As part of a long-term breeding programme aimed at improving the performance of Omani goats and sheep, a 3-year performance trial was carried out between 1991 and 1993 to evaluate the reproductive and productive performance of three breeds of goat: Batinah (BT), Dhofari (DH) and Jabal Akhdar (JA), and one breed of local Omani sheep. In each year, flushing started on 1 September, mating started on 1 October and terminated on 15 November, and the kidding/lambing season started on average on 1 March. Kids and lambs were weaned at c. 3 months of age, then put on a 3-month performance test, fed on concentrates ad libitum and Rhodes grass hay. Some 3706 dam and 3011 progeny performance records were available over a 3-year period from 1991 to 1993. Ewes were lighter in body weight and lower in litter size weaned but higher in fertility than the does. Although the lambs had lighter birth weights, they were heavier at weaning and at 6 months of age. Among the goats, the DH does had lighter body weight but higher litter size weaned than both the BT and the JA goats. DH kids were somewhat lighter at birth, weaning and 6-month body weights than the other two breeds but had higher survival.
The sheep had higher output per ewe exposed (3·28 kg, 33%) and per ewe lambed (3·27 kg, 26%) and were 35% more efficient in production than the goats. Although the DH goats had a lower output per doe exposed than the BT and JA goats (0·9 kg, 9 % and 0·76 kg, 7% respectively) and per doe kidded (1·11 kg, 9% and 1·29 kg, 10%), they had higher efficiency of production than both BT (0·05 units, 6%) and JA (0·11 units, 14%).
In view of these results, attention should be paid to the sheep industry through the introduction of promotion schemes. The DH goats would be even more useful if involved in a crossbreeding scheme and the JA goats would benefit from selection for maternal care.