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Sheep Breeds of Jammu and Kashmir
Favourable agro-climatic conditions
and other natural endowments including rich alpine pastures made the sheep and
goat rearing as the core activity of rural masses of the Jammu and Kashmir State
from the times immemorial to play a vital role in the socio-economic up-liftment
of the most weaker sections of the society viz Chopans, Gujjars , Gaddies,
Changpas and Bakerwals. However, at that time, the economic returns from sheep
and goat rearing were non-significant due to low productivity of the available
As the developmental activities related
to sheep and goat were carried out in the State under the auspices of Animal
Husbandry Department, no concrete sheep developmental programme could be under
taken except some cross-breeding experiments/trials till 1962, when Sheep
Breeding and Developmental Department was carved out of Animal Husbandry
Department for look after of sheep husbandry Sector. The newly formed
Department of Sheep Husbandry right from its inception laid maximum emphasis on
cross-breeding programme which resulted in substantial progress in production of
wool and mutton. With a view to improve quantity and quality of the traits of
the indigenous sheep of the State up to desired level, it is essential to have
knowledge of the indigenous material i.e. types or strains of sheep found in the
State. Initially no survey of sheep in this regard has been made in the State.
However, efforts made by some researchers are appreciable in this respect.
Some types of breeds found
in Jammu and Kashmir State are given below which is expected to serve useful
purpose for those research workers and technocrats who are interested to know
about the types of sheep present in the State.
Habitat: Gurez Tehsil of Kashmir.
The Gurezi Sheep is the biggest among
the Kashmir breeds.
Animals are coarse woolen dairy
animals, usually white
and polled. The majority of
sheep are hornless. However,
recently some animals even with
more than two horns
(Poly-ceros condition) were
observed. These sheep have
short ears and wool in
predominantly white. However, a
number of coloured sheep are
also maintained for getting
wools of natural shades of
grey, black and brown. The
animals graze rich grasses at
8000 ft in summer but are stall
fed in winter .
yield: 1.250 – 1.500 kilograms per annum.
Medium fine about 6 inches long and lacking kemps.
Habitat: Kistwar and Baderwah Tehsils of Jammu and Kulu,
Chamba and Kangra Valleys of
Gaddies are hill tribes who are traditional sheep breeders
raising this breed. These
sheep are small in size but have
sturdy legs with short tails
and ears. They live on scrub
forest during winter and in
summer they migrate to Paddar
and other neighbouring ranges.
The fleece is generally
white with brown coloured hair
on the face. The rams are
horned and ewes hornless.
yield: 0.817 kg per annum.
Medium fine with average fiber dia-meter 34.90 micron (u)
and staple length 10.10
centimeters. The wool in good sheep
is lustrous and under coat is
used for manufacture of kulu
shawls and blankets.
Habitat: Kashmir Valley at an attitude of 5000-6000 ft.
Animals are smaller in size with predominantly coloured
fleece yielding an admixture of
medium fine and coarse
wool. These animals have short tails
with males having small horns.
yield: 0.860 + 0.010 kg per annum.
Admixture of coarse and medium fine with fiber diameter
and staple length varying from 28 to 34
u (micron) and 8 to 10 centimeters respectively.
Habitat: Karnah Tehsil at an attitude of 1200-4600 meters.
The animals are robust, having long face and a prominent
nose. Rams have big curved
horns. The fleece is relatively
fine though shorter than that
of Guresi, breed of sheep.
yield: 1.000 – 1.250 kg per annum.
Medium fine wool having average fiber diameter of 29.70 u
(micron) and staple length of
Habitat: Migratory sheep reared by the nomadic tribe
Bakerwals. Their movements
include high ranges of
Pirpanchal mountains, Kashmir Valley
and other low lying hills of Jammu and Kashmir. Being migratory
these sheep live in open through out the year.
These sheep are hardly and sturdy and are excellent
climbers in-spite of its big bulk. The
males are generally horned and ewes hornless. Some flocks are fat tailed. Ears
are generally long, broad and dropping. These sheep grow coloured coarse wool,
which is used locally for manufacture of coarse lohis (Small blankets).
1.600 kg per annum.
Coarse wool of 6 inches long and 1/679 inch in diameter.
Habitat: Changthang Sub-Division of Leh District.
Animals are big sized, usually coloured, coarse woolen
Sheep and are used as a
transport animal in the mountains.
yield: 1.5 kg per annum.
Coarse and long wool.
Habitat: Poonch and surrounding places situated at a high
in the State.
Animals are long sized, mostly hornless with short tail but
thick at the base. Ears are
generally short and colour is
predominantly white. These sheep are
best for wool production and are raised on rich summer pastures and are stall
fed during winter on stored grasses and fodders.
yield: 1.6 kg per annum.
Medium fine with average fiber diameter 32 u (micron)
Besides various fine wool breeds like Australian Merino, Russian Merino, Russian Stevropol, the Department has introduced some dual purpose breeds of sheep like Correidale and Polldorset in areas like Sonawari, Shopian and Kulgam to quickly enhance the production of mutton. The Correidale
breed has adapted well to the local environment and proved quite popular among the breeders having orchards. However, the details of breeds maintained at various farms are given as under:
|Sheep Breeding Farm Dachigam
|Sheep Breeding Farm Goabal
|Sheep Breeding Farm Kralpathri
||Corriedale and Kashmir
|Sheep Breeding Farm Zawoora
|Sheep Breeding Farm Kewa
||Corriedale and Polldorset
|Sheep Breeding Farm Daksum
||Australlian and Russain Merino