Najdi Sheep

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

الخروف النجدي

The Najdi sheep is a Saudi breed of sheep that is spread throughout the Najd region, able to survive the harsh climatic conditions of the Najd Desert. Raised primarily in Saudi Arabia, the sheep are very distinctively beautiful animals, and have even been celebrated in the Saudi Miss Sheep Competition. The sheep are very long and have drooping ears. The common color of these animals is usually black with a white face, legs, and tail. They do not have horns. At the age of one and a half years old, rams weigh 76.5 kilograms and ewes weigh 56.1 kilograms. The net weight of the carcass (meat, bone, and fat) can be from 49.2 to 53.2 kilograms.

The Nadji sheep are very important animals in their area, and they are very preferable to the people of the area because they have a high tolerance for diseases and temperature and mobility. The Nadji sheep is a multi-purpose animal, as it is raised for its meat, milk, and wool, making it a high-value breed. Its meat is used most popularly in traditional recipes and feasts such as ma’riq or hamees, and it is made of water, salt, and cooked meat.
The sheep wander from one area of the region to another, depending on the availability of food and water. For example, in the winter they move away from the cities to the areas where there is water, and they eat wild grass. In the summer, they go back to the cities to eat barley and hay, which means that food is bought for them.

Though the Najdi sheep is considered a cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia, the lack of production is due to the lack of interest in this product, its long raising period, and the higher cost needed to make profits. This does not mean that there is no interest but lately, interest has begun to wane gradually. Support for those interested in raising the Nadji sheep must be provided, its production must be increased, and awareness of its importance must be developed.

The selection of the products is supported by the Culinary Arts Commission of the Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia.
In collaboration with Azka Farms, Saudi Arabia.

Back to the archive >


StateSaudi Arabia
Production area:Najd Plateau

Other info


Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Hamad Bin Mohammed Al-Rashid