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Conference Papers Year : 2022

Increasing resilience of small ruminants farming systems: 3 management strategies across countries

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The sustainability of small ruminant livestock is one of the pillars of socio-economic sustainability and ecosystem services in many rural communities around the world. It is to help redefine these selection criteria that the European H2020 project SMARTER was established. The objective of this study was to analyse the genetic management practices of small ruminant breeders and the socio-technical elements that condition them. It is based on on-farm surveys conducted in five countries (France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Uruguay) among 272 breeders of 13 sheep and goat breeds (15 breed × systems). The information was collected in three sections. The first section dealt with general elements of structure and management of the system and the flock. The second section focused on genetic management practices: criteria for culling and replacement of females, selection criteria for males, use of EBV’s and synthetic indexes, preferences for indexing new traits to increase the resilience of their system. The third section aimed to collect socio-technical information. We used a data abstraction method to standardize the representation of these data. A mixed data factor analysis (MDFA) followed by a hierarchical ascending classification allowed the characterization of three profiles of genetic management: (1) A profile of farmers (n=93) of small herds, with little knowledge or use of genetic selection tools (index, AI, performance testing). They do not feel that they need new traits to improve the sustainability of their system. (2) A profile of farmers (n=34) of multi-breed herds in very grazing systems. They are familiar with genetic tools: they currently use AI little and would like the indexes to include more traits related to health or robustness to make their system more resilient. (3) A profile of farmer-breeders (n=145) of large herds, with demanding culling practices. These breeders are satisfied with the indexes as they are to ensure the resilience of their system. These results are elements that can be used by selection organizations and companies to support their reflection on the evolution of selection objectives to increase the resilience of small ruminant breeding systems.
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hal-03775168 , version 1 (20-12-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03775168 , version 1


Julien Quenon, Vincent Thenard, Georgios Arsenos, Giovanni Bailo, Rebeca Baptista, et al.. Increasing resilience of small ruminants farming systems: 3 management strategies across countries. 73rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Sep 2022, Porto, Portugal. ⟨hal-03775168⟩
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