The Baluchi sheep breed is a common type of fat-tailed sheep, found in Afghanistan, parts of Southwest Pakistan and Iran.
The breed, as mentioned, is primarily raised for wool production purposes, with their wool mainly used in carpet production. Baluchi sheep are also known by a variety of different names depending on where they are raised. These names include the Taraki, the Yazdi, Mengali, Naeini, Shinwari, Neini, Mengali, Khurasani, Araghi, Baluchi Dumda, Farahani and Khorasani.
The breed is well adapted to the arid, subtropical climates, found in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is why they are still mainly found in these areas to this day. In fact, Baluchi sheep account for over 29% of all Iran’s sheep populations.
They are a very hardy and strong breed and are excellent foragers also.
Uses and characteristics -
A smaller than most sheep breed, Baluchi ewes tend to only reach up to 35kgs at full maturity, with rams only reaching up to 60kgs.
Generally, they have white wool, with a black coloured face and black and white markings found on their legs and head. The Baluchi breed is also polled, meaning both rams and ewes don’t have horns. Ewes are also very good milkers for their size and can produce between 40 to 50 kgs of milk over a four-month (125day) period, which is more than enough for their young. They are, sometimes, kept solely for dairy purposes. It is also raised for meat production in parts of Iran, despite its small size.
As mentioned, they are mainly raised for wool production purposes and their wool primarily used in carpet production. Their white coloured wool is coarse with modulation and they produce a fleece with an average weight of between 1.3 to 1.8kgs each year. This wool is of medium quality and is perfect for producing Persian carpets.
A strong and hardy breed, capable of thriving in warm, arid climates, the fat-tailed Baluchi sheep may only be small, but that’s not to say they don’t have their uses.