Last update: November 23, 2010 03:46:21 PM E-mail Print


Production data for wool sheep in the Transkei and Ciskei

H. Mciteka 1 & B. R. King2

1 ARC: Range and Forage Institute, Private Bag X529, Middelburg, EC, 5900, South Africa

2Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, Private bag X529, Middelburg, E.C, 5900, South Africa


Many government supported initiatives are implemented in the rural areas of Ciskei and Transkei to improve the productivity of livestock as a mean of improving the quality of life of the people. In most cases these initiatives are planned without knowing the current production levels and the impact that can be expected. Production of livestock is unknown as farmers do not usually keep these types of records. Keeping a good set of records on ewes and rams in the breeding flock can help in assuring steady positive progress within the flock. These records can be extremely useful in identifying the most productive ewes within the flock as well as replacement stock which may have superior genetics. The purpose of the project is to enable the government and other decision makers to know the current production status and to be able them to plan certain interventions. Four rural village communities were identified, two in Transkei (Dudumashe and Xume) and Ciskei (Allan Waters and Beckles Farm) respectively. Three farmers from each village community were identified. Thirty to 45 ewes were randomly selected and tagged from the flock of each farmer. The following data were collected on ewes and their progeny i.e. sheep age, bi-monthly body weight, greasy fleece weight, fibre diameter, staple length, clean yield. The results of the above mentioned traits indicate that, the animal production in Transkei area is relatively low when compared to that of Ciskei area. By continuing with this project for further four to five years will give a better results and an idea of animal production status in Transkei and Ciskei.