Typical Dumeri sheep of North Eastern Balochistan, Pakistan

Dumeri Sheep

Habitat

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 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

Vegetation

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

The vegetation of the habitat is much liked by Dumeri sheep are comprised of Saba, Sargharri, Mulghuzgi, Makhi, Rrandoki, and many others depending upon the season and availability of precipitation.

Population

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 apples and cherries 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 means 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 my local consumer
  • There is more meat compared 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 it can rely on 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. 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. 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.
Dumeri sheep eating the hardiest bush of the region.
Dumeri sheep eat the hardiest bush in the region.

1 thought on “Typical Dumeri sheep of North Eastern Balochistan, Pakistan”

  1. Pingback: Dumeri sheep, Highly Adapted and Multipurpose Animal of Highlands – SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR FOOD AND HEALTH

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