Performance and Marketing of Garut Sheep, West Java
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Sheep is concentrated in West Java with the population of approximately 48% of the total sheep population in Indonesia (9.514.184 heads). Garut Regency contributed around 5% and 9% respectively to West Java and Indonesia population (DOLS~ 2007). A steady increase with very little fluctuation of sheep population within 3 years (2004-2007) in West Java (10%/year) and Garut (17%/year) indicates its economical contribution and cultural values to the region. However, Garut sheep gained little attention and support for it's development. A study was carried out in two representative villages in Garut, aiming at obtaining information on sheep production characteristics including, ownership, types of management, production capacity and marketing. The results showed that the numbers of animals owned was ranging from 1-5 heads/family. Ratio between males and females of 1 : 1.7, providing enough chances for mating activities. Simple housing, feeding and health management were applied by farmers. Fifty four percent of ewes were kept for breeding purpose, while lamb were raised for sale. The average body weight gain of lOOgr/day. Reproductive characteristics was significantly high: 1) sexual maturity for males and females was achieved at 6 m and 10 m respectively; 2) age at first mating around 1 year of age; 3) lambing interval was 9 months and litter size was 2.8 lambs/year, with high percentage of single birth ( 41 % ) and twining birth ( 46% ). High mortality rate (7 5% ), mostly occurred at young age. Sheep were sold as live animals to other farmers, consumers or middle-man. The marketing channels by middle men went through several steps before reaching the final consumers.
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