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Current situation PDF Print E-mail

Mongolia has a long tradition of raising livestock in the vast territory. This is based on a system of pastoral herding consisting of five kinds of livestock.

Although Mongolian livestock breeds are well adapted to harsh weather conditions, their productivity is not especially high.

Animal husbandry is the fundamental source of food consumption and raw materials for the national economy, contributing 20% of the total GDP.

Livestock workers make up 34.5% of the total labor force. The livestock sector is responsible for 90% of total agricultural production and comprises 12.5% of all exports.

Currently, Mongolia has: 10 breeds of sheep, 3 sub breeds, 3 sub breed types, 4 strains; 2 breeds of cattle, 1 sub breed type; 3 breeds of goat, 1 sub breed, 5 strains, 1 subtype; 1 breed of camel, 3 strains; and 5 breeds of horse, with 5 strains. These breeding animals are the result of a Breeding Program in Mongolia that included a huge scientific contribution by Mongolian scientists in cooperation with local specialists and herders.

A small number of Reindeer are kept in the northern part of Mongolia.

According to the 2009 statistics, in total 226,600 households owned livestock, of which 170,100 herder households and 349,300 herders. A total of 44 million livestock were reported, made up of 277,100 camels 2,221,300 horses, 2,599,300 cattle, 19,274,700 sheep, and 19,651,500 goats.

Mongolia has 42 breeds and strains which account for 1,595,200 pure bred animals, 668,800 hybrid animals and 829,500 indigenous selective strains.

Pasture and hay areas accounted for 113.1 million hectares. In total, 61 sheep units were allotted per 100 hectares of pasture. Fodder, which is equal to 531,300 tonnes in terms of feed units. And 957,200 tones of natural hay, is produced annually.

The main products of the livestock sector are meat, milk, wool, cashmere and hides. Annually, the livestock sector produces about 264,400 tonnes of meat, 493,700 liters of milk, 3,000 tonnes of cashmere, 10,000 tonnes of wool and 5 million hides of washed wool, and cashmere. Wool and cashmere products, carpets, processed meat, hide and leather products are exported.

Mongolian breed characteristics PDF Print E-mail

Mongolian breeds have numerous specific traits which are the result of the Breeding Program, traditional selection methods, scientific studies and natural selectivity.

  • Mongolian livestock breeds have adapted to extreme fluctuations in weather conditions such as temperatures from -250 to -400 Celsius, and +25-400 Celsius, they have the ability to find pasture and select nutritional plants; their stomach and rumen have a large volume, and have high capacity to digest forage with low nutritional content. They can suppress hunger, survive on low fodder consumption, and are able to recover quickly after losing weight.
  • They have a high biological and physiological capability to produce flavorsome meat and milk products with relatively low cost of the pastoral system.
  • The offspring have strong natural instincts, are soon active, and are sensitive to fluctuating conditions, and are distinguished from other breeds; also they represent valuable genetic stock.
  • Mongolian breeds show high capacity to care for and protect their offspring, and find suitable quiet places for delivery. After delivery the females try to hide their offspring.
  • Offspring can recognize their mother by scent in the first 3 days, later on they can recognize the mother’s voice.
  • Mongolian breeds have good eyesight and hearing. Therefore they are easily frightened by unfamiliar sounds and things lying near bushes. They are naturally clean animals. They never eat hay which is mixed with manure and never drink contaminated or muddy water. Female animals can abandon their offspring if they deliver in a dirty place.


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