West African Dwarf (sheep)

West African Dwarf (sheep)

West African Dwarf is a domesticated breed of sheep and is the dominant breed from southwest to central Africa.[1] This breed is primarily raised for meat.[2]


The West African Dwarf is generally black piebald on white. However, tan piebald on white and the blackbelly pattern are found. Rams weigh approximately 37 kg (82 lb), have a well-developed throat ruff and are horned. Ewes weigh about 25 kg (55 lb) and are usually polled (hornless).[1]

On average, ewes produce 1.15 to 1.50 lambs per lambing.[1] This breed grows slowly as evaluated in Nigeria in the last 1970s. The overall growth rates from 0-90, 91-150 and 151–350 days old were 74, 49 and 33 g/day, respectively.[3]. This breed is also highly tolerant of trypanosome.[4] This breed is thought to go into oestrus throughout the year.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "West African Dwarf". Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Animal Science. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/westafricandwarf/index.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  2. ^ "West African Dwarf/Benin". Breed Data Sheet. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System. http://dad.fao.org/. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  3. ^ Mack, S.D.. "Evaluation of the productivities of West African dwarf sheep and goats in southwest Nigeria". International Livestock Research Institute. http://dagris.ilri.cgiar.org/bibdetail.asp?RC=1369. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  4. ^ Mawuena, K. "High degree of tolerance to trypanosomes in West African dwarf sheep and goats of the South Guinea regions of Togo. Comparison with trypanotolerant cattle". UK: CABI. http://www.cababstractsplus.org/abstracts/Abstract.aspx?AcNo=19882207581. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  5. ^ Ngere, L. O. and Dzakuma J. M. (1975). "The effect of sudden introduction of rams on oestrus pattern of tropical ewes". Journal of Agricultural Science (Cambridge) 84: 263–264. doi:10.1017/S0021859600052382. 

See also