Flock size

  • Annual

  • Annual but divided

  • Frequent

1

-

20

76.97

9.52

13.49

21

-

50

58.86

20.57

20.57

51

-

100

42.34

24.32

33.33

101

-

200

36.56

27.96

35.48

201

-

300

23.53

32.35

44.12

301

-

500

13.33

26.67

60.00

501

-

1000

10.53

26.32

63.16

1001

-

3000

8.33

33.33

58.34

3001

-

 

0.00

50.00

50.00

Expenses and revenues

Perhaps only determining the number of stock consumes more energy than accurately determining the expenses. The reason for this is that in most cases the producers did not include the counter-value of their own work in their calculations, even if they did so a very low counter-value was calculated. Regarding sheep farmers the expenses for calculations are acceptable, but similar figures from the goat farmers were not accessible to us as such registration had not existed.
The result of the above-mentioned county survey revealed that the farm size (the number of ewes) fundamentally influences the expenses per ewe (Table 6), and internal division of expenses is modified by the type of the enterprise (Table 7) (Jávor et al. 1996). It seemed that the increased number of sheep increases expenses, but wage and other expenses increased parallel with the growing number of sheep. Besides, the expenses could be determined more accurately. As for the various types of enterprises the biggest differences could be observed regarding the wage, feeding and the so-called other expenses. The charges of the capital employed were not included in these figures.

Table 6. Costs as a function of the stock size

Number of ewe

<20

20-50

50-100

100-300

300-500

500-1000

>1000

Cost per ewe (HUF)

2 310

3 897

4 445

4 154

4 318

6 665

6 976

Total number of ewe (pc)

59

1 454

3 654

13 034

10 756

10 915

19 580

Table 7. Percentage distribution of costs by type of enterprise

Cost

Small-scale farmer

Independent farmers

Economic unit
Companies

Full time

Part-time-
farming

Labour

8.2

13.1

30.6

22.2

7.1

Veterinary

4.4

2.7

1.9

4.6

5.5

Fodder

52.9

44.8

42.1

41.5

30.8

Energy

9.5

7.4

3.8

1.2

6.7

Shearing

3.0

2.3

1.3

0.7

3.1

Services

9.8

5.0

4.4

1.0

5.2

Premises rental fee

1.5

9.4

1.4

0.0

0.5

Other cost

10.6

15.3

14.5

28.8

41.2

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Considering other elements of the production system, the expenses and the income varied substantially (Table 8). The table based on the analyses of the above-mentioned county survey contained the income and the aggregated expenses. When preparing the calculations (1995) the average procurement prices were the following: wool 71 HUF/kg; lamb 376 HUF/kg; milk 56 HUF/kg; manure 163 HUF/tonne. (Partly as a result of the inflation the prices have considerably risen). The average prices in 1997 are 125, 425, 105 and 210 HUF, respectively (the expenses - in accordance with the inflation - have risen faster). In the given county only Merino type sheep were milked, therefore the milk production (income) should be assessed considering this fact. The charges of the capital employed were not included in these figures, either.
With the increased number of stock the demand for human resources has also risen. In small farms sheep farming took place on a family basis, in larger farms employees were also needed. The number of the employees have been gradually growing and consequently the expenses of production are increasing.
Table 8. Revenue and costs as a function of the various characteristics of farming

 

Income / % distribution of ewe and income (HUF)

Costs/ Ewe (HUF)

 

From wool

From meat

From milk

From manure

Total
HUF
(100 %)

