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Detailed information on the sheep and goat breeds of Turkey is given in the following sections. The section on each breed include general knowledge about the breed, its distribution and numbers, and describes its phenotipic appearance, production performance and any breed improvement work and crossbreeding activity.

5.1. Sheep Breeds

The great majority of the sheep population of Turkey is composed of multipurpose native breeds, producing meat, milk and wool. The relative importance of each of these production attributes varies from breed to breed. It is estimated that (Açil and Demirci, 1983). on the average, respectively 70, 23 and 7 percent of the gross production value is contributed by the sales of meat animal, milk and wool.

5.1.1 White Karaman (Plate 1)

General : The White Karaman is an indigenous breed of Turkey. The Turkish name for the breed is Akkaraman. Like the other fat-tailed sheep breeds in the country, it is very hardy and strives well under poor feeding and extreme climatic conditions. Besides the common type two local types (Kangal and Karakaş) and one colour variety (Southern Karaman) are recognized within the breed. The colour of the southern Karaman is usually black.

Distribution and Numbers : The white Karaman breed is distributed throughout Central Anatolia, and into the parts of eastern and southeastern regions. It is also found in the parts of Black Sea and Mediterranean Regions adjacent to Central Anatolia. Kangal type is raised in Sivas and Malatya provinces and Karakaş type in Diyarbakir province. Southern Karaman is found at the foothills of Taurus Mountains facing Central Anatolia. The White Karaman covers approximately half of the country's surface area. It has the largest population among the sheep breeds of the country; in 1983 it numbered 21 million or 43.2 percent of the total sheep population.

Nutrition and Management : In the main distribution area, i.e. in Central Anatolia, nutrition of sheep during the grazing season, which lasts from April to the end of November, depends almost completely on grazing of poor quality pastures and stubble. Sheep are housed in simple and generally unhygienic sheep-sheds during winter, when they are fed on straw; in some flocks animals receive some hay and limited amount of concentrates for a short period before and after lambing. Mating takes place in September and October, with lambing in February and March. Lambs are weaned at about 2–3 months of age, after which ewes are milked. The milking period is 2–3 months.

Phenotypic Description : The White Karaman is a fat-tailed sheep. Average weight of the tail is from 4 to 6 kg; it can be as heavy as 25 kg in some mature rams. The thin end of the tail bends twice on the main part and forms an S-shaped curve. The colour is white with black around the nose, and rarely around the eyes and on the legs. Only about 10 percent of the rams are horned. Ewes are polled; very rarely thay have small horns. Ewes are drooping. The fleece is of carpet-wool type, with a coarse and long outer coat and fine and short inner coat. Head, underside of neck and legs are usually devoid of wool.

Body Measurements : The White Karaman is in generalk a medium-sized breed. However, of the two local types Kangal is larger and Karakaş is smaller than the usual type. Mean values for some body measurements of the ewes from usual and Kangal types are shown below (Sandikçioğlu, 1961; Başpinar, 1985).

 Usual type (cm)Kangal type (cm)
Body MeasurementMeanS.E.MeanS.E.
Hight at withers64.70.2968.70.39
Body length63.20.3069.90.44
Chest depth30.20.2131.90.17
Chest width (front)16.20.1118.20.14
Chest girth81.00.3192.70.52
Cannon circumference7.
 (n = 100)(n = 122)

Production Performance : Production levels for different characteristics of the breed are given below (Sandikçtoğlu, 1961; Sandikçioğlu et al., 1968; Düzgğnes and Pekel, 1968; Yalçin and Aktas, 1969 and 1976; Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Yalçin, 1979; Başpinar, 1985):

Characteristics of ewesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)40 –   45
Lactation milk yield (kg)40 –   55
Lactation length (day)140 – 150
Milk fat (percent)6.5
Greasy fleece weight (kg)1.5 –   2.0
Staple length (cm)8 –   12
Fiber diameter (micron)29 –   35
Clean wool yield (percent)62 –   70
Breaking strength (g)15 –   21
Fiber elasticity (percent)24 –   27
Medullated fibers (percent)1 –     7
Birth rate (percent)85 –   88
Twinning rate (percent)4 –     5

Lamb weights (both sexes)nMean (kg)
Birth weight2373.92
45-day weight23114.01
75-day weight22918.93
105-day weight (weaning)22623.61
Lamb survival (both sexes) Percent
Survival to 45 days 97.5
Survival to 75 days 96.6
Survival to 105 days (weaning) 95.4

Lamb growth and survival data refer to the White the Karaman flock at Ereğli Animal Breeding Research Institute, Konya (Yalçin and Aktaş. 1976). Survival rate in the field flocks is likely to be lower; however, survival to weaning (2–3 months of age) is estimated to be around 10 percent in white Karaman and roost of the other native sheep breeds.

Breed Improvement : Most of the state farms in the region have large pure White Karaman flocks and angaged in the improvement of the breed. These are Gözlü State Farm and Ereğli Animal Breeding Research Institute in - Konya, Bala and Polatli State Farms in Ankara, Malya State Farm in Kirşehir, ulaş and Hafik State Farms in Sivas, and Sultansuyu State farm in Malatya. The rams from these nucleus flocks are made available to White Karaman breeders at suitable prices.

White Karaman is crossed with Karayaka and Dağliç breeds where its distribution area is overlapped with that of these two breeds. The sheep called Amasya Herik is probably the result of White Karaman x Karayaka crossbreeding. The sheep obtained from White Karaman x Dağliç matings is known as Çandir and the reciprocal cross as Kesber.

At present, the most important crossbreeding programme in the breed is being carried out through A.I., using Mutton Merino semen. A.I. is necessary at the first stage of this crossbreeding, as Merino rams cannot mate with White Karaman ewes naturally because of the fat tail of the latter. More than a million Merino type sheep now present in Central Anatolia resulted from this crossbreeding (see Central Anatolian Merino, Section 5.1.8) The White Karaman was also crossed with lie de France and Awassi for experimental purposes (Yalçin and Aktaş, 1971 and 1976).

5.1.2. Red Karaman (Plate 2)

General : The Red Karaman bears some similarities with White Karaman, and in fact carries the word Karaman in its name. According to Mason (1967), however, it merits classification as a separate breed, along with the White Karaman, and not merely as a colour variant of the Karaman. The Turkish names KiziI Karaman and Mor Karaman are used for the breed, often interchangeably, because of its reddish-brown colour. Kizil is the Turkish word for red and Mor is the Turkish word for maroon. The breed also exists in the port of Iran bordering Turkey, with the name used in the literature as Kizil, Gezel or Ghezel.

Distribution and numbers : The Red Karaman is distributed in the northeastern provinces of Turkey, namely Kars, Erzurum, Agri, Muş, Bingöl, Van, Bitlis, Erzincan and Elaziğ. The White Karaman also occurs in the above provinces in smaller numbers. Nomadic flocks of the Red Karaman are seen in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir and Urfa during winter. The number of Red Karaman sheep in Turkey in 1983 was estimated to be 11.9 million; this corresponds to 24.4 percent of the total sheep population of the country.

Nutrition and Management : The Red Karaman flocks are managed under either sedentary or migratory (nomadic or transhumant) systems. Migratory flocks spend the summer on mountain grazing in eastern Anatolia and migrate to their winter base or to warmer lowland areas in southeastern Anatolia for the rest of the year. Most of the lambings take place in April (about one month later than in Central Anatolia). The nutrition of the sheep can be considered to be good during summer and early autumn, but maintenance of the animals during the long winter months is often difficult. Other management aspects are generally similar to those described for the White Karaman.

Phenotypic Description : The Red Karaman is a fat-tailed sheep. The fat tail and the end-piece form an S-shape as in White Karaman. The size of the body and the tail are larger than in White Karaman. The colour is brown or reddish-brown; the colour is darker on head, neck and legs. In general, ewes and rams are polled; about 1 percent of ewes and 10 percent of rams may have small horns. Ears are pendulous or semi-pendulous. The wool is of mixed, coarse carpet type, with low density and open head, neck, belly and legs.

Body Measurements : Mean values for some body measurements of Red Karaman ewes were found as follows (Başpinar, 1985):

Body measurementMean (cm)S.E. (cm )
Hight at withers66.91.03
Body length67.41.37
Chest depth31.00.55
Chest width (front)18.60.37
Chest girth92.21.51
Cannon circumference8.00.14
 (n = 16)

Production Performance : Mean levels, reported from several sources, for different production characteristics of Red Karaman sheep are summarized below (Yalçin and Müftüoğlu, 1969; Muftuoglu, 1974; Köprücü, 1975; Tellioğlu, 1975; özcan and Yalcm, 1977; Yalçin, 1979; Başpinar, 1985):

Characteristics of ewesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)44 –   48
Lactation milk yield (kg)50 –   65
Lactation length (day) 140 – 150
Greasy fleece weight (kg)1.2 – 1.5
Staple length (cm)10 –   12
Fiber diameter (micron)30 –   34
Clean wool yield (percent)65 –   72
Breaking strength (g)16 –   20
Fiber elasticity (percent)24 –   31
Medullated fibers (percent)20
Birth rate (percent)84 –   87
Twinning rate (percent)4 –     8

Lamb weights (both sexes)nMean (kg)
Birth weight1723.40
Weaning weight (93 days)16920.03
6–month weight16528.70
Lamb survival (both sexes) Percent
Survival to weaning (93 days) 98.2
Survival to 6 months 95.9

The above data refer to the Red Karaman lambs raised at Altindere State Farm, Van (Muftüoğlu, 1974). Survival rate of lambs in field flocks, especially in the nomadic flocks is likely to be considerably lower.

