Foreword Still Birth

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   The economic transition in Central and Eastern European countries brought about
significant changes also into the small ruminant production sector. Sheep and goat production,
like the entire animal production sector, is forced to adjust its organization, structure and
approach to the requirements of the market, while, at the same time - due to the lower
standard of living - it becomes an essential subsistence activity for a growing number of
household farms.

   The genetic improvement, organization of breeding, research, extension services,
alternative utilization of small ruminants as well as total quality management were among the
main subjects discussed at the international workshop on ―Sheep and Goat Husbandry in the
Central and Eastern European Countries - A Struggle to Survive ― organized in Budapest
(Hungary) from 29th November - 3rd December 1997 by the Research Institute for Animal
Breeding and Nutrition, Herceghalom, Hungary in close collaboration and sponsorship of
FAO Subregional Office for Central and Eastern Europe, as well as FAO-CIHEAM and the
European Association of Animal Production (EAAP). Hundred twenty participants from 22
countries participated in the workshop, which was very timely organized, providing the
excellent opportunity for exchange of information and experience, as well as discussing
possible options and ways to remedy present difficulties.

   The proceedings, presented here, provide complete set of papers delivered during the
Workshop as well as summary of a round-table discussion conducted at the end of the
Workshop. Final conclusion may be drawn that while some of producers are struggling to
survive, the others are meeting the challenge of the change, looking for innovative
approaches, diversifying production, introducing total quality management and opening for
the market in the attempt to reach the main goal - the long term economical sustainability.

                                             Z. S. Karnicki
                                    FAO Subregional Representative
                                     for Central and Eastern Europe


   The initiative and effort of Dr. Sandor KUKOVICS, Research Institute for Animal
Breeding and Nutrition to organize and conduct efficiently the Workshop as well as print the
proceedings, is greatly appreciated and acknowledged.

  Also excellent organizational arrangements for the Workshop provided by Mrs. Klara
BISZKUP is recognised.

                     The summary of the workshop

Main purpose of the workshop
   The aim of the workshop was: to summarize the situation of sheep and goat husbandry in
the different countries within the Central and Eastern European region, to get the necessary
information about the changes occurring in these countries, about the tendencies and the
possible relationships in the future, to determine the possible conditions for the future
development in the region.

   There were eighty participants attending the technical tour, while one hundred took part in
the workshop. In addition to participants for Central and European Countries experts from
France, Germany. United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Greece were also present. In total 24
countries were represented.

The programme of the workshop
  Breeding livestock as well as sheep and goat products exhibition

   Within the animal show, those sheep breeds were presented which were bred in the north-
east region of Hungary. The following companies and breeds could be seen within the show in
 Awassi Corporation, Bakonszeg (Awassi ewes and female hoggets);
 Bábolna Corporation, Szendrő Branch, Szendrő (Suffolk-, Ile de France and Bábolna Tetra
    ewes and rams);
 Csenger Co-operative, Tibota Co., Csenger (Fertile Merino ewes);
 South-Borsod Co-operative for Fish and Sheep Farming, Gelej (Merino, [Merino x Pleven
    Blackhead] F1 - and Pleven F1 x Black East-Friesian ewes);
 Hajdúböszörmény Star Co-operative, Hajdúböszörmény (Hungarian Merino and Mutton
    Merino ewes);
 Hortobágy Public Utility Company for Environmental Protection and Gene Conservation,
    Hortobágy (Black- and White Hortobágy Racka and Transylvanian Racka ewes and rams);
 Ságia Agricultural and Trade Ltd, Tiszacsege (Texel ewes and rams).

   The following sheep and goat products of different companies were presented within the
products exhibition:
 Awassi Corporation, Bakonszeg (different kinds of curds, cheeses and cottage cheeses,
    smoked and pickled meat products, wool products made for the automobile industry);

    South-Borsod Co-operative for Fish and Sheep Farming, Gelej (different kinds of curds,
     cheeses and cottage cheeses, different wool products: blankets, cushions, mattresses,
     waist-warmers, etc.,);
    Kistelek M+M Cheese Making Ltd, Kistelek (different kinds of feta type cheeses, cottage
     cheeses, light and hard cheeses);
    University of Veterinary Sciences, Experimental Institute, Üllő-Dóramajor (goat cheeses,
     goat sausages and smoked goat meats);
    Agricultural Public Utility Company, Szarvas (sheep and cow cheeses with different
    Pilis Goat Farm, Pilisszentlászló (kefir and different cheeses based on goat milk);
    Gyosa Family Farm, Hajdúszoboszló (special goat cheeses);
    Nagykunság Goat and Sheep Milk Producers‘ Society, Kunhegyes (sheep and goat
    Shepard‘s Cheese Ltd, Berettyóújfalu (different light and hard cheeses, curds and cottage
     cheeses from goats and sheep milk);
    Zemplén Goat Breeders‘ Co-operative, Hollóháza (goat cheeses with different flavours).

     Scientific programme

   The sessions were started with so-called country reports, following the English alphabetical
order; the representatives of four countries in each session presented the situation of sheep and
goat breeding in his/her own homeland. These country reports were followed by different
papers, short papers and posters.

     Session 1.
        Present situation in small ruminants sector (farming structure and size, production
     systems, type of products and their markets)
        Following the country reports from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Croatia,
     the authors presented their most up-to-date results in seven papers and on five posters.

     Session 2.
        Organization of sheep and goat breeding and extension services, research impact on
        After the country reports of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Latvia, four
     papers and five posters were delivered.

     Session 3.
        Priorities of technical issues to solve (reproduction, nutrition, health, genetic
     improvement, etc.)
        There were seven papers and five posters presented after the country reports of
     Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland and Romania.

     Session 4.
        Alternative utilization of small ruminants (environmental concerns of land management
     and its social aspects)
        The country reports from Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Yugoslavia were followed by
     the presentation of four papers and two posters.

    Session 5.
       Achieving economic sustainability - a challenge
       The present situation of the sheep and goat industry in Armenia, White-Russia and
    Ukraine were introduced; however, only the first one was a country report. After these
    presentations eight papers were delivered.

    Round-table discussion

    The participants were expected to find the proper answers to the following questions:
    Which production systems can be managed most effectively in the region?
    Which are the basic conditions that should be available for effective management?
    Which are the possible means of improvement under the present circumstances?
    What are the future possibilities?

   The workshop concluded with the following general recommendations for countries of the
 Size of the population of small ruminants should match market demand and economic
 Efficient production systems should be introduced using the most appropriate breeds and
 The market for sheep and goats and products made of them, including by-products should
   be further developed. This should include an increase in national consumption as well as
   better utilization of export opportunities.
 Quality requirements of the market should be determined, met and maintained with the aim
   to increase consumer‘s interest and confidence in the products.
 An efficient extension system, able to deliver directly to farmers the most up-to-date
   scientific and development results, should be established.
 The proper exploitation of pasture lands, landscape management as well as environmental
   protection are of growing importance and should be pursued.
 Without the integration of producers, small farms will possibly be unable to survive in the
   near future, thus the creation of proper organizations is encouraged.
 A network, linked to FAO-CIHEAM Co-operative Network on Sheep and Goats, able to
   assist in harmonization of research and development activities in the area of small
   ruminants in the region should be established.

                                                           Sándor KUKOVICS

                       IN ALBANIA

                                                             Kume, Kristaq
                                                             Livestock Research Institute, Tirana


    During the years 1991-95 the number of the small ruminants increased, with about 47 percent in sheep and
around 41 percent in goats. At the end of 1996 in Albania, 1 453 000 sheep and 895 000 heads of goats were
kept. From about 420 000 private farms, nearly 49 percent of them do not keep goats and about 39 percent do not
raise sheep. The small farms with 1-30 animals are the characteristic ones.
    The farms with more than 100 sheep account for about 0.3 percent of the total number and those with more
than 100 goats account for about 0.4 percent. The average farm-size is 1.5-2 hectares of cultivated land. The
system of production is extensive. The animals are kept based on the traditional methods, principally through the
exploitation of the natural pastures and the spontaneous flora resources. The cultivated pastures and concentrated
feed provide a small percentage of the feed requirements.
    The products from the small ruminants, in their biggest part, serve to fulfil the family needs. Their marketing
is limited and difficult due to the lack of the required infrastructure. The process of milk collection and
processing is in its first steps. The meat is sold as live animals directly to the market by the farmers themselves.
Not any other product is exported except the fresh or half-processed skins.
    The goat genetic fund is composed of the local indigenous populations and different ecotypes are
distinguished. Because of the systems of production, the level of the production is relatively low, about 80-90 kg
milk/goat/year. A limited number of two goat breeds, Saanen and Alpine, have been imported. Their crosses with
local breeds are under study.
    Almost the whole population has been crossed with Tsigaya and Merino breeds. The sheep found in the North
and North-eastern zone of the country, which represent the group of the indigenous sheep populations, make an
    The actual strategy of sheep breed improvement in Albania aims at the creation of a meat producing sheep for
coastal and plain areas and a milk and meat producing one for the hilly mountainous zone. The wool is
considered as a by-product.
    The practice of rented animals/barns does not exist in Albania. The pastures close to the village are in
communal use. The alpine pastures are state owned and are leased. The pastures in lowland area are rented, too.
Usually the labour used on the farm is provided by the family itself. For flocks with more than 80-100
sheep/goats the practice of employees paid in nature (products) is used. Generally, the lambing/kidding system is
annual. The mechanization of the production on the farms almost does not exist.
    The process of the farmers‘ co-operation has just started. The state encourages and supports that process. The
structures of the extension service are state ones and are established at the level of the commune. Farmers are
taxfree producers and the government assists them through the establishment and functioning of animal health
service structures. Actually, the problems to be solved are those linked with the setting up of the structures for
processing and marketing of the animal products. The financial credit system needs to be developed and more
active. Consultancy and the support for solving the problems of animal feeding present a condition to the
specialization and the intensification of the production.
    From the economical point of view, the farms with more than 100 animals, which also have solved the
problem of milk processing, seem to be more efficient.
    Along with the projects of the NGOs, the government has designed and is implementing programmes which
aim to reactivate the centres of milk collection and processing, especially in the rural remote zones.


   For centuries, the Albanian farmer has considered the sheep and goats as traditional
animals. Even nowadays, the growing of these animals is one of the important directions in
animal production. The statistics of 1996 show that the small ruminants provide 32.6 percent
and 18.3 percent of the total national meat and milk production, respectively.
   During the years 1991-1994, in which political and economic transformations towards the
market economy took place, the populations of these two species significantly increased. In
1995, in comparison with the year 1991, the population of sheep was about 45 percent
greater, and that of the goats around 43 percent. The year 1996 presents a decrease in the
number of heads for both species: it is about 498 000 heads of sheep (from these 283 000
ewes) and about 400 000 goats (from these 255 000 does) less.
   Among the principal factors which influenced that decrease, the fraudulent pyramid
schemes can be distinguished as a factor with a strong effect. During this year, many Albanian
farmers sold their animals for meat consumption, with the idea of getting financial means by
being involved in these schemes.


   There are 421 800 private farms in Albania and from these 254 000 keep sheep and
213 000 raise goats. In about 40-45 percent of these farms both species are kept, in ratios that
vary widely. The average number of the animals on the farms that keep small ruminants is
different for different zones of Albania. Thus, in the farms situated on the coastal-plane area,
flocks with an average number of 10-15 sheep are kept, and the average number of goats per
flock vary from of 5 to 10 heads. In the hilly-mountainous zone of southern and south-eastern
Albania, the farms keeping flocks with 40-50 sheep or 50-60 goats are more frequent, while in
Albania's northern, north-eastern and eastern zones, the average number of sheep per flock
varies in the limits of 20-30 heads and that of goats from 10 to 30 heads. This variability in
the size of the flock is determined to a big part by the surface of the land the private farmers
own and also by the surfaces of the pastures and terrain in communal use. As the average
surface of the arable land per farm in Albania is 1-1.4 hectares, the availability of the
communal pastures presents an important factor influencing the size of the small ruminants
flocks. According to statistical data of the year 1996, the structure of the farms keeping sheep
or goats in Albania is presented in Table 1.
   As can be seen, about 45.7 percent of the farms keep 1-30 sheep and about 54.3 percent 1-
30 goats. A characteristic in Albania is the existence of small-holder farms. However, during
the last three years the number of farms raising more than 50 goats or sheep has increased
from 0.7 percent to 2.0 percent and from 1.2 to 2.4 percent, respectively.

Table 1. The farm structure based on the number of animals kept

 By number of         No. of farms              By number of         No. of farms x
 goats                  x 1000          %       sheep                    1000            %
 No goats                   208.8       49.5    No sheep                   167.0          39.6
 with 1-10 goats            151.4       35.9    with 1-10 goats            180.9          42.9
      11-30                  41.3        9.8       11-30                    48.1          11.4
      31-50                  11.8        2.8       31-50                    15.2           3.6
      51-100                   7.2       1.7       51-100                    8.4           2.0
     101-200                   0.8       0.2      101-200                    0.4           0.1
 more than 201                 0.4       0.1    more than 201                0.4           0.1
 Total                      421.8      100      Total                      421.8        100


   In general, the small ruminants farming system in Albania is an extensive one. It is based
on the traditional concept of year-round use of the natural grazing resources. Nevertheless, the
characteristics of this system vary in the function of the flock size and geo-climatic conditions.
Thus, the farmers who keep small flocks with 5-10 heads, group their animals in the pasture
during the day under the supervision of a shepherd, and in the evening keep their flocks in
environments close to the house. The flocks of 70-80 animals, are kept in the stable during
winter and graze in the pastures close to the village, while in summer the animals are grouped
in 2-3 bigger flocks and are transferred to the summer pastures on the mountain. The flocks of
100-200 animals are in motion all year. In the period November-March they move to the
pastures of the coastal area and during April-October they move to the mountainous pastures.
This system is especially common in sheep keeping.
   The farmers who keep sheep in the lowland area, in order to fulfil animal feed needs and
exploit the natural pastures, use the grazing of corn harvesting leftovers in the fields and
cultivate forages such as alfalfa and green oat. These are used as green feed and also as hay
during the winter time. In general, the concentrated feeds, principally maize corn and bran, are
used in limited quantities and only 1-2 months before lambing. During the winter time the
farmers of the hilly-mountainous zone feed the small ruminants with dried oak leaves or hay
which have been prepared during summer. Farms with small ruminants having intensive
production systems are not yet created in Albania, and there are very few sheep flocks where
semi-intensive production systems are applied. The latter are found more in the lowland area
and they are directed toward meat production. The small ruminants are raised by the Albanian
farmers for meat, milk, wool and skin production, which in a large part are used for family
consumption. The principal direction of the production varies according to the species and the
geo-climatic zones. The goats in Albania are kept for a double purpose: milk and meat. The
milk is consumed as fresh milk and a good part of it is processed into cheese, sometimes
mixed with cow milk. The processing methods are skilled ones. Usually the milk is processed
by the farmers themselves, but local processors also exist who collect the milk from the farms.
The meat production is realized through raising kids, which are slaughtered after weaning
time or at the age of 3-4 months. In the mountainous zones of Albania, the farmers use the
wool and the skin for clothing and carpets (both sheep and goats). The direction of production
in the sheep kept in different zones of Albania is different. Actually in the coastal-lowland

zone which is more developed in the social - economical point of view and the most populated
zone, which is more developed in the social-economical point of view and the most populated
one, the principal direction of the production is meat. In the hilly-mountainous zone the flocks
kept principally for milk production predominate. Today, the wool is considered as a by-
product of a little value. The sheep milk is usually used for family consumption, fresh or
processed curd and cheese. The surplus of the products beyond the quantities for family needs
are sent to the market. Actually the predominant way of marketing milk is selling it to the
milk collectors who further process it. The meat is marketed as live animals by the farmers
themselves. This is done on fixed days of the week in the markets situated close to the towns.
The export of the milk and its processed products and that of the meat has not yet started. The
export of the skins has developed quick during the last five years. The main characteristic of
the goat genetic fund in Albania, is the existence of the pure indigenous genetic material. The
studies done on the Albanian goat population have shown that from the evolutionary aspect it
may be classified in primary population groups, in which the process of the standardization is
present. Although a variability among the populations kept in different geo-climatic zones of
Albania exists, the variability in the visible genetic profile, in the morpho-biometric
characteristics, the polymorphism of the milk proteins and the differences in the production
and reproduction figures, the studies have shown that they can be considered as a genetic
entity with the same origin in which the genetic niches are found. Classifying the goat
populations in ecotypes, based on the surveys and measurements performed, we get the
information shown in Table 2.
   These ecotypes take about 27 percent of the total population. The other part is composed of
indigenous goat flocks not classified in ecotypes and other crosses with the above-mentioned


   According to the statistical data, the milk yield per goat in 1996 was 85 kg. This low figure
is due to the systems of production. The Albanian farmer, owing to the lack of the required
infrastructure which could ensure the evaluation of this product through its collection and
processing, is interested in getting a production with the minimum material and financial
means possible. At the same time, we must emphasize that the genetic capacity of the
Albanian goat is much higher; e.g., in selected and well managed flocks, especially with feed
at an acceptable level, the Velipoja ecotype has produced 520 kg milk/goat/year and the Mati
ecotype achieved 430 kg /goat/year. In Albania only two goat breeds, in a limited number, are
imported: Saanen and Alpine. The actual population of Saanen goats is 350 heads, and its
crosses with the local breeds make 3200 goats. The Alpine breed is represented by a flock of
80 goats and its crosses of 200-220 heads. The Albanian farmer is interested in both breeds
and he actually keeps them according to the concept "the goat of the family", meaning 1-2
goats per family. Their F1 crosses, according to our surveys, have expressed very good
qualities. The milk production data got under extensive keeping conditions are about 90-120
percent higher. Meanwhile, the animals have inherited and expressed good qualities in facing
the difficult environmental conditions.

Table 2. Average data for the goat ecotypes in Albania

               Unit    Dragobi    Has      Velipoje    Mat      capore     Shyte    Liqenas   Dukat     Muzhake
  Number       Heads   10 000    50 000     3 300     80 000    25 000     2 000    10 000    14 000    45 000
  Withers       Cm      56-68    58-73      57-72      57-73     53-71     54-70     64-72     51-63     54-68
 Live weight    Kg      48-56    49-58      44-55      43-52     41-52     44-53     42-50     25-32     29-37
 L. Weight      Kg      76-89    87-97      68-79      68-81     65-76     67-80     65-78     40-46     43-52
   B. goat
  Birth LW      Kg     1.9-2.6   1.9-2.7   2.1-3.1    1.9-2.9   1.6-2.1   1.72.2    1.6-2.2   1.2-2.0   1.4-2.6
  Birth LW      Kg     1.6-2.2   1.6-2.6   2.0-3.0    1.9-2.0   1.5-2.0   1.5-2.0   1.4-2.0   1.0-2.0   1.1-2.4
  Weaning       Kg      10-13    12-16      12-15      10-13     7-10       7-9       7-9       5-8      6-10
  LW Mal
  Weaning       Kg      9-12     11-14      10-13      4-12       6-9       6-8       6-8       4-8      5-10
  LW Fem
 Milk yield     Kg     100-220   90-210    130-240    105-240   120-230   110-190   90-220    80-190    80-230
 Prolificity    %      100-112   95-110    105-115    105-120   90-105    90-105    100-110   100-105   100-105


   During the last 40 years, in the biggest part of the sheep population, crossing with the
imported breeds has been applied. Different Merino and Tcigaya types are found in it. The
intention has been the increase of the wool yield, in quantity and quality, and the improvement
of the milk yield, as well. The aim of these crosses is the improvement of the morpho-
biometrical figures and animals' live weight. In general, the crosses were not implemented in
the framework of a national programme with clear objectives and defined ways. A
consequence of that is the existence of a high variability among the flocks, especially in the
coastal-lowland part of Albania where about 350 000 sheep, or 25 percent of the population,
are kept. Actually, a new strategy on sheep breed improvement is being applied in Albania. In
the coastal-lowland part of the country the implementation of the terminal crossing with the
Ile de France breed is foreseen, while in the hilly-mountainous zones the local sheep will
continue to be improved through the crossing until F2 with Tcigaya and Awassi breeds and
Bardhoka indigenous breed with the objective to increase first the milk yield and secondly the
live weight and meat production quality. Besides the indigenous sheep known as "Rrecka" in
the central, southern and south-eastern Albania, the indigenous sheep genetic fund is localized
in the northern and north-eastern zones. In this area it is preserved as a purebred. The main
average data of the local breeds are given in Table 3.

Table 3. The average data for the sheep of the local breed

                 Number   Live     Wither      Production     fertility Birth.l.weig    weaning.l.weig
    Breed        heads    weight   Height     milk    wool      %        M         F     M        F
                  ‗000     kg       cm        kg       kg                kg       kg     kg       kg
Rrecka            182.0   30-35    40-45      40-50     1.2    105       1.8      1.6    10.1     9.3
Ruda              114.0   44-46    56-58    80 -110     1.4     16       2.6      2.4    13.5    13.0
Bardhoke           61.8   46-50    58-64    90 -130     2.0    110       2.4      2.1    13.0    12.4
Shkodrane          24.6   36-39    40-45      80-90     2.5    110       2.2      2.0    11.2    10.8
Bace               22.2   42-45    50-56    100-110     2.3    115       2.5      2.3    13.2    12.7
Lare e Matit        9.0   33-35    40-45      60-65     1.2    110       2.1      1.8    11.2    10.5
Lare e Polisit      3.5   30-35    40-46      60-65     1.3    108       2.0      1.7    11.0    10.5

   Actually, in Albania the total number of the small ruminants is found in private ownership.
Every farmer keeps his animals and they are not leased. The same applies for the barns. Only
the natural pastures near the village are in communal use. The alpine summer pastures are
property of the state and they are rented to the farmers to exploit them. The pastures are also
leased in the coastal-lowland zones where the animals from the mountainous areas of Albania
come to pass the winter period.
   In general, on the farms with small-size flocks, it is the family that looks after the animals.
Also frequent used is the system where some family farms group their animals into big flocks
and pay a shepherd to care for them. The payment is done in animal products: milk, meat or
wool. In the migrating flocks two practices are frequent: either the farmer himself cares for the
animals, or he employs a shepherd to look after the flock and is paid in goods. The most
frequent lambing system in Albania is the annual one. In the coastal-lowland area the lambing
starts at the end of November and in the mountainous areas it is concluded by the end of
February. In some cases the culling ewes are stimulated with G.S.P.M and new lambing out of
season is taken. The goats too, kid annually during the period January-March, with respect to
the geo-climatic zones in which they are found.
   As mentioned above, the Albanian farmer feeds the small ruminants by exploitation of the
environment grazing capacities. The purchased feed, mainly maize corn or bran, make a small
percentage of the feeding ration. All this is due to the lack of a market which could absorb the
animal products, and to the low economic level of the farmer. Influential is the fact that the
average farm size is very small and the family farm has to get everything from it. This
explains why the farm mechanization level is very low, too. Further, the credit system in
Albania, which could strongly exert its effect on the mechanization level, is very fragile and
operates with much difficulty, and in general it can be considered as an inactive one.


