NEET Biology Domestication of animals For enhancement of Food production Sheep and Goats

Sheep and Goats

Category : NEET

Sheep and Goats


There are many breeds of sheep (ovis aries) and goats (Capra hircus) in our country. Today sheep are raised in all parts of the world. Sheep provide us with wool, skin and mutton and goats provide us with milk, meat, skin and hair. The fine soft wool called pashmina is the underfur of Kashmir and Tibet goats. A sheep lives for about 13 years.


(i) Feeding of sheep and goats: Sheep feed on green tender grass or weeds or other herbage. Goats feed on a variety of trees by browsing on the buds and foraging on a variety of plants. Oil cakes and mineral mixture are also fed to keep sheep in good condition.


(ii) Breeding of sheep and Goats: To improve the quality of a sheep, cross-breeding experiments are usually done. For this purpose, a good quality wool yielding or mutton producing sheep is chosen and cross breed with exotic breeds like Dorset, Horn and Merino. About 19% of world goat population occurs in India.  These differ in body build, colour, horn size, ear size, hair texture, etc. The wild goat, Capra hircus, of Baluchistan and shind is the ancestral stock of all the breeds of domestic goat.


Some breeds of Indian Sheep




1. Lohi                  

Punjab, Rajasthan

Good quality wool, milk

2. Rampur-Bushair

Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh

Brown coloured ficece

3. Nali

Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan

Superior-carpet wool

4. Bhakarwal

Jammu and Kashmir

Under-coat used for high quality woollen shawls

5. Deccani


Mutton, no wool

6. Nellore


Mutton, no wool

7. Marwari


Coarse wool

8. Patanwadi


Wool for army hosiery


Important Breeds of Indian Goats



1. Gaddi and Chamba

Himachal Pradesh

2. Kashmiri and Pashminu

Himachal pradesh, Kashmir, Tibet

3. Jamunapari

Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh

4. Beetal


5. Marwari


6. Berari


7. Malabari


8. Bengal

Bihar, Orissa


(iii) Shearing of wool: The shearing of wool is essential to promote the health of sheep. The removal of hairs (wool) from the sheep is done very carefully in the mild weather. The recommended periods for shearing of wool are winter (February- March) and rainy (August-September) seasons when rich grazing ground is available. The sheep are washed properly before the removal of hairs.


The manufacture of wool from sheep hairs is a complicated process consisting of cleaning, drying, bleaching, dyeing, spinning and twisting.


(iv) Common diseases of sheep and goats

(a) Sheep’s: These include haemorrhagic septicaemia, anthrax, sheep-pox and black-quarter. The common signs of illness are high temperature, cessation of rumination, hard breathing, coughing, sneezing, diarrhoea and drooping gait. The sheep also suffer from external and internal parasites.

Timely inoculation prevents the diseases.

(b) Goats: The goats are less prone to serious diseases. They suffer from some contagious diseases such as anthrax, goat pox, pleuropneumonia and foot and mouth disease. The general signs of illness are as in the cows. Parasitic infection is common in goats.

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Notes - Sheep and Goats
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