Characterisation of Small Ruminant Production Systems in Semi-Arid Urban Areas of Northern Nigeria
A survey to characterise small ruminant system in semi-urban areas of Northern Nigeria with Katsina state as a case study was carried out with use of structured questionnaires. A total of 147 livestock farmers were randomly chosen for the study. The data obtained was analysed by descriptive statistics. The study revealed that majority (51%) of small ruminant keepers were within the age range of 18-30 years and most of them (71%) were males. The results also revealed that majority (71%) of the respondents had 1-10 years of experience in keeping sheep and goats, main source of foundation stock was through purchase (56%) and majority (60%) kept mixed herds of sheep and goats. The research also indicated that 44% of the farmers practise semi intensive system of management and that the respondents’ mode of feeding the animals include grazing, grazing and browsing; and cut and carry. Grazing and browsing contributed 42% while purchase of feed accounted for 77%. It was further revealed that the types of feeds consumed by the animals were forage legumes with concentrates (53.4%) and forage grass with concentrates (26.1%) which accounted for 79.5% of the total feed consumed. The farmers owned their stock mostly through purchase and were reared under semi-intensive system of management for meat and milk production. Most of the animals were fed through grazing and browsing along with supplementary feeds obtained through purchase. It was then concluded that ruminant production in the area of study has a lot of prospect in productivity and profitability.