Type: Book

Achieving sustainable production of sheep


Professor Johan Greyling is Head of the Department of Animal, Welfare and Grassland Science at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the journal Small Ruminant Research as well as Associate Editor of the South African Journal of Animal Science. He has published widely in the area of animal breeding and worked with major international organisations such as the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).



Publication date:

15 September 2017

Length of book:

474 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786760845

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Sheep farming, whether for meat or wool, has always been an essential component in diversifying farming systems, particularly in exploiting land unsuitable for arable crops. The sector faces a range of challenges in meeting rising demand. There is an ongoing threat both from endemic and more exotic diseases. Consumer expectations about nutritional and sensory quality have never been higher. There is also greater concern about the environmental impact of animal production and animal welfare issues.

Drawing on an international range of expertise, this book reviews research addressing these challenges. The first part of the book addresses quality issues affecting meat, wool and dairy products from sheep. The book then goes on to discuss advances in breeding before reviewing ways of improving sheep nutrition, health and welfare. The collection concludes by assessing the environmental impact of sheep production and ways it can be more effectively managed.

Achieving sustainable production of sheep will be a standard reference for animal and food scientists in universities, government and other research centres and companies involved in supporting sheep farming.

Key features

  • Discusses research on factors affecting carcass composition and meat quality; 
  • Reviews advances in breeding such as the use of molecular markers; 
  • Summarises key developments in understanding and improving the health and welfare of sheep

Sample content

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What others are saying...

"The proposed book is almost encyclopaedic in coverage and includes the cream of the world's animal scientists specifically with expertise in sheep farming. The focus on sustainability is to be commended."
Emeritus Professor George F. W. Haenlein, University of Delaware, USA

Table of contents

Part 1 Quality issues
1.Factors affecting sheep carcass characteristics: Nicola M. Schreurs and Paul R. Kenyon, Massey University, New Zealand;
2.Animal and on-farm factors affecting sheep and lamb meat quality: Nicola M. Schreurs and Paul R. Kenyon, Massey University, New Zealand;
3.Improving sheep wool quality: E. K. Doyle, University of New England, Australia;
4.Producing quality milk from sheep: Sam W. Peterson, Massey University, New Zealand;

Part 2 Genetics and breeding
5.Mapping the sheep genome: Noelle E. Cockett, Utah State University, USA; Brian Dalrymple, University of Western Australia, Australia; James Kijas, CSIRO, Australia; Brenda Murdoch, University of Idaho, USA; and Kim C. Worley, Baylor College of Medicine, USA;
6.Advances in sheep breeding: Julius van der Werf, School of Environmental & Rural Science, University of New England, Australia; and Andrew Swan and Robert Banks, Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, University of New England, Australia;
7.Improving reproductive efficiency of sheep: J. P. C. Greyling, University of the Free State, South Africa;

Part 3 Animal nutrition and health
8.Sustainably meeting the nutrient requirements of grazing sheep: D. K. Revell, Revell Science and The University of Western Australia, Australia;
9.Sheep nutrition: formulated diets: M. L Thonney, Cornell University, USA;
10.Maintaining sheep flock health: an overview: Neil Sargison, University of Edinburgh, UK;
11.Bacterial and viral diseases affecting sheep: Francesca Chianini, Moredun Research Institute, UK;
12.Sustainable control of gastrointestinal nematode parasites affecting sheep: W. E. Pomroy, Massey University, New Zealand;
13.Understanding and improving immune function in sheep: Gary Entrican and Sean Wattegedera, Moredun Research Institute, UK;

Part 4 Animal welfare
14.Understanding sheep behaviour: R. Nowak, INRA/Université de Tours, France;
15.Validating indicators of sheep welfare: N.J. Beausoleil and D.J. Mellor, Massey University, New Zealand;
16.Improving the welfare of ewes: A. L. Ridler and K. J. Griffiths, Massey University, New Zealand;
17.Improving the welfare of lambs: K. Stafford, Massey University, New Zealand;
18.Humane transport, lairage and slaughter of sheep: P. H. Hemsworth and E. C. Jongman, University of Melbourne, Australia;

Part 5 Sustainability
19.Assessing the environmental impact of sheep production: S. F. Ledgard, AgResearch Ruakura Research Centre, New Zealand
20.Nutritional strategies to minimise emissions from sheep: C. Jamie Newbold, Eli R. Saetnan and Kenton J. Hart, Aberystwyth University, UK;