Nali Sheep Breed Profile Information

Nali Sheep Breed Profile:

Nali Sheep Distribution: Ganganagar, Churu and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan, southern part of Hissar and Rohtak districts of Haryana.

The Nali sheep breed is well adapted to the arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan and Haryana. It is also found in large numbers in Uttar Pradesh.

It derives its name from the route of the river Ghaggar flowing through Ganganagar and Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. Nali sheep are maintained primarily on grazing and on the leaves of fodder trees like Khejri and Babool.

Nali sheep
Nali sheep

Nali sheep breed  are medium-sized animals. The face colour is light brown, and the skin colour is pink. Both sexes are polled, their ears are medium and tubular, tail is short to medium and thin, fleece is white, coarse, dense and long-stapled. The forehead, belly and legs are covered with wool. The age at first breeding for ewes is 18 months and for rams it is 12 months; the lambing percentage is 67 and the litter size is mainly single. These animals are not milked. Males not retained for breeding are usually sold between the ages of 6 to 9 months. The annual average fleece weight ranges from 1.5 to 3 kg with an average fibre diameter and density of 35 μ and 1,290 cm2 respectively, and a medullation percentage of 31.

According to the 18th Livestock Census of 2007, there are 1,143,033 Nali Sheep in the country.

Nali Sheep Weight /Height chart:

Adult MaleAdult Female
 Average Body weight (kg)3932
 Average Body length (cm)6964
 Average Height at withers (cm)6964
 Average Chest girth (cm)8076

Nali Sheep Numbers: The total population of sheep in the Nali distribution area of Rajasthan was 0.845 m according to the 1972 census and 0.690 m according to the 1977 census. In Haryana, according to the 1972 census, there were 0.20 m Nali sheep: the figures for 1977 are not yet available. In 1972, total adult males were 0.062 m and adult females 0.444 m. There is thus a decline in the population of this breed in Rajasthan. Further, the National Commission on Agriculture has recommended crossing Nali with exotic fine-wool breeds for improving apparel-wool production and quality. Nali is a good carpet-quality wool breed, with the densest and heaviest fleeces among the breeds of Rajasthan and a wool of reasonably good carpet quality. There is need to conserve the breed in the light of its falling numbers as well as the large-scale cross-breeding programme being undertaken.

Nali Sheep Climate:

Average monthly temperature (°C)
Average monthly relative humidity (%)
Annual rainfall (cm)29.63

Nali Sheep Breed Characteristics:

Size(source: 10 and personal observations)Adult maleAdult Female
Body weight (kg)34.61 ± 1.75 (20)24.34 ± 0.50 (1 420)
Body length (cm)65.69 ± 0.96 (16)66.18 ± 0.09 (1 423)
Height at withers (cm)65.25 ± 0.74 (16)64.11 ± 0.13 (1 423)
Chest girth (cm)76.69 ± 1.08 (16)80.09 ± 0.36 (1 423)

Nali Sheep Conformation: Medium-sized animals. Face colour is light brown, skin colour is pink. Both sexes are polled. Ears are large and leafy; ear length: 11.62 ± 0.10 cm (23). Tail is short to medium and thin: tail length: 17.14 ± 0.09 cm (28). Fleece is white, coarse, dense and long-stapled. Forehead, belly and legs are covered with wool.

Flock structure: Average flock size: 280. On average, a flock contains 35 adult males, 174 adult females, and 71 young.

Nali Sheep Reproduction: In farmers’ flocks: age at first breeding: ewes: 18 months; rams: 12 months; lambing percentage: 67%; under farm conditions, age at first breeding (4, 5): 686.52 ± 35.90 (50); age at first lambing (4, 5): 985.67 ± 57.04 days (337); lambing percentage on the basis of ewes available (4, 5): 39.57% (351/902). Conception rates reported elsewhere under farm conditions: 60.65% (338); litter size: single.

Nali Sheep Mortality: (4, 5). Under farm conditions, 0 to 3 months: 24.42% (305); 3 to 12 months: 24.23% (107); adults: 10.64% (1 522). In farmers’ flocks, lamb mortality up to one year: 16.78%; adults: 5.62%.

Nali Sheep Breeding: Pure breeding except in a few flocks where cross-breeding with exotic fine-wool breeds (Merino and Rambouillet) is being undertaken. The State government, through its Department of Sheep and Wool, provides farmers’ flocks with artificial insemination service with exotic semen as well as half-bred rams for natural service. Rams selected on fleece weight, mostly bred from their own flock, and occasionally exchanged with other owners.

Nali Sheep Performance:
• Milk. not milked.
• Meat: body weight (kg) (sources: 3, 4, 7, 8, 27, 34, 40)

At birth2.88 ± 0.03 (726)
At weaning10.19 ± 0.14 (263)
6 months13.30 ± 0.20 (174)
9 months14.54 ± 0.21 (91)
12 months17.74 ± 0.31 (74)

Efficiency of feed conversion (%) (12): 19.78 ± 2.56 (12); age at slaughter: 5 months; dressing percentage on pre-slaughter live weight 12): 48.25 ± 3.29 (12). Males not retained for breeding are usually sold between 6–9 months of age.
• Wool production and quality (sources: 3, 4, 13, 20, 21, 35, 48)

Average 6-monthly greasy fleece weight (kg)1.46 ± 0.1 (6 702)
Staple length (cm)8.31 ± 0.14 (604)
Average fibre diameter (μ)34.92 ± 0.69 (935)
Medullation (%)30.74 ± 0.40 (374)
Fibre density (cm2)1 271.33 ±37.28 (72)

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