There are many sheep breeds found in India depending on the geographical location. However, here we are going to discuss popular sheep breeds, their features, characteristics & performance.
Gaddi Sheep are small in size & are distributed in various parts of Jammu. The main purpose for rearing this breed is wool. Males have horns & females are hornless. The wool of this breed is fine & lustrous & an average annual yield of 1.15kg per sheep can be expected which is usually clipped thrice a year. The wool of this sheep breed is used to manufacture Kullu shawls & blankets.
Deccani Sheep, This breed is basically a mixture of wooly types of Rajasthan & hairy types of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Tamil Nadu states. These sheep’s are reared for both wool & mutton. This breed is mainly found in Mumbai Deccan region & parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Telangana. This breed of sheep possess of grey & black color. This sheep breed is small in size and hardy & it is well suited for poor pastoral conditions. As these sheeps are good for wool production, the average annual yield of wool is about 5kg per sheep can be expected. The wool is of low grade & it is basically a mixture of hair & fibers mostly used for the manufacturing rough blankets.
Mandya Sheep are mainly found in Mandya district of Karnataka. Mandya sheep are small animals having white color. However in some cases face would be in light brown color which may extend up to neck. This breed has compact body with long, leafy & droopy ears. This sheep breed is considered for best mutton among other Indian breeds.
Nellore Sheep, this breed is mainly distributed in Andhra Pradesh & some parts of Telangana. These can be reared in any part of south India because of their good adaptability for southern climate. These are taller in size with little hair. This breed is tallest among all other breeds in India & look similar to a goat. This sheep breed has long & drooping ears. This breed has a long face, long ears & body is densely covered with short hair. Mostly all the sheep of this breed appears in Red color, that is why people call them Nellore Red.
Marwari Sheep, this sheep breed possess long legs, black face & a prominent nose. The tail is short & pointed. This breed is mainly distributed all over Jodhpur & parts of Jaipur districts of Rajasthan. These sheep breed flocks are raised in Barmer& Bali districts of Rajasthan. These sheep’s migrate to places in Uttar Pradesh, some districts of Madhya Pradesh & some parts of Maharashtra. This breed have high tolerance of worms & diseases. Due to high resistance of this breed, the survival rate is comparatively high. The average wool for a year from each sheep is estimated around 1-1.25 kgs.
Coimbatore Sheep, this breed is mainly found in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. This sheep breed is mainly raised for wool purpose & attains medium weight. These are found in white color with black or purple color bands over the areas of head & neck. 30-35% of adult female sheep are free of horns.
Vembur Sheep, this is mainly found in various areas of Tamil Nadu state. These are tall & mainly reared for meat purpose. This sheep breed has white color skin with red spots on the body. The ears are usually droopy & in smaller size. The adult males of this breed have horns whereas females don’t have any horns. Body weights of adult male & female sheep depends on farm management practices.
Chennai Red Sheep, this breed is mainly found in various parts of Tamil Nadu. This breed is mainly reared for meat purpose. Most of Chennai Red Sheep’s are purple in color & some have colored stripes on their forehead.