Total

sheep farming of meat and milk

6 %

71 %

23 %

0 %

6 154

7 498

sheep farming of meat and wool

6 %

93 %

0 %

1 %

6 285

5 455

enterprises of sheep farming only

5 %

94 %

0 %

1 %

5 433

4 003

enterprises of other agricultural activities

6 %

89 %

4 %

0 %

6 611

5 344

enterprises of other non-agricultural activities

6 %

91 %

3 %

1 %

5 283

7 747

feeding fodder of own production

5 %

93 %

0 %

2 %

5 848

4 852

feeding own and purchased fodder

6 %

90 %

4 %

0 %

6 227

5 955

feeding purchased fodder only

7 %

88 %

4 %

1 %

7 078

6 139

grazing stubble fields

6 %

90 %

3 %

0 %

6 668

5 823

not grazing stubble fields

5 %

91 %

3 %

1 %

5 038

5 917

feeding by-products

6 %

89 %

4 %

1 %

6 565

6 544

not feeding by-products

6 %

93 %

0 %

1 %

5 894

4 104

rented grazing fields

6 %

86 %

7 %

1 %

6 541

6 769

owned grazing field

5 %

95 %

0 %

0 %

7 082

5 005

Mixed grazing field

7 %

91 %

1 %

1 %

5 592

5 417

100 inspected stock by vet

6 %

87 %

7 %

0 %

4 815

7 656

Inspected partly by vet

7 %

88 %

4 %

0 %

5 626

6 830

Not inspected by vet

5 %

91 %

3 %

0 %

6 610

5 080

CONCLUSION

The production systems of sheep and goat farming in Hungary have developed based on the following factors:
· number of ewes and female goats: The majority of the ewes were in small flocks on private farms. The profitability, in general, could be reached with at least 300 ewes in production. The average size of nanny goats was much smaller (10-15 heads), most of the goat breeders/keepers were only part-time farmers;
· the breed used: It was known that the production level of Merinos was lower than expected; this breed group was dominant in the national flock. Farms having 100-200 or 500-1000 heads of ewes had better breed distribution than the others. In goats, the native Hungarian breeds were dominant, but several other breeds were available on those farms where the production level was higher;
· the size of land for utilization and the available feed: Most of the farms were mixed producers (cropping and breeding). The smaller part of farmers had their own grazing land, the others used rented pastures. As the land size was growing the rates of feed self-production was increasing;
· market demand: The dominant product was the live lambs exported to Italian market. This market was demanding mainly light-weight lambs and kids, mostly concentrating on three periods; however, the exportation could be continuous during the year. Along with the increasing flock size the rates of frequent and divided lambing systems were increased and the age of the annual lambing system was reduced;
· income and expenses: The production costs per ewe per year were increasing along with the flock size. Part of them were understandable (e.g. the small farms did not pay any tax), but the others were not. The fodder cost was the dominant one, but the so called other cost had an increasing ratio. The meat was the dominant source of income, but the profitability was modified by the other traits of production systems.

REFERENCES

Jávor, A.- Kocsis, I.- Kovács, Z.- Molnár, Gy. & Polonkai, L. 1996. Self Confidence of the Shepherd (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol.5, No. 7: 5-7. July, 1996.
Jávor, A.- Békési Gy.- Kukovics, S.- Molnár, Gy. & Koleszár T. 1997a. Characteristic data of the Hungarian Sheep Farming (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol. 6, No. 2: 4. Feb. 1997.
Jávor, A.- Békési, Gy.- Kukovics, S.- Molnár, Gy.- Nábrádi, A. & Molnár, M. 1997b. Sheep Farming Trade (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol. 6, No. 5: 6-7. May 1997.
Kukovics, S. & Jávor, A. 1995a. Present State of Sheep Farming. (in Hungarian). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol. 4, No. 6: 3-5. June 1995.
Kukovics S. & Jávor, A. 1995b. Sheep Farming Today (II.) (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol. 4, No. 7: 6-8. July 1995.

THE FIRST SEVEN YEARS OF BRITISH MILK SHEEP IN HUNGARY

Kukovics, Sándor
Molnár, András
Research Institute for
Animal Breeding and Nutrition
Herceghalom, Hungary

ABSTRACT

Several rams were sold from the flock to breeders and farms where the aim was the improvement of prolificacy, milk production and lamb rearing traits (Table 3).

---------------------------------------------

Table 1. The average litter size

Line
Year

K

L

N

S

Z

Av.

