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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Bachelor of Agriculture
Title Genetic and non-genetic factors affecting morphology and heat tolerance traits of Nigerian sheep
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://journal.unaab.edu.ng/ugprojects/2011bscodunsioj.pdf
Ruminants in general, (including sheep, goats and cattle) have an important role to play in
enhancing livelihoods. In poor households, these animals are often kept under scavenging
conditions with little or no attention paid to supplementing feed inputs, or to disease
control and housing. At the same time, these animals provide products for cash sale when a
need arises, and provide the household with much needed protein. Sheep (Ovisaries) are
quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are
members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Sheep are even-toed, hoofed
animals, they are cud-chewing animals with the upper incisor teeth missing and with a fourcompartmented
stomach. They have paired hollow, unbranched horns that are not shed.
The horns of the adult male, or ram, are massive and spirally curved. The horns of the adult
female, or ewe, are short and only slightly curved. Some of the primitive breeds may have
more than one pair of horns. Sheep typically have a long, fairly narrow muzzle and pointed
ears. They have a split upper lip and relatively narrow front to the jaw which enables them
to be highly selective in terms of their diet. In the wild, the animals are nimble runners and
climbers. The female normally bears two young (occasionally three) after a gestation period
of about 150 days. Under normal situations with good feeding and animal husbandry, sheep
can be expected to produce twins. Under conditions of poorer diet and nutrition only a
single lamb will be produced. Sheep may live as long as 20 years (Seifert, G.W. 1984).

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