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Economides, S. Timón, V.M. Hanrahan, J.P.

Nutrition and management of sheep and goats Small ruminant production in the developing countries - Roma (Italia) FAO 1986 - p. 61-73 - FAO Animal Production and Health Paper (FAO) no. 58 .

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The present level of productivity of goats and sheep in developing countries is generally low, mainly because of underfeeding, poor management and disease. There is no doubt that considerable increase in animal production can be achieved with improved nutrition and management practices under different production systems and systems of management. It is true that during the last 20 years extensive scientific progress has been made towards increasing the efficiency of production of small ruminants. However, research findings have not been fully tested or adopted by the farmers. Weaknesses in providing credit for the application of new technology and lack of organization of the market for the protection of the animal production also inhibit adoption of new methods. Increased production from sheep and goats can arise from an increase in animal populations. However, an inventory of existing feed resources in relation to animal numbers in each country is necessary. Having in mind what feeds are available and what is the present level of productivity of animal new technologies and research findings can be put together and tested in different production systems to evaluate and select the best systems suited to a particular region within a country under certain conditions. Immediate results in increasing efficiency of production can be obtained with improved nutrition and management practices and disease control. All breeds respond positively to better nutrition and management practices but there are limits set by genotype. The economic response, however, to improved environmental conditions is higher with sheep and goats in high genetic potential