No. of
ewes

  • 1991

3.25

2.21

2.20

2.31

2.45

2.48

53

  • 1992

1.44

1.54

1.50

1.91

1.64

1.62

54

  • 1993

1.67

1.52

1.78

2.00

2.23

1.70

87

  • 1994

2.04

1.80

2.20

1.92

2.05

2.00

115

  • 1995

1.73

1.78

1.89

2.17

2.02

1.93

115

  • 1995

(Merino x Langhe ) F1 x British Milksheep

2.11

36

  • 1996

1.78

1.84

1.67

2.57

2.09

1.95

88

  • 1997

2.19

2.00

2.00

2.33

2.55

2.30

83

Table 2. Milk yield data of the ewes

 

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

 

x

CV%

x

CV%

x

CV%

x

CV%

x

CV%

x

CV%

Number of ewes

54

 

51

 

82

 

103

 

142

 

91

 
Lactation length (day)

114

20.8

116

44.0

147

34.9

92

38.5

84

48.4

105

33.9

Total milk yield (l)

94.9

47.4

129.4

57.6

128.7

47.8

78.9

51.0

56.9

79.6

84.5

46.4

Daily milk yield (l)

0.853

46.1

1.115

35.8

0.877

31.7

0.859

34.9

0.678

41.4

0.807

34.8

Fat %

4.3

10.2

4.7

13.2

5.5

9.0

5.6

13.1

5.8

11.3

5.3

11.0

Protein %

5.5

6.3

5.4

7.1

5.7

5.9

5.5

6.5

5.4

7.3

5.6

6.6

Lactose %

5.1

3.5

5.4

3.7

5.1

2.8

5.2

5.2

5.3

3.8

5.2

2.9

Table 3. The average daily weight gain of the lambs up to weaning

 

Weaning
day

Litter
size

Ram

Ewe lamb

Year

     

ADG (g)

 

ADG (g)

     

n

x

CV%

n

x

CV%

1991

35

1

1

351.0

-

3

382.0

26.9

"

"

2

21

344.7

18.3

31

319.6

16.1

"

"

3

13

281.7

23.5

16

276.0

22.2

"

"

4

3

236.3

13.9

1

292.0

-

"

"

5

1

263.0

-

1

330.0

-

Average

-

-

39

316.1

18.4

52

310.0

16.4

1992

25

1

8

449.5

17.1

14

452.0

12.7

"

"

2

15

352.6

22.5

18

353.0

18.5

"

"

3

3

310.3

24.4

6

355.7

10.8

"

"

4

7

395.3

16.9

4

375.0

20.8

Average

-

-

33

384.3

21.1

42

389.7

18.6

Table 3. continue            
 

Weaning
day

Litter
size

Ram

Ewe lamb

Year

     

ADG (g)

 

ADG (g)

     

n

x

CV%

n

x

CV%

1993

25

1

8

407.1

41.9

13

394.0

25.2

"

"

2

15

361.5

25.9

18

303.6

21.6

"

"

3

17

305.5

38.2

15

298.8

31.8

"

"

4

4

242.7

46.0

10

294.9

20.4

Average

-

-

44

352.9

26.8

56

329.1

22.4

1994

35

1

15

353.4

22.5

17

326.5

17.8

   

2

35

344.7

18.9

30

356.1

17.3

   

3

28

322.9

22.8

26

323.0

19.1

   

4

9

363.1

14.8

4

358.7

18.1

Average

 

-

87

340.7

20.4

77

338.5

18.3

1995

35

1

12

326.9

23.6

10

341.9

21.7

   

2

29

286.5

26.7

21

264.2

31.2

   

3

16

250.2

20.1

20

290.2

23.7

   

4

6

245.3

25.8

10

226.3

24.1

   

5

1

194.0

-

2

227.5

20.8

Average

 

-

64

279.7

26.4

63

278.0

28.3

1996

40

1

13

368.4

29.9

12

368.4

24.9

   