  The processes of farming farmers‘ co-operatives are in the first steps. Actually, only the
National Small Ruminants Production Association is institutionalized and it has so far had a
modest activity and geographical extension. Such a fact is a consequence of the low
development level of the Albanian farm and the need, yet without real support, for its further
development. In a more general sense, this is a consequence of the economic level of the
Albanian society. Nevertheless, as a need of the process of the production, often farmers have

sought and realized the co-operation among them. They particularly feel this co-operation in
the realization of the exchange of the breeding material and in the establishment of the rules
for the communal use of the natural feed resources. The groups of farmers keeping the sheep
of Rude, Bardhoke and Shkodrane breeds and those of such goat ecotypes as Mati, Dragobi,
Dukati, Liqenasi, Muzhake etc., in flocks of more than 50 animals, have extended their co-
operation in milk collection and marketing. Such organizations, however, remain at the level
of fulfilling needs of the moment. These are not yet institutionalized as organizations which
could undertake and solve, at the required technical level, the complex problems of animal
   Taking into consideration the farmers‘ low co-operation level and being aware of the
importance of the technical information, the Albanian government has undertaken and is
realizing the creation and the development of the structures which must provide the technical
advice and technology transfer to the private farms. This process is developing according to
the strategy designed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in collaboration with its
research institutes and with the financial and technical support from international
organizations. Actually, in Albania governmental structures are created and operate which are
responsible for producing the messages and all the required information for the transfer of in
the production technology innovations, but at the same time, practically realize this transfer to
the farmer‘s level. The aim is to provide the Albanian farmer with the required help and
technical assistance needed for solving his problems. Actually this assistance is focused upon
the problems of feeding small ruminants according to the different physiological situations,
the ways to efficiently use of the natural feed resources, the problems of animal health and
reproduction, housing and milk processing. Concerning breed improvement problems, under
the actual conditions found in Albania, we can say that the possibilities for their scientific
treatment are limited. What can be done today is only the organization of fairs and exhibitions
through which the evaluation of the best reproducers may be realized and the exchange of the
genetic material may take place among the farmers. Geo-climatic conditions and the quantity
of the spontaneous vegetation cover have always favoured the development of small
ruminants in Albania. Having that as a main activity, the Albanian farmer has found solutions
which harmonize well development with the requirements for environmental protection.
Special care is shown for the forest protection and we can say that, in general, the sylviculture
and the small ruminants, especially the goats, are complementary to each other.


   The main scope of the management of small ruminants in small flocks, is the provision of
animal products for family needs. This and the lack of a real possibility for data collection and
financial-economic information from the farms of such size, makes their economic evaluation
very difficult. Yet, we can state that the bigger the flock size, the higher the economic
profitability. Two of the principal needs of the farmers who are more specialized in keeping
small ruminants are: to get low interest credit to build milk processing units and to establish
the structures which could realize the marketing of the animal products.


Muratović, S.                                                              Brodlija, K.
Džomba, E.                                                                 Farm of sheep husbandry
Faculty of Agriculture                                                     Kakanj
Sarajevo                                                                   Bosnia and Herzegovina


    Bosnia and Herzegovina has some 5.1 million hectares of land, half of which is agricultural and a further 45
percent is covered in forests. Within the agricultural land area, about 40 percent is arable, 55 percent is meadows
and pastures and 5 percent is orchards and vineyards.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina is mainly mountainous or hilly, cultivation taking place in the valleys and grazing on
    In 1991 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the total number of sheep and ewes were 1 317 000 and 971 000 heads,
respectively. Ninety-nine percent of the animals were in private hands, and only 1 percent of them was organized.
In the same year, the average milk and wool yield of the ewes were 30 litres and 1.3 kilograms, the reproduction
level was 102 percent.
    One of the main reasons for low production on the individual farms is the absence of scientific research work
with farmers for many years (80 years).
    Implementation of the sheep and goats husbandry rehabilitation program should include extension service and
rehabilitation of scientific research work, where a State programme of domestic breeds protection and
development will be included.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina needs the assistance and support of the International community in its struggle to
preserve sheep and goat husbandry.


    Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated in Southeastern Europe. It is almost land-locked and
has a continental climate except for the immediate hinterland of the Dalmatian coast, which
has a Mediterranean climate.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina has about 5.1 million hectares of land, half of which is
agricultural and a further 45 percent is covered by forests. Within the agricultural land area,
about 40 percent is arable, 55 percent is meadows and pastures and 5 percent is orchards and
    Historically, settlement has been in the valleys, with individual sheep farms at higher


     The number of sheep by category in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991 was as follows:

Table 1. Number of sheep by category and ownership (in ‘000 heads) in B&H

             Item            Total number                           Ownership, %
                                                       Private                     "Organized"
            Ewes                 971                    99.0                           1.0
         Other sheep             346                    99.1                           0.9
          Total sheep          1 317                    99.0                           1.0

   Table 2 contains the average production of sheep milk, wool and sheep slaughtered in the
private sector in 1991.

Table 2. Average production milk, wool and slaughtered sheep

             Year       milk/ewe/year, kg     wool/sheep/year, kg          slaughtered sheep
             1991              30                     1.3                          1.02

   One of the main reasons for low production on the individual farms is the absence of
scientific research work and extension services with farmers for many years (80 years).
   The goat population is relatively low as a result of an edict prohibiting their husbandry
since 1951. This appears to have been considered as a soil and forestry conservation measure
and the keeping of goats are still regarded as controversial by a number of observers.


   The reconstruction of small ruminant livestock sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina need
settling statistics data.
   Recently, we have visited two locations (Travnik and Livno) and collected some data.
   The Travnik area in 1991 had 49 000 sheep, and now the number of sheep has decreased to
22 000 (breed Pramenka - Vlašić). The number of sheep in a flock is 60 heads (22-150).
Farmers have about 1.5 ha of land (average) on the Vlašić Mountain. In the summer, feeding
of the sheep is conducted on the Vlašić's grassland. During the wintertime (November to
April) farmers go to North Bosnia (areas Tuzla, Brčko, Bihać).
   The Livno area in 1991 had 20 000 heads of sheep and now number of the sheep is about
5 000. Ten individual farms have about 200 heads of sheep. Other farmers have an average
10-20 heads of sheep. Summer feeding of sheep is on the mountain Cincar, nearby Livno
(10 km). During the wintertime, farmers come back to villages of the Livno area. Farmers
have an average 4.0 ha of land in the Field of Livno.


   Markets are a very important economic factor in sheep production. They directly determine
the trend and scope of production, although sheep are only assets and important to people
living in mountainous areas. The market includes a sheep market and, last time, a goat market,
as well as their products.
   The market for lambs (meat) and cheese is very active; these factors enhance and stimulate
development of small ruminant production. For example, Livno and Travnik cheese
production grows very fast, because of the high quality as well as high prices.
   At this time sheep and goat husbandry need protection of ancient breed reproductive lambs.


    Implementation of a rehabilitation programme in sheep and goat husbandry should include
serious extension and rehabilitation of scientific research work; also, the State programme of
domestic breeds‘ protection and development should be included.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina needs the assistance and support of the International community
in its struggle to preserve sheep and goat husbandry.


Livestock rehabilitation project in Bosnia and Herzegovina - implementation. Third joint
     EAAP/FAO workshop for European National Coordinators, Vienna, Austria, 1997.
Annually statistic's report of BiH, Sarajevo, 1992.


                                                                Dimov, Doytcho
                                                                Agricultural University of Plovdiv
                                                                Department of Animal Husbandry,
                                                                Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria


    In the context of political changes in CEEC, the total number, production and farm structure in the small
ruminant sector have been affected by the process of reinstating the ownership of the land. There is a great
reduction in sheep population - 62.85 percent. In contrast to this trend, the total number of goats increased by
96.04 percent. Small size of herds is a typical characteristic of today‘s sheep and goat farming. Flock size and
production technology for most of the farmers the extensive production system. With regard to milk yield per
ewe in the lowlands, there is a semi-intensive production system.
    This situation is not very appropriate for modern systems of sheep husbandry and breeding strategies, but
favourable economic conditions have to be considered as a potential source for restoration of the sheep
population. Final products of sheep and goat farming (cheese and meat) have always been regarded as a
traditional part of Bulgarian meals. Lamb and mutton have a permanent high demand. Sheep and goat husbandry
remain reliable sources of exportable goods.
    According to different geographical locations (lowlands, hills or mountains), different breeds exist. Bulgaria
has a great diversity of genetic resources for sustainable sheep and goat farming. These genetic resources need
better monitoring and management.
    In the beginning of 1997, 98.89 percent of sheep and 99.95 percent of goats were in private ownership, but
83.17 percent of pastures are state or communal. During the grazing period all herds feed on communal pastures.
Lots of work on sheep and goat farms is done by hand.
    At the end of 1995 the Ministry of Agriculture started a project for building the National Agricultural
Advisory System (NAAS). NAAS can be considered as a prototype of an ―Extension Services‖ system.
    The basic weakness of sheep and goat husbandry in Bulgaria is the lack of integral connection between
farmers, processing and marketing of sheep and goat products.
    The present production system is very difficult to manage. Existing farmers‘ and breeding organizations are
new organizations with insufficient experience and resources to protect the economic interests of the new
farmers. Also missing are well-trained people for effective management of sheep and goat production.
    The purpose of the new government is to create favourable conditions for production without active
intervention in the production sector. In this situation farmers‘ initiative is of great importance for successful
development of sheep and goat farming. The presence of effective farmers‘ and breeding organizations is a key
factor to achieve sustainability of the sheep and goat industry.
    In the present situation, possible means to improve production systems are: (i) a careful study of the present
production system; (ii) setting up a parameters of sustainable production in local ecological and market
conditions; (iii) moulding of new production strategies for direct access of farmers into the market;
(iv) development and implementation of pilot-projects with participation of farmers for modern sustainable sheep
and goat production.

   In the context of political changes in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC),
total number, production and farm structure in the small ruminant sector have been drastically
affected by the process of reinstating the ownership of the land. In sheep and goat farming,

two fully opposite tendencies can be observed. In comparison with 1990, the total number of
sheep decreased - 62.85 percent (Table 1). In contrast to this trend, the total number of goats
increased (96.04 percent).

Table 1. The number of sheep and goats

         Year     Number of sheep   Number of ewes    Number of goats   Number of does
         1990        8 130 000         5 006 000          432 923           366 559
         1995        3 397 610         2 357 000          795 436           655 611
         1996        3 383 034         2 386 451          833 325           668 250
         1997        3 019 600         1 999 693          848 742           619 168

   Actually, the reduction of the sheep population is on account of the former co-operative
sector. Before 1990, the dominant part of the sheep population were Merino and Semi-merino
breeds. When large co-operative farms were disrupted after 1991-1992, the private sector
could not accept these breeds because they were not profitable.
   Nowadays, the high interest in goat farming is due to the low standard of the rural and
mountain population. Many people keep goats to satisfy their own needs of milk, milk
products and meat. In comparison with cattle, goat keeping is easier. They are not demanding
regarding the forages and they require less expense.

The number of sheep and goat farms
   In the beginning of 1995, the number of sheep in the private sector was 92.3percent, kept
on 486 627 farms (6.4 sheep per farm). Total number of goats was 99.9 percent, kept on
373 900 farms (2.12 goats per farm) - the information is from the National Institute of
Statistics - 1995. Under these conditions, the term ―farms‖ is not very proper. ―Individual
farmers‖ is a more accurate expression.

The farm structure
   The small size of the herds is a typical characteristic of today‘s sheep farming. A lot of
people keep sheep to satisfy their family needs of milk and meat. There is a limited percentage
of farmers who keep large herds over 100 ewes (Table 2).

Type of production
   Flock size and production technology for most of the farmers determine an extensive
production system. With regard to milk yield per ewe in lowlands, where Pleven Black-head,
Stara Zagora and Maritza sheep are kept, there is a semi-intensive production system.

Table 2. Flock sizes of sheep farms of Bulgaria (private sector)
                       Number of sheep            Number of farms         Structure
                          1-10                        428 789                88.12
                          11-20                         43 236                8.88
                          21-50                         12 231                2.51
                          51-100                         1 831                0.38
                          > 100                           540                 0.11
                   Total number of farms              486 627               100.00
                                                                 (Source: Lazarova 1995)
The main products and their importance
   The members of the Breeding Association of Maritza sheep having studied the herds in
Plovdiv region for 1997, concluded that milk yield provided 57 percent of whole herd income.
Forty-one percent of it comes from lambs and only 2 percent comes from wool (Figure 1).
Actually, this income structure per herd underwent little changes and could be accepted as
typical for the lowlands.

                                           2%                              Milk
                                  41%                 Milk
                                                      57%                  Wool

       Figure 1. Structure of the income for 1997 in the herds of Maritza sheep

Market and relative importance of the markets from the economical
point of view
   Final products of sheep and goat farming (cheese and meat) have always been regarded as a
traditional part of Bulgarian meals. Lamb and mutton have a permanent high demand not only
on the occasion of religion feasts, but also with satisfying people‘s necessities, particularly in
rural areas. Unfortunately, the general decreasing of the sheep population, as well as the high
cost of living, influenced the reduced (and still reducing) consumption of these products
(Table 3).

Table 3. Household consumption of foods from small ruminants in Bulgaria (per capita)

                        Products                           1994           1995
                          Lamb and kids, kg                   2.4          2.2
                          Mutton and goat, kg                 1.4          1.3
                        White cheese*, kg                    10.0          9.2
                        Yellow cheese,* kg                1.6              1.5
                        * Cheese from cow and sheep milk total

   Paralleled with the total reduction of sheep in Bulgaria, the total export of small ruminant
products also decreased (Table 4), although sheep and goat husbandry remain reliable sources
of exportable goods.

Table 4. Exported ratio of some products of small ruminants

                                            1994                           1995                       1996
   Export                          Total           (%)**         Total            (%)**     Total          (%)**
                                   export                        export                     export

   Live animals (x 1000) (n)           944.5                       499.9                          748.28
   Carcass, (t)                      4 151.0       7.30          1 732.0          3.40
   Cheese *, (t)                    15 200.0      25.37      6 300.0     11.90                5 700.00       13.93
  * cow, sheep and goat cheese – total; ** percent from total production

Main export markets and prices of products
   It was until recent years that Bulgaria exported small ruminant products (lamb, mutton,
cheese) to Arabian countries - Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. Nowadays, the exports to these
countries is being restricted.
   In 1995, the export of live animals (499 934 small ruminants) was mainly oriented to
Greece (57.2 percent), Syria (31.7 percent) and Italy (8.5 percent). Carcass export chiefly
concerns Greece (52.9 percent), Italy (18.2 percent), Jordan (6.3 percent), etc. Average export
price per kilogram was: live body weight US$1.58; carcass US$4.39.
   During 1995, total export of cheese (white and yellow) amounted to 6 300 tonnes, but in
1996 it decreased to 5 700 tonnes. During the last years total export of cheese showed a
constant trend of decreasing (67 percent in comparison with 1990) which is a result of
reduction of dairy animals (cow, ewe and goat). White and yellow Bulgarian cheeses are sold
all over the world. The exports of 1995 are distributed throughout European countries, the
United States of America, Australia and Arabian countries.

Selling products from farms
   Usually farmers sell their products as raw materials: live lambs, kids or adult animals, raw
wool and milk. Because of this fact, selling furs provides non-significant income from the

Table 5. Selling products from the farms

                      Year        Ewe Milk (t)     Goat Milk              Wool (t)        Meat *
                                                           (t)                              (t)
                      1990          262 000                62 100          27 800         168 925
                      1995          119 587            142 700              8 790         115 818
                      1996         110 308            139 000        9 193      127 220
                   * Meat from small ruminants (in live weight sold in the farms)

Export forms of products
   Traditionally, main forms of small ruminant export are: live animals, carcasses and cheese
(white and yellow). The skins (raw and leathers) are not a significant part of the total export
from small ruminants. The clothing and fur industries are not very proper parameter for small
ruminant products, since responsible companies preferably use imported materials. During the
last years in the country, the regular import of wool has been from Russia.

Breeds (and their names) bred in Bulgaria
     Sheep Breeds

   In comparison with other species of agricultural animals, there are a great diversity of
sheep breeds in the country. According to different geographical locations (lowlands, hills or
mountains) different breeds exist. In the lowlands dairy breeds are most prominent: Pleven
Blackhead, Stara Zagora, Patch-faced Maritza Sheep, White Maritza Sheep, Dairy crosses
with East-Friesian and Awassi breeds, Pleven Blackhead, Stara Zagora. Milk yield of these
genotypes is strongly affected by the herds and years. Our studies on the Patch-faced Maritza
Sheep show that milk yield per ewe, depending of the herd, vary from 124 to 203 litres per
milking period of 150 days. Some of the merino breeds still exist in a greatly limited
populations which have unclear futures: Northeast Bulgarian Merino, Trakanian Fine Merino,
Dunav Fine Merino, Karnobat Fine Merino breed. Now they are situated in experimental
stations of the Agricultural Academy. Without support from the government they will
disappear. There are two types of Corriedale breeds: South Bulgarian Corriedale, Nord
Bulgarian Corriedale. They are also endangered because they are not profitable.
   In the mountains, Tzigai, Karakachaska and other local sheep are dominant breeds. Some
rare breeds still exist in the hill area of the country - Local Karnobat breed, Coopery-red

     Goat Breeds

   The predominant part of goat population are local goats, well adapted to local geographic
and husbandry conditions. Genetically they are heterogeneous groups with different fur- color.
Milk yield varies from 250 to 400 litres.
   It is wise to breed Bulgarian White Milky (BWM), which successfully combines the high
productive traits of Saanen goat and fitness characteristics of local goats. Milk yield is about
375 litres per 210 days (Terziyska et al.,1994). High interest exists in the Saanen goat,
Togenburg, Anglonubian and their crosses, but their numbers are not significant.

The status of property
   The most significant effect of political changes in Bulgaria is the change in ownership of
animals. In 1997, 98.89 percent of sheep and 99.95 percent of goats were in private
ownership. This fact is, in itself, an important conclusion regarding the farmer as an essential
factor for further development of sheep and goat husbandry in Bulgaria.

Table 7. Status of property on the sheep and goat populations of Bulgaria (01.01.1997)

                       Status of property                             n           percent
                       Private                                   2 986 314        98.89
                       Co-operative + State                         33 286         1.11
                       Total                                     3 019 600       100.00
                       Private                                   848 292          99.95
                       Co-operative +State                           450           0.05
                       Total                                   848 742        100.00
                                                Source: Mikhailova, 1997 (pers. comm.)

Table 8. Status of property of arable and pasture lands in Bulgaria

                           Thousands hectares   State and communal          Agricultural co-    Private
                                                       percent             operatives percent   percent
    Arable lands                  6 164                 21.1                     35.5             43.4
    Cultivated lands              4 693                  5.7                     42.4             51.9
    Pastures                     1 470                    70.1                   13.6              16.3
                         Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Agrarian Reform 1997 (pers. comm.)

Lands and Barns
   Because of communal ownership of the pastures, the farmers don‘t rent or lease lands for
food production. Most of the farmers use their own barns.

Farm labour
   In the lowlands, the following situations can be observed:
 Shepherds keep their own herds, but sometimes they use the family to help. This system is
    dominant in the herds of Local Maritza sheep, Pleven Blackhead, and Stara Zagora;
 During the grazing period, some farmers practise different forms of co-operation,
    collecting their herds on the communal pastures. During the night, herds usually come
    back to the barn of the owner. The farmers take turns to look after the sheep during the
 In winter, sheep are kept in the barn by the farmer. During the grazing period the farmer
    employs herdsman.
   In the mountains, farmers use only family labour during the winter. During the grazing
period some farmers collect their own herds and lead them to communal mountain pastures
for a long period. Some of them take herdsmen; occasionally, others take them in turns to look
after the herds.

   Based on the current production system, thoroughly changed in the last seven years, we are
not supplied with any scientific research or detailed description of labour organization at the
farm level.

The lambing system
    Usually farmers practice only one lambing per year. A second lambing during the same
year can be found accidentally. In the lowlands, the lambing season starts in the middle of
December and continues into the middle of March, while in the mountains February to March
is the typical lambing season.

The origin of feeds used on the farms
   During the grazing period all herds feed on communal pastures. In the lowlands the grazing
period comprises 7-8 months, while in the mountains it is restricted to 5-6 months. Farmers
use different methods of supplying feed for the winter period. Depending on the size of the
owned lands, three possible systems can be found: self produced, purchased or mixed.

The presence of necessary equipment and machinery on the farms
   Lots of work on sheep and goat farms is done by hand. The most labour-consuming process
in sheep farming, for example milking, is done manually nowadays. Although machine
milking was widely practiced in Bulgaria (mainly on former co-operative farms), at present
machine milking of sheep is saved as a technology used only in the Research Institute of
Cattle and Sheep Breeding in Stara Zagora. Some local dairy sheep breeds in the private sector
are suitable for machine milking, but small size of flocks and the high price of milking
parlours is a great obstacle for implementation of machine milking in sheep farming. One of
the more specific processes in sheep farming - shearing, can be easily mechanized, because
the clippers are accessible in the market. About 20 percent of the Breeding Association of
Maritza Sheep members use clippers. Tractors and other small-scale machines are available
for transport operations.
   It seems that machine milking at this moment is more acceptable for goat farming,
especially for those who keep and intend to keep more goats per flock.

Breeding and Farmers‘ Organizations in Bulgaria
   Before 1990, 27 government services functioned in the animal breeding area. They served
mainly the former co-operative sector. During 1994 they were reduced to 9 centres. By
recommendation of the EAAP Task Force on Central and Eastern Europe (K. Meyn 1996)
these services have been saved. Now, they are normatively authorized to continue livestock
improvement programmes of the government.
   During 1990, the first non-government breeding organization was established – the
Breeding Association of Maritza sheep. This is a small organization of forty members. The
main task of this association is to preserve Maritza sheep as a valuable genetic resource. In the
beginning of 1993 the milk recording programme of local Maritza sheep was started with the
support of private farmers from the Plovdiv region and the national fund for scientific
researches. Since 1996 monitoring of Maritza sheep has been supported by the Agricultural

University of Plovdiv. Because of the local distribution of Maritza sheep, the Breeding
Association of Local Maritza sheep definitely obtained regional importance and contribution
to Bulgaria.
   Unfortunately, this initiative has not been followed by the farmers who kept Pleven
Blackhead and Stara Zagora breeds, which are larger populations. Instead, by the initiative of
former government services, another structure was established - The National Union of Sheep
and Goat Farming (1994). This process was prompted by the government structures because it
was obvious that the process of grouping and confederation among shepherds and goatherds
had been delayed. The expectations are that this union will be able to support farmers. Now
this National Union has to prove its successful existence.
   The Council of sheep and goat farming was created in 1995. This counsel consists of well-
known scientists who have to prepare a national programme for sheep and goat farming

Extension services for the farmers
   At the end of 1995 the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR)
started a project for building the National Agricultural Advisory System (NAAS), with co-
operation of the Agricultural Academy and financial support from the programme PHARE.
This is the governmental policy to establish adequate structures into the field of agriculture in
Bulgaria. NAAS can be considered a prototype of ―Extension Services‖ system.
   Lots of farmers directly contact a scientists and specialists from agricultural universities
and research institutes, where they can be advised and helped.

