Basic factors influencing lamb mortality under low input production systems in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Author: S. Mthi, J.M. Rust, C.T. Mpendulo, V. Muchenje, W.J. Goosen & Z. Mbathsa
Year: 2020
Issue: 1
Volume: 13
Page: 60 - 68

A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess incidences of lamb mortality in low input farming systems in the Eastern Cape province. Four villages (Ndakana, Kwa-Masele, Qhugqwala and Ndindwa) and 18 households were selected. Data was collected from 399 lambing records from June 2017 to May 2018 whereby an analysis of factors affecting lamb mortalities (i.e. sex of lamb, season of birth, age of ewe and village) were investigated. With the exception of age of ewe, the variables had a significant (P <0.001) effect on lamb mortality. Qhugqwala had the highest lamb mortality (28.8%) compared to the other villages. Mortality rate was higher in the male lambs (61%) compared to female lambs (39%). Lambs born in spring had higher mortality rate (58%) compared to 42.4% in lambs born in winter. This study confirmed that overall mortality rate averaged 33% from birth to yearly weaning. Season of birth, sex of a lamb and location were the major contributing factors to lamb mortality under low input farming systems. Mthi S_2020 Vol 13 (2)

Keywords: communal, lamb, location, mortality, season, sex, sheep
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