Breed Improvement : Sorne state farms and university farms keep pure Red Karaman flocks for improvement and research purposes. (Göle and Iğdir state Farms in Kars, Alpaslan State Farm in Mus, Altindere State Farm in Van, and Atatürk University Farm in Erzurum). As with the other sheep breeds in Turkey, no flock book or scheme of production recording is available for the Red Karaman sheep kept in the producers' flocks. Crossbreeding experiments involving Mutton Merino and Red Karaman breeds were carried out at Altindere State Farm, Van, and at Atatürk University Farm, Erzurum (Yalçin and Muftüoğlu, 1969; Muftüoğlu, 1974; Tellioğlu, 1975). A programme for upgrading Red Karaman field flocks using A.I. with Merino semen was implemented in 1960'S ; this programme has been discontinued.

5.1.3. Dağliç (Plates 3 and 4)

General : The Dağliç is the third largest breed in the country in population size. In some localities it is wrongly named as Gicik (Batu, 1962). The Herik, which is a different sheep raised in the north, is sometimes wrongly called Dağliç. The Herik can be distinguished from the Dağliç by the absence of the median groove on the tail. The fact that the shape of the fat tail of the Dağliç is intermediate between Kivircik and White Karaman and that its area of distribution lies between those of these two breeds, gives the impression that the breed has as its origin a mixture of Kivircik and White Karaman, However, there is quite convincing evidence to the contrary (Mason, 1967); the Dağliç was probably indigenous in Anatolian Turkey before the introduction of Kivircik from Thrace.

Distribution and Numbers : The main breeding area of the Dağliç covers the central-west provinces of Afyon, Eskişehir, Kütahya, Uşak, Burdur, Isparta, Bilecik and Bolu. The area of distribution begins at Sakarya river and extends westwards towards the Aegean coastal provinces, where it gradually gives place to Kivircik and Dağliç x Kivirick crossbreeds. The breed is also raised in Aydin, Mugla, Denizli, Manisa, tzmir and western parts of Konya, and in the hilly parts of Çanakkale and Balikesir in smaller numbers, The number of Dağliç sheep in 1983 was 6.0 million, i.e. 12.3 percent of the total sheep population in the country. The feeding and management practices in Dağliç flocks are genarally similar to those explaned for the White Karaman.

Phenotypic Description: The Dağliç is fat-tailed but the tail is smaller than that of the White Karaman. The shape is also different; its thin end does not turn over the fat tail to form an 5-shaped curve, but hangs straight down. There is a median groove on the externai side of the tail. The colour is white, with black spots around mouth, eyes and genital organs, and on the legs. About 95 percent of rams have large spiral horns; ewes are polled. The fleece is similar to that of the White Karaman. Wool is carpet-wool type, but lustrous; it is coarser than Kivircik wool but finer than White Karaman wool. The Dağliç wool is the most preferred wool for carpet making.

Body Measurements : The Dağliç is one of the smallest breeds in Turkey. Mean values for the body measurements of Dağliç ewes at Çifteler State Farm, Eskişehir, and in some field flocks are given below (Yarkin, 1958; Demir, 1983):

Body MeasurementÇifteler Flock (cm)Field Flocks (cm)
Hight at withers61.40.4161.00.30
Body length60.10.5267.20.34
Chest depth29.50.4527.40.26
Chest width (front)16.40.2116.50.13
Chest girth84.90.5678.60.49
Cannon circumference7.
 (n = 41)(n = 108)

Production Performance : Production performance of the Dağliç was studied by several workers. The results of these studies are summarized below (Yarkin, 1958; Yarkin and Yavuz, 1964; Togay et al., 1961; Gbnul, 1974; Qzcan and Yalçin, 1977; Yalçin et al., 1977; Yalçin and Ayabakan, 1977; Evrim,1973a; Yalçin, 1979; Demir, 1983; Başpinar, 1985):

Characteristics of ewesPerfornance level
Body weignt (kg)35 –   40
Lactation milk yield (kg)40 –   50
Lactation length (day)130 – 140
Greasy fleece weight (kg)1.8 – 2.3
Staple length (cm)11 –   18
Fiber diameter (micron)27 –   31
Clean wool yield (percent)68 –   70
Breaking strength (g)17 –   30
Fiber elasticity (percent)24 –   33
Medullated fibers (percent)6 –   11
Birth rate (percent)81 –   90
Twinning rate (percent) 1 –     2

 Male lambs (kg)Female lambs (kg)
Lamb growthnMeanS.E.nMeanS.E.
Birth weight7273.5 0.027773.40.01
60–day weight71614.4 0.1076713.40.07
120–day weight70925.0 0.1476022.80.10

 Male lambsFemale lambs
Lamb survival(Percent)(Percent)
Survival to 60 days98.598.6
Survival to 120 days97.597.7

The above growth and survival data were obtained from the Dağliç lambs raised at Çifteler State Farm, Eskişehir (Evrim, 1978). Similarly high figures for lamb survival were reported from the same flock by Yalçin et al.(1977) and Demir (1983), No data are available on growth and survival rates of Qagliç lambs in the field flocks.

Breed Improyement : A pure Dağliç flock is kept at Çifteler State Farm, Eskişehir. The Dağliç is crossed with white Karaman in the eastern parts of its distribution area to produce the sheep called Çandir and Kesber (See Section 5.1.1). In the westren parts of its distribution area it is crossed with Kivircik; the sheep obtained from Dağliç x Kivircik matïngs is known as Pirlak, and that obtained from Kivircik x Dağliç is known as Kama-kuyruk. (Akinci, 1925; Yarkin, 1958; Batu, 1962).

Crossbreeding between Mutton Merino and the Dağliç has been carried out since 1960 in some field flocks in Eskişehir, Afyon, Isparta and Burdur provinces for producing crossbreed sheep with better meat and wool, and with better wool guality. Since 1975 Ramlic rams are also used in these flocks for the same purpose. Ramliç is a new type of sheep developed at Çifteler State Farm, Eskişehir, by American Rambouillet x Dağliç crossbreeding (Yalçin, 1980).

5.1.4. Awassi (Plates 5 and 6)

General : The Awassi is the typical sheep of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel and Jordan (Mason, 1967). It is also raised along the Syrian border of Turkey, under the name İvesi or Arab sheep.

Distribution and Numbers : The main area of distribution is in the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep, Urfa and Mardin. It is also found in Hatay and Adana provinces of eastern Mediterranean Region. Recently the Awassi has been introduced into Aegean Region and Central Anatolia for crossing with Kivircik and White Karaman, respectively, in order to improve milkproduction. There were about 1.1 million Awassi sheep in Turkey in 1983, 2.3 percent of the total nurcber of sheep in the country.

Nutrition and Management : Feeding of ewes commences in the middle of December, when lambing starts, and continues until the beginning of. March. During this time the main source of feed for ewes is straw; some flock-owners feed their animals limited amounts of barley or wheat bran. For the rest of the year grazing on natural pastures or stubble is the only means of nutrition. Lambs are weaned at about one and a half to two months of age. From the beginning of March to the beginning of June ewes are milked twice-a-day and for another month once-a-day. For this purpose, private fiocks are brought home, while most village flocks are milked on the range. In contrast to most milk breeds, the Awassi is managed in large flocks (200–300 ewes); it has a strong flocking instinct.

Phenotypic Description : The colour is white on the body and brown on the head, neck and legs. There may be a white blaze on the head. Rarely, there are brown spotting on the body. In some animals brown is replaced by black and these are called Karabas (black head). The profile of the head in convex (Roman nose). The ear is long and drooping. The fat tail is similar to that of the White Karaman, but in the Awassi the free end of the 5-curve is short or absent. The fat tail is shorter and wider than in the White Karaman. Approximately 80–85 percent of rams have strong spiral horns; ewes are usually hornless. The wool of Awassi is of carpet-wool type and one of the coarsest among Turkish sheep breeds.

