Characteristics of Smallholder Sheep Production at Selected Communities in Cross River State, Nigeria

  • EO Ahaotu


This study evaluated the characteristics of smallholder sheep production at selected communities (Akamkpa, Calabar, Ikom, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Ogoja and Ugep) in Cross River State, Nigeria. A total of 1200 questionnaires were administered randomly to small holder sheep farmers in the eight communities. The results showed that majority of the sheep owners were (64.29%) were males and 35.71% females, while 75% of commercial sheep farmers employed male labor. West African Dwarf sheep was the common breed raised in the eight communities. Majority of the household owners of sheep (57.57%) practiced free-range system of production, while a large percentage (75%) of the commercial sheep farmers practiced intensive system of production. There were no specialized housing and feeding programs, with a larger percentage of both categories feeding crop residues and cowpea husk to their sheep. The household owners of sheep seldom fed forage to their sheep (17.86%), while 25% of commercial sheep farmers fed forage. The common diseases in the area were diarrhea, pneumonia and mange. The constraints to sheep production in the area included automobile accidents, seasonal lack of feed, diseases, theft and poor finances and access to land.

Keywords:  West African Dwarf sheep, Smallholder farmers, forage, Nigeria

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eISSN: 1597-913X