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Basic Characteristics of Some Turkish Indigenous Sheep Breeds

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Turkey is among the major sheep raising countries of the world, with sheep population over 29.4 million head. Sheep have an important place in the economy of Turkey and in the nutrition of its people. Sheep breeding in Turkey is principally based on indigenous breeds, while studies on crossing and producing new types to increase fleece, meat and milk yield have been carried out. These indigenous breeds are more resistant to disease and parasites while also being able to survive even unfavourable environments and to maintain their productivity. At present, they contribute 27.18 % to the total read meat, 8.15 % to the total milk and 59.11 % to the total leather produced in the country. Sheep breeds in Turkey can be categorized into two main groups: Fat-tailed (White Karaman "Akkaraman", Red Karaman "K z lkaraman or Morkaraman", Daglic, Awassi " vesi") and fine-tailed (K v rc k, Karayaka, Chios "Sakiz", Imroz "Gokceada). For various reasons, it has been observed that indigenous sheep genetic resources in Turkey have been damaged. Some breeds have become extinct, some is under serious threat and some may be also considered as being under threat. The fact that the some conservation projects carried out by the government agencies is already at the stage of implementation may be regarded as a hopeful start.


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