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Archivos de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1885-4494Print version ISSN 0004-0592


VALERIO, D. et al. Structural characterization of sheep and goat farming systems in northwest dominican republic. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2010, vol.59, n.227, pp.333-343. ISSN 1885-4494.

The aim of this study was to analyze structural aspects of goat and ovine livestock farming systems located in the Norwest of Dominican Republic. The sample (94 farms) was randomly selected with proportional allocation by region. Forty-four variables related to structural and productive aspects were analyzed. The average size of farms was 96 ha and 165 animals. Their facilities are simple, nonspecific and barely functional, with a mean of 2 pens per farm. Farms generally do not have perimeter fences, facilities for breeding, feeding or watering points. The reproductive strategy is the natural breeding throughout the year on most farms, with a ratio of one sire for every 36 females, and there are no breeding records. The first mating takes place with an average weight of 17 kg at 6.5 months of age. Feeding is based on grazing of natural pastures and forests (94%), reaching a stocking density of 0.83 LU/ha. Food supplementation is used in 37% of farms, mainly in sheep and mixed farms. The lambs and goats are sold when they reach 23 kg in weight, around 7 months of age. The farms do not receive technical advice, although 94% of them apply preventive treatments on a regular basis. The mortality rate reached 12%. In general, farms are very heterogeneous in their production structure, management, nutrition and health. Thus, a group of farms developed a traditional system (goats), while the most efficient and technified correspond to sheep and mixed farms.

Keywords : Extensive production; Productive structure; Small ruminants.

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