In Ghana, sheep and goats play an important role in the food production systems. Their popularity can be explained by their good adaptation to many different climates (ecological adaptation) and uses for which they can be kept.
Sheep (mutton) and goat (chevron) are highly patronized by revelers of “chop bar” in all the regions across the nation. This point to the fact that a big market exist for the meat in Ghana.
To start rearing of sheep/goat you need the following
- Breeding stock (one male to 10-20 females)
- Housing (pen)
- Grazing materials
Materials needed for pen construction
Housing for sheep/goat can be constructed from both traditional and non-traditional materials:
- Wood (boards and scantlings)
- Iron sheet
- Concrete/bricks (expensive but durable)
- Local mud fortified with cement
- Tree branches
- Thatched roof
- Combination of any of the above
Floor space for pen construction
Ram/Ewe (Adult) 12-20sq ft.
Ewe with lamb: 15-22sq ft.
Feeder lamb: 10-12sq ft
Goats are essentially browsers and hence can feed on a wide range of tree leaves and even the back and exposed roots. Even though sheep characteristically lack this ability, they as well live on a wide range of vegetation and agro-industrial by-products as goats.
Example of such vegetation and agro-industrial by-products of sheep and goats include: Guinea grass, buffel grass, giant star grass, carpet grass, Brachiaria, Lucaena, Centrosema, Stylo, Lalab, Pigeon pea, Gliricidia vines. Sorghum or maize could be planted, harvested and processed into silage or hay for dry season feeding. Rice straw can also be stored and treated with urea for dry season feeding.
- Sheep/goat can reproduce thrice in two years (if well planned and with good condition)
- Gestation period: 5 months (145-150 days/21 weeks)
- Heat period: 17-21 days
- Sexual maturity: female 8-10 months (about 18-20kg weight) male- 6-8months. vAverage litter size: 1-2
- Weaning: three months (feed very well at this stage)
- Distance to neighboring residence
- Direction of prevailing winds in relation to neighbors
- An adequate source of water
- Topography (avoid steep hill)
- Soil type (well-drained soil)
- Proximity to surface water bodies, sinkholes and flood plains
For further information contact:
Animal production directorate,
Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Any regional or District Agricultural Development Unit across the country.