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Breeds of Sheep in Nigeria

Breed Characteristics for Selecting Sheep 
There are four main breeds of sheep in Nigeria. These are the West Africa Dwarf, Yankasa, Uda and Balami. All are hairy types. 
The West Africa Dwarf sheep is a small, short-legged animal found in the humid zone of southern Nigeria. Animals vary in coat color but black predominates. The males have horns while females are hornless. It is the smallest of the Nigeria breeds, with a mature body weight of 18 to 25 kg. Because the breeds thrive in areas that are heavily infested with tsetse fly, it is considered to be tolerant to trypanosomiasis. 
The Yankasa sheep is the most numerous and is found throughout the Guinea and Sudan savanna zones. It has a predominantly white coat colour, with black patches around the eyes, ears, muzzle (nose and mouth area) and hooves. Mature rams have curved horns and heavy, hairy white mane. The females are hornless. It is a fine-looking breed, 
hardy and of medium body size. The adults reach weights of 30 to 40 kg. It adapts well to intensive production and has a relatively high growth rate. 
The Uda sheep is a large, long-legged breed with a convex facial profile, 
found in the Sudan savanna zone, especially in the North-western part of 
Nigeria. It has a characteristic pied coat colour pattern of an entirely 
black or brown head and fore quarters and white hind-quarters. The ears 
are large, long and droopy. Mature males have horns white females are 
normally hornless. The breed is particularly abated to extensive grazing 
and is renowned for its trekking ability. Mature animals weigh 35 to 45 kg. 
The Balami sheep is the biggest of the Nigerian sheep breeds and is found mainly in the drier Sudan and Sahel Savanna zones. It has an all white coat. Mature weights of 40 to 50 kg are common. Experience has shown that the different breeds of sheep are adapted and perform best in their specific ecological zones. Because of the variations in the amount 
of rainfall, temperature and relative humidity, all of which indirectly 
affect performance, farmers are advised to raise those breeds that predominate in their ecological zones. 
Thus, while the Yankasa and Uda are suitable for the Guinea and Sudan zone. 
The West African Dwarf and Yankasa breeds should be raised in the humid Forest and Derived Savanna zones. 

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