Sheep is one of the most ancient domestic animals. Historical sources say that this branch of animal husbandry flourished in the most ancient times. This is evidenced by biblical stories. However, today sheep farming has not lost popularity. Countries leading the number of sheep provide the whole world with valuable wool, meat and dairy products.
Sheep breeding: world valuation
Sheep are one of the few animals that are bred to get not only meat and milk, but also wool. As a livestock industry, sheep ranks third in the world. And today it is one of the most extensive types of agriculture. According to the latest data, the world population of these animals is about 1.2 billion heads.
Breeding of these animals are engaged in countries of subtropical and tropical belts, with large areas for grazing. Desert and semi-desert areas are also suitable for sheep farming. Therefore, the geography of the industry is extremely wide and diverse. Modern countries leaders in the livestock of sheep - this is China, Australia, India, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sudan. Also popular this industry is in Russia, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Brazil and in some other countries.
For more than a dozen years in a row, it is this camp that, oddly enough, is the leader in the number of sheep. According to the latest statistics (2011) in China, there were over 138 million adult livestock. The main activity is the production and sale of lamb. Celestial country gives almost 30% of the total world stock of this type of meat.
Young lamb enjoys the greatest demand in the world; therefore, China annually develops and introduces new efficient ways to intensify the industry. However, do not forget about the demand for wool. Therefore, they are engaged in breeding modern fine-wool breeds.
Australia can rightly be called the capital of sheep. Only in this country there are 5 times more animals than people. At last count in 2000, there were about 120 million sheep. However, today this number has decreased slightly and leaves about 100 million heads. The basis of production - high quality wool. Australia annually provides a third of the total world production of fine-wool sheepskin.
Australia needs to pay special attention when considering sheep farming. The fact is that here are the largest herds. For example, the average Australian herd has 1.5 thousand heads. Large farms contain more than 200 thousand heads. Mostly merino breed.
Australia is unique. Only here pastures for sheep occupy such a territory, which is equal to the area, for example, the whole of Luxembourg. And household farms are called stanitsy - shipstayshnz. On the pastures, as a rule, huge herds graze without supervision, gradually moving to new areas.
The 1930s, a small herd of merino was brought from Australia. Since then, New Zealand has confidently entered the top three countries in the number of sheep. Today, about 50 million heads of the local half-fine meat-wool meat breed are bred here. At the end of the last century, there were about 17 sheep for each inhabitant of the country. New Zealand entered the world market as one of the largest exporters of wool and lamb.
Interesting. The fact that sheep breeding is the main branch in the state is also reminded by the coat of arms.
Compared with China or Australia, in England there are not very big livestock of sheep - a little more than 40 million. However, there is a very high productivity and popularity of the livestock industry. For example, in the 19th century, many well-known breeds were bred here: Wiltshire-Horn beef, Wensleydale wool and others.
In England, for every 100 hectares of agricultural land there are about 100 sheep. Here is an extremely extensive form of management. At the same time, greater emphasis is placed on the production of lamb, rather than wool. The UK is among the top three global mutton exports.
In the highlands of Wales and in Scotland, pastures are poor, so sheep farming here is the leading livestock industry. Here, in a single farm, livestock can reach 8 thousand or more heads. For such small areas is a big indicator.
Among all countries, the leaders also have to say about India, which has 40 million livestock of sheep, Sudan - 39 million, Turkey - 33 million, South Africa - 29 million. Also developed sheep breeding in Iran, Brazil, Israel, Morocco, Russia. The countries of Central and West Asia are suppliers of a very valuable type of fur - astrakhan fur or lamb skin. Israel is the leading exporter of sheep cheese and milk.
In our country, according to data for 2011, the number of these animals is 19.8 million heads. In the world, Russia is ranked 9th in terms of wool trimming - about 1.61 kilograms of washed wool from one sheep.