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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesCrossbreeding Sheep Can Have Economical Results

Crossbreeding Sheep Can Have Economical Results

Sept. 28, 2004 – The V.I. Department of Agriculture and the University of the Virgin Islands Agriculture Experiment Station will present a seminar entitled "Use of the Dorper Breed in a Crossbreeding Program with St. Croix White Sheep" on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Music Auditorium Building, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas.
Dr. Robert Godfrey of the Agriculture Experiment Station-St. Croix will present a summary of a three-year research project which studied the impact of the Dorper breed crossed with St. Croix White Hair Sheep breed. Godfrey will discuss the latest ideas and information to help local farmers improve their herds through breeding and meat production.
"The crossbreeding was done in an attempt to increase the size and growth rate of market lambs. The increased rate of growth translates to a greater efficiency which would provide a greater net return to the farmer," Godfrey said.
"The study results show that growing lambs on a concentrate feed is not economical due to the high costs of importing the feed. Raising the lambs on pasture still keeps the advantage in growth rate without the added cost of the imported feed. The Dorper-crossbred lambs were also able to tolerate intestinal parasites as well as the local St Croix White lambs, Godfrey said.
"While this seminar will focus on sheep breeding, I do believe that the basic steps to setting up breeding plans — such as choosing animals and assessing the results — are applicable for goat, cattle and swine farmers, too. Each farmer should have some breeding plan in order to continuously improve their herd by growth and strength of animals, mothering ability, number of young that survive and grow quickly without special attention," Dr. Bethany Bradford, St. Thomas-St. John district veterinarian, V.I. Department of Agriculture, said.
All farmers and interested persons are invited to attend this free seminar. For more information please contact Bradford at the St. Thomas Department of Agriculture at 774-5182.
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