2

40

361.5

26.7

28

331.9

21.2

   

3

26

299.7

30.5

18

281.2

21.1

   

4

9

328.0

39.1

3

315.2

4.9

Average

 

-

88

340.3

34.2

61

322.7

21.5

1997

45

1

10

332.8

21.9

10

335.2

18.9

   

2

33

317.3

11.5

31

286.4

12.4

   

3

34

285.9

10.6

26

258.1

12.4

   

4

10

259.7

20.3

12

282.3

18.2

Average

 

-

87

298.9

17.5

79

282.6

16.4

Table 4. The average daily gain of the (Merino x British Milksheep)F1 lambs during

Litter

Ram lamb

Ewe lamb

Together

Size

n

Average

CV %

n

x

CV %

n

x

CV %

1-3

80

391.1

8.1

64

318.7

9.4

144

356.7

11.4

1

24

401.9

3.2

11

325.8

7.8

35

378.0

0.5

2

51

388.7

9.2

48

317.8

9.5

99

351.4

5.2

3

5

363.1

8.7

5

306.2

10.6

10

334.6

12.1

THE PRESENT STATE & MAIN PROBLEMS OF
SHEEP-BREEDING IN ARMENIA

Marmarian, Youri
Armenian Agricultural Academy
Yerevan, Armenia

---------------------------------------------
ABSTRACT

---------------------------------------------

Why sheep-breeding occurred in the given state

After the collapse of the former USSR, definitive work has been carried out in the direction of reform and privatization of land, cattle and other agricultural production in the Armenian agrarian economics sector.
However, due to the slow pace of reform accomplishment, lack of necessary conditions for the efficient use of farm productive forces, small areas of peasant farms and low productivity, unsatisfactory organization of supplies and services as well as the durable blockade of the Republic, difficulties connected with realization of production, etc., the expected results of the reforms and privatization still leave much to be desired.
The main strategic objective of Armenian agriculture in the near future must be the increase of the level of food provision in the Republic, considerable improvement of foodstuffs, ensuring food safety and mobilization of the local productive potential.
In the past period of agrarian reforms which are being accomplished under the fundamentally new economic relations conditions, properly chosen reform policy (from the strategic point of view) hasn't been supported and enforced by drastic practical steps. Along with privatization, the necessary substructures providing the efficiency of the village productive inner forces have been formed; especially the utmost important problems of organization of agricultural material-technical supply and services, the processing and realizations of agricultural raw materials, the processing of the branch taxing and insurance systems haven't been ultimately solved.
In fact, after land and cattle privatization, the farmer has been left all alone against numerous difficulties. In the current situation, it is necessary to work out and fulfil complex projects, the realization of which will lead to complete improvement of the given sub-branch of the agro-production system in the Republic, and integration into international agro-production structures.

Is there a basis for sheep-breeding development in Armenia?

Almost half of the land area of Republic of Armenia (29 740 km2) is adequate for crop growing and pastures; the remaining part is desert and mountainous areas, which are situated on different degrees of slopes (Table 1).

Table 1. Land covering (% relating to the given group)*

 

Area

According the slope degree

Type of soil

km2

%

up to 3o

3o-7o

7 o-12 o

12o-20o

20o &above

Arable lands

5 052.76

17.75

49.7

31.9

12.6

4.8

1.0

Perennial plantations

705.86

2.48

74.7

15.8

4.9

3.6

1.0

Other perennials

1 377.77

4.84

40.8

30.7

15.7

9.0

3.8

Forests and bushes

4 155.20

14.60

9.8

17.7

22.3

28.6

21.6

Pastures and others

17 172.70

60.33

25.4

30.0

18.1

15.9

10.6

Total

28 464.30**

100

29.4

28.2

17.3

15.2

9.9

Of pastures, 30 percent are suitable solely for sheep and goats, as they are extremely isolated and on slopes.
Since sheep are mostly pasture animals, it becomes possible to develop high-yielding sheep breeding and to increase the total number of livestock on the given feed base in our Republic.
Labour resources also exist in Armenia. Thirty percent of the population is rural; about 285 000 people work in the field of agriculture.
Due to the creation of farms, the number of people working in agriculture has been considerably increased by 60 000. By 1997, 345 000 people were working in agriculture. Agriculture is carried out both by labour forces and corresponding specialists; most of the latter don't work in their professional fields because of the lack of positions.