Aids and governmental supports available for the farmers
   Since 1990 political development of Bulgaria caused the change of eight governments.
These frequent changes did not allow the formation of permanent policy in the field of
agriculture. At present, shepherds and goatherds are not supplied with subsidies by the
government. Governmental programmes supporting farmers have not been created so far.

The main problems which have to be solved for the new farmers
    The basic weakness of sheep and goat husbandry in Bulgaria is the lack of integral
connection between farmers, and the processing and marketing of sheep and goat products. In
Bulgaria there doesn‘t exist a good example, like the Awassi Corporation in Hungary (Kiss et
al., 1997), that can be followed by the other farmers. A great contribution in the rebuilding of
the sheep industry could be done by those who can integrate these three parts of the
production chain: production - processing - marketing.
    As it has been mentioned above, at present 98.89 percent of the sheep population and 99.95
percent of the goat population are in private ownership, but 83.17 percent of pastures are state
or communal. This second weak point of sheep and goat husbandry is a great obstacle for
successful development and implementation of modern technologies. Intensive debates about
privatization of communal pastures now take place in Bulgaria. A lot of people give proposals
to help the preparatory act of the Parliament for privatization of communal pastures.

Alternative utilization of small ruminants in the country
   This is a new area for scientists and specialists in the field of sheep and goat farming in
Bulgaria. Lots of mountains and rural areas have been depopulated. In the future this will be
an additional obstacale for restoration of the sheep population. Large natural pastures are not
grazed by herbivorous animals and this leads to their degradation. The difficult economic
situation in the country and the rise of liquid fuel prices set up serious problems in the
management of landscape and protected areas. The task of scientists now is to estimate real
circumstances and to suggest ideas for using sheep and goats for landscape protection. On the
local level, it is difficult to get beyond some inveterate views against using sheep and goats for
environmental protection. Sheep and goats have been considered a factor in making the
environment foul. In the country the dilemma is well known: The goat or the forest!
   Lately, more attention has been given to ecological aspects in animal husbandry. The
society set up requirements for ecologically clean production. Some projects for building
demonstrative ecological farms of sustainable agriculture have been started. On these farms,
agricultural animals were included as an important element of the whole agro-ecological
production chain. For example, at the Agricultural University of Plovdiv, a mixed ecological
farm was established as an Agro-ecological centre. A sheep farm there was built with a small
herd of 40 sheep.

What kind of economical situation could be seen regarding different
sizes of farms?
   As it has been mentioned above, 88 percent of the farms own 1 to 10 sheep. These farmers
keep a few ewes to satisfy their family needs of milk, cheese and meat. They are not
appropriate for modern systems of sheep husbandry and breeding strategies.
   The farms which keep 11 to 20 sheep (12 231) produce milk, meat and wool, both for self-
sufficiency and for the market. These farmers are appropriate for engaging in a programme of
preserving some rare local breeds.
   Some of the farmers, both of the first and second groups at favourable economic
conditions, have to be considered as potential sources for restoration of the sheep population.
   The farms with 21 to 50 and 51 to 100 sheep per flock can be the basis of farmers‘
organizations and future breeding work.

Availability of governmental programmes to save and rebuild the
sheep and goat industry
   During forthcoming years, the economy of the country will work under conditions of a
―Currency board‖, which started on 1 July 1997. Strong reductions of the governmental
budget are expected. The government will not be able to support farmers financially and
   State funded ―Agriculture‖ is available for the farmers to draw credits, but until now there
has been a low interest to draw credits.
   The purpose of the new government is to create favourable conditions for production
without active intervention in the production sector. In this situation the farmers‘ initiative is
of great importance for successful development of sheep and goat farming. The presence of

effective farmers‘ and breeding organizations is a key factor to achieve sustainability of the
sheep and goat industry.

  The present production system is very difficult to manage. Reasons:
 Existing farmers‘ and breeding organizations are new organizations with insufficient
   experience and resources to protect economical interests of the new farmers.
 Lack of well-trained people for effective management of sheep and goat production.

   For successful management, it is necessary for farmers to have access to the final markets
of sheep and goat farming. This could be achieved if:
 Farmers have their own cheese factories to process ran materials and sell the final products
    on the market.
 The farmers are on a contractual basis with processors and dealers in order to access the

    At present the possible means to improve production systems are:
   A careful study of present production systems.
   Setting up parameters of sustainable production in local ecological and market conditions.
   Moulding new production strategies for direct access of farmers into the market.
   Development and implementation of pilot-projects, with participation of farmers, for
    modern sustainable sheep and goat production.

Bulletin of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food industry 1996. Analysis of situation and
   tendencies in Animal production sector.
Kiss, B.- Kovács, P. – Székelyhidi, T. & Kukovics, S. 1997. Breeding aims to develop sheep
   milk production. In: Proceedings of the meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Network of Co-
   operative Research on Sheep and Goats, Toulouse, 9-11 March.
Lazarova, M. 1995. Structural problems of the Animal Production. ―Which way in Animal
   Production sector‖. In: Proceedings of the Scientific conference, October 18.
Meyn, K. 1996. EAAP task force on Eastern Europe. Livestock Production Science, In:
   EAAP News 46: 143-145.
Mikhailov, M. 1995. Structural problems of the Animal Production. ―Which way in Animal
   Production sector‖ In: Proceedings of the Scientific conference, October 18.
Mikhailova, R. 1997. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Agrarian Reform. Personal
   communication (21-00-842/29.07.97).
National Institute of Statistics 1995. Agricultural animals to 1st January, 1995. Sofia. In:
   Statistical yearbook of Bulgaria. 1996.
Statistical Book of Reference 1997.
Tersiyska, M. - Popov, Zh. - Petrova, N. & Dochevski, D. 1994. Milk productivity and
   composition of milk of two breeds - Bulgarian White Milky (BWM) and Saanisated
   crosses, In: Journal of Animal Science 134-135.


                                            Mikulec, Krešimir
                                            Veterynary Faculty University of Zagreb
                                            Department for Animal Breeding and Technology

    In the history of the Croatian people, sheep breeding - and to a smaller extent also goat breeding - represented
an important branch of the economy, especially in the hilly-mountainous (continental) and Mediterranean area of
the Republic of Croatia. The reason for that is because Croatia has about 1 565 000 ha of pastures and meadows
which were very poorly used in the previous socialist system, and that after the Patriotic War (1994) only
436 000 ha, i.e. about one-third of the total acerage was used. Mostly, there are natural extensive pastures with
low yields of 1-5 tonnes of hay. The aggression toward Croatia 1991-1994, when about 42 percent of sheep and
goat stock was devastated, also contributed to poor utilization of the grass land.
    Today, after the war in Croatia, there are 454 000 sheep and about 63 000 goats, being almost a half of the
stock in comparison to the prewar period. In sheep production today there are about 3100 private sheep breeders,
where the most common size of a herd is 40-60 sheep (58 percent), then 60-100 sheep (32 percent) and 100-400
and more sheep (10 percent). More than 80 percent of the sheep stock consists of a domestic low-productive
pramenka and its strains of combined type, giving about 60-80 litres of milk, 17-18 kg of live weight of the
lambs at the age of three months and about 1.1 kg of wool of poor quality. The rest are crossbreeds with
Wirtemberg and, to a smaller extent, with some other breeds.
    Concerning goats, there are about 950 breeders, have herds of 50-70 heads, i.e. about 83 percent of breeders,
and the rest have herds of 1-50 heads and more than 70 heads, i.e. about 13 percent.
    In the coastal and insular region of the Adriatic Sea the native Balcanic goat with low milk production of 80-
150 litres, fertility of 1.4 kids and low production of kids meat of up to 17 kg of live weight is kept. Furthermore,
the smaller breedings of Alpine and partly Saanen goat producing twice as much as the native ones are also kept.
    The feeding of small ruminants is carried out mostly on the extensive pastures of low productivity. In the
period of the last months of gestation and during lactation, additional feeding is carried out based on the self-
produced feedstuffs and according to the instructions of an expert service.
    Excepting the machinery for hay storage, other machinery is used very rarely in milking the herds of 100
heads; it is carried out mostly by hand.
    In regard to the market it must be pointed out that the total production of sheep and goat cheese as well as
lamb and kids‘ meat is used for the needs of a domestic market, since there is a great lack of these products due
to the consequences of the war.
    The wool quality is qualitatively and quantitatively bad, so the market price is low and it scarcely covers the
cost of sheep trimming.
    Both productions are carried out on private pastures and at the same time the breeders use large national
acreages with negligible financial compensation. About 61 percent of the sheep breeders keep sheep and goats as
a secondary resource of income in their own family husbandries and, after the war, the number of breeders to
whom this is the primary source of income has increased.
    Mostly, the annual seasonal system of lambing is used, so the insemination is in August and lambing in
January or February of the following year. In goats the insemination is in October and kidding in April of the
following year.
    In the last three years, the breeders of small ruminants have joined in private associations on the district
territories, where their problems and interests are transferred to appropriate professional services of the Republic
of Croatia to have their demands and requests met. In 1993 a national advisory service was organized at the
Ministry of Agriculture, which has been distributed in all the districts with 190 highly qualified experts in total. It
was established with the aim of providing advisory professional assistance and strenghtening the private family

husbandries. At the same time, courses for breeders‘ education were also organized, and very favourable farm
loans (up to five years with low interest rates) were given. Furthermore, the selection service has been organized
throughout the Republic and it carries out the production and parent records of the herds of small ruminants. On
this basis, for breeding the progeny of their own herd, about 150 DM is granted irretrievably to the breeders of
female lambs and kids for their own herd.
    All the above mentioned has from the very beginning, greatly increased the interest for breeding and
production of small ruminants of more intensive breedings, where the greatest interest is for the production of
lamb‘s meat (85 percent), sheep cheese (15 percent) and a smaller interest for kid‘s meat and milk.

State of sheep and goat production
   Breeding of small ruminants and sheep in particular represented an important branch of
cattle breeding activity, especially in hilly-mountainous (sheep) and Mediterranean (sheep and
goats) regions of Croatia on the eve of the Second World War. After 1945, the socialist
economy was literally doing its best to ruin goat-breeding, so in 1954 the Act on the Ban of
Keeping Goats was passed. Goats were decimated, but by the persistence and stubbornness of
the breeders until the 1980s, about 150 000 goats persisted. Sheep-breeding was in a slightly
better position, so in 1965 there were about 1 390 000 sheep but this number gradually
decreased until the Patriotic War in 1991, when there were only about 753 000 sheep left.
   During the Patriotic War from 1991 until 1994, 42 percent of the sheep and goat stock was
destroyed and plundered, so today we have only about 453 000 sheep and about 105 000 goats
(Figure 1).


         T   1000
         o     800
         s     600
         n     400
         s     200

                          1970              1980              1990               1995

                                           Sheep      Goats

  Figure 1. Total number of sheep and goats in period 1970-1995 in the Republic of Croatia

   The largest number of goats was on the territory of Dalmatian Zagora (Benkovac, Obrovac,
Knin, Sinj), then in a smaller amount along the coast and on the islands of the Adriatic Sea
(Figure 2).

                              Figure 2. Distribution of sheep and goats

   On the other hand, sheep-breeding prevailed mostly in the continental part of Croatia, in
Lika and Dalmatian Zagora and to a smaller extent in the lowland parts of Slavonia.
   Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that the data stated after the war concerning the
number of sheep and goats and on the basis of the statistics are less than the estimates of the
experts, so the number in the data was approximately stated on the basis of these estimates.
   Today, according to the incomplete data, in Croatia there are about 3 100 private sheep
breeders but the herds are mostly not larger than 50 sheep (58 percent of sheep), 50-100 sheep
(32 percent) and finally more than 100 sheep (about 10 percent) (Figure 3).

                             till 50        from 50 to 100          more than 100
                                       Number of animals in flock

                                          Sheep    Goats

Figure 3. Percentage of sheep and goat breeders according to the number of animals in flock

   Today there are about 950 goat breeders, with 36 percent of the herds having 50 heads, 48
percent with 50-100 heads and 16 percent with more than 100 goats.
   Considering the owned acreages, it must be pointed out that they are 5-8 ha on an average.
Until today, the largest parts are the pastures not yet distributed but are used by private
breeders for pasturing their herds.
   Out of the number mentioned approximately 5 000 goats and 20 000 sheep are included in
the selected evidence.

Grassland - the basis of sheep and goat-breeding
   In the total acreage (5 650 000 ha) of the Republic of Croatia the agricultural areas cover
57 percent or 3 224 000 ha (Table 1).

Table 1. Acrage of grassland and its productivity

                                   REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
                                   TOTAL ACREAGE                         100%
                                   5 650 000 ha

                                TOTAL AGRICULTURAL
                                ACREAGE 3 224 000 ha                         57%
                                    100 %
                                   GRASSLAND (MEADOWS AND
                                   PASTURES) 1 565 000 ha                    48.50%

                         MEADOWS                       PASTURES
                         410 000 ha
                                           26.2%       1 155 000 ha           73.8%

                              x 2.4 tonnes of hay                 x 0.5 tons of hay
                   984 000 tonnes of hay             574 400 tonnes of hay

                                    1 558 000 tonnes of hay

                                                                      15 kg of hay for 1 kg of meat

                                   104 000 tonnes of meat

   Large acreages of grassland (1 155 000 ha of pastures and 410 000 ha of meadows) in
Croatia are not used rationally. This applies especially to coastal and hilly-mountainous
pastures. The productivity expressed in hay and meat is much lower than the productivity of

organized grassland in the world. Furthermore, out of the total acreage of grassland in 1990,
only 530 000 ha was used and due to the war in 1992 only 436 000 ha was used. Since the
grassland is not cultivated, its yields are very low ranging from one to five tonnes of hay per
ha. Hence, the stock of small ruminants and sheep mentioned above uses the extensive system
of pasturing on low productive pastures.

Breeds and production of small ruminants
   The main products in sheep-breeding are got from the combined type of domestic
pramenka which has low production of milk, meat and wool. Primarily in the continental part,
about 83 percent of sheep stock produce lamb annually. At the age of about three months a
lambs have 17-19 kg of live-weight. Then, up to 65 litres of milk, fertility of 0.9 lambs per
sheep and 1-1.5 kg of wool of C-D sorti.
   In 1994 in the Republic of Croatia, 3 201 tonnes of mutton were produced annually and the
share of lamb meat was about 63.4 percent or 1 995 tonnes of lamb meat (Table 2).

Table 2. Total quantity of mutton and the share of lamb meat in the period from 1991 to 1994

              Year                                 Total amount of        Share of lamb meat       Share of lamb meat
                                                   mutton (tonnes)             (tonnes)                   (%)
              1991                                      5 062                    2 746                    54.25
              1992                                      3 816                    2 418                    63.36
              1993                                      3 320                    2 042                    61.51
              1994                                      3 201                    1 995                    62.32

Moreover, the milk production was about 5120 million litres (Figure 4).

                     millions of litres

                                                 1975   1980    1985   1990   1991   1992   1993   1994


     Figure 4. Production of sheep milk for the period 1975-1994 in the Republic of Croatia

   The production of sheep milk is carried out mostly in about 17 percent of sheep stock being
concentrated in coastal and insular parts of Croatia, which were out of the war zone (1991-
1994) of the territory of Croatia. Almost all milk is used for producing sheep cheese for the
needs of tourism and for a domestic market.

   The production of wool from 1990 until the Patriotic War (1991) was 719 tonnes and in
1994 only 408 tonnes, as the consequence of plunder and ruining the sheep stock during the
war. The wool is of poor quality and small yields and the shearing costs are almost higher than
the price achieved for the wool produced (Figure 5).

                   o    900
                   f    800
               n        700
               n        600
                   o    500
                   l    400
                              1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994


   Figure 5. Production of wool in the period from 1965 to 1994 in the Republic of Croatia

    It is used mostly for the production of carpets and tapestries in local industry. There are
some attempts to use wool for thermal insulation masses in civil engineering.
    Besides the domestic indigeneous pramenka and its strains which make up 83 percent of
sheep stock, German merino Landschaf is used for the new breeding programme in building
domestic improved sheep, with the aim to produce large quantities of lamb meat per sheep
and better fertility of up to 1.4 lambs per sheep, as well as getting wool of better quality and
yield (B-C sortiment and about 3-3.5 kg of wool). Besides that, for improving the milking
capacity of sheep the rams of Sardinian and East-Friesian breeds are used. The milking
capacity in an ameliorated sheep went from 60 litres in lactation of 150 days to 170 litres in
lactation of 160 days. Considering the current state, all products, lambs‘ meat and sheep
cheese are used for domestic consumption.
    Concerning the breeds of goats, it can be said with certainty that more than 95 percent of
the stock is related to domestic Balcanic goats and, to a smaller extent, to domestic Saanen
goats. Balcanic goats are low-productive, so in lactation of about 200 days it gives 80-150
litres of milk, its fertility is of 100-110 percent and sexually mature goats have 30-45 kg of
average body mass. At the same time in better conditions of feeding, a domestic Saanen goat
gives about 250 litres of milk in a lactation of 280 days, its fertility is about 110 percent and
an average body mass is 30-40 kg. The kids of four months of age reach about 18 kg of live
mass. It has been influenced by the Saanen breed of sheep from Switzerland. Some ten years
before the Patriotic War (in 1980) imports of a small number of French brown Alpine and
Saanen goats were begun by a dairy industry of Croatia (Sirela, Vindija ets.). So today, in the
area of North-west Croatia, they have a population of about 6 000 goats of a pure breed under
selection control. They are used for the production of breeding material for a wider breeding
area, as well as for the production of goat dairy products of good quality. (Table 3).

Table 3. Production of milk of the controlled cultivated breeds of goats in 1994

              Breed       Number of goats   Lactation in days   Milk quantity kg   percent of milk fat
     Saanen                     612               256                 508                3.55
     Alpine and Bunte
                              3 651               261                 505                3.48
     Deutsche Edelziege

   Today there is a great interest for the breedings of good quality as well as for a melioration
of goats to increase the production as well as economic effects of small family husbandries.
The past production of kid‘s meat and dairy products was not officially registered, so it is used
for the needs of population and domestic market respectively.

Nutrition and reproduction of small ruminants
    Nutrition of small ruminants is carried out at the extensive pastures of low yields
mentioned above. In the period of insemination, in the last months of gestation and during
lactation additional feeding takes place by adding the concentrate of own production
according to the instruction of the experts. Machinery is used very seldom, mostly for hay
storage. Recently, milking with portable milking machines is carried out more and more and
less hand milking is done.
    Today both productions are carried out only on private husbandries, using their own
acreages and to a higher extent by pasturing at (for now) public pastures. Sheep and goats are
kept primarily by about 40 percent of breeders to whom this is the main source of income and
to the rest of them as a secondary source of income (mixed husbandry).
    Concerning the conditions of keeping and nutrition, most sheep breeders in the continental
part (for the production of lamb meat) use seasonal insemination at the beginning of autumn
(in September) and lambing at the beginning of the year (February). Rather few of them
occasionally use insemination out of the season. The breeders in coastal parts use exclusively
the seasonal insemination in August and lambing in January; the lambs are weaned at the age
of 30-40 days and the sheep are milked until the end of June. Milk is used for producing sheep
cheese of very good quality for the needs of a domestic market.

Stimulating measures for intensifying the production of small
   After the breakdown of a socialist sector (1990) and the Patriotic War until 1994 and in the
interest of intensifying the cattle breeding production on private husbandries, the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry of Croatia has organized the following:
   a) National advisory service financed from the funds of the budget of the Republic and
       organized in all the districts with 192 highly qualified agricultural experts in total. The
       basic task of the service is advisory assistance and education of breeders with the aim
       of improving agricultural and cattle breeding production of private family husbandries
       in Croatia.
   b) Granting credits, which is carrying out through the Ministry of Agriculture of Croatia
       giving very favourable credits up to five years. The interest is up to 6 percent with two
       years of grace period.

   c) Associations of private breeders are organized according to the branches of activities
       with legal persons representing the interests of breeders towards the Republic.
   d) Selection of progeny breeding (calves, heifers, tags and kids of both sexes) through the
       organized selection service of Croatia, which at the same time introduces production
       and parent records for small ruminants and others. The award per tag and kid bred is
       achieved irretrievably in the amount of 350-500 KN and it is to be used for
       reconstruction of one‘s own herd and other breeders buying the progeny for expanding
       and reconstruction of the herd, respectively.
   e) The organized selection service has about 163 highly skilled professionals and control
       assistants carrying out the introduction of production and parent records in the field,
       and at the same time they participate in accepting and organizing the realization of the
       credits for private family husbandries all along Croatia.
   FAO has also been included in the work of the Ministry with its advisory work on
organizing agricultural and cattle breeding production, and by giving financial means for
educating the experts for the needs of improving the private family husbandries all along
   Due to all the mentioned actions carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture in the last two
years, the interest of the breeders for improving and intensifying the production has rapidly
increased as well as at private family husbandries of the breeders of small ruminants.


