Lamb and Kids Fattening. A Handbook

Textbook, 2015
66 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1: Introduction

CHAPTER 2: Principles of lamb and kids fattening
2.1. Production of Lamb & Kids
2.1.1. Age of the lamb/kids
2.1.2. Condition of animals prior weaning
2.1.3. Genetic Qualities
2.1.4. Procurement price

CHAPTER 3: Feed and feeding regime
Balanced feed concentrate mixture
3.1. Procurement of feed
3.2. Nutritive requirements
3.2.1. Energy (TDN)
3.2.2. Protein
3.2.3. Vitamins
3.2.4. Minerals
3.2.5. Other requirements
3.3. Composition of feed ingredients
3.4. Nutritive requirements of the fattening lambs/kids
3.5. Proportion between digestible protein and total digestible nutrients
3.6. Composition of concentrate
3.7. Feeding regime
3.8. Composition of concentrate ration on the bases of animal body weight
3.9. Feed quality control
3.9.1. Visual appearance
3.9.2. Finger test
3.9.3. Smell
3.9.4. Taste
3.9.5. Chemical control
3.9.6. Procurement and storage of feed ingredients bags etc
3.9.7. Procurement and storage of green and dry forage, bales, etc

CHAPTER 4: Prophylactic vaccination and treatment, disease control and health care
4.1. Prophylactic measures
4.1.1. Vaccination
4.1.2. Treatment Parasitic control Ectoparasitic diseases Guidelines for dipping Endoparasites General measures for control of parasites during fattening Managemental diseases Lesions, injuries Foot rot & care for claws Prevention of foot rot Treatment of foot rot Laboratory services

CHAPTER 5: Hygienic requirements
5.1. Quality of air in the shed
5.2. Temperature
5.3. Light
5.4. Humidity (Cleanliness of shed and moisture control)
5.5. Cleanliness (Cleaning utensils)
5.6. Controlling overcrowding
5.7. Principles of hygiene

CHAPTER 6: Housing and Equipment
6.1. Buildings and facilities
6.2. Floor space, watering, feeding and temperature maintenance requirements
6.3. Utensils and equipment

CHAPTER 7: Management during fattening

7.1. Arrival of lambs/kids
7.1.1. Sample of data record
7.2. Handling and control of animals
7.3. Weighing of the animals
7.3.1. Weighing methods
7.4. Prophylaxis
7.5. Availability of Feed
7.5.1. Sample of feed recording sheet
7.6. Manpower requirements
7.7. Record Keeping

CHAPTER 8: Quality control and maintaining the production cycle
8.1. Quality consideration in fattening of lambs/kids
8.1.1. Age and weight
8.1.2. Sex
8.1.3. Length of fattening period
8.1.4. Fattening system (Feed lot)
8.1.5. Maintaining a production cycle

CHAPTER 9: Monitoring & evaluating performance
9.1. Evaluations and economics
9.1.1. Average daily weight gain. (ADWG)
9.1.2. Feed conversion ratio (FCR)

CHAPTER-10 Marketing
10.1. Urban Domestic Demand and Supply
10.2. Rural Domestic Demand and Supply
10.3. Export to Middle East Countries

CHAPTER 11: Fattening Trials (Technical Report)
Result of the fattening trials



In Balochistan sheep & goats production is the main source of income. In the high lands of Balochistan the indigenous sheep breeds have adopted themselves under very harsh climatic conditions. Their productivity and output is however very low due to primitive traditional nutrition & health practices.

The annual precipitation rate is 25 inches or 125 mm, which is very low. It is believed that inadequate supply of meat & low level of consumption of animal proteins affect health and vigor to varying degree and this is mainly due to poor performance of animals, primarily because of low level of nutrition.

For the fast growing population the supply of good quality mutton in large quantities is required and to raised the consumption of 9.32 kg: meat/person/year to 11.96 kg: According to 1996 livestock census report in Balochistan the sheep and goats population were 10.841 and 9.369 million respectively, Sheep population is almost half of the other three provinces.

