Livestock Production: Sheep and Goats Breeds - Form 1 Agriculture Notes

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Sheep Breeds:

Purpose of Keeping Sheep;

  • Meat (mutton).
  • Wool production.

Exotic Sheep

  • Wool breeds -for example merino.
  • Dual purpose- for example Corriedale, Romney marsh.
  • Mutton breeds -for example Hampshire Down, Dorpers.


Origin: Spain

  • It has white face and its lips and nostrils are pink in colour.
  • Rams have horns which are spiral in shape.
  • It is susceptible to foot rot, worm and respiratory diseases.


  • Origin: New Zealand.
  • Size: Rams 85 - 90kg. Ewes 60-- 85 kg
  • This is a dual-purpose breed with white open face and white spots on the legs.
  • It is hornless and hardy.

Romney Marsh

  • Origin: England.
  • Size: Rams 100 - 115kg.
  • Ewes 84- 100 kg
  • It is a dual-purpose breed which is hornless with wide poll and black nostrils and lips.
  • It is average in prolificacy.
  • It is resistant to foot rot diseases and worm infestation.

Hampshire Down

  • Origin: England.
  • Size: Rams 125kg. Ewes 80-100 kg
  • It is a mutton breed which is early maturing, hardy and prolific.
  • Fleece is of poor quality because of the black fibres.
  • Lambing percentage is 125-140.


  • Is a crossbreed of Dorset horn and black head Persian sheep.
  • It is mutton breed.

Indigenous Breeds

Dorset Horn

  • Dual purpose breed of sheep.
  • Indigenous Breeds of Sheep
  • Their bodies are covered with hair.
  • Their classification is based on their tails and their names vary according to different tribes.
  • Characteristics;
    • Thin tailed sheep found in West Africa.
    • Fat tailed such as Maasai sheep.
    • Fat rumped sheep.

Maasai Sheep

  • Found in South Western Kenya and Northern Tanzania.
  • Size: Ram 38kg, Ewe 20-30kg.
  • Colour: Red and brown.
  • These are early maturing with long legs and small pointed horns.

Black Head Persian Sheep

  • Origin: South Africa
  • Colour: White with black head and neck.
  • It is polled with a big dewlap, fat rump and a curved tail..

Goat Breeds

Goats well adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions because of the following characteristics:

  • They feed on a wide range of vegetation.
  • They require very little amount of water.
  • They are tolerant to high temperatures.
  • They are fairly resistant to diseases.
  • They can walk long distances without losing weight.

Indigenous Goat Breeds


(white in colour). Adult female can weigh 25kg.

Somali (Boran):

Found in Northern Kenya (white in colour).



(Long hair and bearded.


(Black) (40-45kg). These are small and hardy and are kept for meat and milked by the pastoralists.

Exotic Breeds

Boer goat

  • Origin: South Africa
  • Colour: White
  • Has long ears and long hair on their bodies.


  • Origin: North East Africa
  • Colour: Roan and White
  • These have long legs, lopped ears and are polled.
  • They produce 1-2 litres of milk per , day.


  • Origin: India
  • Colour: White, black and fawn.
  • They are horned, have large lopped ears
  • Produce 1-1.5_litres of milk per day.


  • Origin: Switzerland
  • Colour: White patches on the body, white stripes on the face and neck.
  • Erect forward pointing ears and polled.
  • Can produce 2-3 of milk per day.


  • Origin: Switzerland.
  • Colour: White
  • They have erect, forward pointing ears and polled.
  • Can produce 2-3 Iitres of milk per day.


  • Origin: Angora in Asia.
  • Colour: White
  • It is kept for wool production.
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