                                                  Abayné-Hamar, Enikő
                                                  College of Agriculture
                                                  Gödöllő University of Agricultural Sciences
                                                  Gyöngyös, Hungary

     Sheep breeding gives an export output worth US$60 million on areas featuring poor characteristics for other
agricultural activities.
     The EU can fulfil 80 percent of its demand from its own sources, so sheep products will be saleable in the
future, too. Favourable market and breeding conditions in Hungary would justify an increase in sheep stock, but
in spite of this a continuous decrease is recorded.
     If one studies statistical data of sheep breeding he/she can see that there has been a considerable increase in
the number of private sheep breeding farms. Unfortunately these do not perform serious breeding activities, their
technology is mostly outdated and there has been no development in foraging or organization of work.
     Lands that can only be used as grasslands must be used for sheep breeding and for this a sound financial
support system is to be established. Sheep breeding based on grassland management with low investment costs is
competitive as compared to other animal husbandry activities. Among well-balanced production conditions the
output per unit of fixed and current assets is also favourable. Sheep breeding may be competitive compared to
crop production units, too if we consider the fact that sheep breeding gives marketable products on lands
representing low value for crop production.
     Usually private farms do not deal only with sheep breeding. Their stocks are low (50-300 ewes) which results
in a fairly low yearly income (HUF 2000-3000/year/ewe).
     Small farms make full use of individual and special possibilities not always available for large companies (eg.
selling side products, using harvested corn fields). Some of the large sheep breeding companies are successful; in
most of the cases they are those which do the distribution for themselves.
     As far as the mutton production in the world is concerned China's production level has increased considerably
while a slight decrease has been registered in various areas of Oceania. The same agro-economic indicator
dropped sharply in eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union. In the EU this has hardly changed.
     The drop in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was caused by political changes. Stocks in Australia
and New-Zealand decreased as a result of the price crash in 1990 and drought in the early 1990s. We can not
expect boosting sales since the level of trade is affected by the regeneration of stocks.
     The wholesale purchasing price of the mutton has registered a positive development compared to other
species. In the case of slaughter sheep, mutton represents 90 percent of the income, wool and milk bring very
     If is unfortunate, however, that milk and cheese distribution has dropped since much higher export outputs
could be achieved if farmers took the time to milk the ewes. Merino is not appropriate for milk production but
there are brilliant breeds that could form good stocks for specialized farms.
     I follow the changes in sheep breeding closely, analyse the data and calculate trends for prices and
production. Hopefully, as a result I will be able to give viable solutions to the actual problems of Hungarian
sheep breeding.

The changes in the sheep industry
   Sheep-breeding in Hungary gives an annual export output of US$60 million on areas that
are otherwise not appropriate for other profitable agricultural activities while needing very
low investment.
   A high percentage of the products are exported to the EU, mostly to Italy.
   The self distribution potential of the EU as far as sheep products are concerned is around
80 percent, thus there will continuously be a demand to be met. These favourable market
conditions should result in an increase in sheep stock, but despite all this the stocks are
   Analysing the dynamics of sheep stocks, one can see a sharp rise in the number of private
farms. Unfortunately we cannot talk about serious breeding activity on these farms. The
technology is outdated and there has been no change in work organization either.
   According to Jávor et al. (1997) in September 1996, 6 799 persons and legal persons
owned ewes. Private individual farmers owned 78.8 percent and 21.2 percent belonged to
different sheep-breeding companies (Ltds, deposit companies).
   Private farmers in a typical situation perform other activities besides sheep-breeding. They
usually own relatively few ewes (50-300), and sell mostly lamb reaching moderate income
levels (HUF 2 000-3 000/year/ewe).
   The 1996 distribution of ewes based on ownership and stocks is presented in Figures 1
and 2.

                                3% 2%1%
                          6%                           21%

                   10%                                                        1-100
                 13%                                                          3000-4000


             Figure 1. Distribution of ewes according to the flock size in % (1996)

                                      58 403
                                               102 615

                                                 10 716                 Ltd
                                                                        Deposit company
                                                                        Private breeders

                      639 529

     Figure 2. Distribution of ewes according to their ownership 1996 (Total 811 263 heads)

   The average stocks at private farms are below 100, a number that proves a high level of
stock fragmentation. Among such conditions we cannot talk about profitable and efficient
breeding and work organization. I believe that the main reason for the mentioned
fragmentation is the lack of capital, but in the case of farmers and companies willing to
develop a stock increase and concentration are to be expected in the following years.
   Private farms can make full use of specific local conditions, i.e. grazing on harvested corn
fields, free grasslands, etc. (Marselek, 1993). Sheep-breeding is profitable in larger
companies too, mostly where processing and distribution are done in-company.

Prices and economy
   Lands that can only be used as grasslands must be used for sheep breeding and for this a
sound financial support system is to be established. Sheep breeding based on grassland
management with low investment costs is competitive as compared to other animal
husbandry activities. Among well-balanced production conditions the output per unit of fixed
and current assets is also favourable. Sheep breeding may be competitive compared to crop
production units, too if we consider the fact that sheep breeding gives marketable products
on lands representing low value for crop production.
   The wholesale purchasing price of the mutton has registered a positive development
compared to other species (Figure 3). In the case of slaughter sheep mutton represents 90
percent of the income; wool and milk bring very little.

               450 000

               400 000

               350 000

               300 000

                                                                                  Beef cattle

               250 000
                                                                                  Pig for slaughter
                                                                                  Sheep for slaughter
               200 000                                                            Poultry altogether

               150 000

               100 000

                50 000

                     1990   1991   1992   1993     1994        1995   1996

                                      Figure 3. Wholesale prices

   Unfortunately the export value of sheep products (US$) and the exported quantities
decreased considerably (Table 1).

Table 1. Export balance 1990-1995 (tonnes)

Export value                                  US$ 78 million                   US$ 59 million
Export mutton-sheep                                27 400                              19 200
Export mutton with bones                            1 670                                 331
Export sheep cheese                                  782                                  266
Export raw wool                                                                        5 504
                                                                         Source: Kukovics et al. (1997)

  The numbers show a decrease in production levels together with a decrease in stocks. In
1996, 909 658 lambs were exported with an average weight of 20.78 kg. The amount of
mutton with bones exported was 417 355 kg. Raw wool production decreased to 2 396 tonnes.
There was a sheep milk production of 1.2 million litres.
  Export prices showed an increasing trend in May.

Table 2. Export lamb prices 1995-1997

                                           1995                       1996                               1997
Milk lamb 13-16 kg                   362          366           509              514           601              550
Milk lamb 16-20 kg                   351          353           482              492           600              518
Separated lamb 20-24 kg              317          320           439              453           529              477
Ewe lamb 24-27 kg                    288          288           386              409           479              415
Ewe lamb 27-30 kg                    261          260           335              365           463              379
Ewe lamb 30-35 kg                    248          245           313              303           379              336
Ram lamb 24-27 kg                    286           -             -                -             -               428
Ram lamb 27-30 kg                    283          278           377              396           452              414
Ram lamb 30-35 kg                    262          256           344              369           438              370
Ram lamb 35-40 kg                    245          265           323              330           402          333
                                                                                               Source: Jávor (1997)

   The Hungarian lamb export represents a two percent market share in western Europe.
Further decrease would jeopardize our negotiation position. Only 14.8 percent of our
production stocks are on "R" level in the EUROP quality control system (Table 4). This is a
poor result compared to other countries.

Table 4. Percentage per country according to the EUROP system

     Country                         Category                   E        U               R           O           P
The Netherlands     Texel                         17-17 kg      -        43              54          3           -
                    Texel                         21-24 kg      2        57              39          2           -
                    Texel                         26-28 kg      3        47              47          3           -
Great Britain       Suffolk x Mule lambs           18.5 kg      3        33              43          22          -
                    Oxford x Mule lambs            18.5 kg      -        17              53          30          -
Hungary             Suffolk                             16 kg   -            -          44.4        55.6         -
                    Ile de France                  14.7 kg      -        60              40          -           -
                    German Mutton Merino           14.3 kg      -        50              40          10          -
                    Comb Merino                    14.1 kg      -            -           80          20          -
                    Bábolna Tetra                  16.1 kg      -        10              90          -           -
                    Fertile Merino                 13.2 kg      -            -          100          -           -
                    Production stocks              13.7 kg      -            -          14.8     69.0        16.2
                                                                                       Source: Molnár, Jávor (1997)

   It is unfortunate, however, that milk and cheese distribution have dropped since much
higher export outputs could be achieved if farmers took the time to milk the ewes. Merino is
not appropriate for milk production but there are brilliant breeds that could form good stocks
for specialized farms.
   A set of data related to collecting sheep milk and sheep cheese production is presented in
Table 5.

Table 5. The dynamics of collecting sheep milk, sheep cheese production and
         whole-sale price

                 Year                 Collected milk                   Whole-sale price                     Produced
                                      (million litres)                    (HUF/l)                        sheep-cheese (t)
                 1960                      4.8                                -                                729
                 1970                    22.9                                   -                               2120
                 1980                      4.4                              18.31*                               518
                 1990                      3.9                                32.50                              775
                 1996                      1.2                                64.80                             400**
*: 1981                    **: estimated data                                                           Source: own collection

   As far as the mutton production in the world is concerned, China‘s production level has
increased considerably while a slight decrease has been registered in various areas of
Oceania. The same agro-economic indicator dropped sharply in Eastern Europe and the
states of the former Soviet Union. In the EU this has hardly changed.
   The drop in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was caused by political changes.
Stocks in Australia and New Zealand decreased as a result of the price crash in 1990 and
drought in the early 1990s. We cannot expect boosting sales since the level of trade is affected
by the regeneration of stocks.

                 10 500
                 10 400                                                                                     10 440
                                                                           10 350
                 10 300
                                                                                      10 250
                 10 200
   1000 tonnes

                 10 100
                 10 000                                            9 975
                                                                                    y = 3E-57x18,363
                  9 900
                                                                                      R2 = 0,7224
                  9 800           9 805 9 820 9 780 9 815

                  9 700
                  9 600
                        1989   1990   1991    1992       1993   1994   1995     1996     1997    1998    1999

                        Figure 4. The dynamics of mutton production in the world (1990-1996)

   The best correlation is given by a power function. According to this, in 1998 an output of
10.44 thousand tonnes of mutton is to be expected. These forecasts will lead to negligible
changes in production and consumption in countries with a tradition in sheep-breeding and to
the stabilization of high mutton prices (US$2.30-2.70 /kg).
   The raw wool production shows a slight decrease worldwide. There is a sharp rise in
China; however, in Australia and New Zealand statistical data show a certain level of
decrease. These three countries give almost half of the world‘s wool production.
   Based on the data presented one can conclude that ewe stocks in Hungary should be
increased by 20-40 percent. The EU quota regulations would also justify such a measure
since we should not join the EU with ewe stocks lower than our real potential.
   Increasing stocks is essential, thus an appropriate financial support system is to be
established, which would motivate breeders to boost their stocks.


Molnár, Gy. & Jávor, A. 1997. Tények a juhtenyésztés versenyhelyzetének megítéléséhez.
  In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding]. 1997. Vol. 9: 4-5.
Jávor, A. – Békési, Gy. – Kukovics, S. – Molnár, Gy. & Koleszár, Gy. 1997. A hazai
  juhállomány jellemző adatai. In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding]. Vol. 2: 4.
Jávor, A. 1997. Mélyrepülés, vagy válság? In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep
  Breeding]. 1997. Vol. 6: 1-3.
Kukovics, S. – Jávor, A. & Székelyhidi, T. 1997. A juhágazat fejlesztési programja [The
  development programme of the sheep branch]. In: Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep
  Breeding]. 1997. Vol. 3: 1-7.
Marselek, S. 1993. Juhászati ágazat gazdaságossági tényezőinek vizsgálata. In: Kandidátusi
  értekezés. p. 120.


                                                                 Gyarmathy, Egon
                                                                 Dubravska, Jarmila
                                                                 Slovak Agricultural University
                                                                 Department of Animal Husbandry
                                                                 Nitra, Slovak Republic


    Goat breeding has a long tradition in the Slovak Republic but until 1990 goat breeding was without
perspective. In well-developed countries the number of goats increased; on the contrary, in Slovakia the number
    At present, goat breeding has potential and the numbers of goats increase not only in small holdings but also
on big farms. In Slovakia 26 147 goats are bred from which 18 559 are goats older than six months (statistics
from 1. January 1997). One reason for the goat‘s increase is the poor economic situation in many families. It is
possible that the number of goats is higher. There is a lot of grazing of goats in the villages. Unfortunately, the
statistical information is not accurate as it is from seven years ago. It is a problem for the state-breeding
organization because they cannot plan exactly the amount of bucks for breeding. Every year in the end of August
there is an evaluation of bucks in the three parts of the Slovak Republic west, middle and east. Only evaluated
bucks can be used for breeding but there are small holders of goats in the villages who used unevaluated bucks
for breeding.
    There are two milk breeds of goats (white short-haired and brown short-haired) and two hair breeds (mohair
goats and cashmere goats). As in the past, the goats can have horns. The white short-haired goat breed is
descended from the Saanen goat.
    Two new breeds were imported in 1991 from Denmark and New Zealand. They were mohair goats and
cashmere goats. Our country had a five-year market contract with Denmark to puchase our hair production,
because we were not able to make products from hair; we had no technology to separate cashmere. Unfortunately
the contract was canceled and problems with breeding started. The mohair production was used to produce
mohair wool of high quality, but we had only 200 mohair goats (for a big factory it was not economical to
produce only 1 000 kg of mohair). At this time we have only a small herd of mohair goats on one state farm and
these animals are too old for production of high quality mohair. The cashmere goats were bred also in the state
farms but due to problems with cashmere production they were leased to private farmers who used them only for
grazing. We can say that these two breeds were bred for six years but it is possible that they will disappear from
the Slovak Republic. During these six years, animals of these breeds were evaluated through their hair production
(Slovak Agricultural University, Research station for breeding sheep and goats).
    Milk and meat are the main products from goats in our country. Goat milk has high nutritional quality, the
content of which depends on the breed (approximately 12.4 percent of dry matter which means 3.4 percent
protein, 3.8 percent fat content, 4.3 percent lactose and 0.9 percent ash). We have experience with nutritional
quality of goat milk under real-life conditions. Doctor Rosipal started utilization of goat milk for the nourishment
of children. Performance testing is realized by a state breeding organization and a union of breeders. In milk
control quantity and quality of milk is tested.
    The production of meat has only a seasonal character, mainly for the period of Easter when there are mostly
male goats for sale (approximately 8-12 weeks old and a live weight of 12 kilograms). In the future there is the
possibility to produce goat‘s of 25 -30 kilograms live-weight from intensive fattening. There is a test station for
fattening and carcass value, but only for testing rams. The consumption of goat meat has a short tradition in our
country; that is why this kind of meat is mainly exported.
    Very important products are goat skins. Yearly, Slovakia imports 2.2 million skins from abroad; ?? is a pity
not to use its home production which has the same or even better quality.
    With the increase of goats in Slovakia, more research is important. The quality and quantity of milk is one
part of that research. The animals need good conditions for their production, and through studying the behaviour

of goats it will be possible to find the best conditions for them. We don‘t breed any special meat goat breed now,
but we would also like to import meet breeds of goat. There is great interest by breeders to breed goats but we
have problems with milk in some parts of the country. Only six milking factories produce sheep and goat milk
which is not enough. The government has an interest in goat breeding in our republic. The breeders receive
money for goat breeding and for milk production, which is of great benefit to them.

                 SHEEP PROPAGATION

                                                    Tóth, István
                                                    College Faculty
                                                    Gödöllő University of Agricultural Sciences
                                                    Mezőtúr, Hungary


    Both the increasing expenses of sheep keeping and its decreasing income level have resulted in the decrease
of ewe number in small and larger plants. At the same time the propagation index - propagation per 100 ewes -
has fallen down to 80-90 percent.
    The picture is more frightening if we examine the bring up data which has indicates a 18-22 percent value of
lamb loss lately.
    It can be concluded that if this tendency becomes steady, we will not be able to complete our lamb quota in
the EU and we must join the European Market with the present level.
    The basic aim of the examination is to answer to what extent the applied breeding-technological procedures
can increase the lamb propagation and how the die-off of lambs can be reduced by the help of lambing-
technology, foddering and keeping-technology. The most significant hindrance for increasing lamb propagation is
that Merino, which is the most widespread type in Hungary, is originally a mono-oestrus type and is in heat two
to three times a year (Becze, 1981).
    Because of our geographical circumstances, the main season is the end of summer and the beginning of
autumn, and after the 150-day pregnancy period the lambing is due in spring. Because of these special qualities -
relatively short pregnancy period, fast development of off-spring - the ewe can be lambed again by making her
pregnant in a short period of time. The disadvantage of re-impregnation is that early spring is a resting period for
sheep - they are not in heat and they have no ovulation.
    During the off season periods the safest method to develop rutting is the use of a hormone concentration. On
the basis of plant experiments and observations of several years, I have examined the traditional heat in the main
season and the one developed by incretotherapy in the off-season period, the time of impregnation, the frequency
of impregnation (two times: in the afternoon, in the morning; three times: in the afternoon, in the morning, in the
afternoon) the effect of refeeding, the method of ewe preparation as the factors to increase sheep propagation.
    The number of ewes attended with hormone during the testing period was 10 064 and from them 9 115
became pregnant (90.57 percent), the number of lambed ewes was 8 141 and lambs born alive totaled 9 637
(118.37 percent).
    The applied concentration was the SIL Estrus from Abbot company, which is a silicon rubber implant
containing progesterone hormone. The implant was put in under the skin of the sheep.
    The concentration was removed on the 14 day and at the same time 500 UI PM SG was injected under the
skin. The first impregnation should be carried out between 43-52 hours and the second one is due between 60 and
64 hours.
    The cost of incretotherapy (during 1975-1979) relating to one new-born lamb was HUF 24.35/piece which
was approximately equal to the open market price of 1 kg of livestock. This expense, at present, is equal to the
price of 1 kg of lamb.
    The incretotherapy resulted in a 5-8 percent increase of fodder cost which appeared because of re-feeding
after the impregnation.
    Examining the tendency of sheep propagation in two different flocks with or without applying re-feeding, we
can conclude that the propagation is 11 percent and 14 percent higher as the result of steady conditions.
    The most acute problem of sheep keeping - at present and in the past - is the high percentage of lost new-born
lambs. This problem can be traced to the improper preparation of the ewe or the incompletion of applied lambing

    During the plant experiments, by examining the rate of die-off, we can conclude that the most positive rate
was found in the case of lambing technology for small groups. Applying both traditional flock lambing and cage
type (reception) technology, the rate of die-off was 8-15 percent while with the introduction of lambing in small
groups this rate was proven to decrease to about 5-10 percent.
    We can draw the conclusion that during the examined period, the results of heat developed by incretotherapy
and the results of seasonal heat were similar; ewes in heat were prominently seaking rams and the so-called
harems were formed.
    The applied hormone concentration did not have an effect on the seasonal lambing, fertility and heat of ewes.
    The method stabilized the lamb propagation and the cost of impregnation per kg of lamb became smaller than
the cost of livestock in the open market and economical accounting.
    By the application of lambing technology in small groups, the die-off of lambs can be significantly reduced.

   There are many factors which influence the profitability of sheep breeding, like the features
of reproduction-biology, the facilities of keeping and forage and the conditions of the sales.
Utilization of the possibilities - which can be external and internal, too - underlies the increase
of the profitability in the sheep-branch. The existence or the lack of the possibilities influences
the complement of the stock, the volume of the production, the orientation of the utilization,
as well as the standard of the breeding and keeping (Illés, 1995; Lengyel, 1995; Daróczi-
Kukovics, 1995).
   Due to the attrition of the sheep, the senescence of the ewes and in direct ratio to this the
decrease of the genetic value, we could not utilize our export possibilities in mutton during the
last 7-8 years. We can attribute the reasons for these in the first place to the decrease of the
living lamb-crop (80-90 living lambs/100 ewes) and to the loss during upbringing (18-22%),
and in the second place to the multiple increase of the forage costs and the extra low
salesprice of the wool.
    The basic aim of the examination was to find an answer for the question: How one can
increase the lamb crop using applied breeding technologycal methods and decrease loss of the
born-lambs by using high quality forage and applying better lambing technology.
    The most important factor impeding the increase of the lamb-crop (Becze, 1981) is that the
Merino, which breed is the most common in our country, is mono-oestrus by nature, so it
lambs 2-3 times a year.
    The main season of the oestrus - due to our geographical location - is the early autumn;
after the 150-152 days of pregnancy the birth is in the end of winter or early spring. The
characteristic short-term pregnancy and fast growth of the lamb-crop could permit
refertilization within a relatively short time.
    The biggest problem of refertilization is that the early spring is a rest term for the sheep -
there is no oestrus and ovulation. So, in the first place the profitability of the branch revolves
around the volume of the products (mutton, milk, wool), the input of the branch and the ruling
price of the products. Recently this problem could be solved by the increase of the
reproductive ability and by the decrease of the loss during upbringing, but one must not
neglect the cost of the production. The application of reproductive-technical methods is
conducive to an increase of the lamb-crop (Becze, 1977), because multiple births depend less
on the number of the conceptions than on the ability of the pregnancy with more embryos;
after all, the base of the twinning-birth is multiple ovulation which occurs regularly in sheep.
If, however, all the ovulated eggs can impregnate the mother depends on the physical

condition of the ewe. Therefore, fitting conditions must be created for the ewes which
facilitates impregnation and gestation before polyovulation occurs.
   This problem does not occur with ewes rutted in the main season, because in this time the
mothers body has enough time to prepare for the gestation.
   The increase in reproduction and the expansion of production and products could not be
safely projected based only on the traditional rutting season. One should strive for the utmost
utilization of the possibilities derived from the biological capabilities of sheep. One of the
possibilities is gestation out of the traditional rutting season, in which case several methods
are known.
   I carried out my examination in 1975-1979 at a producers' co-operative with 4 500 ewes.
The data are old, but I hope the results of the method used in my examination will be
adaptable in the future again.
   I experimented with several methods to precipitate oestrus out of season:
   a) biostimulation: I left the vasectomized rams and he-goats among the ewes on the third
        to fourth days after the separation of the lambs;
   b) "foddershock"-method (Botkin – Lang, 1978 and Rattkay, et al. 1978);
   c) fodder (rye, germinated wheat, ruttish-food), (Veress, 1974);
   d) pheromone-effect, alias "Bruce-effect" (synthetic hircine, synthetic buck-smell);
   e) oestrus-synchronization with hormone-product (incretotherapy).
   I got clean-cut results with just one of the above-mentioned methods, the oestrus-
synchronization ("e" method). The results of the methods are contained in Table 1.

Table 1/a. The methods and results of the applied precipitation of the oestrus

                       Ewes      Sending          Ruttish ewe       Ewe in lamb           Lambed             Empty ewe

       Method          stock    for (day)     stock         %      stock      %     stock          %     stock      %

Biostimulation          450            40         247      55.0         223 49.5          220 48.8            230 51.1
Foddershock             275            70         212      77.0         201 73.0          195 70.9             80 29.0
Fodder                  327            35           59     18.0           55 16.8           54 16.5           273 83.4
Pheromone-effect        923            45         174      18.8         160 17.3          152 16.4            771 83.5
Hormone-product       10 064           -     10 064 100.0           9 115 90.6        8 141 80.9         1 923 19.1

Table 1/b. The results of the applied precipitation of the oestrus

                      Ewes     Sending       Ruttish ewe           Ewe in lamb       Lambed              Empty ewe

      Method          stock    for (day)    stock          %      Stock      %      stock      %       stock       %

Buck and he-goats     350         40         75          21.4      70       20.0     68      19.4      282        80.6
without stimulation
Foddershock           331         70         31           9.3      26        7.8     24       7.2      307        92.5
Normal fodder         327         35          8           2.4       8        2.4      8       2.4      319        97.5
Pheromone-effect      350         45          0            0        0         0       0        0        0          0
Hormone-product         -          -          -            -        -         -       -        -         -         -

Table 2. contains the conformation of the lamb-crop. I attach it to show its importance.