To one report published in early 80,s the annual take off of the livestock for slaughtering was in sheep 35 %, goats 40 %, cattle 7 % and buffaloes 3 %. Four indigenous sheep breeds are recognized in the province: -

1. Harnai/Dumari or Kakari.
2. Biveragh. (Bibrik.)
3. Baluchi.
4. Rakhshani

No base line data was available of the live weight gain capacities of the aforesaid breeds when they put on high planes of protein nutrition. The fattening of animals is not a new concept. Since centuries adult rams and goats were fattened in very severe cold and snow fall areas. These animals slaughtered before the start of winter, plucked wool with the force of fingers. Left over wool fibers on the skin is burnt with dry bushes, and then the body is washed with water. In some areas of District Barkhan the farmer removes the wool from the skin pouring boiling water on the body. .Later on removes the bones from the flesh, making two or more pieces, sprinkle salt and chilli on it and hanged the pieces open on poles till it dries. The dry meat is used for making soup, then mixing this soup with the small pieces of breeds. Dry meat in native language is called” Landhi” This dry meat is purely for domestic use.

In this system of fattening, very high cost of grains feeding is involved and the fattening period is longer as much as two to three years. Fattening of lambs on commercial grounds is a necessity of the time. The supply of good quality mutton in large quantities could only be possible by adopting modern methods and technology.

Due to Afghan refugee’s pressure in Balochistan, the Afghan livestock breeders also entered with huge numbers of sheep & goats. The local livestock breeders allowed them to graze their animals on humanitarian grounds. This very badly affected the ranges and the economy of the province.

Keeping in view this drastic situation in early eighties the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Economic Communities (EEC),and other donors agencies of the United Nations i.e. WHO, FAO etc. entered and offered their technical assistance and funding to the Balochistan province in various fields. The Asian Development Bank and European Economic Communities (EEC) offered their technical assistance and funding for the development of the Livestock sector namely “The Balochistan Livestock Development Project.” This project comprised of following seven components:

1. Establishment of 1000 Frisien cows for Milk production & Dairy development.
2. Vaccines Production.
3. Feed Mill.
4. Kid/Lamb fattening.
5. Sheep & goats production through range land Development.
6. Artificial Insemination.
7. Fellowship and Training Assistance

Under the Kid/Lambs fattening component different fattening experimental trials were conducted on Bibrik,Harnai and Balochi sheep breeds at the Government demonstration and training fattening centers Sariab Quetta and Gowal Distt: Pishin. Actually these trials were undertaken in order to establish the economics and profitability of fattening operations under different conditions.

The fattening centers were to serve a triple purpose, namely to prove that lamb fattening can be profitable, to inform interested sheep and goats breeders about fattening, and to do on -thejob training for livestock assistances. The goal was to elaborate suitable fattening system for rural areas and to practice them in private fattening enterprise.

Finally it was established that 4 to 8 months old and weaned out lambs show better performance towards the live weight gain and the feed conversion ratio.

Bibrik lambs gain 15.94 kg: live weight over 120 days fattening trial. Balochi lambs gain 15.79 kg: live weight over 105 days fattening trial. Balochi Lambs gain 14.00 kg: live weight over 120 days fattening trial. Harnai lambs gain 15.58 kg: live weight over 120 days fattening trial.

The present live weight capacities could be increased through selection of elite sheep and rams through breeding activities.

In the completion of these fattening trials I am really grateful to Dr Muhammad Bashir the then Project Director and the former Director General Livestock & Dairy development Balochistan, Mr K.H Greaser, and Dr L. Mayer Livestock Production Expert who’s technical assistance, guidance enable the component to reach its goal. I am also thankful to Dr Faqir Muhammad the Project Coordinator and subsequent Project Director who well planned the project activities and co-ordinated between the Government of Balochistan /Livestock & Dairy Development Department and the European Economic Communities. (E.E.C). Thanks to Dr Taj Muhammad Hassani former Project Manager Sheep & Goats production through Range land development and the Director Research Livestock & Dairy Development

Balochistan, who very closely worked with me, given valuable guidance about extension services, while working on co-operative livestock breeders.

Many thanks to Dr Mazhar Hussain, Dr Abdul Malook Bugti, Dr Abdul Ghafoor Baluch, and Dr Pirzada and Dr. Abdul Rashid for their assistance which greatly contributed towards success of the component. After the winding up of the project, all the records and reports were put on the shelf of a room and locked. After my retirement from the government service in 1999, there was an idea in my mind to collect all the fattening trials data and findings and compile them in a shape of a book; otherwise it would be great injustice with the profession. After a period of almost six years I have prepared and started to write this book.

