University of Khartoum

Objectives and Practices of Horse Breeding in Southern and Western Darfur

Objectives and Practices of Horse Breeding in Southern and Western Darfur

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Title: Objectives and Practices of Horse Breeding in Southern and Western Darfur
Author: Elajab, Mohamed Elbadri Idriss
Abstract: the present study was conducted in Southern and Western Darfur to characterize Sudanese horses with regard to productive and reproductive traits, indigenous breeding practices, breeding objectives and production constraints as identified by the horse owners. The information was collected using a questionnaire completed during interviews and repeated visits to horse owners in the various localities and was supported by observations. About one third of the owners (33.5%) generated all their income from the horses, while 20.5% had income generation from horses and other sources; about 46% of owners depended only on other sources. The majority of the horse owners (81.6%) kept horses with other species such as cattle, sheep and goats, while the remaining (18.4 %) reared horses only. The majority of herds were composed of either only males (68.5%) or only females (22.0%). Mixed herds of both sexes constituted only 9.5%. The average herd size in all areas was small (1.61 ± 0.98 heads). Local types of horses were generally used as working horses while crossbred horses were used for racing and riding. Females reach the age of puberty at an average age of 29 ±0.5 months, (range 18 - 36 months). Age at first insemination (range: 2- 4 years), gestation length average (range: 325- 345 days). The mean number of services per conception (range: 1-5). Average age at weaning was 4.25±0.59 months. Mares were expected to produce 10 – 12 foals during their lifetime. Stallions are not usually used for breeding until they are 4 years old. About 99.5% of horse owners in Southern and Western Darfur States indicated that they want to improve their houses while only 0.5% had no such intention. Of those who were interested in improvement, 68% wanted to improve horse performance by crossbreeding, 29.3% wanted to improve their horses by selection of the best breeding horses and 2.7% wanted to improve horse performance by both selection and crossbreeding. The main objectives of horse improvement were to enhance performance for draft, racing and riding (31.0, 38.0, and 31.0% of respondents, respectively). The production constraints defined by horse owners were diseases (46.4%), lack of feeds (28.6%), war (20.6%) and water shortage (4.4%). The study concluded that horse breeding is essential for the livelihood of people in the area and that the local types of horses are dwindling in numbers as a result of continuous crossbreeding and there is need for a conservation and improvement programme for local stocks.
Description: 54page
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/123456789/23289


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