Preferences for sheep or goats in Indonesia

I.G.S. Budisatria, H.M.J. Udo, C.H.A.M. Eilers, E. Baliarti, A.J. van der Zijpp

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to explore farmers’ preferences for sheep or goats based on feeding practices, animal and flock performances and economic benefits of sheep and goats in different agro-ecological zones in Central Java, Indonesia. In total, 150 smallholder farmers were selected from three agro-ecological zones: the lowlands, the middle zone, and the uplands. Feeding and performance parameters were estimated through weekly farm visits and farm records, from September 2001 to August 2003. In the lowlands, small ruminants were fed mainly with field grass and crop residues, whereas in the middle zone and uplands feeds fed were mainly field grass and leaves. Sheep were given more opportunities to graze than goats, however, grazing was not a major component in the diets. In the lowlands and the middle zone the differences in feed intakes, ADG and reproductive performances between sheep and goats were small. In all zones, does had significantly larger litters than ewes. In the uplands, goats had a significantly higher DMI, grew slightly faster, and had a higher weaning rate than sheep. Consequently, in the uplands, the total economic benefits from goat flocks were 25% higher than from sheep flocks. The major differences in agro-ecological conditions that affect the choice for sheep or goats were the availability of cassava peels in the lowlands, favouring a choice for sheep, and the abundance of leaves in the middle zone and uplands, which favours keeping goats. The promotion of goats by the government, the family tradition of keeping sheep or goats, the preference for sacrificing sheep for religious festivities, and the high initial investment needed to buy goat breeding stock could be other important motives to keep sheep or goats. Sheep fattening based on rice bran supplementation could be a feasible innovation in the lowlands. In the middle zone and uplands goat breeding could make a positive contribution to rural livelihoods
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • reproductive-performance
  • systems
  • benefits
  • menz
  • ewes

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    Budisatria, I. G. S., Udo, H. M. J., Eilers, C. H. A. M., Baliarti, E., & van der Zijpp, A. J. (2010). Preferences for sheep or goats in Indonesia. Small Ruminant Research, 88(1), 16-22.