Table 2. The conformation of the lamb-crop

 Year      Average ewe- Baby-       After an      After an     Addition    Crop / 100      Crop      Number
             number     lamb        unforced      oestrus-       of the      ewes       1975=100%    of ewes
                                     oestrus     synchroni-     oestrus-                             1975=
                                                   zation      synch. %                               100%

 1975          3 453        3 165      3 165         -             -         91.65        100.0       100.0
 1976          3 564        5 277      3 525       1 752         33.2       148.06        131.5       103.2
 1977          4 475        5 006      3 420       1 586         31.6       111.86        122.0       129.6
 1978          4 526        6 203      4 418       1 786         28.7       137.05        149.5       131.1
 1979          4 509        7 145      2 632       4 513         63.1       158.46        172.8       130.6
          Total            26 796     17 159       9 637         35.9          -            -           -

The results of the oestrus synchronization are shown in the data of Table 3.

Table 3. The number of oestrus-synchronized ewes, and the results of the method

                                                 1976          1977         1978         1979        Total

     -handled, piece                              1 990        1 490        1 610        4 974      10 064
     -fertilized, piece                           1 990        1 490        1 610        4 974      10 064
     -die off, emergency slaughter, piece           80           30            26          92         228
     -ewe, piece                                    57           40            29         280         406
     -lamb, piece                                   64           49            27         310         461
     -ewe, piece                                    84           48            50         288         470
     -lamb, piece                                   96           60            69         300         525
Fallen ewe, piece                                 1 504        1 342        1 397        3 868       8 141
Born lamb, piece                                  1 752        1 586        1 786        4 513       9 637
Ewe with twinling, piece                           210          105          331          645        1 291
Gestationed ewe, piece                            1 685        1 459        1 489        4 482       9 115
Gestation %                                          85.0         92.48        91.08        90.10       90.72

Living lamb-crop / 100 tupped ewes:             97.75 pieces
Living lamb-crop / 100 lambed ewes:            118.37 pieces
Total lamb-crop / 100 tupped ewes:             105.55 pieces
Total lamb-crop / 100 lambed ewes:             125.86 pieces
Twinning % / lambed ewes:                       15.85 %
Twinning % / tupped ewes:                       12.82 %

   Progesterone is the active substance of the product used to evoke artificial oestrus. The
progesterone is embedded in silicon-gum; this product is called SIL-ESTRUS, from the firm

    The implant must be inserted under the skin, among the muscle-membranes by the help of
a special instrument, through a 0.5 cm wide cut. After the implantation the wound must be
sewed with two cross-diamond stitches. On the 14th day the implant must be taken away and
500 Ui units of PMSG must be injected under the skin. After 36-39 hours of this the ewe can
be fertilized. The fertilization must be repeated after 452 hours. I established in the process of
my examinations during fertilization (2 or 3 times) that the third fertilization increased the
gestation by 1.1 percent, which explain the theory (Becze, 1981) that the oestrus or the
ovulation is presumably after the 60th hour.
    The adapted PMSG products are as follows: PROLAN-A, GESTYL, CEVA, FOLIGON,
GONADOTROFIL. These products gave nearly the same results with gestation. In respect to
the cost, the difference was greater (48.1 HUF/dose and 23.8 HUF/dose) but if we reduce
these for present value they will be equalized by the inflation.
    The material cost of the oestrus-synchronization is on the average 74.8 HUF/lamb (1975-
1979) which corresponded to the open-market price of one kilogram live-weight and this
material cost is in our days also the same like the cost of one kilogram lamb weight (630-
650 HUF/kg). We can state that the incretotherapy increased the forage costs by 5-8 percent,
which is derived from the additional feeding after the fertilization and from the preparation
(raised dose provender). I examined the lamb-crop of two flocks of sheep with additional
feeding and without additional feeding. We can state that the plus-progeny is bigger in the
flock with additional feeding by 11-14 percent because the ewes were in better condition.
    Nowadays and in the past too, the main problem of the sheep-branch is the high die-off rate
of the baby lambs. This fact can be esteemed as important because the low rate of progeny
with the high rate of die-off impacts the already low quantity of the sheep products for export.
If this tendency turns out to be long lasting, then we cannot employ the available export quota
in mutton and we should enter the EU with this present amount of mutton.
    The loss during upbringing has its origin in many reasons. The first and perhaps the most
important problem is the bad condition and the inadequate preparation of the ewes. The other
problems are the insufficiencies of the birth-technology, the crowding, the lack of tools and
material, the losses, the carelessness and the lack of skills of sheepherders.
    If there is an adequate method for the increase of the lamb-crop, we have to find the
solution for saving the baby lambs, too. Therefore, I felt it necessary to analyse the adopted
birth-technologies, which are appropriate for lambs born in great numbers at the same time. I
estimated with which birth-technology application (traditional birth in herd, birth in divided
herd, birth in small group, individual birth) the loss turned to most advantageously.
    The traditional birth in herd results in the highest rate of die-off. A smaller die-off rate was
at the birth in divided herd with the allocation of the even-aged lambs (30-50 ewes with their
lambs). In both methods the desertion of the lambs increased, 5-10 percent of the lambs lost
their mother and some of these lambs recovered the required milk for themselves by stealing,
but the others died off.
    The artificial upbringing, the fostering, did not give a reassuring result. On the basis of the
latest research (Csízi, 1997) the tests with nanny goats show good results.
    I saw good results in the first year of my examination (Tóth, 1982) at the beginning of the
"birth in small group" technology. From the results the lamb-technology (AGROCOOP) was
defined and with the application of this technology (10-15 ewes with their lambs) a unit was
built which could be watched easily; possibly it can regroup again and the feed can be suited
to the demand of the ewes. So the ewes and their lambs easily find each other and the level of
the die-off can be kept back to 5-10 percent.

   I found as an optimum solution the individual birth method at which each ewe and its
lamb(s) are kept separately in a box with 1.2m x 1.2m of ground-space. I feel the separate
keeping until 10 days of age of the lambs (when the voice- and smell-contact evolve between
the ewe and lamb) is necessary. After this the sheep are settled in groups (30-40 sheep). The
result was: 620 ewes brought up 832 lambs and the loss was just one lamb. The lone
disadvantage of this method is the great material cost.
   To sum up the matter it can be stated that the induced oestrus with incretotherapy is
absolutely alike to the oestrus in season, the ewes looked for the bucks remarkably, the
"harem" evolved. The adopted hormone-products do not influence the oestrus in season or the
fertility of the ewes. The meddling can be made without any mistake because the ewes were
handled several times. The preparation and the measure of the forage can be determined
economically on the basis of the condition of the ewes separately in herds.
   By the help of the instrumental pregnancy control the lean ewes can be selected and they
will be rearranged in other groups. The lamb-crop can be stabilized at a high level with the
oestrus-synchronization and by its continuity the demand of the market can be satisfied. The
fertilization costs for one kilogram of mutton, which is free from the preparation cost
(additional forage) were lower than the live-weight costs based on the open-market price. By
the method of birth (lamb) in small groups the rate of die-off decreased measurably.
Daróczi, L.-Kukovics, S. 1995. [Shortage of the ewe-milk - troubles – possibilities]. In
    Magyar Juhászat [Hungarian Sheep Breeding] 10: 2-3.
Illés, B. Cs. 1995. [Examination of the factors influenced the profitability of the sheep-
    branch, possibilities of the increasing of the competition]. In: Dissertation.
Lengyel, L. 1995. The profitability situation of sheep-milk production in Hungary. In:
    Cercetaaria stientifica si tehnica in spriinul dezvoltarii si restructurarii agriculturii.
    Timisoara. pp.11-18.
Becze, József 1981. Reproduction-biology of the females. Mezőgazdasági Kiadó. Budapest,
    pp. 341-371.
Becze, József 1977. The bases and possibilities of the increasing of the reproductiveness and
    reproduction capacity. In: Állattenyésztés, 2:119-125.
Becze, József - Látits, György - Mátrai, Tibor 1971. Oestrum-precipitation of the ewes, out
    of season, with one-shot injection meddling. In: Magyar Állatorvosok Lapja. Budapest.
Botkin, M.P. - Lang, R.L. 1978. Influence of severe dietary restriction the dry period on
    subsequent ewe productivity. In: J. Anim. Sci. Champaign. 5:1147-1150.
Rattkay, P.U. - Jagusch, K.T. - Smith, J.F. 1978. Sheep flushing ewes on pasture and silage.
    In: Ruakava, F.M.R.S. Conference, Wellington. 30:24-26.
Veress, László 1974. The possibility of the increase of the reproductiveness in the sheep-
    breeding. In: Állattenyésztés. No.3.
Csizi, István 1997. Milk-source in the fold, catch each penny. In: Magyar Állattenyésztők
    Lapja. Budapest. 9:14-15.
Tóth, István 1982. Keeping-technology of the lamb-progeny at the state farm in Mezőtúr.
    Dissertation. Gödöllő. pp.1-111.
Tóth, István 1982. Technical-economical examination of the technological equipment by the
    fall and suggestions for the modernization. Mezőtúr. pp.24-78.

                   IN SR YUGOSLAVIA

                                                                        Krajinović, M.
                                                                        Ćinkulov, Mirjana
                                                                        Žujović, M.
                                                                        Mekić, C.
                                                                        University of Belgrade,
                                                                        Faculty of Agriculture
                                                                        Beograd-Zenum, Yugoslavia


     The sheep is the most widespread domestic animal. It is reared upon all continents, under all climatic
conditions, in lowland and mountainous areas. Characteristic of sheep is their capability of using feeds and lands
which are not possible to use for other purposes. Sheep production in Yugoslavia has an enormous importance in
food production (milk and meat), textile industries (wool), arable production (manure), leather industry (skin),
     In the last decade goat production experienced an increase in the whole world and in our country, too. The
goats are reared mainly for meat, milk and skin and then for hair and mohair, respectively.
     According to data for 1966, there are 2 656 000 sheep in Yugoslavia. Production of sheep milk in 1995
amounted 49 million litres, i.e. 43 litres per ewe. Production of raw wool in the same year was 3 878 tonnes, i.e.
1.6 kg per animal. Total production of mutton and lamb amounted 28 000 tonnes.
     According to statistical data of 1996, the number of goats in Yugoslavia amounted to 310 000, while there are
no production data for that species of animal.
     With respect to breed composition of sheep, the most numerous breed in Yugoslavia is the primitive Zackel
(about 80 percent of the total population) in the form of several varieties, while about 8 percent are of the Tsigai
breed. The rest of the population consisted of Württemberg and Ile de France breeds and their crosses with
Zackel and Tsiagi breed.
     A similar situation exists with respect to goat breeds. It is considered that 3-5 percent of the population
consists of Saanen, Alpine, and Swiss mountain, 15 percent of Domestic White Milk breed, while the rest of them
are crosses - Domestic Balkan breed and goats of that type.
     As with sheep production, that of goat production in Yugoslavia is of extensive to semi-intensive character
with low production. Such a condition imposes the need for organized planning and creation of programmes for
improvement of these productions.
     The experts are planning an organization of semi-intensive production in upland and hill farming regions, and
creation of more productive population by means of selection and crossing. In the lowland regions there are all
conditions present for organization of intensive production by using the existing Tsigai breed as the ancient one,
which is necessary to protect and preserve. It is necessary to upgrade the rest of population or to apply industrial
cross-breeding with foreign meat breeds in order to produce lambs.


                                                                Gáspárdy, András
                                                                Eszes, Ferenc
                                                                Bodó, Imre
                                                                University of Veterinary Science
                                                                Dept. of Animal Husbandry
                                                                Budapest, Hungary


   The DAGENE (Danubian Countries Alliance for conservation of Genes in Animal Species) undertook the
description and comparison of different traits of the native sheep breeds of the area. The purpose of the
preservation of genetic resources is to serve the aspirations of humanity for the unknown distant future. It seems,
however, that some niches of the market are open for some products of native sheep breeds even nowadays.
   This is the reason that the goal of scientific investigation on the characteristics of sheep breeds in the
Danubian area is
        on one hand to clarify the genetic distance between breeds, and
        on the other hand to look for their traits which can be considered competitive even in the present


   The description of different sheep breeds and investigation of the relationship between
them seems difficult because there is much confusion in this respect.
   There are breeds which are closely related, or even the same breed having different names.
The best example is the family of Zackel. Possible synonym are: Tzurkana, Curkana, Racka,
Valachian sheep, Valaschka (Dunka et al., 1984). The range of this breed is from the
Rumanian mountains through the chain of Karpats and the Hungarian Plain up to the
Beskidek mountains and even to Bavaria. This series of breeds can be considered either a
breed group or a breed with varieties. Within this group as a unique variety: the Hortobágy
Racka has twisted horns (Bodó 1985,1994).
   Another large group is the Tsigai (Cigája, Tzigai) group. The name is the same throughout
Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia; at the same time other possible
synonyms are used - the Pleven black headed sheep in Bulgaria, as well as Karaguna in
Greece or Ruda in Albania. But there are some different varieties: the body size of the animals
is not the same in hilly areas as on the plain. A more important difference is between the so
called Zombor Tsigai and the other Tsigai sheep (Csóka type); these can nearly be considered
different breeds. The ewes and rams of the Zombor type are bigger, long-legged animals with
extremely convex heads and very long ears. Some say that they are similar to the Italian Razza
Bergamasca, others say it must be an influence of East-Friesian sheep more than a hundred
years ago. It is illustrated in Table 1.

Table 1. Measurements of Tsigai varieties

  Characteristics                           Zombor type Tsigai                Csóka type Tsigai

  height at withers, cm                               78.3                           65.4
  depth of chest, cm                                  37.0                           33.6
  length of body, cm                                  93.0                           71.7
  canon girth, cm                                      8.9                            8.1

   There is a kind of co-operation going on with many countries, and the following breeds are
involved in the research work of DAGENE: (DAGENE is a society established at
Bugacpuszta in 1988) (Table 2.).

Table 2. Native sheep breeds

Country                                           Sheep breeds

Austria                                           Kartner Brillenschaf, Steinschaf, Waldschaf
Bosnia                                            Pramenka
Bulgaria                                          Pleven Blackhead
Croatia                                           Ruda Paska
Czech Republic                                    Sumavska, Primorska, Valachian Tzigai
Germany (Bavaria)                                 Steinschaf, Bergschaf, Waldschaf, Valachianschaf
Hungary                                           Racka, Tsigai, Cikta
Northern Italy                                    Frabosana, Sambucana
Romania                                           Valachian, Tzurkana, Racka
Slovakia                                          Valachian, Tzigai,
Slovenia                                          Bovska, Pramenka, Jazerskosolcavska
Switzerland                                       Spiegelschaf, Schwarzbraun Bergschaf, Luzeiner
                                                  Fuchsfarbenes Engadienerschaf., Elbschaf, Brindner

  In order to evaluate the results of this co-operation, the following conferences and
workshops were organized on the given topic:

                    Bugacpuszta     1989           Zagreb-Pag          1994
                    Krems           1991           Prague              1995
                    Üllő            1992           Sibiu               1997
                    Kosice          1993           Kosice              1997

   The description of different breeds and populations is based upon the morphological traits,
the wool composition, blood groups and other polymorphisms. Also the DNA, and
microsatellites should be involved. The plan is a cooperation with the Herceghalom and North
England University labs within the framework of INCO COPERNICUS, if the next call for
papers will allow this topic. Subsequently, a publication is planned, also illustrated by
standard photos.


    The primary reason for the preservation of local, rare breeds has been the idea to serve the
human requirements and aspirations for distant far future. Many of the local breeds are
threatened by extinction because of the dominance of modern breeds of high performance. In
Hungary and also in Bulgaria, the Merino breed was dominant. Now the percentage of Merino
is going down and the local breeds are increasing, because of the change in the wool market.
    Not all the local breeds could be considered as endangered ones, e.g. the Tsigai was
threatened in Slovakia and Hungary but many millions were living in Romania or in Bulgaria.
    The endangered breeds are more or less subsidized by the governments. It is a kind of
contradiction between the marketing and the search for subsidies. The donation is
indispensable, because it can ensure the survival of the rare, non-commercial breeds. Without
the income from subsidies the breed would disappear. The well-subsidized breeders have no
initiatives to look for new markets for their product. Thus, it is difficult to find a good balance
between protection and marketing. To build up a supply for the market of course, needs much
    The Hungarian rare sheep breeds afford good examples of the actual situation of the market
and possible marketing.
    The coarse wool of the Hungarian Racka can be used well for folkcraft (Bodó et al 1991).
There are traditional ways of processing but of course it needs organization because the
shepherds do not know the methods of processing, and when they sell the wool the profit will
go into the hands of the industry and commerce, and thus the breeding is not profitable. The
Racka lambs have an attractive fur, which is as nice as that of Karakul, but of course, not the
same. The introduction of such a different article into the world market would be difficult and
    The Zombor type of Tsigai is a good milk producer. In general, these ewes in both
Yugoslavia and Hungary can give about 200 kg milk in a lactation, the lambs' milk included
(Table 3.).

Table 3.: Results of milk recording 1966

 Breeds/herds                Number of ewes   Days of lactation    Milk yield, kg    Milk yield per
                                                                                     milking day, kg

 British milk sheep/               39                118                 94               0.80
 ÁTK Herceghalom
 Tsigai/ Lédeci B., Cegléd        119                 79                 66               0.84
 Lacaune/ PATE Moson-              62                 80                 55               0.69
 Hungarian Merino/ Ács-            57                106                 44               0.42
 Crossed for milking/
 Délborsod Gelej                 1 546               128                 90               0.70
 Crossed for milking/ PATE
 Mosonmagyaróvár                  123                 88                 66               0.75
 Crossed for milking/
 Hortobágyi, Hejőkeresztúr         23                102                 48                0.47
 Awassi/Bakonszeg Corp.           532                 87                 70                0.80
                                                                  Resource: Sheep Breeders Ass'n (1997)


   An important investigation is going on concerning the relationship between the sheep
breeds of the Danubian Valley. The different wool types, morphological traits and
immunogenetic data are studied, and the DNA comparison is planned for the future. Besides
the indispensable subsidies for the maintenance of native breeds of the region, the marketing
is also important. Theoretically the Racka could be a competitive fur producer, and the
Zombor variety of the Tsigai could be considered as a dairy sheep breed.


Bodó, I. 1985. Hungarian activity on the conservation of domestic animal genetic resources.
     In: AGRI 4:16-22.
Bodó, I.- Dunka, B.- Karle G. & Gera I. 1991. The fur production of Racka sheep In:
     Genetic characteristics of native domestic breeds (Univ. Vet. Sci. Edit) 2: 49-64. (In
Bodó, I. 1994. The Hungarian Racka. In: AGRI 13:83-91.
Dunka, B. 1984. A magyar racka (The Hungarian Racka) In: Hortobágyi Nemzeti Park,
     Debrecen 9 p. In Hungarian
Sheep Breeders' Ass'n 1996. Magyar Juhtenyésztő Szövetség időszaki Tájékoztatója.
     (Temporary report of Hungarian Sheep Breeders‘ Association) Authors : Hajduk P.,
     Sáfár L. and Hrabovszky Pálné. Sziriusz Nyomda Budapest. (In Hungarian)


Kiss, Barnabás                                 Látits, György
Awassi Corporation                             Institute of Animal Husbandry
Bakonszeg, Hungary                             Gödöllő University of Agricultural Sciences
                                               Gödöllő, Hungary


   The Awassi Corporation imported 450 Awassi sheep from Israel in 1989-1990 to create a nucleus flock of a
high-yielding dairy sheep in Hungary. For the purpose of becoming more acquainted which the reproductive and
propagative attributes of the Awassi breed, we worked out a reproductive-biological programme based on
hormone treatment. The goal of the examination was to create a propagation and milk production program which
comes up to the domestic milk production system.

Key words: Awassi breed, reproduction , hormones


   The Awassi Corporation is a privately owned company specialized in the production of
special sheep products. For increasing the sheep milk production, the company imported 450
extremely high milking ability Awassi sheep from Israel. The naturalization of the Awassi
was completed in Hungary, but we do not have exact knowledge of the reproductive and
propagative attributes of the breed. For the purpose of becoming more acquainted with the
exact data of the reproductive biology of the breed, we decided to cooperate with the Animal
Breeding Institute of the University of Agriculture of Gödöllő.
   An oestrus inducing and synchronization experiment was made with respect to the
breeding goals in the three important and critical seasons in 1996-1997, to clear up the results
of the application of the classic and time-honoured methods in the case of the high milk
producing Awassi flock.

The motivation of the planned experiment was the following:
    The literature concerning the reproductive biology of this breed was poor.
    This breed is not native in Hungary and the naturalization of the Awassi has not yet been
    The ewes' endocrine system is much more complicated (because of the high milk
     production) than in other Hungarian breeds.
    The connection between the seasonality of the reproduction and the milk production was
     not known.

   To know the possibility of programming the reproduction and milk production of the
    breed through intensive breeding.

The main goals of the examination were:
   to find out how the Awassi ewes' (both those which were in lactation and those which had
    finished lactation) sexual activity and synchronization of rutting can be worked out in
    Hungary, where the main breeding season is based principally on the Merino breeding
   to examine whether the rutting - induced by hormones – would lead to normal ovulation;
   to fix the time of the ovulation in order to determine the optimal time of the insemination;
   to conform to the original programme (out of season lambing in Hungarian sheep
   to be acquainted with the method and result of how the Awassi ewes responded to
    superovulation (which was generated by hormone treatment).