No doubt Kid/lamb fattening is a profitable business for the private enterprise, and the livestock breeders, provided all the techniques, tactics & tricks are adopted properly. I feel, if somebody is interested in this business and gets the guidelines from this book, it will be of great value for him.

Dr Rahim Dad Khan

Ex-Project Manager

Kid/Lamb fattening Component

Director planning Livestock & D.D. Deptt: Balochistan

DR Muhammad Kamran Taj

Assistant Professor

CASVAB, University of Balochistan


This book is dedicated to Dr Taj Muhammad Khan, Ex-Director General Livestock & Dairy Development Department Balochistan for his services rendered to the livestock breeders and farmers

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

Since centuries sheep and goat production through range land grazing has been a major source of livelihood for the human population in Balochistan. According to 1996 livestock census there are 10.5 million sheep and 9.67 million goats. These animals play a vital role in the economy of the province by providing milk, meat and by products such as butter, oil, cheese, curd, wool, hair, skin, intestines, and bones etc. The productivity of these animals has been low due to the primitive production practices and low plans of nutrition.

Fattening of few animals over a period of 2-3 years has also been an ancient tradition in Balochistan. Due to absence of Refrigeration these animals were slaughtered towards the end of autumn and their meat air dried for consumption during winter months.

For the fast growing human population of country supply of good quality mutton in large quantities is required. A feasible solution could be through withdrawal of a sizeable number of lamb and kids at weaning age from ranges and putting them on either intensive or semi intensive fattening system.

In case of Semi intensive system of fattening the animals are partly fed with concentrate ration and partly grazed in nearby pasture.

In case of Intensive or feed lot system of fattening the animals are stall fed only with concentrate ration and roughages either in the form of wheat straw or chopped green fodder mixed with wheat straw.

CHAPTER 2: Principles of lamb and kids fattening

2.1. Production of Lamb & Kids

Economic efficiency of lamb/kid fattening always depends upon the genetic fattening potential of the breed. A low feed conversion ratio is a good indicator for finding out this genetic potential. The main target in profitable lamb/Kid should therefore be the selection of animals from a breed fulfilling this requirement. For exploiting meat production potential of indigenous breeds a sound breeding program could be charted out. The purpose should be the availability of data on production characteristics of all provincial small ruminant breeds. Beside improvements in the quality and quantity of meat another criterion should be improvements in quality and quantity of wool production, through breeding activities

In lamb and kid fattening the selection of animal having certain qualities plays a major role in the final output per animal and of the lot as a whole. Therefore while selecting lambs and kids following points must be considered.

2.1.1. Age of the lamb/kids.

Four months weaned out is the best age for fattening of lamb/kids. At this age the lamb/kids have already started grazing. At this age the weight gain capacity and feed conversion ratio are very high. The daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio become poorer in case of animals of higher age thus making the business uneconomical for commercial purposes.

2.1.2. Condition of animals prior weaning.

Sound health and uniformity of animals for maximum output should be the criteria while selecting animals for fattening. Animals of varying size and height create great problems during fattening operation. The larger size animals don’t allow smaller ones to eat and always keep them pushing out during feeding. This results for many lambs/kids to become shy to participate in feeding thus unable to put on weight and they may even lose weight. Animals poor in health due to some sickness or having stunted growth due to malnourishment prior to weaning will comparatively give poor performance. Therefore for the economical lambs/kids fattening it is most important that the condition of the animal is very good. Weak, emaciated, undersized, underweight, sick and physically deformed lambs/kids should not be included for fattening. Above all the pre-weaning condition of the selected animal plays a major role in later on fattening.

2.1.3. Genetic Qualities.

While selecting animal’s knowledge regarding characteristics of the breed is essential. Each breed has its own established growth rate performance characteristics even under similar production systems. The selection of animal for later on fattening differs from selecting an animal for immediate slaughter. Since weighing of animal for marketing is not in practice, therefore usually visual analyses forms the bases for selecting an animal to be fattened. Small sized stunted lamb/kid means poor genetic quality. Hence sizeable, uniform, healthy and good looking lambs must be selected.

