Better odds of lamb survival in sheep at dry arid tropical region of India

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  • G R GOWANE ICAR-Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Rajasthan 304 501 India
  • C P SWARNKAR ICAR-Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Rajasthan 304 501 India
  • H K NARULA ICAR-Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Rajasthan 304 501 India
  • A CHOPRA ICAR-Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Rajasthan 304 501 India


Arid, Gibbs sampling, Heritability, Neonatal mortality, Sheep welfare


Lamb survival till first 28 days of life is critical as it increases the chances of economic gain in flock. Objective of the current study was to assess the incidence of neonatal mortality in lambs born in arid region of India and genetic and non-genetic factors affecting it. The present study was conducted using the data on 4,137 Magra and 4,595 Marwari sheep over 17 years (1999 to 2016). Incidence of neonatal mortality was very low in Magra (1.04%) and Marwari (2.48%) sheep, respectively in semi-intensive management system. Year and seasonal variation was observed for neonatal losses. Males had lower odds of survival as compared to females. Odds of survival were low if the lambs were born to dams of low body weight and in their first parity. It was observed that the lamb survival can be improved if due care of the lambs born with low birth weight (<2 kg) is taken. The heritability estimate was moderate in Magra sheep (0.17), indicating further scope for genetic improvement for lamb survival through selection. However, for Marwari sheep, the total heritability was 0.02, thus limiting the scope for selection. Arid region favoured the lamb survival. Hardiness of the Magra and Marwari sheep, their high lamb survival along with standard production potential is indicative of the good genetics of these sheep along with better management practices adopted at arid regional campus, thus reflecting better sheep welfare practices.


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How to Cite

GOWANE, G. R., SWARNKAR, C. P., NARULA, H. K., & CHOPRA, A. (2020). Better odds of lamb survival in sheep at dry arid tropical region of India. The Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 90(4), 628-635.