Kendrapada sheep of Odisha is a prolific, medium stature meat type breed. The Kendrapada sheep is the second prolific sheep of India after Garrole of West Bengal, which carries FecB mutation, responsible for prolificacy. The reproductive traits of this sheep is the major attribute where the ewe of this sheep comes to heat at around 10–11 months and drops its first lamb at around 15–16 months of age. The average lambing interval in these sheep is 8 months with gestation period of 150 days. The reproductive performance of these sheep is the uniqueness of this sheep population with more than 70% multiple births; 62.8% twinning, 2.3% triplet and 1% quadruplets. Thus research should be undertaken to conserve the valuable germplasm of Kendrapada sheep to improve the other breeds of India which are good in context of weight gain but lack prolificacy. As sheep are well adapted to diverse climatic conditions they can easily thrive on wide variety of grasses and crop residues thus fits well in zero input free grazing system of rearing by rural poor. However the potentiality of this Kendrapada sheep in terms of meat quality and prolificacy and resistance to diseases has been the simulating force to take up base line survey along with variety of trials to conserve this breed. Keeping the above mentioned points in mind the present study was carried out to highlight the baseline details of this neglected breed as it is one of the first review articles on Kendrapada sheep.
Part of the book: Sheep Farming