Grazing Management of Goats and Strategies to Alleviate Dry Season Feed Shortage in Pastoral and Agro-Pastoral Districts of South Omo Zone, Ethiopia

Tekleyohannes Berhanu


A survey was conducted in Hamer and Bena-Tsemay pastoral and agro-pastoral districts of South Omo zone, south western Ethiopia in between January to May 2011with the objective to describe grazing management of goats and strategies to alleviate dry season feed shortage. Data were collected from the two districts by informal and formal survey methods using focused group discussion and semi-structured questionnaire administered to 250 households. Natural pastures from rangelands are major feed sources for goats. The households have different grazing sites and herd management strategies for cattle and small ruminants. Cattle graze on communal rangelands far away from the homesteads and herded by young boys who live in camps around the grazing site. On the other hand, sheep and goats, including a few lactating cows and some sick animals, graze in community rangelands around the homesteads. In Hamer and Bena-Tsemay districts, 85 and 46% households co-graze sheep and goats which are usually herded by small boys or girls. In both districts, the hot dry season (November to February) is the period of feed scarcity and during which high mortality of goats have been reported. Mobility is the main strategy for the households to alleviate dry season feed shortage and tree lopping is the common practice for supplementation of goats during the dry season.

Keywords: Grazing management, Feed shortage, Goats, South Omo zone

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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