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Influence of month and climatic factors on the period of birth, litter size, birth weight and preweaning mortality of sheep in Ghana
- Kabuga, J.D., Akowuah, F.
- International journal of biometeorology 1990 v.34 no.3 pp. 164-169
- sheep, lambing, birth weight, litter size, mortality, wet season, dry season, rain, relative humidity, air temperature, correlation, Ghana
- Relationships between month and climatic factors --rainfall, ambient temperature, relative humidity (RH) and temperature-humidity index (THI)--with time of parturition, litter size, birth weight and preweaning mortality were studied in Djallonke and Djallonke X Sahelian sheep. Births (4142) occurred all year round although there were significant differences in the number of births per month. Maximum litter size did not coincide with the maximum births. Peak conceptions occurred in the early parts of the major rainy season. There were also significant differences in birth weights and mortalities (%) per month. Maximum and minimum values (of birth weights and mortalities) occurred in the latter part of the rainy seasons and dry periods respectively. There were significant positive correlations between litter size and cumulative rainfall in the 4th-6th months periods prior to lambing. Birth weights of both males and females were positively and significantly associated with minimum temperature and cumulative rainfall in the 2- and 3-months period prior to lambing respectively. There were significant positive correlations between mortality and minimum and maximum RH and cumulative rainfall in the 3 months after lambing.