Body Measurements : The breed is one of the largest in Turkey. Mean values of some body measurements of Awassi ewes are given by Başpmar (1985) as follows:

Body MeasurementMean (cm)S.E. (cm)
Hight at withers65.30.36
Body length67.50.55
Chest depth30.40.26
Chest width (front)17.50.20
Chest girth91.40.88
Cannon circumference8.20.10
 (n = 62)

Production Performance : The Awassi is principally a milkbreed, but meat production from this breed is also important. Mean levels for different production charaxteristics of Awassi ewes and lambs are shown below (Köseoğlu and Aytuğ, 1961 a; Özcan and Kaymaz, 1968; Yalçin and Aktaş, 1969; Eliçin, 1970; Sidal, 1972; Tekes, 1973; Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Yalçin, 1979; Başpinar, 1985):

Characteristics of ewesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)44 –   48
Lactation milk yield (kg)90 – 155
Lactation length (day)170 – 200
Milk fat (percent)6.1 – 7.0
Greasy fleece weight (kg)1.3 – 2.4
Staple length (cm)11 –   16
Fiber diameter (micron)32 –   35
Clean wool yield (percent)60 –   65
Breaking strength (g)20
Fiber elasticity (percent)27
Medulated fibers (percent)3 –     6
Birth rate (percent)80 –   85
Twinning rate (percent) 6 –   10

Average body weight of ewes under experimental farm conditions is 50–55 kg (Yarkih and Eliçin, 1966; Yalçin and Aktas, 1969). Average lactation milk yield, which includes the milksuckled by the lamb, varies from 90 to 135 kg in the field (Sidal , 1972) and from 125 to 181 kg at state farms (Köseoğlu and Aytuğ, 1961 Özcan and Kaymaz, 1968; Yalçin and Aktaş, 1969; Eliçin, 1970) Record ewes have yields as high as 390 kg (Köseoğlu and Aytuğ 1961 a). Under favourable experimental farm conditions average milkyield of Awassi ewes is reported as 181 – 202 kg (Bulgurlu, 1960; Yarkin and öztan, 1967).

The growth performance in Awassi breed is gêneraily considered to be better than that in the other native breeds of the country. Average weights of Awassi lambs at different ages were found in Çukurova State Farm, Adana, and Ceylanpinar State Farm, Urfa, as follows (Köseoğlu and Aytuğ, 1961 a; Yarkin and öztan, 1967) :

Age ofCukurova Farm (kg)Ceylanpinar Farm (kg)
Birth97 4.1 0.069 4.90.13
60-day97 16.40.229 19.40.45
120-day97 25.3 0.28---
180-day44 34.8 0.459 38.20.36

Survival rate to 75 and 180 days were found respectively 98 and 92 percent for Awassi lambs raised at Ereğli Animal Breeding Research Institute, Konya (Yalçin and Aktas, 1969).

Breed Improvement : As a rule, purebreeding is practiced in the breed. Large Awassi flocks are kept at Ceylanpinar State Farm, Urfa, and at Çukurova State Farm, Adana, These flocks are recorded and improved by selective breeding. In selection, the main emphasis is on milkproduction, but some attention is also paid to grawth rate and body weight. Improved rams from these elite flocks are sold to the producers in the region. Crossbreeding within the breed is not used. However, rams of the Awassi breed are used for crossing with Red Karaman and, to a lesser extent, with White Karaman, for improving the milkproduction of these breeds.

5.1.5. Karakul (Plates 7 and S)

General : Karakul breeding in Turkey goes back to 1929 when 16 rams and 20 ewes of this breed were introduced from Russia. Through upprading of some native breeds (Red Karaman, Tuj, White Karaman and Kivircik) with Karakul rams, by 1950 a large flock of Karakuls had been established at Çifteler State Farm, near Eskişehir, in Central Anatolia. In 1958, a second group of Karakuls (2 rams and 6 ewes) arrived at Lalahan Animal Breeding Research Ir.stitute, near Ankara, from Afghanistan and a small flock of Karakuls was established in this institute. The rams obtaincd from these elite flocks have boen used on Karakul type sheep alrcady existing in the provinces of Tokat ano Antalya, for a long time.

Distribution and Numbers : Small populations of sheep resembling to Karakul has existed in Tokat province to the north of the country and in Antalya province in the south since long before its importation from Russia and Afghanistan. The number of Karakul type sheep in Turkey was estimated to be around 24,000 in 1983. Nutrition and management is similar to that explained for the White Karainan.

Phenotypic Description : The coat colour is black in lambs and dark grey in adult sheep. The head, legs and tail of adults are black. The fat tail is narrower and longer than that of the White Karaman. 70–80 percent of rams have horns. The majority of ewes are polled, but 30–40 percent of ewes may have small horns. The wool is coarse. The pelt of newborn lambs is typical of Karakul lambs, but only a very small proportion of lambs are slaughtered for their pelt.

Body Measurements : Mean values for some body measurements of Karakul ewes raised at Çifteler State Farm, Eskişehir, are given by özcan and Batu (1966) as follows:

Body measurementMean (cm)S.E (cm)
Height at withers66.50.31
Body length66.30.28
Chest depth29.70.32
Chest width (front)17.20.17
Chest girth82.80.38
Cannon circumference7.50.03
 (n =50)

Production Performance : Levels of the different production charac-teristics of Karakul sheep are given below (Batu and Özcan, 1966; Özcan and Yalçin, 1977):

Characteristics of ewesPerformance
Body weight (kg)38 –   42
Lactation milk yield (kg)55 –   60
Lactation length (day)130 – 140
Greasy fleece weight (kg)2.0 – 2.4
Staple Length (cm)15 –   18
Fiber diameter (micron)30 –   35
Clean wool yield (percent)60 –   65
Birth rate (percent)75 –   85
Twinning rate (percent)8 –   15

Average birth weights of maie and female Karakul lambs at Çifteler State Farm was found 3.5 and 3.2 kg, respectiveiy (Batu and Özcan, 1966).

Breed Improvement : Until recently, elite flocks of Karakul breed had been kept at Çifteler State Farm, Eskişehir, and Lalahan Animal Breeding Research Institute, Ankara, and rams from these flocks had been sold to the producers having Karakul type sheep in Tokat and Antalya Provinces. Thèse elite flocks have recently been transferred to Kazova State Farm, in Tokat, so that rams from this farm could be made readily available for use in the nearby Karakul flocks.

5.1.6.Kivircjk (Plates 9 and 10)

General : Early authors considered the Kivircik of Turkey and the Tsigai of southeast Europe as the same breed (Akinci, 1925; Spöttel , 1929). According to Mason (1967), the Kivircik appears to have developed from the Tsigai breed, and is probably identical with the Karbonat breed of Bulgaria. It also occurs in western Thrace, Greece, where it is known as Thraki. However, Ryder and Sephenson (1968) suggest that the Tsigai originated from the Kivircik during the Turkish occupation; there are mediaeval records in Bulgaria in which the Kivircik is a named breed (Brooke and Ryder, 1978).

Distribution and Numbers : The Kivircik is the exclusive breed of sheep in the Thracian part of Turkey (Edirne, Kirkiareli, Tekirdağ and Istanbul); it is also raised in the southern and eastern provinces of Marmara Region (Bursa, Balikesir, Çanakkale, izmit, Sakarya) and in some Aegean provinces (Manisa, İzmir, Aydin). The number of Kivircik sheep in Turkey was estimated to be 3.7 million in 1983; this is approximately 7.7 percent of the total sheep in the country.

Nutrition and Management : The feeding pattern is similar to that in White Karaman, but the level of nutrition is better as a result of the longer grazing season and better quality of pastures in western Anatolia and Thrace. There are also some management differences. Mating of Kivircik ewes takes place in June and July in the southern Marmara Region, and in July and August in Thrace. Therefore lambs are available for sale long before the lambs of other breeds come to market. Most of the lambs are weaned as early as at one and a half months of age, so that ewes can be milked longer. In Thrace, in particular, sheep's milk is mostly used for making a special kind of white cheese (Edirne cheese). Which is very popular in Turkey. Sheep are managed in flocks of 50–300 animals. Some flocks in southern Marmara Region are transhumant; they are taken to the mountains for the summer and brought down to the plains and valleys in the autumn.

Phenotypic Description : The colour of the Kivircik is white (Belka Kivircik). A small proportion of the animals may have black marks on head and legs. Ocassionally brown and black animals are seen in white Kivircik flock; these are probably the traces of coloured variety of the breed (Karnobat). Flocks of this coloured variety, once raised in Thrace, no more exist in Turkey. The tail of the Kivircik is thin and long, usually reaching the hocks. In pure animals there is no fat deposit in the tail. Such a deposit at the base of the tail indicates the presence of Dağliç blood. Rams have horizontal spiral horns extending sideways. Ewes are usually polled. The ear is relatively short and extend horizontally. The fleece is of carpet-wool type, but wool is of better quality than the wool of ail other local breeds. Wool from young animals can be used in worsted manufacture.

