The following article talks about Magra Sheep Breed.
Distribution Or Origin :The Magra sheep breed (formerly known as Bikaneri; and also known as Bikaneri Chokhla and Chakri) is distributed in the Bikaner, Nagaur, Jaisalmer and Churu districts of Rajasthan.
However, animals true to the breed type are found only in the eastern and southern parts of Bikaner district. This is the only lustrous carpet-wool producing breed in the state. The most important strain of Magra sheep has flocks with extremely white and lustrous fleece, found only in a few villages around Bikaner. The focus of breeding programmes is to improve this breed through selection. There is considerable cross-breeding with other breeds in the vicinity, so the true Magra is found in very small numbers, and there is, therefore, a priority need for conservation. They are medium to large animals, with a white face with light brown patches around the eyes, which is a characteristic feature of this Magra sheep breed. The skin colour is pink; ears are small to medium and tubular. Both sexes are polled. Tail is medium in length and thin.
Magra sheep breed Performance:
Age at first breeding is 18 months for ewes and 20 months for rams. Lambing percentage is about 45 and the litter size is mostly single. Magra ewes are not milked. Most flocks produce their own rams, and some exchange rams with other owners. Traditionally, the shearing of wool is done thrice a year, and the wool produced is locally known by the season/ month of its production. The three varieties of wool include Siyadu (winter wool), Ashadhu (monsoon wool) and Chaitu (summer wool). The first two types have a yellowish/ saffron tinge, and are therefore also called the Chandaniya variety (from chandan, meaning sandalwood). Chaitu is the most preferred of the three wool types because of its white colour and lesser presence of external organic/ inorganic matter. It also fetches the highest price. The average annual fleece weight is 2.18 kg with an average fiber diameter of 32 μ and a medullation percentage of 48. According to the 18th Livestock Census of 2007 there are 313,004 Magra sheep in the country.
Magra Sheep Breed Characterstics:
|Adult Male||Adult Female|
|Average Body weight (kg)||27||25|
|Average Body length (cm)||65||66|
|Average Height at withers (cm)||64||63|
|Average Chest girth (cm)||73||82|