Do Traditional Sheep Breeders Perform Conscious Selection? An Example From A Participatory Breeding Program Of Morada Nova Sheep
Published 2017 · Biology, Medicine
The implementation of sustainable breeding programs requires genetic breeding strategies that are appropriate for the reality production systems. It is also essential that the choice of animal selection criteria be based on breeders’ knowledge and objectives. This work is an ethno-zootechnical study of the Morada Nova sheep breed and its crossbreeds. The goals of this study were to register and analyze indigenous breeders’ knowledge and practices regarding animal selection criteria and to generate technical information to support a participatory breeding program of the breed. This study was conducted in the Morada Nova municipality in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Semi-structured interviews were evaluated using two groups of individuals, purebred Morada Nova sheep breeders (RMN, n = 13) and breeders of Morada Nova crossbreeds (MMN, n = 48). Interview questions were used to identify local selection criteria adopted by each group in the choice of animals for breeding. Data from the interviews were submitted to frequency distribution analysis and the Shapiro-Wilk test to verify their distribution. Later, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the two groups of farmers based on that information, in addition to multivariate statistical analysis and evaluation of Smith salience index. Breeders in the RMN group used selection criteria related to breed standards, such as pelage color. In contrast, breeders of the MMN group used criteria related to productivity, such as body conformation and milk production. Breeders should be engaged in the development of breeding programs, and it is important to consider their preferences and objectives when evaluating breeding animals.