Body Measurements : Kivircik is a medium-sized breed. Average values for body measurements of Kivircik ewes raised at İnanli State Farm in Thrace and in the field flocks in Balikesir and Çanakkale provinces are shown below (Yarkin, 1956; Özcan, 1970 a):

 İnanli Flock (cm)Field Flocks (cm)
Body measurementMeanS.EMeanS. E
Hight at withers66.10.2764.10.41
Body length67.10.9571.40.46
Chest depth27.90.6129.10.24
Chest width (front)18.10.3319.10.23
Chest girth85.10.6285.70.60
Cannon circumference7.
 (n = 50)(n = 58)

Production Performance : Mean levels of the different production traits in the breed have been determined in a number of studies, and reported by several sources (Yarkin, 1956; 3atu, 1962; Sönmez and Wassmuth, 1964; Utkanlar et al., 1964 a and 1964 b; Mason, 1967; Özcan, 1970 a and 1970 b; Özcan and Aki, 1973 and 1974b;Sonmez et al-, 1976; Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Yalçin, 1979; Başpuiar, 1985). Range of these mean values are given below for different production traits:

Characteristics of ewesPerformance
Body weight (kg)39 –   42
Lactation milk yield (kg)60 –   90
Lactation length (day)140 – 180
Greasy fleece weight (kg)1.3 – 1.7
Staple length (cm)8 –   12
Fiber diameter (micron)29 –   33
Clean wool yield (percent)60 –   65
Breaking strength (g)18 –   27
Fiber elasticity (Percent)21 –   24
Medullated fibers (percent)0.8 – 2.6
Birth rate (percent)82 –   90
Twinning rate (percent)10 –   20

Growth performances of single-born Kivircik lambs at two state farms are shown below:

Age ofİnanli Farm (kg)Tahirova Farm (kg)
60 days8616.40.397120.10.3
90 days8619.40.554327.10.5
180 days8425.90.61637.51.4
60 days7915.70.416319.10.3
90 days7818.80.645223.70.4
180 days7824.10.573829.00.8

Growth performance at İnanli State farm is representative of lambs under usual conditions in Thrace while that at Tahirova State Farm is represetative of lambs under good feeding conditions. Survival rate to 90 days and 180 days were respectively 98.8 and 97.1 percent for lambs at İnanli; at Tahirova, survival rate to weaning (75 days) was found to be 93.7 percent (Özcan and Aki, 1974a;Sonmez et al., 1976). Meat quality is considered to be the best among the sheep breeds in the country.

Breed Improvement : There are two state farms in Thrace working on breed evaluation, improvement and research. Kivircik rams bred in these farms are made available to Kivircik breeders at suitable prices. They are the İnanli State Farm, Muratli, Tekirdağ, and the Tlirkgeldi State Farm, L¨leburgaz, Kirklareli.

Crossbreeding of Kivircik sheep with German Mutton Merino was carried out at Karacabey State Farm, Bursa, and in the southern Marmara Region in the 1930's and led to the formation of Karacabey Merino, the first of the Merino types developed in Turkey. At present, there is no officiai crossbreeding programme involving Kivircik sheep; the Merino x Kivircik crossbreeding programme in the southern Marmara Region has long been discontinued. The number of Karacabey Merinos in the region is around 200,000. The Kivircik was also crossed with East Friesian and Texel breeds during 1970's for experimental purposes (See Section 6.1.3. ). The breed is now generally bred pure, especially in Thrace. A small number of Kivircik in northwest Anatolia are being crossed with Dağliç, Sakiz, Merino and East Friesian breeds.

5.1.7. Karayaka (Plates 11 and 12)

General : There is practically no information about the history of the breed. However, it is likely to be indigenous to Anatolia. Karayaka is the naine of a village in the Tokat province which lies close to Samsun and Ordu provinces. The breed has characteristic features unlike those of any breed outside Turkey.

Distribution and Numbers : The breed is distributed along the eastern half of the Black Sea coast, especially in Ordu, Giresun, Samsun, Tokat and Sinop; it is also raised at Düzce, in the western Black Sea Region. There were approximately 1.7 million Karayaka sheep in Turkey in 1983, i.e. 3.5 percent of the total sheep population of the country.

Nutrition and Management : The quality of grazing in the distribution area is much better and grazing season is longer than in most of the other regions. Flock size vary from 5 to 200; it is smaller on the coastal strip and larger in the interior. Most of the sheep go to the mountanis in the summer in large communal flocks and return for the winter.

Phenotypic Description : The body is usually white but about 10 percent, of the animals are coloured (black or brown). White animals are of two types: Çakrak and Karagöz. In the Çakrak, head, ears, legs and tail are coloured. The Karagöz, which is more numerous, has black marks around eyes and mouth and on the legs; it is more resistant to cold than the Çakrak. The Çakrak is larger than the Karagöz (Batu, 1962). The tail is thin and long; some animals have a smal fat deposit at the base of the tail. Rams generally have thick spiral horns; ewes are usually hornless. Wool is very coarse but jery suitable for matresses. There is a tuft of wool on the forehead.

Body Measurements : The Karayaka is a small-sized breed. Average body measurements of Karayaka ewes were found as follows (Başpinar, 1985):

Body measurementMean (cm)S.E. (cm)
Hight at withers61.10.39
Body length67.40.51
Chest depth30.30.21
Chest width (front)18.10.22
Chest girth89.90.80
Cannon circumference7.80.08
 (n = 41)

Production Perfomance : Mean levels for the main production charac-teristics of the breeri arc as follows (Öznacar, 1962; Mason., 1967; Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Yalçin, 1979; Antürk et al., 198b; Başpinar, 1985):

Characteristics of ewesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)35 –   40
Lactation milk yield (kg)40 –   45
Lactation length (day)130 – 140
Fleece weight (kg)1.8 – 2.4
Staple length (cm)21 –   28
Fiber diameter (micron)39 –   43
Clean wool yield (percent)64 –   66
Medullated fibers (percent)22 –   27
Birth rate (percent)85 –   90
Twinning rate4 –     8

Milk production of the Karayaka is one of the lowest among the native breeds in the country, but the breed is reiatively early-maturing. Meat quality is considered good; in this respect, the Karayaka cornes second after Kivimk.

Aritürk et al. (1985), working on the Karayaka flock at Karaköy State Farm in Samsun, reported the mean lamb weights at different ages as follows:

Age ofMean lambs (kg)Female lambs (kg)
45 days11212.10.179811.40.22
75 days11217.60.269815.80.26
105 days11222.30.319819.70.34
180 days5828.70.488424.60.38

In the same study, survival rates of lambs to 45, 75 and 105 days of age were 97, 96 and 9b percent, respectively.

Breed Improvement : The Karayaka has long been raised by purebreeding, largely due to geographical isolation. A crossbreeding experiment (Özcan, 1960) carried out in 1950's between Karayaka and Merino breeds was soon discontinued. At present, there is no systematic crossbreeding involving this brecd. Work on the improvement of Karayaka sheep is being carried out at Karaköy State Farm in Samsun and Gökhöyük State Farm in Amasya.

5.1.8. Turkish Merinos

The Merino was first introduced into Turkey from Spain in 1843. In 1928 Hungarian Merinos and in 1934 and later years German Mutton and Land Merinos were imported. Of these only the Mutton Merinos were used for improving the native sheep in the country.

Karacabey Merino (Plate 13)

General : Mutton Merinos, brought to Karacabey State Farm, Bursa, in 1934, were crossed with Kivircik sheep on this farm as well as on the private farms in Bursa and Balikesir provinces. Crossbreeding between these two breeds was carried out in the form of upgrading to Merino. However, at Karacabey State Farm careful selection was also applied, and as a result a new Merino type, Karacabey Merino, was developed. It contains about 95 percent German Mutton Merino and 5 percent Kivircik genotype.

Distribution and Numbers : Karacabey Merinos are raised mainly in Bursa and Balikesir provinces of Marmara Region. Presently the number of Merino sheep in this region is approximately 250,000. The feeding and management conditions are similar to those of Kivircik sheep raised in the same provinces (See Section 5.1.6.).

Phenotypic Description : These sheep are white with a uniform fleece and a long tail. The ewes are polled and 10–15 percent of rams are horned In body conformation, it resembles to the Mutton Merino.

Body Measurements : Mean values for some body measurements of Karacabey Merino ewes are given by Akçapinar (1983 a) as follows:

Body measurementMean (cm)S.E (cm)
Hight at withers68.40.16
Body length67.70.20
Chest depth31.50.12
Chest girth94.40.31
Cannon circumferenceH. 60,02
 (n = 250)

Production Performance : Levels of different production characteristics of Karacabey Merino sheep are given below (Batu et al , 1965; Öznacar, 1973; Örkiz, 1972; Yalçin, 1979; İmeryüz, 1979; Akçapniar, 1933 a):

Characteristics of ewes

Performance level

Body weight (kg)50 –   55
Lactation milk yield (kg)50 –   70
Lactation length (day)130 – 140
Greasy fleece weight (kg)3.0 – 3.4
Staple lengtb (en)6.5 – 7.0
Fiber dianeter (micron).21 –   23
Clean wool yield (percent)48 –   54
Breaking strength (g)7.8 – 9.3
Fiber elasticity (percent)21 –   26
Birth rate (percent)85 –   95
Twinning rate (percent)10 –   25

Growth performances over a five-year period of single-born Karacabey Meri no lambs at Bandirma Merino Breeding Farm, Balikesir, were as follows (İmeryüz, 1979):

Age of LambMale lambs (kg)Female lambs (kg)
45 days50915.20.1252514.60.13
75 days49922.40.1851321.60.17
110 days49128.80.2551027.30.22
180 days21739.90.4550334.00.24

In the same study, survival rates to 45, 110 and 180 days and to one year of age were found to be 97.1, 94.6, 93–3 and 88.6, respectively.

