Sheep rearing is not so popular in Uganda despite the low investment requirements. Consumption of mutton by Ugandans is quite low hence there is no demand driving the farmers to keep sheep. There are only about one million sheep in Uganda and the number is likely to reduce further unless demand for mutton picks up.
Breeds of sheep
Ankole Fat-Tailed Sheep
Dorset Horn Breed Cross.
Challenges of sheep rearing
There are cultural and religious beliefs some people have against rearing and eating of sheep.
There is lack of public awareness programme aimed at correcting the views some people have against the eating and rearing of sheet.
Advantages of sheep rearing
- There is increasing demand for mutton in local hotels, the Middle East and neighbouring Sudan which is slowly attracting local farmers into the business of rearing sheep.
- Sheep rearing is highly profitable like cattle and goat rearing.
- Sheep can be grazed together with cattle.
- Sheep are resistant to diseases and parasites which means a farmer spends less on their treatment and vaccination.
- Sheep are also fast-maturing and can be slaughtered at only six months of age.
- Sheep can resist harsh conditions such as drought unlike cattle and goats.
- Sheep can multiply very fast when compared to cattle or goats.
- The sheep can produce twice a year.
- Sheep can feed on poor quality pasture which means a farmer doesn’t incur high expenses of buying feeds for his animals especially during long calamities like long droughts.
Disadvantages of sheep rearing
- The demand for mutton and sheep skins is still low.
- Sheep are highly infested with worms that they get through the ingestion of eggs during grazing
- The sheep also suffer from Heart Water disease which is transmitted by ticks.
- The sheep also suffer from Foot Rot disease which is caused by bacterium in Sheep and is characterised by lameness in the feet.
Market for Sheep
There is demand from sheep from hotels
Sheep is mainly sold during the Idd Adhuha period, a religious feast when Muslims sacrifice animals.
Districts known to rear sheep
- Mukono District
- Kayunga District
- Rakai District
- Apac District