Dumeri Sheep of North East Balochistan – Pakistan

Dumeri Sheep


Dumeri also called as Hernai breed is found in Ziarat, Hernai, and part of Quetta, Pishin, Qillasaifulla, and Loralai districts. The nucleus of the breed is Sanjavi, Zalar, Hernai, Shana Gharra, Spin Tangi, and Zarghoon. The tribes who keep Dumeri sheep are Kakar, Wanechi, and Salgari, especially sub-clans of Kakar, i.e. Dumer and Zakhpail. They are living in the coldest ecosystem of the region. https://arkbiodiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ccdb4-download.jpg

Dumeri sheep is very special and highly adapted to the local arid ecosystem. They can rely on the rough bushes when there are no rains and grasses and forbs are not available. This type of sheep can tolerate a very wide fluctuation of weather from very cold to very hot.
The beautiful landscape with a flock of Dumeri sheep. Photo credit Ihsanullah Dumer

Phenotypic characteristics

The sheep are medium in size. There are many coat colors ranging from brown to reddish and snow-white to a creamy color. The wool is soft, fine, and very suitable for yarning. The head of the sheep is red (in most cases) with horns in male animals. The ears are sometimes droopy and sometimes very small.

Dumeri sheep are medium in size. There are many coat colors ranging from brown to reddish and snow-white to a creamy color.  They are engineered with very unique DNA, surviving in challenging weathering conditions and sustain in scarcity of food and water.
Dumeri sheep; Highly adapted to the local ecosystem of the region and have very appreciating compensatory growth. Photo credit Ihsanullah Dumer


Dumeri sheep; Grazing on hardy bushes in Sanjavi, Ihsanulla’s uncle is grazing sheep, photo credit: Ihsanullah Dumer

Vegetation of the habitat much like by Dumeri sheep is comprised of Saba, Sargharri,
Mulghuzgi, Makhi, Rrandoki.


The population of the breed is a bit hard to compile because of the scattered nature of the
breed in a wide area. Moreover the estimation on the basis of the breeders and flock size the
estimated population of the breed is 1.3 Million. This breed shrivels in size because of two reasons,
The first reason for the shrinking was the drought, and this breed was severely affected. The second
reason is the high return of orchard farming of apple and Cherry in the region. Because of the
drought and other social changes, many breeders shifted towards orchard farming. Though the
number of breeders decreased the breed is again increasing in size.

Special traits

  • Assili mean good thriftiness nature, high compensatory growth
  • This breed of sheep is hardy and can survive in the dry period
  • The goat-like nature enables it to graze in the peaks of the mountains
  • The meat is tender and juicy, very much like by local consumer
  • There is more meat compare to bones compared to other breeds

Option Hopes

Dumeri sheep has very specialized qualitative trait, locally known as Asselli., Meaning can compensate growth loss when vegetation is available and can sustain life cycle when food and water is limited.
Dumeri sheep; Beautiful reddish color, photo credit Ihsanullah Dumer

Because of its goat-like nature, it can be very useful livestock in climate change situations as they can rely on the bushes and shrubs. Here are some pictures of the breed, surviving in the very cold weather of snow. https://arkbiodiv.com/2021/08/05/6809/

Economic Importance

Highly adapted to the local ecosystem and they can rely on bushes like goats. Photo credit Ihsanullah Dumer

The socio-economic condition of the breeding area of Dumeri sheep is good
and the people like the breed very much for Landi meat because of the high altitude and very cold winters. https://arkbiodiv.com/persendadry-meat-cousine-of-pashtun-afghan-2/. The male animal at the age of 2-3 years is used for Landi purposes and catches very good prices. The female produces a reasonable amount of milk and uses it locally for family use. The wool once had very high prices. The wool of Dumeri sheep is one of the finest in the country and had been used for Assessing the potential of the indigenous livestock breeds of Balochistan “Abdul Raziq” page 26. http://www.comap.ca/kmland/display.php?ID=144&DISPOP=VRCPR. Spinning in the Hernai woolen mill, administrated by the government is now nonfunctional. The breed is important to the source of livelihood earning. The prices of Dumeri sheep are about 100 and 145 USD respectively.

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