Zootechnical and Economic Characteristics of Sheep Genetic Resources in Plovdiv Area Lowlands
The study took place within 2002 - 2004 in 17 towns and villages of Plovdiv area lowlands.Zootechnical and economic characteristics of three sheep genetic resources was made, namely, the Synthetic dairy sheep population, White Maritza Sheep and Patch faced Maritza sheep, bread on the plains of Plovdiv area. Primary information was collected from 29 private sheep farms by questionnaires and 2 to 6 visits to each farm, annually. It is characteristic of the area that. Synthetic sheep population is grown on farms with an average of 283 ewes while White and Patch faced Maritza sheep are grown in small flocks on small-scale farms with an average of 31 and 32 ewes, respectively. It was found that milk yield per ewe of the Synthetic dairy population was 115.50 l that was insignificantly higher than Patch faced Maritza sheep - 112.76 l and White Maritza sheep - 101.60 l. Milk yield of studied sheep genetic resources was good, though not high. The number of lambs sold per ewe of the Synthetic dairy population was 0.92 and Patch faced and White Maritza sheep values for this index were 0.79 and 0.80, respectively. There was no difference between the average weight of Patch faced and White Maritza lambs sold, on the one hand and Synthetic dairy, on the other - 18.78 kg, 19.67 kg and 18.08 kg. The same was true about prolificacy coefficient - 1.34, 1.34 and 1.29, no significant differences between them. In each specific production system, the provision of alfalfa hay per ewe was 185.13 kg for Patch faced Maritza sheep, 174.57 kg for White Maritza sheep and 154.76 kg for the Synthetic population.Feed costs in Patch faced and White Maritza sheep flocks was higher, i.e. 173.03 kg and 180.74 kg and in the Synthetic dairy population - 152.25 kg. The percentage of revenue from milk in Patch faced Maritza sheep was 46.50%, White Maritza sheep - 43.86% and Synthetic population flocks - 48.64%. Lamb sales was the second major revenue source with insignificant breed dependent variation, i.e. 32.43% in Patch faced Maritza sheep flocks, 37.73% on White Maritza farms and 37.90% on Synthetic population farms. The gross income per one Patch faced Maritza sheep was BGN 73.86, White Maritza - BGN 65.55 and Synthetic population - BGN 69.90.