The dynamics of sheep number and their productivity in Armenia

The agro-production complex of the Republic includes 321 000 peasant farms and 1 200 collective farms (1997). Peasant farms, each of which has an average 1.4 ha area comprise 93.1 percent of privatized land. However, not all the farms are breeding sheep. According to FAO data, Armenia occupies the first place among other CIS countries in the reduction of live stock head number (especially heads of sheep). Thus the number of sheep and goats in 1991-1993 in Moldova was reduced by 1 percent, in Kasakhstan - 5 percent, Belarus - 10 percent, Azerbaijan - 20 percent and Armenia - 33 percent.

Table 2. The dynamics of sheep and goat heads and their productivity

Index

Meas.

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

Sheep & goats

1000 heads

1 901.9

1 818.8

1 729.6

1 450.1

1 291.5

1 186.2

1 029.0

873.0

735.9

603.7

582.0

Out of which dams

1000 heads

1 225.1

1 164.0

1 133.7

935.7

850.8

828.1

728.4

634.7

675.5

408.7

392.8

 

%

64.6

64.0

65.5

64.5

65.8

69.8

71.2

72.7

64.6

67.7

69..9

Wool productivity of one
sheep (dirty weight)

kg

2.4

2..3

2.4

2..3

2.2

2.1

2.1

2.2

2.0

2.4

2.4

Lambs and kids from 100 dams

head

78

76

77

86

82

76

70

74

78

85

84

Average annual milk productivity of one dam

litres

17.5

-

16.9

-

11.2

12.0

14.3

7.9

8.5

9.0

12.0

Has been produced Mutton-live weight

1000 tones

31.3

27.2

28.7

26.2

20.0

18.6

17.6

18.1

16.2

-

-

Wool produced
(raw weight)