According to the goals, the experiments were carried out in three
different seasons :
   in breeding season (October 1996)
   in passing season (February-March 1997)
   in out of season (June 1997)

Table 1.      The programme of the hormone treatment in June,1997

       Calendar date        Programme date          Time                     Procedure
           June 04                 Day 1             AM                  Insert sponges

    First group /non lactation/:

Calendar date            Programme date      Time                Procedure
June 16                  Day 13              9 AM                 Pulling out sponges and 1000
                                                                            NE PMSG
June 17                  Day 14              9 AM                     1000 NE Choriogonin
June 19                  Day 16              AM                              Operation

Table 1. continue

     Second group:

       Calendar date       Programme date         Time                  Procedure
          June 15              Day 12             8 AM               1000 NE PMSG
          June 16              Day 13             8 AM              Pulling out sponges
          June17               Day 14             8 AM             1000 NE Choriogonin
          June 19              Day 16                AM                 Operation

     Third group:

       Calendar date       Programme date         Time                  Procedure
          June 15              Day 12             8 AM               1000 NE PMSG
          June 16              Day 13             8 AM              Pulling out sponges
          June 17              Day 14            20 PM             1000 NE Choriogonin
          June 20              Day 17                AM                 Operation

     Fourth group:

       Calendar date       Programme date         Time                  Procedure
          June 15              Day 12             8 AM               1000 NE PMSG
          June 16              Day 13             8 AM              Pulling out sponges
          June 17              Day 14             8 AM             1000 NE Choriogonin
          June 20              Day 17                PM                 Operation

   We put the regular and classical oestrus inducing and synchronization treatment into
practice using 14 day-lasting progesterone +PMSG i.m. For the progesterone treatment
sponges (Chronogest, Intervet) were used in all cases. The dosage of the PMSG (Folligon,
Intervet) was modified according to the changing of the breeding seasons as follows:

       I. Experiment in October             500 NE
       II. Experiment in February -March    750 NE

    The process of the ovary was examined by diagnostic operation after the dosage of PMSG,
in the same way in all cases, after 55-60 hours, 65-70 hours and 75-80 hours.


   The Awassi ewe flock which were not in lactation gave an excellent response to the
classical oestrus inducing and synchronization treatment during the fall breeding season. The
ovulation proceeded between 65 and 80 hours after the hormone treatment (similar to the
domestic Merinos).
   The oestrus inducing treatment with the dosage of 750 NE PMSG also proceeded with
good results in the passing season. The growth and maturation of the folliculus proceeded
uniformly to the haemorrhage phase of the ovulation, but the time of the ovulation was late by
a few hours compared to the fall breeding season. But this change was not great enough to
give us reason to modify the exact time of the insemination.
   The experiment which was done in early summer was compared to the results of the earlier
two experiments. The Awassi ewes gave an extremely good response to the hormone
treatment in that season which is out of season in Hungary, and gave us a good reason for the
efficiency of flushing embryos from the donor Awassi ewes.

Table 2. Summarized results of three experiments

     Experiment        Time of the experiment    Type of the treatment   Numbers of the folliculus
         1                  October 96             Synchronization                  20
         2               February-March 97         Induced rutting             16/11 ewes
         3                    June 97              Superovulation              97/18 ewes


    According to the results of the experiment, the adaptation to the Hungarian environmental
circumstances in the case of the Awassi sheep was surely completed. It is well shown by the
neuero-endocrine system, which is responsible for the normal reproductive and propagative
attributes of the animals. In the ―out of season‖ time the regular use of this method and the up-
to-date hormone medicines can give us good possibilities for producing more sheep milk
during this non-productive season. This way in those sheep flocks which were based recently
on intensive milk production, we can milk one part of the ewes all year with the help of
lactation programming.


Becze, Gy. & Látits, Gy 1978. Relationships of frequent lambings with meat production in
  sheep breeding. In: Proceedings of the Research Institute for Animal Husbandry, Hungary
  Herceghalom TOM. 4. N.1:161-165.
Kanyicska, B. - Látits, Gy. - Holdas, S. & Szegedi, B. 1985. Study of the role of the
  endogenous opioids in the regulation of the seasonal cycling in ewes. In: Reports of the
  Research Centre for Animal Production and Nutrition. Gödöllő, 67-73 p.
Kiss, B. 1996. Introducing the Awassi Corporation. In: The shepherd. Vol. 41. 9: 38-41.
Kiss, B. - Kovács, P. – Székelyhidi, T. & Kukovics, S. 1997. Breeding aims to develop
  sheep milk production. In: Data Collection and Definition of Objectives in shhep and goat
  breeding programmes: New programmes 137-141 p.

Látits, Gy. & Becze, J. 1975. Az ovuláció időbeli lefolyása szezonon kívül indukált
  ivarzásban, tekintettel a termékenyítési idõ megválasztására. In: Állattenyésztési
  Kutatóintézet Közleményei II. kötet 1.szám 51-53 p.
Látits, Gy. 1989. Magyar Merinó anyajuhok szezonális ivari működése. In: Kandidátusi
  értekezés, Herceghalom
Látits, Gy. 1986. Comparative study of some oestrus-inducing hormone preparation. In:
  Reports of the Research Centre for Animal Production and Nutrition. Gödöllő, 67-73 p.
Látits, Gy. 1985. Examination of sexual and breeding maturity of the Hungarian Merino ewe
  lambs. In: Reports of the Research Centre for Animal Production and Nutrition. Gödöllõ,
  59-65 p.
Látits, Gy. 1987. Study of Hungarian Merino ewes' ovarian function regarding factors that
  influence breeding seasons on large scale production. In: 38th Annual Meeting of the
  Europian Association for Animal production. Lisbon, Portugal
Látits, Gy. & Bártfai, E. 1996. Climatic influence on the endocrine control of seasonal
  reproductive activity in ewes. In: 47th Annual Meeting of the Europian Association for
  Animal production.Lillehammer, Norway.


                                          Molnár, Györgyi
                                          Jávor, András
                                          Department of Animal Production and Nutrition
                                          Debrecen University of Agricultural Sciences
                                          Debrecen, Hungary


    There are several qualification systems determining live animal and carcass quality. Researchers and breeders
use some: such as the CT test used in Hungary. Trade uses others: the live animal and the EUROP qualification.
The third group of systems consists of methods used by breeders and traders as well (boning and meat quality test
after slaughtering).
    Traders use the simplest and the cheapest one, but this is the least reliable, because it includes subjective
elements. There are differences among results of different methods, but certain amount of observations makes the
comparison possible. Therefore, rules of this process must be determined. At the same time, differences in
emerging Merino qualification must be also determined, since different genotypes, slaughtering age and
individuals with different growing ability are considered.
    Different aspects, relationships derived from different genotypes, husbanding systems and that which may
have a potential role in selection need to be understood.
    Analyses were conducted on eight genotypes (Suffolk, Ile de France, German Mutton Merino, Bábolna Tetra,
Prolific Merino, British Milksheep, Hungarian Combing Merino, Prolific Merino x Texel F1). Animals were
from controlled breeding flocks. The control was the domestic production flock. In total, 617 animals were
slaughtered at the average weight of 29.73 kg.
    The objective is to provide information on domestic breed choice, including rams for breeders, in order to
develop their breeding strategy considering slaughtering and meat quality characteristics important in the
European Union.
A further target is to determine the Hungarian sheep variation, the relationship between parameters (body size,
dressing percentage, meat nutritional parameters, organoleptic quality etc.) and the appearance, as well as how
closely animals meet the requirements of the EU in association with the subjective-objective qualification
method. „TOBEC‖ tissue qualification that has never been used on sheep is also carried out with an EM-SCAN
SA-3203 instrument.
    What kind of other measurable factors can provide information for the qualifier to decrease subjective
elements? Are there opportunities in rams of domestic varieties to improve meat quality These are the most
interesting questions covered in this work.
The followings are the most important findings:
 The EUROP qualification results of the domestic Merino flock don‘t meet demands. The Ile de France, the
     German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep, among analysed breeds, are suitable for conformity
 Neither PSE nor DFD meat quality were found in sheep breeds.
 Conformity data can be well predicted from certain body parameters, therefore these can be utilized in direct
 Results of organoleptic qualification supported the Merino popularity among consumers.
 The TOBEC method is suitable for determining tissue composition of sheep; 4 500 Ft can be saved using
     this method. An equation for sheep meat analyses was determined.
 The breeding value predicting equation must be changed with the knowledge of results.


   There are several qualification systems determining live animal and carcass quality, as
well. Researchers and breeders use some: such as the CT test used in Hungary. Trade uses
others: the live animal and the EUROP qualification. The third group of systems consists of
methods used by breeders and traders as well (boning and meat quality test after slaughtering).
   Traders use the simplest and the cheapest one, but this is the least reliable, because it
includes subjective elements. Nevertheless it is worthy to note that the CT-test and the
classification after slaughtering are very expensive. New, cheaper methods must be found
besides these. The TOBEC is such a method. Certainly, there are differences among results of
different methods, but certain amount of observations makes the comparison possible.
Therefore, rules of this process must be determined.
   The objective of this study is to provide information on domestic breed choice, including
rams for breeders, in order to develop their breeding strategy considering slaughtering and
meat quality characteristics important in the European Union.
   A further target is to determine the Hungarian sheep variation, the relationship between
parameters (body size, dressing percentage, meat nutritional parameters, organoleptic quality
etc.) and the appearance as well as how closely animals meet the requirements of the EU in
association with the subjective-objective qualification method. ―TOBEC‖ tissue qualification
that has never been used on sheep is also carried out with an EM-SCAN SA-3203 instrument.
   What kind of other measurable factors can provide information for the qualifier to decrease
subjective elements? Are there opportunities in rams of domestic varieties to improve meat
quality These are the most interesting questions covered in this work.
       The followings are the most important findings:
 The EUROP qualification results of the domestic Merino flock don‘t meet demands. The
    Ile de France, the German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep, among analysed
    breeds, are suitable for conformity improvement.
 Neither PSE nor DFD meat qualities were found in sheep breeds.
 Conformity data can be well predicted from certain body parameters, therefore these can
    be utilized in direct selection.
 Results of organoleptic qualification supported the Merino popularity among consumers.
 The TOBEC method is suitable for determining tissue composition of sheep; 4 500 Ft can
    be saved using this method. An equation for sheep meat analyses is determined.
 The breeding value predicting equation must be changed with the knowledge of results.


    Analyses were conducted on eight genotypes (Suffolk, Ile de France, German Mutton
Merino, Bábolna Tetra, Prolific Merino, British Milksheep, Hungarian Combing Merino,
Prolific Merino, Prolific Merino x Texel F1). Animals were from controlled breeding flocks.
The control group was the domestic production flock. In total, 617 animals were slaughtered
at the average weight of 29.73 kg.

The following parameters were analysed:

Live weight
Warm carcass weight
Carcass parameters:
 length of leg
 width of hindquarters
 back width
 width of shoulders
 length of body
 thickness of thigh
S/EUROP classification
 EU body classification category
 EU-fat cover category
Meat samples from the longissimus dorsi at the 12th vertebra:
 pH 1 at 45th minute
 pH 24
 tenderness and taste of meat
 oven loss
 smell
 dry-matter content
 crude fat content
 crude protein content

   Body weights of individuals before, and the warm carcass weights after slaughtering were
measured. During the first one hour the pH1 above the 12th vertebra and body parameters were
recorded. Carcasses were also classified in accordance to S/EUROP on the same day. Body
parameters were recorded by arc-compasses. Cold carcass weight and pH24 were measured
just before cut. Samples were taken from the longissimus dorsi at the region of 12th and 13th
vertebrae. These were analysed in the Central laboratory of the Debrecen Agricultural
University. Methods used were from booklets of the National Research Institute for Meat
Industry (Vadáné Kovács Mária, 1975). Tenderness and smell of meat were estimated on
scales of 1-5 and 1-3, respectively. Crude fat and crude protein were analysed on the basis of
MSZ. 5874-2/1985 and MSZ. 5874-8/1978 standards, respectively.


   Table 1, containing the percentile distribution of EUROP classification results, shows that
only 15 percent of the domestic commercial flock is in the acceptable (R) category. Excellent
results of Ile de France, German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep and the fact that
Merino-breeding flocks surpass the domestic average should be underlined. The American
Suffolk is underestimated in the EUROP system attributed to its long and lean body.
   The following conclusion can be made from the distribution of fat cover results. The
Hungarian flock is excellent, since 71 percent and 24 percent of that is in the desirable (2) and
suitable (+) categories, respectively. The rate of excessively lean (drying up easily) meat is
less than 5 percent, that of excessively fat covered is only 0.5 percent. Results in the

Netherlands are less favourable, since the rate of excessively dry meat is between 9 and 25
percent in different weight categories.
   It is pointed out from results of correlation analyses presented in Table 2 that reliable
correlation coefficients are between body weight and body length, backwidth, width of
shoulder and thickness of thigh, as well. Furthermore, the EU score can be forecasted well
from width of shoulder, thickness of thigh and backwidth.

Table 1. Percentile distribution of conformation and fat cover concerning EUROP

                                              Conformation/%/                        Fat cover (%)
  Country            Category            E       U      R         O      P      1      2       3      4     5
                      Suffolk                                                                               -
      H                                  -     1.52    63.2     31.6     -      -    63.2 31.6 5.2
                      15.2 kg
                   Ile de France                                                                            -
                                         -      65      35        -      -      -     40      60       -
                      14.7 kg
                 German Mutton                                                                              -
                                         -      55      45        -      -      -     75      25       -
                      14.1 kg
              Hungarian Combing                                                                             -
                                         -      3.3     70      26.7     -      -    76.6 23.4         -
                      14.1 kg
                  Bábolna Tetra                                                                             -
                                         -      3.1    85.5      9.4     -      -    68.8 31.2         -
                      13.9 kg
                 Prolific Merino                                                                            -
                                         -       -     100        -      -      -     40      60       -
                      13.0 kg
               British Milksheep
                                                50      50                            60      40
                      14.9 kg
                Producing flocks                                                                            -
                                         -       -     14.8     69.0    16.2 4.8     70.7 24.0 0.5
                      13.7 kg
                       Texel                                                                                -
    NL(1)                                -      43      54        3      -     25     71       4       -
                     16-17 kg
                       Texel                                                                                -
                                         2      57      39        2      -      9     82       9       -
                     21-24 kg
                       Texel                                                                                -
                                         3      47      47        3      -     16     74      10       -
                     26-28 kg
                  Suffolk x Mule
    GB(2)                                3      33      42       22      -
                      18.5 kg
                  Oxford x Mule
                                         -      17      53       30      -
                      18.5 kg
Great Britain(2): 93 % of flock is in 2 and 3L categories
                                 Source: 1: G. C. de Graaff, 1996; 2: MLC yearbook, 1996; 3: own data, 1995-1996

Table 2. Correlations among certain parameters

                          Live    Warm Length Width of Back Width of Body         Thick-    EU
                         weight   carcass of leg hindquar width shoulder length   ness of confor-
                                  weight            ter                            thigh   mity
  Live weight              1
  Warm carcass weight     0.78      1
  Length of leg           0.70     0.35    1
  Width of hindquarter    0.36     0.79    0.20     1
  Back width              0.80     0.45    0.42    -0.09   1
  Width of shoulder       0.79     0.65    0.30    0.28    0.74    1
  Body length             0.81     0.80    0.63    0.62    0.59    0.58    1
  Thickness of thigh      0.72     0.73    0.37    0.38    0.38    0.55    0.53    1
  EU-conformity           0.49     0.59   -0.17    0.56    0.53    0.76    0.36    0.36     1
  Fat cover              -0.00     0.32   -0.31    0.44    0.10    0.07    0.29   -0.32    -0.43
  Significance level: P0,05

   Four critics participated in the organoleptic qualification, and meat was classified on four
aspects. Results of this process are presented in Table 3. There is no influence of genotype on
pH right after slaughtering and after 24 hours (Table 4). Carcasses of all breeds correspond to
scientific literature.
   Significant differences are not found according to dry matter content among genotypes.
There are no differences in oven loss results, except the excessively unfavourable loss of 29
percent in the German Mutton Merino. Either the relative or the absolute crude protein content
is around the average, but the crude fat content is the lowest in the sample of the Hungarian
Combing Merino.

The following conclusions can be made:
 The meat of Merino was the most palatable.
 Also, this meat was the most favourable from the tenderness aspect, followed by the
   Texel F1 and German Mutton Merino samples in decreasing order.
 The smell of Merino and Bábolna Tetra sheep meat are the least favourable.
 The greatest quantity of chewing was needed for the meat sample of Ile de France.
 EUROP classification results of the domestic Merino flock were behind the desirable
 The Ile de France, German Mutton Merino and the British Milksheep, among breeds
   analysed, were suitable for conformity improvement.
 None of the breeds in the domestic flock had extreme PSE or DFD values.
 Certain live body parameters were suitable for forecasting values of conformity, therefore
   these were well utilized in indirect selection.
 Results of organoleptic qualification supported the Merino popularity among consumers.

Table 3. Results of organoleptic qualification

                                           Tenderness   Taste            Smell         Number of biting
          Prolific Merino                     2.45             1.90          1.46             20.91
          (Prolific Merino x Texel) F1        2.79             2.29          1.92             20.17
          Hungarian Combing Merino            2.35             1.62          1.37             21.18
          German Mutton Merino                2.85             2.03          1.45             21.5
          Bábolna Tetra                       2.53             1.83          1.37             22.05
          Ile de France                       2.65             1.87          1.5              22.77
          Total                               2.6              1.92          1.51             21.48

Table 4. The most significant meat parameters (%)

                                   DM % OVEN                CP%                     CF %         pH1      pH24
                                                        REL.          ABS.   REL.      ABS       (45       (24
                                                                                                min)      hour)
     Prolific Merino               30.32       23       73.31     22.12      22.77     6.99     7.15      6.60
     Hungarian Combing Merino      29.18       24       76.02     22.08      19.78     5.88      6.71     5.71
     German Mutton Merino          30.63       29       76.58     23.29      21.17     6.62      6.93     5.78
     Bábolna Tetra                 30.29       22       73.06     21.70      24.09     7.72      6.9      6.00
     Ile de France                 28.74       22       73.98     21.12      22.09     6.51      6.9      5.79
     Total                     29.83    24      74.59     22.06  21.98      6.74    6.90     6.02
     DM%=Dry Matter content; CP%=Crude Protein content, CF%=Crude Fat content; REL=Relative;

Molnár, Gy. & Jávor, A. 1997. The meat production of genotypes and the meat quality. In:
      Book of Abstracts of the 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal
      Production, Vienna, Austria 209. p.
C. de Graaff 1996. – personal communications
MLC yearbook, 1996
Kukovics, S. - Jávor, A. - Molnár, Gy. - Ábrahám, M. & Molnár, A. 1997. A
      juhtenyésztés minőségének fejlesztése. In: „Agro-21‖ Füzetek, Az agrárgazdaság
      jövőképe, 17:. 76-100.
Fabregas, X. - Torre, C. - Caja, G. - Casals, R. & Rivas, F. 1989. Comparison of carcasses
      of Ripollesa, Precoce x Ripollesa, German Mutton Merino x Ripollesa lambs
      slaughtered at light and heavy body weights. In: Agriculture, EUR-Publication, No.
      11893: 383-388.
Meat and Livestock Commission (1990): Sheep carcass classification results. In: Sheep
      yearbook 1990, 35-44 p.
Eraso, E. - Cabrero, M. & Garcia-de-Siles, JL. 1982. Some aspects of carcass grading and
      characters in sheep. In: Anales del Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias,
      Granada, No. 13: 27-31.

                    IN HUNGARY

                                                                      Molnár, András
                                                                      Research Institute for Animal
                                                                      Breeding and Nutrition
                                                                      Herceghalom, Hungary


    Since 1996 the Hungarian sheep breed classification system has been implemented by the S/EUROP meat
qualification method.
    During the first two years (1996 to 1997) the ram and female lambs belonging to seven breeds were tested
according to the requirements of the new system. The following breeds were included in these studies: Hungarian
Merino, German Mutton-Merino, Fertile Merino, Ile de France, Bábolna Tetra, Suffolk and British Milksheep.
    Summarizing the results, one could conclude the meat conformations of the sheep-breeds originated from the
nucleus flocks in Hungary, which was not wrong but not entirely correct, either. The greatest average was around
the ―R‖ category, some of which could touch the ―U‖ category. The fat cover of the carcasses was a little bit
more than desirable and its distribution was unequal.
    Based on the results, the use of meat type breeds could be recommended in improving the meat traits of the
native Merinos even if the light lamb production is preferred.


   OMMI (Hungarian Agricultural Qualifying Institute) is carrying out self-performance
testing as part of the breed qualification process. This testing was supplemented with EU
conformed S/EUROP meat qualification in 1996. Qualification is carried out by certified
supervisors educated by the Dutch RDP, a qualifying organization licensed in the EU.
   The use of the Southern European qualification system would be justified because most
slaughtered sheep are marketed in the low weight category.
   Nevertheless, Hungarian qualification standards judge carcasses in the lower section of the
S/EUROP Northern European system.


   Self-performance tests of ram and ewe lambs of seven breeds, namely Hungarian Merino,
German Mutton-Merino, Prolific Merino, Bábolna Tetra, Suffolk, British Milksheep, and Ile
de France were completed in the last two years. The test was followed by trial slaughters of
five male and five female sheep of each breed.
   Following the forty days of fattening in the test unit, during which the lambs were kept in
the same conditions and received the same feeds, the animals were shaughtered and qualified.
The warm carcasses were classified following the orders of the S/EUROP method, by two
official supervisors.


    According to body conformation, lambs by and large belonged to category ‗R‘. Hungarian
Merino is close to the lower limit of category ‗R‘ and high deviation is due to the shift in
proportions. Although muscularity of thighs fits into category ‗R‘, the backbone area and
blade bones are poorly muscled. Fat cover of rams was ideal, while high deviation was found
in the case of ewe lambs and there were definitely fatty carcasses among them.
    German Meat-Merino - true to its name - was ranked into a somewhat higher category.
Carcasses are more fleshy and the first part of body is well-muscled as well. The whole group
is very uniform. Fat cover is even, although slightly higher than ideal.
    In the meat conformation of Prolific Merino the poorly muscled backbone area is obvious
and legs are not too well-muscled either. There is a high deviation in fat cover and this trait
draws near to undesirable class three.
    In the case of Ile de France, good meat conformation is paired with fleshy carcasses. The
back area and blade bones are well-muscled as well. Fat cover is even, maybe a little too much
on the backbone area of ewe lambs.
    Sheep in the Bábolna Tetra breed showed the whole range of category ‗R‘. The
conformation of carcasses is good, although the backbone area and inner thighs could be more
muscled. Fat cover is uneven. Similar to the Prolific Merino, this breed tends toward category
    Suffolk breed did not excel in this weight category. It complies with R+ value, supple
rather than showing the good appearance of the breed. Fat cover is higher than desirable.
    The triple purpose use of British Milksheep places the breed on the dividing line of ‗R‘ and
‗U‘ categories, although good thigh conformation is joined with weak first body part and
poorly muscled back. Fat cover is fair.


   It can be stated, that meat conformation of carcasses of the studied sheep breeds is not bad,
although it lags behind the ‗good commercial article‘ category. Fat cover is slightly higher
than desirable and its uneven distribution (concentrated on the rump) is unfavorable.
   These data suggest that improvement of body conformation of non-mutton-type breeds
with mutton breeds is necessary - even if meat conformation is not evaluated in the Southern
European qualification system.

