Types of Sheeps in Nepal
Four breeds of sheep are recognized in Nepal. Amongst them, the Lampuchhre is found in the Terai, and the other three breeds, the Kage, the Baruwal and the Bhyanglung in the hills. The breeds found in the hills are described below.
KageThis is a small subtropical breed of sheep found in sedentary flocks in the valleys and mid-hills of Nepal (300–1500m asl). The average adult body weight is 22kg with a range of 20–30kg for rams and 15–25 kg for ewes. There is such wide variation in productive and reproductive traits between different pocket areas that there exists a possibility of different strains existing within the breed. The Kage is a regular breeder and has no distinct breeding season. However, autumn (September to October) lambing seems to be more common than spring (March to April) lambing.The lambing interval, lambing frequency and twinning percentage show wide variation within breed. Kage sheep are shorn twice a year, once in autumn and once in spring. The average wool production per head per year varies from about 250 to about 350gms. The wool quality of the Kage is very poor, containing coarse, straight, brittle kemp, fine underwool, but no heterotypic fibres.
BaruwalThe Baruwal is the most important sheep breed found in the migratory flocks of Nepal. The average adult body weight recorded from migratory flocks of Gandaki Zone is 50.8kg for rams, and 42kg for ewes during the autumn, and 45kg for rams and 36kg for ewes during winter. Baruwal sheep are very hardy, have a good flocking instinct and are famous for their walking ability, but are susceptible to heat stress. Although breeding and lambing takes place throughout the year, the main breeding season is from May to September, being highest in July when they are in peak condition in the alpine pastures. The Baruwal breed is late-maturing and lambing before two years of age is uncommon. First lambing usually takes place at the age of three years, but the lambing percentage from breedable ewes is very high. Twinning percentage and twice a year lambing percentage is very low.The average annual wool yield of the Baruwal is 1.07kg, with a range of 0.78–1.29 kg. The fleece is long and shaggy, and the wool is coarse, hairy, full of kemp and devoid of crimp. However, the wool of the Baruwal is considered superior to Kage wool. These animals are shorn twice a year, in autumn and spring. The wool production in autumn is more than that of spring, which is a direct reflection of pasture quality.
BhyanglungThis breed of sheep is found in the rain shadow areas of the inner Himalayan valleys of Northern Nepal (3000–5000m asl), close to the Tibetan border. They are generally kept under a migratory management system. The Bhyanglung is slightly larger than the Kage but smaller than the Baruwal, with an adult bodyweight of 25–35kg. The main lambing season is June to July. The wool of Bhyanglung sheep is considered to be a typical carpet type, with a low kemp fibre percentage. The wool is soft and devoid of crimp, and the proportion of medullated fibre is very small.