The animal selection criterions highlighted in terms of age, body condition and genetic qualities play vital role in weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Any variation in any of above would result in varying performance per animal consequently effecting output of the whole lot. While initiating lamb and kid fattening trials under Balochistan Livestock Development Project the strict pursuance of mentioned criterions was not taken seriously. Significant variations in weight gain per animal under same management and feeding conditions were observed. The following table presents an example of adverse effects due to genetic qualities of various provincial sheep breeds on the weight gain of 508 experimental lambs (184 Bibrik. 134 Balochi and186 Harnai breeds) over 120 days fattening trials.

Table 1: varying weight gain responses of provincial sheep breed lambs fattened over a period of 120 days

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Great variation in final weight gain among three breeds has been due to breed characteristics. Among Bibrikand Harnai breeds 15 and 7 lambs respectively could cross 20 kg weight gain but none of Balochi could cross this line. Moreover 20 Bibrik, 10 Balochi and 11 Harnai lambs could hardly touch the bare minimum weight gain of 10 kg. This type variation is either due poor selection or may the characteristics of breed. While selecting lambs/kids both points need consideration from economic point of view.

2.1.4. Procurement price

In lamb/kids fattening, economy commences with the procurement of animals. The amount of money spent per animal i.e. Rs: /kg live weight. Therefore the narrow margin between procurement prices and sale prices after fattening must always be kept in mind. Initial high purchase prices of animal would seriously jeopardize the success of the fattening program. Therefore the procurement persons should have latest information about the actual marketing price of animals in the markets nearest to the area in which the purchases are done. In addition the persons responsible for procurement of animals should never be pressed for shortage of time otherwise he will not be able to properly bargain to fix the price. If there is short of time then it is better to postpone procurement for another day or time rather than exposing him to the animal owner. The procurement of animals should be undertaken as close as possible to the fattening station to avoid stress caused by long distance transport.

The following points should be taken into account while procuring lambs/kids:

- Do not buy a lamb/kid showing any sign or symptoms of a disease such as abnormal nasal discharge, diarrhea, lusterless wool/ fleece, abnormal posture and lameness etc.
- Do not buy a lamb/kid younger than 4 months.
- Do not buy a lamb/kid weighing below 15 kg live weight.
- Do not load too many lambs/kids for transport on to one lorry/truck because they would be subject to transport stress.
- Do not inform the flock owners in advance about your intention to buy animals. (This would result in higher prices.)
- Purchase lambs/kids approximately of the same live weight and age.
- Fix ear tags immediately after buying in a way that the numbers are eligible when standing in front of the animal.
- Fill in the procurement record, such as tag number of animal, live weight, age, date, area of purchase and price.
- Give sufficient water to the lambs/kids before transport.
- Organize transport of animals to the fattening center as soon as possible after procurement. Some reliable experienced person to watch the animals during transport should accompany the animals.
- Procure the lambs/kids in an area as close as possible to the fattening center.

CHAPTER 3: Feed and feeding regime

Balanced feed concentrate mixture

3.1. Procurement of feed

The output in lamb/kid fattening is based upon the maximum daily weight gain by feeding the least cost ration according to the nutritional requirements of animal. First of all the users have to find out feed ingredients available in the market and select the cheapest ones to be used for the feeding ration. The best time for procurement is the harvesting time of crops. The most suitable markets for the purchase of feed ingredients, such as wheat bran, rice polishing, pea seeds, rice husk and the broken rice are in Usta Muhammad (Balochistan province) and Jacobabad (Sindh province) in addition these ingredients including molasses and maize gluten are also available in Lahore, Samandri and Faisal Abad Markets. Urea, wheat bran, lime stone and grains like barley, wheat, sorgum, and maize are also available in Quetta and other district headquarters. The Cotton seed cake is available in Dera Ghazi Khan

3.2. Nutritive requirements

In animal fattening program the first consideration is to determine nutritive need. Fattening animals need nutrients for faster growth. For the lambs/kids fattening, balanced feed concentrate mixture is therefore very important. Concentrate feed mixture must contain energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.

