What is needed to improve sheep productivity in EU and Turkey?

Ina Beltran de Heredia, R.J. Ruiz, C Morgan-Davies, CM Dwyer, T.W.J. Keady, A Carta, D Gavojdian, S Ocak, F Corbiere, JM Gautier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Within the SheepNet network, a survey was undertaken among stakeholders in the sheep industry in the 6 main European sheep-producing countries (FR, IR, IT, RO, SP, UK) and Turkey, to assess the main challenges to improve sheep productivity (efficient reproduction and gestation, reduced lamb mortality). A total of 794 respondents completed the survey. The respondents were farmers/shepherds/farm workers (60%), advisors/consultants (16%),
veterinarians (9%) and scientists (9%). Regarding farmers, 310 were in meat and 140 in dairy sheep systems. The respondents ranked, in order of importance, up to a maximum of 5 challenges to enhance pregnancy rate (16 options)
and success (13 options), and the main management (11 options) and animal factors (11 options) involved in low lamb mortality. The main challenges identified were: (1) to improve pregnancy rate: BCS, nutrition and grassland
management, and flock health status; (2) to enhance pregnancy success: nutrition, control and prevention of abortion, and pregnancy diagnosis; (3) to reduce lamb mortality (management): sheep shed conditions, advanced preparation for lambing, and nutrition/grassland management; (4) to reduce lamb mortality (animal factors): colostrum, lamb vigour, weight and health at birth. Slight differences were observed between countries, between farmers and
technicians, and between meat or dairy sheep farmers, regarding the importance assigned to each issue. The SheepNet network will try to provide solutions to face these challenges within each region and production system across Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 69th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868711
ISBN (Print)9789086863235
Publication statusPrint publication - 2018
EventEAAP 69th Annual Meeting: Conventional and traditional livestock production systems - new challenges - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 27 Aug 201831 Aug 2018


ConferenceEAAP 69th Annual Meeting


  • Animal genetics
  • Animal management
  • Animal health
  • Livestock farming systems
  • Sheep


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