Gidic sheep

Ark of taste
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گوسفند گدیگ

In Afghanistan there are two main types of livestock production systems that involve sedentary villagers and Kuchi (nomadic). 75-80% of sheep are reared by the Kuchi and 20-25% of sheep are kept for home consumption and to generate income through the sale of the animals and sheep products.
Sheep breeding is still traditionally practiced in the country. Animals graze freely in natural pastures. Herders usually can be divided into large, medium, and small herder groups. The large group of herders manage their herds independently, but the medium and small groups usually manage their herds collectively.
Gidic sheep are mainly reared in Badakhshan (Wakhan) and Panjshir, but it is also found in Obeh, Kushk-e-kuhna and Rabat-e-Sangi districts of Herat province. The breed is mostly white with some black and brown spots on the head and feet. Gidic sheep have better adaptation in the Wakhan region. Panjshir Gidic is dark brown and white with a small body and fat tail. The ewes are polled, and rams have strong horns. The weight of an adult ewe is 28 to 25 kg. The percentage of producing lamb is 65-75% and twin lambs is 0-1%. It has good compatibility with cold conditions and high-altitude areas, making it more suitable for climate conditions of Herat and Badakhshan provinces than other species.
Its milk production is between 30 to 35 kg with a 120- to 130-day lactation period. The sheep produces 0.6 to 0.9 kg of wool annually (81.4% pure wool with 18.6 % hair in its wool fiber) and keep 5-6 healthy rams in their herd for reproduction purposes.
Gidic breeder communities produce different products, such as meat, milk, and milk products like cream, butter, curd (dried whey), yogurt, and cheese.
In several parts of the Herat province, herders fatten their sheep to be slaughtered at the beginning of winter for dried meat production, to be consumed as a traditional meat called Gosht-e-Land.
During the four decades of war, lack of livestock management, manmade disasters, climate change side effects (drought, cold winters), displacement of the farmers, animal disease and changes in lifestyle have created many problems for agriculture and livestock production and the decrease in the percentage of Gidic sheep to one percent in the country.

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Abdullah Faiz and Mohammad Osman Karimi