3.2.1. Energy (TDN)

Lack of energy (total digestible nutrients, or TDN) is most common deficiency encountered in fattening animals.

Carbohydrates are the major source of providing significant fraction of energy in the diet of all living beings. Availability of Carbohydrates in the form of Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) in required quantity is essential in feeding ration of animals to be fattened. The carbohydrates are available in all the feed ingredients used in animal feeding but ingredients like Rice polishing, broken rice and wheat bran could be the most economical ingredients If the TDN given to the fattening lambs/kids is below their requirement they will use the available energy for maintenance only at the expense of growth and mutton production.

Therefore it is important to feed enough energy to obtain, full production through fattening lambs/kids

3.2.2. Protein

Fattening lambs/kids needs a high amount of protein for their normal growth and maintenance. Beyond this basic requirement, they need an extra amount of protein in the ration for optimal meat production. For animals it is the total amount of protein that accounts, not the source. This is so because the lambs and kids have microorganisms in the rumen which built up most of the amino acids needed. The protein requirements are usually calculated on the basis of digestible protein (DP). Almost all the ingredients used in animal fattening ration do contain certain amount of DP, but Maize Gluten, Pea seed, Cotton seed cake and Wheat bran are comparatively rich in DP.

Urea is highly rich in synthetic protein and can safely be used in feeding ruminants in fixed amount. Therefore use of urea as DP source can always be considered, provided it is fed in specified quantity and observing fallowing precautions.

Urea should be added to the concentrate only if the total digestive protein content does not fulfill the lamb/ kids requirements.

The quantity of urea fed through concentrate should never exceed 1.5 % (15 gram) of the daily ration. If urea is used in animal feeding, the following points have to be considered:

- Use urea only if additional protein is required.
- Do not feed more than 15 gram urea / lamb / day.
- Split the total daily quantity of urea into two portions.
- Add urea only into energy feedings, namely concentrates which contain crushed grains.
- Adopt the lambs gradually to urea.
- First dissolve the urea completely in clean water and then soak the pre mixed concentrate in the urea water.
- Never mix urea into molasses. You will never get a correct mixture of molasses and urea by hand mixing. Hand mixing is a common reason for urea intoxication in lambs/kids.

3.2.3. Vitamins

If green fodder like alfalfa (Lucerne) grasses, green wheat, green sorghum, green maize etc. is fed to the fattening lambs, the three main vitamins A, D and E normally will be available in sufficient quantities. In case of no availability of green fodder the vitamin A, D and E must be mixed in the concentrate ration.

Signs of vitamin A, D and E deficiency.

- Rough and loose wool.
- Coughing.
- Nasal discharge.
- Watery eyes.
- Diarrhea.
- Staggering gait.
- Scaly skin
- Pneumonia

3.2.4. Minerals

Calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) are the most important minerals for the fattening lambs and responsible for many of the metabolic body functions of the animal. They are usually available in almost all the feed ingredients used in fattening rations. However their availability according to animal requirement and in required ratio between the two always needs consideration. Both are mainly stored in the bones and teeth from where they can be withdrawn if needed. After continued withdrawal without replacement of Ca and P through the feed following deficiency signs can appear.

- Reduced fodder intake, low weight gain.
- Chewing and suckling of wood, metal and wool.
- Stiff joints.
- Weakened bones and teeth.
- Impaired energy utilization.


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Lamb and Kids Fattening. A Handbook
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lamb fattening, Schafzucht, Ziegenzucht, animal husbandry, kids fattening
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Phd Muhammad Kamran Taj (Author)PhD Rahim Dad Khan (Author), 2015, Lamb and Kids Fattening. A Handbook, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • guest on 1/21/2016

    All over the world , having sheep and goats population , can get the privilege to start the kid/lamb fattening at the weaned out age from four months onward till twelve months , the experiments can go up to 120 days. But it is commercially allowed that due to genetic qualities some rams could get required weight gain before the 120 days trials. Fattened lambs produce good quality and quantity meat for the consumers. Under the Balochistan livestock development project (financed by the E.E.C) conducted many lamb fattening experiments and succeeded required weight gain and established a kid / lambs fattening book for the livestock farmers, who are interested in the lamb fattening schemes on the commercial lines

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