       S/EUROP classification of carcasses

             Breed                   Sex                  Conformation                             Fat cover

                                                   1     2     3     4     5       1       2          3        4       5

Hungarian                     ram                  U0    R0    R-    R-    U-      2+      2+         20       2+      3-
Merino                        ewe lamb              0      0    +    R0    U-          +       +        -      20      2+
                                                   R     R     R                   2       2          3
German Mutton                 ram                   0     +     +     +      -       0       0          0          +       +
                                                   R     R     R     R     U       2       2          2        2       2
          Merino              ewe lamb              0     +      -     -     0       +       +          -          +     -
                                                   R     R     U     U     R       2       2          3        3       3
British Milksheep             ram                    0     -     -     -    +        +       0          0          +     0
                                                   U     R     U     R     R       2       2          2        2       2
                              ewe lamb               0     +     -     0     -       0       0          0        -       0
                                                   U     U     R     R     R       2       3          2        3       3
Suffolk                       ram                    -     0    +      -   R+        0       0          +        +     2+
                                                   R     R     R     R             2       2          2        2
                              ewe lamb               -     -     -     -    +        -       +          +        -         +
                                                   U     U     R     R     R       3       2          2        4       2
Bábolna Tetra                 ram                   0      +     0     0    +        -       0          +        -       0
                                                   R     O     R     R     R       3       2          2        3       2
                              ewe lamb              0      -   R0    U-    R+        -       -        20       3-      2+
                                                   R     U                         3       3
Ile de France                 ram                   +      0     -     0       0     0       +            +        +     -
                                                   R     U     U     U     U       3       2          2        2       3
                              ewe lamb               -     -     0     +       -     -       -            -        +     0
                                                   U     U     U     U     U       4       3          3        2       2

      Hungarian Merino
5 o
4 o
  +                   *       *
3 o
  -               o * *
  +             o *   oo* oo o
2 o                 o * o
1 o
      + o   - + o    - + o        - + o    - + o     -
       E       U        R            O        P
          o = ram         * = ewe lamb

          Prolific Merino                                                    British Milksheep
      +                                                                  +
    5 o                                                                5 o
      -                                                                  -
      +                                                                  +
    4 o                                                                4 o
      -                                                                  -
      +                             *                                    +
    3 o                         o * *                                  3 o         **                       **
      -                           o *                                    -                         **
      +                                                                  +              oo               oo
    2 o                         o      oo*                             2 o              ** oo oo        oo**
      -                                                                  -
      +                                                                  +
    1 o                                                                1 o
      -                                                                  -
           + o    - + o        - + o      - + o    - + o           -         + o   - + o    - + o                - + o   - + o   -
            E        U            R          O        P                       E       U        R                    O       P
            o = ram             * = ewe lamb                                   o = ram         * = ewe lamb

          German Mutton-Merino                                               Bábolna Tetra
5    o
                                                                       5 o
4    o
                                                                       4 o
     +                           *
3    o                                                                   +                       *
                                                                       3 o                    o * o
     -                   **      *
                                                                         -                 **   ooo* *
     +                   oo* o** *        *
                                                                         +                    ** o oo
2    o                    * oo *
                                                                       2 o                    o oo*    o
1    o
                                                                       1 o
          + o    - + o        - + o    - + o      - + o    -
           E        U            R        O          P                       + o   - + o    - +         o        - + o   - + o   -
                                                                              E       U            R                O       P
            o =ram        * = ewe lamb
                                                                               o = ram         * = ewe lamb

          Ile de France
5    o
                                                                       5 o
4    o
                                                                       4 o
     -                    *
                                                                         -                                  *
3    o            o        o          o
                                                                       3 o
     -              o* ** **
                                                                         -                 *
     +            * oo o**
                                                                         +                 * *oo     *o
2    o                 oo* o
                                                                       2 o                         o o
1    o
                                                                       1 o
          + o    - + o        - + o       - + o   - + o        -
           E        U            R           O       P                       + o   - + o    - + o               - + o    - + o   -
                                                                              E       U        R                   O        P
            o = ram             * = ewe lamb
                                                                               o = ram         * = ewe lamb


Kukovics, Sándor                             Jávor, András
Research Institute for        Debrecen University of Agricultural Sciences
Animal Breeding and Nutrition Debrecen, Hungary
Herceghalom, Hungary


    The production conditions of sheep and goat farming in Hungary has basically changed in the last 6-8 years.
There were changes not only in the property structure but also in the production system elements. The number of
small ruminant farmers has significantly increased while the animal stock of Hungary has been broken up into
small stocks. This new situation has influenced the use, the breeding, the keeping and the feeding of animals.
Owing to this and to the market, the costs and yields have also been changed and this might lead to a change in
the production systems applied. In this paper we analyse the main characteristics of production systems and their
effects on sheep and goat farming at present in Hungary.

Key words: farm size, available land, breed, market demands, reproduction systems, farming type, costs and


    The production system applied is influenced by several factors. The most important factor
is the farm size, the size of the land used, the species, the type of the enterprise, the market
demand, the price and the revenue. These factors are only slightly modified by the
employment, the use of land and the social security. However, labour has a significant effect
on the system.
    At the end of the 1980s large-scale farming was characteristic of the sheep sector in
Hungary but in 1997 the majority of farms are small-scale private farms. In the goat farming
sector, small-scale farming was predominant even in the last decades; however, there were
also some large scale goat farms (cooperatives and state farms). At present goat breeding
farms are private farms of small or large scale.
    We would like to present here the main characteristics of the present sheep and goat
farming systems.


   In the evaluation of the sheep and goat breeding systems, we applied the data of the survey
of the Sheep Produce Council and the Agricultural Chamber of Hajdú-Bihar county. These
included data on 1 300 sheep breeding farms in the country and 273 in the county of the
period between 1994 and 1996. The questionnaires used in the survey - containing all the
accessible information on the two kinds of animals - have been prepared by the Institute for
the two organizations. In the evaluation of goat farmers data we used the information obtained
from the various associations. A small part of the processed data of the questionnaires
received will be presented in the description of the characteristics of the production systems.


Farm size
   The survey of the Sheep Products‘ Council shows that by the end of 1996, 6 799 natural
and legal entities were dealing with sheep farming in Hungary. Ewe stock in the property of
individual farmers was 78.8 percent; 21.2 percent did farming in cooperatives in the forms of
Ltd companies and other small companies (Table 1). In the case of individual farmers the
average number of ewes did not reach 100 (96.6), however the size of farms varied
considerably (1-5000). In the case of the 107 cooperatives the average number of ewes was
959, at Ltd companies 1 025, while at small companies there were 670 ewes. The average
number referring to the whole stock was only 119 animals; be profitable, two or three times
more animals would be required. In more than 4 950 farms less than 100 ewes were to be
found (Jávor et al., 1997). Such small-scale sheep farming is not at all or only slightly
   In general, farms of more than 300 ewes are profitable. The data available on the goat stock
are not sufficient. The average farm size was several tens of animals; in most farms there were
10-15 nanny goats and their offspring, although there were also farms of several hundreds of
animals at the beginning of 1997. However there were not more than 5 farms like that, and
there were not more than 20 where there were more than 100 goats. The total number of
animals was estimated to be between 50 000-70 000. Obtaining a correct number is
impossible as the number of goats in sheep farms is unknown at present.

Table 1. Distribution of flock sizes in Hungarian sheep farms (1996)

No. of ewes     Private farms                 Companies                    Altogether
                No. of farms    No. of ewes   No. of farms   No. of ewes   No. of farms   No. of ewes
         1-10     1 294           8 503           0                  0         1 294         8 503
       11-50      2 540          69 691           5               179          2 545       69 870
     51 -100      1 100          87 322           7               541          1 107       87 863
     101-200        870         132 571          16              2 505          886       135 076
     201-300        400         101 375          19              4 828          419       106 203
     301-400        173          60 644          15              5 408          188        66 052
     401-500        107          49 400          15              6 823          122        56 223
  501-1000          104          72 739          48            34 695           152       107 434
1 001-2 000          21          28 805          34            49 238             55       78 043
2 001-3 000            7         16 856          12            29 245             19       46 101
3 001-4 000            2          7 478           5            17 146              7       24 624
4 001-5 000            1          4 145           3            13 079              4       17 224
 5000-                 0              0           1              8 047             1         8 047
Altogether:       6 619         639 529         180           171 734          6 799      811 263

   Surveys show that the majority of sheep stock was Merino (Table 2). The survey performed
in the most important sheep farming county has justified this distribution (Jávor et al., 1996).
Ninety-five percent of this was Merino. This distribution determined the production system.
Merinos are mainly used for meat and wool production, and a small part is used for milk
production (in the county survey the crossbred milking stock was not included).

Table 2. The breed structure (%)

    Flock size           Merinos     Meat         Milk-      Cigája       Racka       Others
                                     sheep        sheep
        1    -     20    87.71        5.00      0.30          3.46       1.24        7.53
       21    -     50    84.20        3.33      2.53          3.29       0.60        5.50
       51    -    100    82.12        6.08      0.65         12.90       3.23        2.06
      101    -    200    76.42        8.13      0.81          9.76       0.81        4.07
      201    -    300    87.26        4.71      0.00          4.57       2.31        1.14
      301    -    500    80.66       10.52      1.38          3.97       1.07        2.41
      501    -   1 000   64.63       10.53      4.21         15.37       0.00        5.26
    1 001    -   3 000   90.42        9.17      0.00          0.00       0.00        0.42
    3 001    -           97.50        0.00      2.50          0.00       0.00        0.00

   In the last years a significant part of the sheep stock has been rented, and in the categories
of 1 000-3 000 the proportion of ewes as a function of the stock has reached 25 percent. The
data of the county survey mentioned above show that the proportion of rented sheep has
decreased in 1996; its proportion was 1.5-2.5 percent of the whole sheep sector.
   Regarding goat farming, the stock distribution by species structure was not so
homogeneous. Several kinds of imported species were found in the stocks (Sanen, Alpin,
Toggenburg), however the majority of the stock was of various coloured types of the native
Hungarian species and the crossbred types of the imported species.

Land use and feeding
   The size of the land used influenced the number of animals kept on the area. The number
of animals and the area used (rented and owned) are directly proportionate. Forty-two to forty-
eight percent of sheep farmers had their own grazing fields while the others used rented lands.
Seventy-six to eighty-two percent of these farmers also worked in plant production. The
majority of the farms were of mixed farming; that is besides sheep farming they were also
working in other fields of production (Table 3) (Kukovics-Jávor, 1995/a).

Table 3. Land used according to different flock size

     Flock size        Private property (ha)       Rented land                Arable land                 Pasture
       (heads)                                           (ha)                       (ha)                    (ha)
                             x         s             x            s             x            s             x         s
     1 -          20         5.2           7.5       2.9          12.7          3.9              7.7       1.1           3.9
     21 -         50         6.8           9.5       2.4              6.7       5.6          13.4          5.4       28.3
     51 -        100        15.6        19.1       10.1           21.9          9.9          13.9        10.5        18.0
  101 -          200        16.4        24.8       24.2          101.3        19.5           77.0        13.7        26.2
  201 -          300        36.7        33.6      101.9          370.6        26.3           70.5        44.5        67.6
  301 -          500        31.3        51.6      254.9          831.3        33.5           63.3        65.4        77.6
  501 -      1 000        376.1     1 349.3       111.5          182.8       345.5         1 159.8      108.1       146.2
1 001 -      3 000       1 437.0    2 572.7       921.1         1 671.4     1 290.3        1 817.4      287.4       311.4
3 001 -                  2 150.0    3 040.6      4 000.0        2 828.4     2 000.0        2 828.4     2 250.0     1060.7

   The area available determined the feed resources. In general, in small-scale farms feed was
purchased (roughage and fodder), while in large-scale farms feed was ensured by the farmers'
own production. Sixty-seven percent of sheep farmers could make use of stubble fields and
only 59 percent were able to make use of other by products. This has significantly increased
the feeding costs and - especially in late summer and mid-autumn - has significantly modified
the production systems. On 44-47 percent of the farms the cereal fodder was purchased
(mainly pelleted mixed fodder); the rest ensured feeding by the farms‘ own production.
Seventy percent of the farms produced roughage by themselves and 50 percent of the farms
purchased it. Only 20-25 percent of the farms used fermented fodder (senage, silage) The
material required for fermented fodder was produced by 50 percent of the farms; the rest
purchased it.
   The area used by goat farms and the types of feeding were basically similar to sheep
farming discussed above. Grazing type of feeding was determinant, only a few farms were
semi-intensive or intensive.

Type of enterprise
   Based on the results of the surveys sheep farming can also be categorized by the type of
enterprise. Of the sheep farmers, 685 are small-scale farmers, 11 percent entrepreneurs, 9.5
percent economic organizations (cooperatives, Ltd companies, other small companies). There
are 1.5 percent full-time and 10 percent part-time sheep farmers. Categorizing this way is
mainly important regarding income and expenses.
   The significant part of goat farmers are small-scale farmers, and most of them do farming
part-time; moreover, this is mainly the responsibility of the wives or children.

Market demand
   Almost all the lambs produced in the Hungarian sheep industry is exported to Italy. This
market requires a perpetual supply, nevertheless there are special seasons (Easter, Christmas,
Ferragusto) which cover two-thirds of the total sales. For example, in 1996 - calculating on a
quarterly basis - 264, 234, 206 and 206 thousand live lambs, respectively (altogether 910
thousand heads), were exported to Italy. In addition to this 6, 5.5, 13 and 15.5 thousand
slaughtered lambs, respectively, were exported to Italy (Jávor et al. 1997/b). Our export
market demands mainly lambs with a live-weight between 16 and 27 kg, nevertheless the
weight of lambs exported ranged from 13 to 40 kg. Taking into consideration that the majority
of the farms‘ income is generated from selling lambs, the farms concentrate on producing
lambs within the above-mentioned weight range. In most cases lambs of 16 - 24 kg are sold,
so meat production per ewe is lower than could be expected. The suckling lambs (16-20 kg)
and the weaned lambs (20-24) sold consume small amounts of feed, therefore the expenses
and the revenues are low. In many cases it was less advantageous keeping the lambs until they
reached 25-30 kg, since the excess did not result in proportionally higher revenues.
   The permanent demand influences the utilized lambing peroid as well as the applied
lambing system (Tables 4 - 5). The small-size sheep farms traditionally operate with a
lambing period for Easter sale, and with the increase of the stock the lambings are divided
among the three lambing periods. With the increase in the sheep stock, the proportion of the
sheep farms using traditional lambings have greatly decreased and the proportion of farms
using frequented and divided lambing system are increasing. (Kukovics- Jávor 1995 a/, b/).
   Only a low proportion of the domestic sheep stock has been milked in the past few years.
The number of sheep that have been milked is about 60-70 thousand heads, most of which are
Merino, however an increasing number of pure-bred milking and cross-bred stocks have also
been milked. The cheese processed from milk is sold for Kashkaval and cream cheeses, which
have been exported to 26 countries. Considering the fact that compared to the demand the
amount of sheep milk available for processing is small, the major objective is to increase the
amount, although the nutritional value of the sheep milk was of high importance when
determining the price.
   The market demand for goats did not have a great influence on goat producers. Most of
them have produced kids to be sold at Easter; after Easter the amount of meat for sale sharply
decrease. The market demand is not permanent, though in the spring and summer months
there was moderate interest for goat kids meat at a substantially lower price. Despite the
demand, only a small number of kids were sold at the end of the year. The goat farmers are
involved in kidding once a year and milking afterwards. Keeping meat goats will be the
opportunity of the future. Large-scale cheese-making plants have not been established. Several
small producers make home-made cheeses and cottage-cheese type products from their own
milk. Cooperatives at micro-regional and regional levels started to be established in 1997. The
influence of these cooperatives on the production system expected to be observed beginning
next year.
   Of the disintegrated stock, 10 000-12 000 kids weighing from 8 to 18 kg have been
exported per year, mostly to Italy together with the sheep shipments. Due to the work of the
local cooperatives and breeding associations, this number can increase.

Table 4. The utilized lambing seasons (%)

        Flock size             December-            May - June             October -              Other
                               February                                    December
        1    -        20           73.59               3.04                 16.31                   6.43
       21    -        50           70.91               6.37                 20.85                   6.95
       51    -       100           48.39              10.00                 30.85                  11.26
      101    -       200           50.54              11.95                 24.05                  13.68
      201    -       300           45.94              12.03                 25.94                  16.09
      301    -       500           47.67              15.33                 28.83                   8.17
      501    -    1 000            33.25              22.75                 25.50                  18.00
     1 001   -    3 000            50.58               9.58                 34.42                   5.42
     3 001   -                     50.00              17.50                 32.50                   0.00

Table 5. Lambing systems used (%)

                      Flock size           Annual             Annual but               Frequent
                      1    -        20        76.97                  9.52                13.49
                     21    -        50        58.86                 20.57                20.57
                     51    -       100        42.34                 24.32                33.33
                  101      -       200        36.56                 27.96                35.48
                  201      -       300        23.53                 32.35                44.12
                  301      -       500        13.33                 26.67                60.00
                  501      -   1000           10.53                 26.32                63.16
                 1001      -   3000            8.33                 33.33                58.34
                 3001      -                   0.00                 50.00                50.00

Expenses and revenues
   Perhaps only determining the number of stock consumes more energy than accurately
determining the expenses. The reason for this is that in most cases the producers did not
include the counter-value of their own work in their calculations, even if they did so a very
low counter-value was calculated. Regarding sheep farmers the expenses for calculations are
acceptable, but similar figures from the goat farmers were not accessible to us as such
registration had not existed.
   The result of the above-mentioned county survey revealed that the farm size (the number of
ewes) fundamentally influences the expenses per ewe (Table 6), and internal division of
expenses is modified by the type of the enterprise (Table 7) (Jávor et al. 1996). It seemed that
the increased number of sheep increases expenses, but wage and other expenses increased
parallel with the growing number of sheep. Besides, the expenses could be determined more
accurately. As for the various types of enterprises the biggest differences could be observed
regarding the wage, feeding and the so-called other expenses. The charges of the capital
employed were not included in these figures.

Table 6. Costs as a function of the stock size

Number of ewe                  <20       20-50          50-100      100-300     300-500        500-1000     >1000
Cost per ewe (HUF)            2 310      3 897          4 445        4 154       4 318          6 665       6 976
Total number of ewe (pc)         59      1 454          3 654       13 034      10 756         10 915      19 580

Table 7. Percentage distribution of costs by type of enterprise

Cost                       Small-scale    Independent           Economic unit      Full time            Part-time-
                             farmer         farmers              Companies                                farming
Labour                          8.2              13.1                30.6            22.2                    7.1
Veterinary                      4.4               2.7                 1.9                4.6                 5.5
Fodder                         52.9              44.8                42.1            41.5                   30.8
Energy                          9.5               7.4                 3.8                1.2                 6.7
Shearing                        3.0               2.3                 1.3                0.7                 3.1
Services                        9.8               5.0                 4.4                1.0                 5.2
Premises rental fee             1.5               9.4                 1.4                0.0                 0.5
Other cost                     10.6              15.3                14.5            28.8                   41.2
Total                        100.0           100.0                 100.0            100.0                 100.0

   Considering other elements of the production system, the expenses and the income varied
substantially (Table 8). The table based on the analyses of the above-mentioned county survey
contained the income and the aggregated expenses. When preparing the calculations (1995)
the average procurement prices were the following: wool 71 HUF/kg; lamb 376 HUF/kg; milk
56 HUF/kg; manure 163 HUF/tonne. (Partly as a result of the inflation the prices have
considerably risen). The average prices in 1997 are 125, 425, 105 and 210 HUF, respectively
(the expenses - in accordance with the inflation - have risen faster). In the given county only
Merino type sheep were milked, therefore the milk production (income) should be assessed
considering this fact. The charges of the capital employed were not included in these figures,
   With the increased number of stock the demand for human resources has also risen. In
small farms sheep farming took place on a family basis, in larger farms employees were also
needed. The number of the employees have been gradually growing and consequently the
expenses of production are increasing.

Table 8. Revenue and costs as a function of the various characteristics of farming

                                                Income / % distribution of ewe and income (HUF)   Costs/ Ewe
                                                 From      From      From      From     Total        Total
                                                 wool      meat      milk     manure     HUF
                                                                                       (100 %)
sheep farming of meat and milk                    6%       71 %      23 %       0%      6 154      7 498
sheep farming of meat and wool                    6%       93 %       0%        1%      6 285      5 455
enterprises of sheep farming only                 5%       94 %       0%        1%      5 433      4 003
enterprises of other agricultural activities      6%       89 %       4%        0%      6 611      5 344
enterprises   of other       non-agricultural     6%       91 %       3%        1%      5 283      7 747
feeding fodder of own production                  5%       93 %       0%        2%      5 848      4 852
feeding own and purchased fodder                  6%       90 %       4%        0%      6 227      5 955
feeding purchased fodder only                     7%       88 %       4%        1%      7 078      6 139
grazing stubble fields                            6%       90 %       3%        0%      6 668      5 823
not grazing stubble fields                        5%       91 %       3%        1%      5 038      5 917
feeding by-products                               6%       89 %       4%        1%      6 565      6 544
not feeding by-products                           6%       93 %       0%        1%      5 894      4 104
rented grazing fields                             6%       86 %       7%        1%      6 541      6 769
owned grazing field                               5%       95 %       0%        0%      7 082      5 005
Mixed grazing field                               7%       91 %       1%        1%      5 592      5 417
100 inspected stock by vet                        6%       87 %       7%        0%      4 815      7 656
Inspected partly by vet                           7%       88 %       4%        0%      5 626      6 830
Not inspected by vet                              5%       91 %       3%        0%      6 610      5 080


   The production systems of sheep and goat farming in Hungary have developed based on
the following factors:
 number of ewes and female goats: The majority of the ewes were in small flocks on
    private farms. The profitability, in general, could be reached with at least 300 ewes in
    production. The average size of nanny goats was much smaller (10-15 heads), most of the
    goat breeders/keepers were only part-time farmers;
 the breed used: It was known that the production level of Merinos was lower than
    expected; this breed group was dominant in the national flock. Farms having 100-200 or
    500-1000 heads of ewes had better breed distribution than the others. In goats, the native
    Hungarian breeds were dominant, but several other breeds were available on those farms
    where the production level was higher;
 the size of land for utilization and the available feed: Most of the farms were mixed
    producers (cropping and breeding). The smaller part of farmers had their own grazing
    land, the others used rented pastures. As the land size was growing the rates of feed self-
    production was increasing;
 market demand: The dominant product was the live lambs exported to Italian market. This
    market was demanding mainly light-weight lambs and kids, mostly concentrating on three

    periods; however, the exportation could be continuous during the year. Along with the
    increasing flock size the rates of frequent and divided lambing systems were increased and
    the age of the annual lambing system was reduced;
   income and expenses: The production costs per ewe per year were increasing along with
    the flock size. Part of them were understandable (e.g. the small farms did not pay any tax),
    but the others were not. The fodder cost was the dominant one, but the so called other cost
    had an increasing ratio. The meat was the dominant source of income, but the profitability
    was modified by the other traits of production systems.