Body weight, fleece weight and fleece quality of Karacabey Merino sheep are much superior to those of Kivircik. On the other hand, lambs have a satisfactory growth performance and a good survival ability.

Improvement : Two statc farms in southern Marmara Region, one in Bursa (Karacabey State Farm) and one in Balikesir (Bandirma Merino Breeding Farm), are angaged in the improvement of Karacabey Merino sheep. Each of them maintain 1500–2500 breeding females. Rams from these elite flocks are made available to Merino breeders in the region or elsewhere, and also for use in the A.I. programmes. Good Merino flocks also exist in the field (particularly in Bursa province).

Central Anatolian Merino (Plate 14)

General : Crossbreeding between German Mutton Merino and native White Karaman since 1952, at Konya State Farm, with selection among crossbreds for growth and wool production, has led to the formation of the second Turkish Merino type, namely Central Anatolian Merino. It has approximately 80 percent Mutton Merino and 20 percent White Karaman genotype. As it was developed at Konya State Farm, it was first named as Konya Merino (Yalçin et al, 1972). I.I. was and is necessary at the first stage of this crossbreeding; Mutton Merino rams can nat mate with White Karaman ewes naturally because of the fat tail the latter. Later, similar crossbreeding programmes were carried out at the other state farms in Central Anatolia, and resulting Merino type was named as Anatolian Merino. because the Merino sheep obtained in different farms through Mutton Merino x White Karaman crossbreeding are similar and their distribution is limited only to Central Anatolia, the name Central Anatolian Merino is preferred here.

Distribution and Numbers : Central Anatolian Merino sheep and Merino x White Karaman crosses are distributed allmost ail the provinces of Central Anatolia. However, flocks of this type are more frequent in Ankara, Eskişehir and Konya provinces. The number of Central Anatolian Merino sheep and Merino crosses in the region is estimated to be 1.2 million in 1983. Together with Karacabey Merino, they make up about 3 percent of the sheep population in the country.

Phenotypic Description : The colour is white. The tail is thin and long. Both rams and ewes are polled. The wool is fine and uniform.

Body Measurements : In a field flock, mean values for some body measurements of Central Anatolian Merino ewes were found as follows (Başpinar, 1985):

Body MeasurementMean (cm)S.E.(cm)
Hight at withers64.90.37
Body lenqth70.90.52
Chest depth31.20.20
Chest width (fount)20.10.20
Chest girth95.50.79
Cannon circumference8,30,10
 (n = 62)

Production Performance :

The Central Anatolian Merino flock at Konya State Farm, where the type was first developed, has fairly high production levels in spite of relatively poor feeding conditions. Yalçin et al.(1972) and Özcan and Yalçin (1977) gave the following figures:

Characteristics of ewesProduction level
Body weight (kg)55
Lactation milk yield (kg)40 –50
Lactation length (day)140 – 150
Greasy fleece weight (kg)3.7
Staple length (cm)7.8
Fiber diameter (micron)22.4
Clean wool yield (percent)54 – 58
Breaking strength (g)8.2
Fiber elasticity (percent)23.3
Birth rate89
Litter size1.45

Weights of Central Anatolian Merino lambs at different ages were found at Konya State Farm as follows (Yalçin et al., 1972):

LambSingle Maie (kg)Single Female (kg)
Birth weight3704.70.043704.50.04
45-day weight35315.50.1335414.70.12
105-day weight35128.90.2335126.80.20
180-day weight34234.20.3024631.30.22

In the same study, lamb survival rates to 60 days, 105 days (weaning) and 180 days were 96.5, 94.6 and 93.0, respectively, over ail birth types and sexes.

Improvement : At present, there are large production-recorded Central Anatolian Merino flocks at state farms in the region (Konya and Altinova State Farms in Konya, Bâlâ and Polatli State Farms and Lalahan Animal Breeding Research Institute in Ankara). Rams from these elite flocks are being used on the producers' Merino or Merino cross ewes, or through A.I. on White Karaman ewes. Selection in the field flocks is based on the subjective judgement of the owners, as there is no recording scheme at the moment involving these flocks.

5.1.9. Gökçeada (Imroz) (Plate 15)

General : The names Gökçeada or Imroz are used for the breed; however it is more frequently referred to as Gokçeada. Gökçeada is a Turkish island in the Aegean Sea, off northwestern Anatolia. Cn this island the breed has been known for more than a hundred years.

Distribution and Numbers : It is the only breed raised on the Gökçeada island. This sheep is also raised on the mainiand in the province of Çanakkale. It numbers only about 73,000 head. The feeding and management conditions for this sheep are similar to those of the Kivircik raised in southern Marmara Region.

Phenotypic Description : The colour is white, with black marks around the mouth, nose and eyes and on the ears and rarely on the tip of the legs. The tail is thin and long, usually reaching below the hocks. Rams have strong spiral horns extending sideways; ewes are usually polled but up to 30 percent of the ewes may have small scurs. The head is narrow and its profile is straight. The wool is very coarse and long, and it covers the top of the head. Shearing is usually done twice a year.

Body Measurements : The breed is one of the smallest among the sheep breeds in the country. Mean values for some body measurements of the ewes of this breed at Kumkale State Farm, Çanakkale, are given by Özcan (1965) as follows:

Body measurementMean (cm)S. E (cm)
Height at withers62.00.19
Body length63.40.14
Chest depth29.10.10
Chest width (front)17.20.09
Chest girth84.80.18
Cannon circumference7.40.02
  (n = 201)

Production Performance : Özcan and Yalçin (1977) and Yalçin (1979) give the following mean values for different production characteristics of the breed:

Characteristics of ewesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)35 –   40
Lactation milk yield (kg)70 – 100
Lactation length (day)150 – 170
Creasy fleece weight (kg)1.6 – 2.0
Staple length (cm)26 –   30
Fiber diameter (micron)32 –   40
Twinning rate (percent)10 –   20

The breed responds quite well to better feeding and management. Özcan et al . (1980) and Yalçin et al. (1980) reported the following mean values for different characteristics of Gökceada (Imroz) ewes and lambs from a study carried out under semi-intensive conditions at Kumkale:

Characteristics of ewesnMeanS.E .
Body weight (kg)88847.60.15
Lactation milk yield (kg)118187.24.38
Lactation length (day)118237.41.84
Greasy fleece weight (kg)   
 First shearing11181.520.02
 Second shearing4540.320.01
Staple length (cm)   
 First shearing6718.40.04
 Second shearing186.11.14
Fiber diameter (micron)   
 First shearing6736.00.46
 Second shearing1835.40.72
Medullated fibers (percent)   
 First shearing6710.70.95
 Second shearing187.61.14

In the flock, birth rate was 96.9 percent and average litter size was 1.27. In the same study, average weights of single lambs at different ages were found as follows:

LambMale lambs (kg)Female lambs (kg)
Birth weight2734.00.032383.90.03
60-day weight26618.10.1523516.30.14
120-day weight25527.30.2023123.50.19
180-day weight24632.30.2322728.00.21

Lamb survival rates to 60, 120 and 180 days were respectively 96, 93 and 91 percent, over all birth types and sexes.

Breed Improvement : There are two state farms working on the improvement and evaluation of the Gökceada (Imroz) breed: Kumkale State arm, Canakkale and Gökceada State Farm, on the island of Gökçeada, Carakkale.

Gökçeada sheep are bred pure. However, a crossbreeding experiment involving this breed and the East Friesian has been reported (Sönmez and Alobaz. 1975). Even if favourable results are obtained from such crossing, its economic benefit will be extremeley limited because of the small population size of the breed, and, if extended to field flocks, its biological cansequence may be the disappearance of a relatively good breed within a short time.

5.1.10. Sakiz (Plates 16, 17 and 18)

General : Sakiz is the Turkish name for the Greek island of Cnios in the Aegean Sea. The Chios breed of Greece and Sakiz breed of Turkey are probaby the same breed. The Sakiz breed is also called Çeşme in Turkey. The Sakiz sheep was probably brought to Çeşme, a town on the Karaburun peninsula in the province of Izmir, about 150 years ago. Initially, it was crossed with the Kamakuyruk, a semi-fat-tailed sheep; but Sakiz genotype was later increased with subsequent importations. The fat deposit at the base of the tail may be a result of this crossbreeding.

"The origin of the breed is not known. It was at one time suggested that it originated from a cross of Greek Zackel and Turkish fat-tailed Karaman. This however would nat account for its wool which is much finer than that of either of these breeds. Besides, the Karaman occurs in Central and eastern, rather than in western Anatolia. If it is indeed derived from a cross of thin and fat-tailed breeds the circumstantial evidence would suggest that the Chios breed is derived (like the Kamakuyruk) from the Kivircik and Dağliç, both of which are present in western Anatolia and which could provide the finer wool and fat tail respectively" (Mason, 1967).

Distribution and Numbers : The breed is distributed along the coastal towns of Çeşme, Urla and Seferihisar of the Izmir province. It can also be found sporadically in other Aegean towns and along the Marmara Sea. It is poorly adapted in other parts of the country. Its numbers are estimated to be around 30,000 in 1983.

