Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 49, Issue 7, pp 1479–1487 | Cite as

Do traditional sheep breeders perform conscious selection? An example from a participatory breeding program of Morada Nova sheep

  • Janaina Kelli Gomes Arandas
  • Ângelo Giuseppe Chaves Alves
  • Olivardo Facó
  • Ernandes Barboza Belchior
  • Luciana Shiotsuki
  • Paulo Márcio Barbosa de Arruda Leite
  • Maria Norma Ribeiro
Regular Articles


The implementation of sustainable breeding programs requires genetic breeding strategies that are appropriate for the reality production systems. It is also essential that the choice of animal selection criteria be based on breeders’ knowledge and objectives. This work is an ethno-zootechnical study of the Morada Nova sheep breed and its crossbreeds. The goals of this study were to register and analyze indigenous breeders’ knowledge and practices regarding animal selection criteria and to generate technical information to support a participatory breeding program of the breed. This study was conducted in the Morada Nova municipality in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Semi-structured interviews were evaluated using two groups of individuals, purebred Morada Nova sheep breeders (RMN, n = 13) and breeders of Morada Nova crossbreeds (MMN, n = 48). Interview questions were used to identify local selection criteria adopted by each group in the choice of animals for breeding. Data from the interviews were submitted to frequency distribution analysis and the Shapiro-Wilk test to verify their distribution. Later, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the two groups of farmers based on that information, in addition to multivariate statistical analysis and evaluation of Smith salience index. Breeders in the RMN group used selection criteria related to breed standards, such as pelage color. In contrast, breeders of the MMN group used criteria related to productivity, such as body conformation and milk production. Breeders should be engaged in the development of breeding programs, and it is important to consider their preferences and objectives when evaluating breeding animals.


Ethno-zootechnical Selection criteria Genetic resources Multivariate analysis 



Thanks to the sheep breeders of the Morada Nova municipality who participated in our survey. Also, thanks to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) for the financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janaina Kelli Gomes Arandas
    • 1
  • Ângelo Giuseppe Chaves Alves
    • 2
  • Olivardo Facó
    • 3
  • Ernandes Barboza Belchior
    • 3
  • Luciana Shiotsuki
    • 3
  • Paulo Márcio Barbosa de Arruda Leite
    • 1
  • Maria Norma Ribeiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Fazenda Três LagoasEmbrapa Caprinos e OvinosSobralBrazil

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