1000 tones

4.6

4.1

2.7

3.3

2.8

2.4

2.1

1.9

1.7

1.4

1.3

Sheep milk
produced

1000
tones

20.4

18.0

15.6

12.1

9.2

8.6

9.1

6.0

3.4

3.6

3.72

During the recent decade, head number of sheep has been reduced 3.4 times including sheep ewes 3.2 times: Wool output of one sheep has always been low, but in 1995-96 it had already been restored and has reached the pre-privatization level. The same phenomenon is observed in the number of lamb produced per 100 dams. As compared with 1986, in 1996 the sheep milk yield had been reduced 5.5 times and the milk productivity of one sheep decreased 1.5 times; lamb productivity had decreased (approximately 2 times); wool production was down (3.5 times). All these reduction had a negative influence upon the efficiency of sheep food production. It's worth mentioning that the percentage of animal loss has been considerably increased, which amount to 40 percent in sheep breeding.
Losses in sheep-breeding as well as the losses of other branches of cattle-breeding are caused by numerous factors: legally imposed social/material living standards of the population, purchasing capacity, the laws of market relations (which are functioning chaotically), high prices of feed and energy, frequent blockades etc. At present, sheep breeding is carried out in an extensive way, which we must get rid of as soon as possible and to proceed to an intensive way of sheep-breeding and food production.
The exact number of farms breeding sheep and the number of sheep on each farm has not been estimated. However, it's known that there are not many farmers possessing large numbers of sheep-mainly they keep 1-50 heads; the number of farmers possessing more heads (i.e. 100-200 heads) is very small.
The whole production of sheep breeding (i.e. milk, meat) is realized inside the country. The wool is processed inside the country in small amounts, and the rest of it is stored at producers and is nearly not processed. The reasons for not processing the wool are numerous: the variety of wool (fine, half-fine, half-coarse, coarse), the low quality of wool (the dirty state of wool, the presence of defects) the low price at the market (600-800 drams, 1 US$ = 500 drams), the lowest price of state purchase (100-400 drams), the inactivity of worsted and cloth factories in the Republic and so forth. In 1996 Russia bought only 50 tonnes of wool.
The sheep hide is not used wholly, and part of it is exported abroad by individual people.
The price of 1 kg of mutton fluctuates from 900-1 100 drams. Different kinds of cheese are made from sheep milk, and 1 kg of sheep cheese (if it's made of pure sheep milk) costs 1 800-2 000 drams.
In Armenia half-coarse-wooled and Armenian half-fine-wooled crossbreed sheep are bred.
According to the plan, 25 percent of sheep heads must be Armenian half-fine-wooled, each of which has a different range. Very few local sheep breeds of low productivity have been preserved (e.g. Bozach, Mazekh, Kharabakh. It is worth making plans concerning the clarifying of the pedigree composition of heads of sheep.
There have been no services established in Armenia concerning sheep-breeding (societies, stations for artificial insemination, special sites for genetic work, etc): The genetic work of sheep is carried out only by the chair of private cattle-breeding of Armenian Agricultural Academy (Balahovit teaching and experimental farm as well as "Barekamoutsiun" joint-stock company in Kamo, with 400 heads of sheep all in all). And the Research institute of sheep Breeding (State Genetic Farm in Aragats where there are 400 heads of half-coarse-wooled sheep).
The system of keeping sheep is pasturable and nursery. At nursery stage, at best one feed unit is given per head. The feeding is non-balanced and low.
At present there are no practical plans as well as no help to the farmers on sheep breeding, either by the state by some other organization.
Sheep breeding has no alternatives but to be conducted in all regions of the Republic with meat-milk-wool trends. In 1989 in our Republic, a factory of preliminary wool processing was founded in Ararat, equipped with modern technological machinery. But it does nearly no work because of the lack of funds and the difficulties with the realization of goods.
This factor as well as the low level of international prices created great difficulties for thousands of owners occupied with sheep-breeding. Faced with the lack of purchasing power of the population, the owners cannot process the wool at reasonable, profitable prices, which today is very expensive to do in our Republic. The realization of profitable processing of wool will be of considerable support to our farmers and will influence the development of this sub-branch.
Which items are considered to be the most important in the development of sheep breeding in Armenia?

· The working out of scientists expeditor research plan for clarifying the sheep population their breed and technology.
· Identifying farmers engaged in genetic and marketable sheep-breeding, and the long-term planning of their development.
· The foundation of a marketing service.
· The integration of Armenian sheep-breeders and corresponding international organizations, information exchange, and the organization of scientific visits.
· The development of a farmers' teaching curriculum on sheep-breeding. Introduction of advanced scientific and production experiment and technology.
· The working out of investment plans for the treatment of fur and foreskins sheep and wool.
· The financing and organizing of competitive specialists and applied topics and works on generic-selective sheep breeding.
· The realization of state subsidy and investment policy before the foundation of normal market relations and the improvement of the branch (i.e. sheep-breeding).
· The foundation of the forage reserve - protected grazing lands.
· The development of environmental policy, the improvement of pastures, their preservation and rational usage.
· The working-out of a plan to introduce sheep producing improved breeds.
· This is the list of those items not yet incomplete, which will help Armenia at this transitional period to rescue sheep breeding from collapse to preserve the generic fund of pedigree sheep as well as of local sheep, activate the work of collective farms, to increase the production of competitive food and raw material and the integration of Armenia into international sheep-breeding organizations.
· The working out of collaborative plans on wool sale in Armenia.
· The working out of plan, concerning the farmers' collaboration engaged in sheep-breeding who must have a corresponding financing.

REFERENCES

Armenia. The Challenge of reform in the Agriculture sector, Yerevan, 1995.

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