Nutrition and Management :Management of Sakiz sheep is quite different from that of Kivircik, a breed also raised in Izmir. Sakiz sheep art kept in groups of 2–6 animals to suppy meat and milk required by individual families. During most of the year they are fed in fruit gardens and in the fields of vegetables and other crops. During the winter they are kept and fed in simple stalls.

Phenotypic Description : The colour is white with black spots and speckles around mouth, eyes, and on ears and legs. The tail is long, but has a triangular fat deposit at the base. Rams have long spiral horns; ewes are usully polled. The wool is finer than in the White Karaman.

Body Measurements : The breed is the tallest among local sheep breeds. The body is relatively narrow. Mean values for some of the body measurements of Sakiz ewes in family flocks in Çeşme, Izmir, are given below (Özcan, 1965):

Body measurementMean (cm)S.E. (cm)
Height at withers70.10.16
Body length70.00.20
Chest depth30.90.12
Chest width (front)18.60.13
Chest girth88.00.20
Cannon circumference7.40.02
 (n = 302)

Production Performance : The Sakiz has a high milk yield and an outstanding prolificacy. Levels of different production characteristics of the breed are as follows (Aritürk and Özcan, 1960; Mason, 1967; Özcan, 1965, Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Yalçin, 1979):

Characteristics of ewesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)40 –   45
Lactation milk yield (kg)120 – 180
Lactation length (day)160 – 180
Greasy fleece weight (kg)1.6 – 2.0
Staple length (cm)11 –   15
Fiber diameter (micron)28 –   34
Clean wool yield (percent)60 –   70
Litter size1.7 – 2.3

In a small experimental flock, average lactation yields of 2–6 year-old Sakiz ewes, kept under good feeding and management conditions, were from 188 to 259 kg, with an overall average of 211 kg; corresponding values for lactation length were 168, 210 and 191 days (Rulgurlu,1960).Average liveweights at different ages of Sakiz lambs at Çeşme were found to be as follows (Özcan, 1965):

Age ofSingle lambs (kg)Twin lambs (kg)Other birth types (kg)
3 months27.40.2223.20.1819.00.36
6 months35.90.3233.50.2425.10.42
9 months42.40.3041.20.1929.00.56
12 months46.20.4144.70.3432.60.62

Mortality rates up to four months of age were 11.2, 12.6, 20.6 and 23.4 percent for lambs of single twin, triplet and other birth types, respectively.

Breed Improvement : There is a recorded Sakiz flock at Boztepe State Farm in Antalya. A small Sakiz flock is also kept at the Aegean University Farm, Izmir. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs had a ram stud (koc deposu) at Çeşme, where good Sakiz rams had been kept and made available for mating of Sakiz ewes owned by families in the region. The activities of this ram stud have been discontinued. Milk recording and registration of sheep is not practiced in the field.

Sakiz sheep are bred pure. Sakiz rams, however, are sometimes crossed with Kivircik ewes in western Anatolia to improve prolificacy and milk production.

5.1.11. Tuj (Plates 19 and 20)

General : This breed is raised in the extreme northeast of Turkey near the Russian border. On the other side of the border it is bred under the name of Tushinskii. In Turkey it is also called Kars, Çildir or Kesik.

Distribution and Numbers : The distribution of this breed is limited to the province of Kars, and particularly to the town called Çildir, Its number is estimated around 120,000. Nutrition and management conditions resemble to that explained for Red Karaman.

Phenotypic Description : The colour of the Tuj is usually white with dark markings around eyes and on the legs. According to Batu (1962) the breed belongs to fat-rumped group. It has a short fat-tail which is bent upwards so that underside of the tail can be seen when the animal is at standing position. There is also fat deposit on both sides of the rump. From the back, two lobs of fat, each extending from the base of the tail to either side of the rump, can be distinguished. However, the original Tuj was crossed with local fat-tailed sheep in the area; therefore, some animals deviate considerably from this characteristic type of fat deposition. Ewes are polled; rams have strong horns. The wool is of the mixed coarse type, but it is considered to be of better quality than White Karaman and Red Karaman wools.

Body Measurements : Yarkin and Eker (1954), studying different characteristics of the Tuj breed in Çildir area in the province of Kars, obtained the following mean values for some body measurements of ewes:

Body measurementMean (cm)S. E. (cm)
Height at withers62.60.54
Chest depth29.20.37
Chest width (front)18.90.26
Chest girth89.70.86
Cannon circumference7.70.08
 (n = 46)

Production Performance : The Tuj, in Turkey, is a light-medium breed with fairly good fattening ability and meat quality. Average body weight of ewes is estimated about 38–42 kg and the lactation milk yield 50–55 kg. Annual wool production in ewes is around 1.8 – 2.0 kg with an average fiber diameter of 30 – 32 microns (Yarkin and Eker, 1954; Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Yalçin, 1979).

5.1.12. Other Types :

In addition to the above sheep breeds, there are some local types of sheep in the country. These are Kamakuyruk, Herik, Ödemis and Hemsin.

Kamakuyruk : The Kamakuyruk is a sheep similar to the Kivircik in production performance and phenotypic appearance, with one difference that it has a different tail shape. There is a fat deposit at the base of the tail. This fat deposit is gradually diminishes towards the end of the tail, giving to the tail a cone-shape. In the Kivircik the tail is thin throughont its length. Kamakuyruk is the Turkish word for "cone-shaped tail".

The matings between Kivircik rams and Dağliç ewes produce F1 crosses fitting the above description. However, inter se matings among F1 crosses has been carried out in some provinces of western Anatolia, so that, today, one can speak of of a particular type of sheep, i.e. Kamakuyruk. It occurs frequently in the provinces of Izmir and Balikesir, and less frequently in the provinces of Canakkale and Bursa. Production performance, phenotypic appearance other than tail shape, and nutrition and management are similar to those explained for Kivircik breed (See Section 5.1.6).

Herik : The Herik sheep are distributed in some provinces along the eastern Black Sea coast and in the provinces adjacent to them (Samsun, Trabzon, Rize, Amasya, Sivas and Corum). In some of these provinces it is known as Amasya Herik. A similar sheep also occurs in Van and in the nearby provinces in eastern Anatolia. According to Yarkin and Eker (1954) the name Herik is also used for the Tuj sheep in Kars.

The Herik is generally similar to the Dağliç, but it has a different type of fat tail. The fat tail of Dağliç is oval, it has a median groove on it, and it ends with a thin tail-end hanging straight down. The fat tail in Herik is wide at the base, narrows towards the end, and it does not have the median groove and the end piece. (Yarkin, 1964).

The Herik is somewhat smaller than Dağliç but it bears some resemblance to Dağliç in other characteristics, i.e. type, fleece and productivity. Rams are horned and ewes are generally polled.

Ödems : It is a local type different from other breeds in Turkey. It has a limited distribution area around " Ödemis, a town in Izmir province. The fleece is white; the face is usually black or brown. Coloured marks can often be seen on the legs. Ewes and the majority of rams are polled; some ewes may have small horns. Animals have lob ears. Ödemis sheep have a large and long fat tail which is twisted to form an S-shape; the tail is similar to that of the White Karaman. (Plate 21)

The Ödemis is a medium-sized sheep; in ewes, average body weight is 40–50 kg, with a withers night of 60–65 cm. The lactation milk yield is considered quite good (up to 150 kg). The wool is of mixed coarse type and staples are relatively short. The average fleece weight, staple length and fiber diameter are 1.0 – 1.5 kg, 9 – 14 cm and 33 – 42 micron, respectively (Sönmez, 1966; Brook an Ryder, 1978; Sarican, unpublised).

Hemsin : It is distributed in the northeastern corner of Anatolia and especially in Artvin province and Ardahan. It is also found in the other provinces along the eastern Black Sea. The tail is long and thin, but there is a fat deposit at the base of the tail. Rams are horned; ewes are usually polled. The coat colour may be brown, black or white. White animals have colour marks on the head and legs. The wool is of mixed coarse type. According to Sönmez (1966) it is similar to the Karaman in size and it has a low milk yield.

5.2. Goat Breeds

The goat population of Turkey consists mainly of hair goats and Angora goats. Hair goats are meat-an-milk type animals while Angora goats are primarily raised for mohair. The numbers of other goat breeds in the country are small; of these the Kilns, Gürcü and Abaza are basically milk type breeds with relatively good meat production, and the Malta and Halep are milking breeds. The Saanen and German White goat are kept for experimental purposes.

5.2.1 The Angora Goat (Plates 25, 26 and 27)

General : The breed is named after the town Angora (now the city of Ankara), in Central Anatolia, where it was first developed. In Turkey, it is called Ankara goat or Tiftik goat. Tiftik is the Turkish word for mohair.

The beginning of Angora goat raising in Turkey goes back to as early as 2400 B.C. (Akinci, 1924). Several authors reported Ankara Region in Central Anatolia as the area of origin for this goat. Other sources belive that it originated from some point in Central Asia. However it is generally accepted that Angora goat has been developed and gained its known characteristics on the Anatolian Plain, and particularly in the region then known as Angora (Batu, 1940; Van der Westhuysen et al., 1981; and Shelton, 1981).

