In a study conducted in the humid environment of the Kenya coast Red Maasai sheep were shown not only to be more resistant to gastrointestinal (GI) nematode parasites (particularly Haemonchus contortus) but also 3 fold more productive than Dorper sheep (Baker, 1998 ; Baker et al., 1999). This result was mainly due to the very low reproductive rate and high mortality rate in Dorper sheep in this humid environment. Since the Dorper breed was originally bred for use in the arid extensive regions of South Africa (Cloete et al., 2000) it is perhaps not surprising that it is very poorly adapted to humid conditions. In this paper we compare the disease resistance / tolerance, productivity and efficiency of Red Maasai and Dorper sheep evaluated in experiments at the Kenya coast (humid environment) and the Kenya highlands (semi-arid environment).

R. L Baker, J. M Mugambi, J. O Audho, A. B Carles, W. Thorpe

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 13, , 13.1, 2002
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