Guide to Identify Abigar Cattle Breed

The Abigar cattle breed is found in the Gambella regional state, Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a huge population of livestock with indigenous genetic genotype. The livestock are well adapted to the climate and ecosystem. They account for self-employment opportunities and food security of the region.
Indigenous cattle like the Abigar are predominantly found in border areas of Ethiopia. The hardened animal is well adapted to the harsh environment and predominantly reared by the Nuer tribes of Gambella regional state. Abigar cattle are classified as ‘Sanga’ and farmed for the rich milk and meat.

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Uses
The cattle is used for milk, meat and hide. They are slaughtered for meat and produce 700kg to 750kg of milk per lactation. It provides most of the milk requirements in the region. The milk is processed into local delicacies.
A cow can produce 1-4L of milk daily under traditional method. While under controlled feeding they will produce 2.9L daily.
• Milk
• Beef
• Hide production
Pests and Diseases
The cattle is resistant to tsetse fly a deadly insect in the region. The tsetse causes sleeping sickness a very deadly condition that leads to death in humans and animals. The cattle has good tolerance to heat, drought and withstands feed shortage. It is disease resistant, and can withstand water shortage.
• Resistant to diseases
• Drought resistant
• Resistant to pests
• Can withstand low water regions
Feeding
The feeding requirements is predominantly foraging and pastoral. Farmed under traditional livestock practices the farmers use the topography and knowledge of the area to find food and water.
The primary method used in the area is open grazing. The harsh region is characterized by semi-arid and arid ecology. Others include low level of rainfall, hot climate, and low vegetation. The annual temperatures in the region is 19 C to 27C.
• Open grazing
• Pastoral system
Distribution and Origin
Abigar cattle classified as Sango are found in border regions of Ethiopia. The name Abigar is from the Abigar people an ethic group. Predominantly raised by people of the Gambella region.
The Sango breed origin is traced through interbreeding of the Zebu, longhorn and shorthorn cattle. Traced back to 3500 years ago, areas you find the breed are Akobo, Anywaa, Itang and Jakawa tribes of southwest Sudan.

Features
The adaptability features include resistance to diseases and high heat tolerance. It has heat tolerance of 70% and adaptable to arid and semi-arid regions. Average face length 43.9, heart girth 142.5, mouth circumference 39.2.
The canon bone circumference 14.9, dewlap width 13.3, neck length 43.5 and horn length 44.6. The typical Abigar cow has medium/long horns, medium height and good body conformation.
They have small hump, straight face, sloppy rump. The cattle is either white, brown or a combination of both colors.
• Medium/long horns
• Medium height
• Good body conformation
• Small hump
• Straight face
• Sloppy rump
• White, brown or a combination of both colors
Reproduction
The cattle reaches sexual maturity in 40 months while the bulls reach full maturity in 4 years and reproductive period is 5 to 6 years. The cattle can produce an average of 7 to 10 calves during their reproductive years

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