Exportation of mohair from Turkey began for the first time in 1820; the establishment of mohair spinning in England since 1835 created a great demand for mohair from this country, which at that time was the only producer (Van der Westhuysen et al., 1981). Angora goats were first introduced to South Africa in 1836 and to the U.S.A. in 1849; these and further exportations from Turkey formed the bases of Angora goat raising in these two countries. Outside Turkey, South Africa and the U.S.A. Angora goats are also raised today in Lesotho, Argentina, Russia, Australia and New Zealand in smaller scales.

Distribution and Numbers : In Turkey, Angora goats are raised mainly on the Central Anatolian plains. It is most frequent in the provinces of Ankara, Konya, Eskişehir, Afyon, Cankiri, Kastamonu, Yozgat, Corum, Niğde, Kirsehir and Bolu. The best quality mohair is produced in Beypazan and Ayaş districts, near Ankara; Angora goats are also found in smaller numbers in some southeastern provinces of the country (in the provinces of Siirt and Mardin). The number of Angora goats in the country declined from a high level of 6.0 millions in 1960 to 3.5 millions in 1975; their number in 1983 was 3.1 million, i.e. 18.6 percent of the total goat population in the country.

Nutrition and Management : The nutrition of goats during grazing season depends almost completely on grazing poor quality pastures and cereal stubbles. The grazing season generally starts in the beginning of April and ends towards the end of November. Only a smal1 proportion of the Angora goat population is associated with brushy and shrub areas. In winter, as well as during rainy and cool periods in grazing season, animals are kept in simple and generally unhygienic sheds, when they are fed on limited amount of hay and cereal straw; few flock owners feed their animals with cereal grains at a rate of 150–200 g per head/day, during cold periods (20–30 days). Kids suckle their mothers twice a day for the first two or three months of their lives; thereafter they usually graze with their mothers up to the weaning age (3 to 4 months).

The number of goats owned by each holder varies from 3–5 to more than a thousand. The majority of holdings have from 50 to 100 goats. Units having more than 100 goats are managed as separate flocks. Smaller units are either run together with sheep or put together into a composite village flock for grazing.

A representative Angora goat flock is composed of the following age and sex categories: breeding females 45 percent, bucks 4 percent, yearling females 25 percent, yearling males 6 percent and castrated young males 20 percent. Castrated young males produce significantly heavier fleeces than breeding females with a comparable fleece quality. Their proportion in the flock varies from 10 to 30 percent according to the regions.

Matings usually take place between the middle of October and end of November. Because of the generally low body weights, only a small proportion (1/3 or 1/4) of yearling females are used in reproduction for the first time at 18 months old; the majority of yearling females are carried to the next mating season to be mated for the first time at 2 1/2 years of age. Does with good reproduction, fleece weight. fleece quality and a favourable body condition are used in repdoduction up to 7 or 8 years of age; exceptional animals are kept in the flock up to the age of 10 years. Three or four bucks are used per 100 does. Kids are born in the shed, and receive relatively good care during the first two months of their lives. Shearing is done once in a year, usually at the end of March and in April (Yalçin et al., 1983).

Phenotypic Description : The colour is usually white. About 94 percent of the animals, raised in the main distribution area (Central Anatolia), produce white fleeces. The Angora goats in the provinces of Siirt and Mardin are coloured; the colour may be brown, grey or black. The head is small and narrowed towards the nose. Both males and females are horned. Horns are strong and slightly spiral in bucks; in does they are medium-sized and extend towards posterior. The fleece of Angora goat is lustrous and of usually silver-white colour, and consists of long, strong and relatively uniform fibers called mohair. The fleece covers the belly, upper part of the legs, neck and overhead. Usually there is a tuft of mohair on the forehead.

Body Measurements : The Angora goat is a small-sized animal. Mean values found for some body measurements of Angora does at Lalahan Animal Breeding Research Iustitute, near Ankara, and in field flocks in the seven provinces of Central Anatolia are as follows (Sincer and Öznacar, 1960; Aköz and Sincer, 1961):

 Field Flocks (cm)Lalahan flock (cm)
Body measurementRange of meansMean S.E.
Height at withers51.3 – 55.257.8 0.15
Body length53.6 – 55.762.2 0.14
Chest depth21 .9 – 25.426.2 0.10
Chest width (behind scapula)11.1 – 14.117.8 0.11
Chest girth64.3 – 68.975.3 0.22
Cannon circumference7.0 –   7.47.1 0.02

Production Performance : The primary product of Angora goats is mohair; meat and milk from this animal is of secondary importance. Mean values for the important mohair characteristics of Angora does at Lalahan Animal Breeding Research Institute, Ankara, and in the randomly selected producers' flocks in Central Anatolia were found as follows (Aritürk et al., 1979; Müftüoğlu and Örkiz, 1982):

 Yearling femalesBreeding does
Mohair characteristicsnMeanS.E.nMeanS.E.
Lalahan Flock      
 Greasy Fleece Wt. (kg)5451.490.0317722.960.02
 Clean Fleece Wt. (kg)5451.080.0117722.110.01
 Clean Mohair Yield (percent)54572.20.29177271.50.18
 Staple Length (cm)54515.60.09177216.40.05
 Fiber Diameter (micron)54526.00.08177235.80.07
 Breaking Strength (g)54516.40.12177225.70.11
 Fiber Elasticity (percent)54529.50.18177235.00.12

Producers Flocks    
 Greasy Fleece Wt. (kg)6040.9410261 .59
 Clean Mohair Yiled (percent) ...78.8 ....77.0
 Staple Length (cm)38412.455713.8
 Fiber Diameter (micron)38427.555733.3
 Kemp (percent)3843.995574.12
 Medullated Fibers (percent)3841 .245571 .26

The average values for the primary, secondary and total number of follicles were found from the skin samples of 3 years old does as 1.35, 12.79 and 14.14, respectively (Batu and Özcan. 1964).

Data on the reproductive performance of Angora goats are available only for flocks at experiment stations and state farms. The levels of different reproductive traits for flocks at Lalahan Animal Breeding Research Institute, Ankara, and Çifteler State Farm, Eskişehir, are shown below; the figures for both farms are based on five consecutive kiddings. and are given for young does (1 1/2 years old) and mature does (2 1/2 years and and older), separately (Yalçin, 1982 a):

TraitsLalahan FlockÇifteler Flock
studiedYoung DoesMature DoesYoung DoesMature Does
Number of Does at Mating27488011603556
Does Kidding (percent)63.189.828.985.2
Kids Born/Does Kidding1.001 .051 .001.01
Kids Born/Does Mated (percent)
Kids Raised/Does Mated (percent)53.686.126.982.8

The above results, obtained under rather extensive conditions of these farms, show that mature does have a good repdoductive performance, while the reproductive performance of young does is low. Percentage of twin births is low (0–5 percent); it is not a desired characteristic under the Central Anatolian conditions. Aritürk et al.(1979) give the following figures on the growth preformances of single-born Angora goat kids raised in Lalahan flock:

 Male kids (kg)Female kids (kg)
Kid weightsnMeanS.E.nMeanS.E.
Birth weight6612.60.026222.30.01
Weaning (4 1/2 mos) weight65616.80.0761214.70.10
12-month weight58824.30.2354518.80.17

In the same study, average shearing body weight of Angora does was found to be 29.1 kg.

Breed Improvement : In Turkey, Angora goats are raised in a pure-breeding system. Flocks are normally self-contained and closed to animals from other goat breeds. Replacement males and females are bred from within the flocks. This inevitably leads to some degree of inbreading in small units. However, during the years of favourable mohair prices breeders bring in bucks from well-known Angora goat flocks.

Three state institutions maintain elite Angora goat flocks, and provide the produces with good quality bucks at reasonable prices. These are Lalahan Animal Breeding Research Institute in Ankara, Çifteler State Farm in Eskişehir, and Bayazitoğlu State Farm in Yozgat; the elite flocks in these farms have 250, 1100 and 300 breeding does, respectively. Goats on these farms are pedigreed and their production records are regularly kept. Selection is based on greasy fleece weight, fleece quality and body weight. Individual fleece measurements are made at Wool Laboratories of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs.

Breeding animals are also avaitable from field flocks with long breeding tradition. Together with state farms they play an important role in maintaining the mohair quality of Angora goats in this country. Because the selection and culling in the majority of these field flocks are based on the subjective judgement of the breeders, their potential in improving the overall productivity of the breed is not properly used.

Mohair prices greatly influence breeding operations in Angora goat raising. While high and sustained mohair prices create an incentive for a more careful selection and culling in a purebreeding system, low and fluctuating prices hinder these efforts and may even ater the type of mating system to be used. After a period of low mohair prices, some flock owners bring in bucks from ordinary goat flocks for crossbreeding with their Angora does; the aim is to obtain crossbred males with better meat production and crossbred females with better milk production. In such years, there is little demand for good quality bucks, bred in state farms and top grade field flocks; some owners even reduce the size of their flocks by selling part of their breeding animals for slaughter. Thus, unfavourable prices face the producers with economic difficulties, which in turn cause reduction in the Angora goat population of the country and deterioration in the quality of the national mohair clip.