Jávor, A.- Kocsis, I.- Kovács, Z.- Molnár, Gy. & Polonkai, L. 1996. Self Confidence of the
  Shepherd (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol.5, No. 7: 5-7. July, 1996.
Jávor, A.- Békési Gy.- Kukovics, S.- Molnár, Gy. & Koleszár T. 1997a. Characteristic data
  of the Hungarian Sheep Farming (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol. 6,
  No. 2: 4. Feb. 1997.
Jávor, A.- Békési, Gy.- Kukovics, S.- Molnár, Gy.- Nábrádi, A. & Molnár, M. 1997b.
  Sheep Farming Trade (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol. 6, No. 5: 6-7.
  May 1997.
Kukovics, S. & Jávor, A. 1995a. Present State of Sheep Farming. (in Hungarian). In:
  Hungarian Sheep Farming, Vol. 4, No. 6: 3-5. June 1995.
Kukovics S. & Jávor, A. 1995b. Sheep Farming Today (II.) (in Hungarian ). In: Hungarian
  Sheep Farming, Vol. 4, No. 7: 6-8. July 1995.


                                                                   Kukovics, Sándor
                                                                   Molnár, András
                                                                   Research Institute for
                                                                   Animal Breeding and Nutrition
                                                                   Herceghalom, Hungary


    To fulfill the ever increasing demand for the improvement of prolificacy and milk and meat production of
Hungarian Merino several foreign breeds have been imported. Since the aim was to improve prolificacy, milk
production and meat conformation and daily weight gain of lambs at the same time, following a long preparation
period the British Milksheep was imported in 1990. It has had impressive results in each of these fields.
    This imported stock (56 ewes and 5 rams) formed the basis of the nucleus flock that has been developed since
then. Five lines have been established based on the imported rams. The population numbers 160 ewes and 26
sire-rams in 1997.
    Although most imported breeds disappeared from Hungarian farms within a couple of years of their
introduction, this breed has been in the country for seven years. It is safe to say that the breed went beyond the
beginning acclimatization period (with some health problems caused by environmental factors).
    Unfortunately the excellent results of the first year have not been repeated yet, because in order to increase
the population, selection for performance started only in 1995 (Table 1).
    To improve resistance in the breed, Langhe crossing was carried out in the case of some individuals of the
population, the result of which has become ready for evaluation this year.
    Milk yield increased intensively in 1992, the daily average exceeded one litre and the length of the lactation
period grew as well. The averages started to drop in 1993 as a result of unusually dry weather and lack of green
pasture (in July and August).
    The fat content of milk raised some problems in the first two years. The average remained below 5 percent -
that was especially typical in 1991 - although the breed standard was defined as 5.5 percent. This percentage was
only reached in 1993 by the ewes. The protein content of milk showed a much more favourable picture and
lactose content was satisfactory as well (Table 2).
    This lactation curve showed an evenly decreasing milk production which is favourable from a milk
production standpoint.
    One of the excellent traits of the breed is fast growth rate. Average daily weight gain exceeded 300g each
year, although there have been annual differences. Naturally, results were influenced by the sex of lambs and the
size of the litter.
    Summarizing the data, it was found that performance of lambs was in compliance with breed standard.
Several rams were sold from the flock to breeders and farms where the aim was the improvement of prolificacy,
milk production and lamb rearing traits (Table 3).
    There are about 800 F1 crossed sheep producing on different farms. Reproductive efficiency of F1 sheep was
studied in two flocks at first lambing. Lambing average was 166. 7 percent in one of them and above 200 percent
in the other, while the combined average was 196 percent (Table 4).
    Maternal traits of the (Merino x British Milksheep) F1 surpassed those of the Merino by far, and weight gain
of their lambs until the time of weaning (six weeks of age) averaged 367g.
    Average weight gain of F1 lambs at 60 days of age (the time of weaning) exceeded that of the
MerinoxBooroola crossbred lambs at same age by 150 to 200 g on average.

Table 1. The average litter size
                 Line            K             L               N              S            Z                 Av.         No. of
              Year                                                                                                        ewes
                1991         3.25           2.21              2.20           2.31         2.45           2.48             53
                1992         1.44           1.54              1.50           1.91         1.64           1.62             54
                1993         1.67           1.52              1.78           2.00         2.23           1.70             87
                1994         2.04           1.80              2.20           1.92         2.05           2.00            115
                1995         1.73           1.78              1.89           2.17         2.02           1.93            115
                1995             (Merino x Langhe ) F1 x British Milksheep                               2.11              36
                1996         1.78           1.84              1.67           2.57         2.09           1.95              88
                1997         2.19           2.00              2.00           2.33         2.55           2.30              83

Table 2. Milk yield data of the ewes
                                 1991                  1992                 1993           1994                    1995               1996
                             x        CV%          x      CV%           x     CV%         x       CV% x                  CV%          x CV%
 Number of ewes              54                    51                82                  103                 142                  91
 Lactation length (day)     114         20.8 116          44.0 147                34.9   92           38.5 84            48.4 105           33.9
 Total milk yield (l)        94.9       47.4 129.4        57.6 128.7              47.8   78.9         51.0     56.9      79.6     84.5      46.4
 Daily milk yield (l)       0.853       46.1 1.115        35.8 0.877              31.7 0.859          34.9 0.678         41.4 0.807         34.8
 Fat %                        4.3       10.2        4.7   13.2          5.5        9.0    5.6         13.1         5.8   11.3         5.3   11.0
 Protein %                    5.5        6.3        5.4       7.1       5.7        5.9    5.5          6.5         5.4    7.3         5.6    6.6
 Lactose %                    5.1        3.5        5.4       3.7       5.1        2.8    5.2          5.2         5.3    3.8         5.2    2.9

Table 3. The average daily weight gain of the lambs up to weaning

                                                                  Ram                                         Ewe lamb
                 Weaning      Litter
         Year                                                      ADG (g)                                           ADG (g)
                     day         size
                                           n                  x                CV%            n               x                 CV%
         1991        35           1            1          351.0                    -              3          382.0               26.9
          "             "         2         21            344.7                18.3            31            319.6               16.1
          "             "         3         13            281.7                23.5            16            276.0               22.2
          "             "         4            3          236.3                13.9               1          292.0                -
          "             "         5            1          263.0                    -              1          330.0                -
      Average           -         -         39            316.1                18.4            52            310.0               16.4
         1992        25           1            8          449.5                17.1            14            452.0               12.7
          "             "         2         15            352.6                22.5            18            353.0               18.5
          "             "         3            3          310.3                24.4               6          355.7               10.8
          "             "         4            7          395.3                16.9               4          375.0               20.8
      Average           -         -         33            384.3                21.1            42            389.7               18.6

     Table 3. continue
                                                           Ram                                Ewe lamb
                Weaning        Litter
        Year                                               ADG (g)                                 ADG (g)
                     day        size
                                              n        x             CV%            n          x           CV%
       1993          25             1         8   407.1              41.9          13         394.0          25.2
            "         "             2    15       361.5              25.9          18         303.6          21.6
            "         "             3    17       305.5              38.2          15         298.8          31.8
            "         "             4         4   242.7              46.0          10         294.9          20.4
      Average         -             -    44       352.9              26.8          56         329.1          22.4
       1994          35             1    15       353.4              22.5          17         326.5          17.8
                                    2    35       344.7              18.9          30         356.1          17.3
                                    3    28       322.9              22.8          26         323.0          19.1
                                    4         9   363.1              14.8           4         358.7          18.1
      Average                       -    87       340.7              20.4          77         338.5          18.3
       1995          35             1    12       326.9              23.6          10         341.9          21.7
                                    2    29       286.5              26.7          21         264.2          31.2
                                    3    16       250.2              20.1          20         290.2          23.7
                                    4         6   245.3              25.8          10         226.3          24.1
                                    5         1   194.0               -             2         227.5          20.8
      Average                       -    64       279.7              26.4          63         278.0          28.3
       1996          40             1    13       368.4              29.9          12         368.4          24.9
                                    2    40       361.5              26.7          28         331.9          21.2
                                    3    26       299.7              30.5          18         281.2          21.1
                                    4         9   328.0              39.1           3         315.2           4.9
      Average                       -    88       340.3              34.2          61         322.7          21.5
       1997          45             1    10       332.8              21.9          10         335.2          18.9
                                    2    33       317.3              11.5          31         286.4          12.4
                                    3    34       285.9              10.6          26         258.1          12.4
                                    4    10       259.7              20.3          12         282.3          18.2
      Average                       -    87       298.9              17.5          79         282.6          16.4

Table 4. The average daily gain of the (Merino x British Milksheep)F1 lambs during
         the suckling period

     Litter                Ram lamb                          Ewe lamb                              Together
     Size       n          Average      CV %      n              x          CV %         n            x         CV %
      1-3       80          391.1       8.1       64         318.7           9.4        144        356.7        11.4
       1        24          401.9       3.2       11         325.8           7.8         35        378.0            0.5
       2        51          388.7       9.2       48         317.8           9.5         99        351.4            5.2
       3         5          363.1       8.7        5         306.2          10.6         10        334.6        12.1

                     SHEEP-BREEDING IN ARMENIA

                                                                Marmarian, Youri
                                                                Armenian Agricultural Academy
                                                                Yerevan, Armenia

    The analyses of reforms in Armenia after the year 1990 show that the Government pledged to transfer the
whole economy, as well as agriculture, into a marketing system based on private property. Moreover, the land
reform, as well as the complete ―freedom‖ of prices, the conditions of selling agricultural lands at any price
complete better starting conditions for agricultural reforms in the Republic of Armenia. The task is to choose the
right course of development for Armenia from the large sphere of existing policy.
    At present 98 percent (445 000 hectare) of arable lands have been privatized in the Republic. Seventy-five
percent of many years plantations (74 000 hectare) as well as 61 percent of haying has also been privatized. As to
the pastures - they haven‘t been yet. In all, only the 87 percent of generally used agricultural lands have been
privatized - i.e. 1 352 000 hectares. The average amount of privatized lands for one family is two hectares, but it
refers to definite places; (arable land, many-year plantations and haying are involved in it.) At present there are
321 000 collective and 12 000 agricultural farms.
    Sheep-breeding is one of the traditional branches of cattle-breeding in Armenia and it has meat, wool and
milk directions. Because of difficulties during and before reforms and before (i.e. the earthquake, the blockade,
the energy crisis, marketing relations the forage reserve, social and economic state of the nation) the sheep
population has sharply declined, from approximately 2 million to 560 000. At the same time, the production of
cattle-breeding products and raw material has also been reduced. The overwhelming majority of farms possess 1
to 50 heads of sheep. Farms which possess 200 to 300 heads are very rare.
    Only one state sheep-breeding pedigree farm operates now as well as some joint-stock companies (250 to 400
heads in each). Exact, precise research concerning number of hasn‘t yet been made. The pedigree composition of
the sheep at present is not clear, either. But mostly it is the half fine-wooled (cross-bred) and Armenian half
coarse-wooled breeds that are being bred, as well as tine-wooled and coarse-wooled hybrids. The genetic fund
(stock) of aboriginal and native breeds is also preserved and bred (mainly Balbas, Mazekh, Botakh and
    The wool productivity of one sheep is 2.0-2.2 kg with it dirty (physical) mass; the yearly average milk
productivity of females is 8.5-9 litres (down for the former average of 25-30 litres); of 100, females 70-75 lambs
are being born. All these factors had a negative influence on the effectivness of sheep-breeding products
production. And although it was one-third of the average level among the western countries in the 1980s, it
reached one-quarter or one-fifth (20-25 percent) during last year.
    Following is a list of those actions not yet completed, which will help Armenia at this transitional period to
rescue sheep-breeding from collapse: to preserve the genetic fund of pedigree sheep as well as of local sheep,
activate genofund the work of collective farms, to increase the production of competitive food and raw material
and the integration of Armenia into international sheep-breeding organizations.

Why sheep-breeding occurred in the given state
   After the collapse of the former USSR, definitive work has been carried out in the direction
of reform and privatization of land, cattle and other agricultural production in the Armenian
agrarian economics sector.
   However, due to the slow pace of reform accomplishment, lack of necessary conditions for
the efficient use of farm productive forces, small areas of peasant farms and low productivity,

unsatisfactory organization of supplies and services as well as the durable blockade of the
Republic, difficulties connected with realization of production, etc., the expected results of the
reforms and privatization still leave much to be desired.
   The main strategic objective of Armenian agriculture in the near future must be the
increase of the level of food provision in the Republic, considerable improvement of
foodstuffs, ensuring food safety and mobilization of the local productive potential.
   In the past period of agrarian reforms which are being accomplished under the
fundamentally new economic relations conditions, properly chosen reform policy (from the
strategic point of view) hasn't been supported and enforced by drastic practical steps. Along
with privatization, the necessary substructures providing the efficiency of the village
productive inner forces have been formed; especially the utmost important problems of
organization of agricultural material-technical supply and services, the processing and
realizations of agricultural raw materials, the processing of the branch taxing and insurance
systems haven't been ultimately solved.
   In fact, after land and cattle privatization, the farmer has been left all alone against
numerous difficulties. In the current situation, it is necessary to work out and fulfil complex
projects, the realization of which will lead to complete improvement of the given sub-branch
of the agro-production system in the Republic, and integration into international agro-
production structures.

Is there a basis for sheep-breeding development in Armenia?
   Almost half of the land area of Republic of Armenia (29 740 km2) is adequate for crop
growing and pastures; the remaining part is desert and mountainous areas, which are situated
on different degrees of slopes (Table 1).

Table 1. Land covering (% relating to the given group)*

                                                 Area                                 According the slope degree
                                             2                                 o
    Type of soil                         km                %         up to 3         3o-7o       7 o-12 o     12o-20o       20o &above
    Arable lands                     5 052.76            17.75          49.7         31.9          12.6          4.8              1.0
    Perennial plantations               705.86            2.48          74.7         15.8           4.9          3.6              1.0
    Other perennials                 1 377.77             4.84          40.8         30.7          15.7          9.0              3.8
    Forests and bushes               4 155.20            14.60            9.8        17.7          22.3         28.6            21.6
    Pastures and others             17 172.70            60.33          25.4         30.0          18.1         15.9            10.6
    Total                           28 464.30             100           29.4         28.2          17.3         15.2              9.9

   Of pastures, 30 percent are suitable solely for sheep and goats, as they are extremely
isolated and on slopes.
   Since sheep are mostly pasture animals, it becomes possible to develop high-yielding sheep
breeding and to increase the total number of livestock on the given feed base in our Republic.
   Labour resources also exist in Armenia. Thirty percent of the population is rural; about
285 000 people work in the field of agriculture.

 The data from the forecasting of improvements in the field of agriculture (1995) 75% of natural pastures in the Republic are situated at an
  altitude more than 1500 meters above the sea level;
   Without Sevan lake area, which equals 1278 km

    Due to the creation of farms, the number of people working in agriculture has been
considerably increased by 60 000. By 1997, 345 000 people were working in agriculture.
Agriculture is carried out both by labour forces and corresponding specialists; most of the
latter don't work in their professional fields because of the lack of positions.

The dynamics of sheep number and their productivity in Armenia
   The agro-production complex of the Republic includes 321 000 peasant farms and 1 200
collective farms (1997). Peasant farms, each of which has an average 1.4 ha area comprise
93.1 percent of privatized land. However, not all the farms are breeding sheep. According to
FAO data, Armenia occupies the first place among other CIS countries in the reduction of live
stock head number (especially heads of sheep). Thus the number of sheep and goats in 1991-
1993 in Moldova was reduced by 1 percent, in Kasakhstan – 5 percent, Belarus – 10 percent,
Azerbaijan – 20 percent and Armenia – 33 percent.

Table 2. The dynamics of sheep and goat heads and their productivity

Index                       Meas.    1986        1987        1988        1989        1990        1991        1992        1993 1994 1995 1996

            1                 2        3          4           5           6           7           8           9          10      11     12     13
Sheep & goats               heads    1 901.9 1 818.8 1 729.6 1 450.1 1 291.5 1 186.2 1 029.0 873.0 735.9 603.7 582.0
Out of which dams           heads    1 225.1 1 164.0 1 133.7              935.7       850.8       828.1       728.4 634.7 675.5 408.7 392.8
                             %         64.6        64.0        65.5        64.5        65.8        69.8        71.2       72.7   64.6   67.7   69..9
Wool productivity of one     kg            2.4        2..3         2.4        2..3         2.2         2.1         2.1     2.2    2.0    2.4    2.4
 sheep (dirty weight)
Lambs and kids from 100
                            head       78         76          77          86          82          76          70          74     78     85     84
Average annual milk
                            litres     17.5       -            16.9       -            11.2        12.0        14.3        7.9    8.5    9.0   12.0
productivity of one dam
Has been produced Mutton-   1000
                            tones      31.3        27.2        28.7        26.2        20.0        18.6        17.6       18.1   16.2   -       -
live weight
Wool produced               1000
                            tones          4.6         4.1         2.7         3.3         2.8         2.4         2.1     1.9    1.7    1.4    1.3
(raw weight)
Sheep milk                  1000
                            tones      20.4        18.0        15.6        12.1            9.2         8.6         9.1     6.0    3.4    3.6   3.72

   During the recent decade, head number of sheep has been reduced 3.4 times including
sheep ewes 3.2 times: Wool output of one sheep has always been low, but in 1995-96 it had
already been restored and has reached the pre-privatization level. The same phenomenon is
observed in the number of lamb produced per 100 dams. As compared with 1986, in 1996 the
sheep milk yield had been reduced 5.5 times and the milk productivity of one sheep decreased
1.5 times; lamb productivity had decreased (approximately 2 times); wool production was
down (3.5 times). All these reduction had a negative influence upon the efficiency of sheep
food production. It‘s worth mentioning that the percentage of animal loss has been
considerably increased, which amount to 40 percent in sheep breeding.
   Losses in sheep-breeding as well as the losses of other branches of cattle-breeding are
caused by numerous factors: legally imposed social/material living standards of the
population, purchasing capacity, the laws of market relations (which are functioning
chaotically), high prices of feed and energy, frequent blockades etc. At present, sheep

breeding is carried out in an extensive way, which we must get rid of as soon as possible and
to proceed to an intensive way of sheep-breeding and food production.
    The exact number of farms breeding sheep and the number of sheep on each farm has not
been estimated. However, it's known that there are not many farmers possessing large
numbers of sheep-mainly they keep 1-50 heads; the number of farmers possessing more heads
(i.e. 100-200 heads) is very small.
    The whole production of sheep breeding (i.e. milk, meat) is realized inside the country. The
wool is processed inside the country in small amounts, and the rest of it is stored at producers
and is nearly not processed. The reasons for not processing the wool are numerous: the variety
of wool (fine, half-fine, half-coarse, coarse), the low quality of wool (the dirty state of wool,
the presence of defects) the low price at the market (600-800 drams, 1 US$ = 500 drams), the
lowest price of state purchase (100-400 drams), the inactivity of worsted and cloth factories in
the Republic and so forth. In 1996 Russia bought only 50 tonnes of wool.
    The sheep hide is not used wholly, and part of it is exported abroad by individual people.
    The price of 1 kg of mutton fluctuates from 900-1 100 drams. Different kinds of cheese are
made from sheep milk, and 1 kg of sheep cheese (if it‘s made of pure sheep milk) costs 1 800-
2 000 drams.
    In Armenia half-coarse-wooled and Armenian half-fine-wooled crossbreed sheep are bred.
    According to the plan, 25 percent of sheep heads must be Armenian half-fine-wooled, each
of which has a different range. Very few local sheep breeds of low productivity have been
preserved (e.g. Bozach, Mazekh, Kharabakh. It is worth making plans concerning the
clarifying of the pedigree composition of heads of sheep.
    There have been no services established in Armenia concerning sheep-breeding (societies,
stations for artificial insemination, special sites for genetic work, etc): The genetic work of
sheep is carried out only by the chair of private cattle-breeding of Armenian Agricultural
Academy (Balahovit teaching and experimental farm as well as "Barekamoutsiun" joint-stock
company in Kamo, with 400 heads of sheep all in all). And the Research institute of sheep
Breeding (State Genetic Farm in Aragats where there are 400 heads of half-coarse-wooled
    The system of keeping sheep is pasturable and nursery. At nursery stage, at best one feed
unit is given per head. The feeding is non-balanced and low.
    At present there are no practical plans as well as no help to the farmers on sheep breeding,
either by the state by some other organization.
    Sheep breeding has no alternatives but to be conducted in all regions of the Republic with
meat-milk-wool trends. In 1989 in our Republic, a factory of preliminary wool processing was
founded in Ararat, equipped with modern technological machinery. But it does nearly no work
because of the lack of funds and the difficulties with the realization of goods.
    This factor as well as the low level of international prices created great difficulties for
thousands of owners occupied with sheep-breeding. Faced with the lack of purchasing power
of the population, the owners cannot process the wool at reasonable, profitable prices, which
today is very expensive to do in our Republic. The realization of profitable processing of wool
will be of considerable support to our farmers and will influence the development of this sub-

Which items are considered to be the most important in the
development of sheep breeding in Armenia?
   The working out of scientists expeditor research plan for clarifying the sheep population
    their breed and technology.
   Identifying farmers engaged in genetic and marketable sheep-breeding, and the long-term
    planning of their development.
   The foundation of a marketing service.
   The integration of Armenian sheep-breeders              and corresponding international
    organizations, information exchange, and the organization of scientific visits.
   The development of a farmers‘ teaching curriculum on sheep-breeding. Introduction of
    advanced scientific and production experiment and technology.
   The working out of investment plans for the treatment of fur and foreskins sheep and
   The financing and organizing of competitive specialists and applied topics and works on
    generic-selective sheep breeding.
   The realization of state subsidy and investment policy before the foundation of normal
    market relations and the improvement of the branch (i.e. sheep-breeding).
   The foundation of the forage reserve – protected grazing lands.
   The development of environmental policy, the improvement of pastures, their preservation
    and rational usage.
   The working-out of a plan to introduce sheep producing improved breeds.
   This is the list of those items not yet incomplete, which will help Armenia at this
    transitional period to rescue sheep breeding from collapse to preserve the generic fund of
    pedigree sheep as well as of local sheep, activate the work of collective farms, to increase
    the production of competitive food and raw material and the integration of Armenia into
    international sheep-breeding organizations.
   The working out of collaborative plans on wool sale in Armenia.
   The working out of plan, concerning the farmers' collaboration engaged in sheep-breeding
    who must have a corresponding financing.

Armenia. The Challenge of reform in the Agriculture sector, Yerevan, 1995.


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