5.2.2. Hair Goat (Plates 28 and 29)

General : The Turkish name for the hair goat is Kil Keçi, Kil meaning hair and Keci meaning goat. It is also called Adi Keçi (Ordinary Goat or Common Goat) or Kara Keci (Black Goat).

Distribution and Numbers : The hair goats are raised in all parts of Turkey, particularly in the mountainous and brushy areas of Mediterranean, Aegean and southeastern Anatolian Regions (Adana, Kahramanmaras, tçel , Antalya, Burdur, Isparta, Muğla, Denizli, Kütahya, İzmir, Manisa, Balikesir, Çanakkale, Adiyaman, Bitlis, Siirt, Urfa , Gaziantep, Mardin and Hâkkari provinces). They are quite frequent in Thrace (Kirklareli and Tekirdağ provinces), in some provinces in the eastern Black Sea Region (Amasya, Tokat, Gümüshane) and in the mountainous part of eastern Anatolia (Erzincan, Elaziğ, Sivas, Muş, Bingöl, Ağri, Tunceli and Van). In the plains of Central Anatolia it occurs rarely, leaving its place to the Angora goat. As a result of the measures taken, the number of hair goats declined from 18.6 million heads in 1960 to 13.6 million heads in 1983.

Nutrition and Management : Hair goats raised in hilly and mountainous regions depend for their nutrition on shrubs and bushes and on grazing areas in and around forests and woodlands. In coastal areas browsing continues almost all the year round. The majority of goat flocks of these regions are moved for the summer to better browsing and grazing areas on highlands and mountains. In steppes and plains grazing management, and feeding of hair goats are similar to those of sheep. Time of mating or lambing depend on the region, but it is generally similar to that in sheep in different, regions. Simple sheds in the villages or nearby caves are used for sheltering the animals in the winter. Kids are weaned at about 2 to 3 months of age. Affer weaning, goats are milked for about 2 to 3 months.

Phenotypic Description : The colour is generally black. For this reason, this goat is also called as Black Goat. However, brown, grey, white or spotted animals are also seen. Bucks and does are generally horned, bucks having strong horns. The ear is generally large and drooping, but animals with medium-sized or short ears are also seen. Hair is coarse, long and without undulation. Inside of the flece there is a thin coat of fine and soft fibers.

Body Measurements : The body size is considered large. Batu (1951) gives the following mean values obtained by Spottel for some body measurements of does:

Body measurementMean (cm)
Hight at withers72.4
Body length71.5
Chest depth31.7
Chest width (front)17.5
Chest girth81.6

The body size is larger for the goats raised in the mountainous and hilly Mediterranean and Aegean Regions than tohse raised on the Central Anatolian plains, probably because of the better browsing conditions in the former.

Production Performance : The levels of different production characteristics of the hair goats in Turkey are given bay Özcan and Yalçin (1977) as follows:

Characteristics of doesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)40 – 45
Lactation milk yield (kg)60 – 70
Lactation length (day)150 – 160
Milk fat (percent)4 – 5
Hair production (kg)0.5 – 0.6
Birth rate (percent)80 – 85
Twinning rate (percent)5 – 15

Lactation milk yield is higher under better feeding and browsing conditions (100–120 kg). In a study by Sönmez (1974), average first and second lactation milk yields of hair goats kept at the Aegean University Farm in İzmir were 88 and 107 kg, respectively; corresponding values for lactation length were 154 and 151 days. In the same study, mean weights of single-born hair goat kids were 2.6 and 2.5 kg at birth and 12.1 and 11.3 kg at 84 days of age, respectively. Kid mortality to 84 days of age was found to be 12 percent.

Utkanlar et al.(1963), studying the characteristics of cashmere-like fibers in the fleeces of hair goats, reported that mean diameters of these fibers varied from 16.8 to 18.4 micron in goats of different regions, and that they did not contain kempy and medullated fibers; the amount of cashmere-like fibers was on the average 40–50 g per animal.

5.2.3. Kilis Goat

General : The Kilis goat has been developed by crossing native hair goats with Aleppo goats (according to some authors, with Damascus goat) and by subsequent interbreeding among the crossbred generations. This goat has long been considered a separate breed. Kilis is the name of a town in the province of Gaziantep where this goat is raised most frequently.

Distribution and Numbers : Kilis goats are distributed in the province of Gaziantep, and particularly in the town of Kilis, in southestarn Anatolia. They are also raised in Hatay, a province near Gaziantep. Both of these provinces lie along the Syrian border. Their present number is estimated to be around 60.000 heads. They are kept in small flocks of 2–10 goats.

Phenotypic Description : The coat colour is generally black; brown, grey and spotted animals are also seen. The majority of the animals are horned. They have long pendulous ears, but animals with relatively short ears are also encountered. The hair is straight, long and coarse. The Kills goat is a small-sized animal with an average withers' hight of around 55 cm.

Production Performance : Levels of different production traits for the Kills does were reported as follows (Yarkin and Eker, 1961; Yarkin and Sönmez, 1961 b; Yarkin, 1965; Şengonca, 1974; Sönmez, 1975; Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Şengonca, 1982; Tuncel and Yener, 1983).

Characteristics of doesPerformance level
Body weight (kg)30 –   35
Lactation milk yield (kg)200 – 300
Lactation length ( day)190 – 230
Milk fat (percent)4.0 – 4.5
Hair production (g)0.5 – 0.6
Birth rate (percent)85 –   90
Twinning rate (percent)15 –   25

The performance of the Kilis goat under improved feeding and management conditions of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ankara, was studied by Eker et al.(1975 a), Mean values for lactation milk yield, lactation length, milk fat and body weight of does were 327 kg, 260 days, 4.4 percent and 40 kg, respectively. Tuncel et al.(1976), working with Kilis goats in the Regional Research Station in Antalya, reported the following values for different production characteristics: lactation milk yield 566 kg, lactation length 222 days, litter size 1.54 and survival of kids to six months of age 88 percent.

5.2.4. Other Goat Breeds

Gürcü Goat : This breed is distributed in the northeastern Anatolia, particularly in the Çildir area of Kars province. It is a breed of Caucasia in the U.S.S.R. Because of this, it is also called Kafkas goat or Tiflis goat in Turkey (Batu, 1951).

The colour may be black, grey, white or spotted. In white animals, head, ears and upper part of the neck may be black. The bucks have strong and long upward horns; the length of the horns may be up to 50 cm. The does may or may nat have horns. Ears are long (about 15 cm). There is a tuft of hair on the forehead. (Plate 30)

It is a large breed, with 70–75 cm night at withers in does. The lactation milk yield is about. 200–250 kg in about 150–180 days. The udders are well-developed. It is considered a milking breed. The coat has characteristics similar to that in hair goats.

Abaza Goat : It is raised in the northeastern Anatolia. The body is covered with pink-white fibers with coloured markings around mouth, eyes and on legs. The coat is made up of short and soft fibers. The bucks have long, flat and sward-like horns. The does are usually polled. The mammary system is well-developed. Average lactation yield is around 200 kg (Özcan and Yalçin, 1977).

Malta Goat (Maltese Goat) : This goat is raised in Aegean and Marmara Regions, more frequently in the provinces of İzmir and Istanbul. It is kept in small family flocks of 2–5 animals. These goats were brought to Turkey long ago from Mediterranean and Aegean islands. The size of its population in the country is very small.

The colour is usually brown-and-white spotted or brown; however, black, white and black-and-white animals are also seen. The profile of the head is roman. The ears are long, wide and drooping. Animals usually have a pair of wattles on the neck close to the chin. The beard is absent. The animals are usually polled; if present, the horns are small.

Body size is smaller than in Swiss breeds. Average body weight in does is 40–45 kg and hight at withers is 60–65 cm. It is a milking breed with well-developed udders. Average lactation milk yield is around 400 kg in about 190–220 days. Litter size is around 1.8. The hair covering the body is short and soft (Özcan and Yalçin, 1977; Şengonca, 1982; Tuncel and Yener, 1983).

Halep Goat (Aleppo Goat ): Halep goats are raised in the southern provinces of Turkey in small numbers. Its name derives from the city of Aleppo in Syria. It is a milk breed kept in the towns and around cities, in groups of 2–5 animals. This goat thrives well in lowland areas; it is not adapted to cold regions and poor feeding conditions.

The colour of animals vary from yellow to brown; however, spotted animals are also seen. They are usually polled. The ears are very large and drooping; average length of the ear is around 25 cm. They usually have a pair of wattles (appendages) on the neck. The hair cover is short and soft.

The body size is medium-large with an average withers' hight of 65–70 cm and a body weight of 40–50 kg in does. The udders are wel1-developed . The mean lactation milk yield is 500–600 kg in a lactation period of 200–220 days. It is a prolific breed with an average litter size of 1.7 (Özcan and Yalçin, 1977).

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