Bannur Sheep Breeding, Care and Production
- The Adult male weighs 35 kg and the female weighs 24 kg
- They are small sheep breeds which are bred for meat
- Originated in The Bannur area of Karnataka, near Mysore
- They are slow to gain weight and are not good for milk
- Annual wool production of 380 grams
- Slow breeders
- They are white and in the rare case have brown-coloured heads
- Long leafy drooping ears with short thin tails.
- most sheep sport a wattle
- The coat is coarse and hairy
- Relatively small Flock
- usually a single kid in each delivery
- They are also referred to as the Mandya Sheeps
- The first birth is in 2 years and there every year.
The Bannur sheep or the Bandur sheep is specifically bred for its meat. Though the sheep are small and gain weight slowly, their meat is considered to be a delicacy. The meat is famous in Karnataka and neighboring states. The Bandur sheep meat has high-fat content when in comparison to other sheep varieties. this is the reason for its taste and juiciness.
While the meat of most sheep fetches is rs 300 in the market, the Bandur sheep meat is set at 500 during the same period. Bannur sheep are usually bred to be slaughtered during bakrid or Ramzan. meat is also a common purchase during festivals and other occasions like weddings.
When most meats are purchased in 1 kg or 2 kg, the Bannur sheep are usually purchased whole. This adds a lot of value to the farmer as each sheep may fetch 20-25 thousand rupees and during the festive season, they are seen to sell for nearly 50,000 rs per sheep.
Farmers near the area of Bandur rely on the festive season to sell these sheep to the market and work a year long in raising these sheep for Bakrid. the biggest market for meat in recent years has been Bangalore where the price of meat has not been an issue and people have been purchasing the meat willingly and in large numbers.
The Bangalore market alone accounts for more than 75% of all Bannur sheep meat purchases in Karnataka as it has the highest buying potential. Farmers near the area benefit from the market in Bangalore and some farmers rely entirely on Bandur sheep farming for their livelihood.
While the Bandur sheep aren’t as famous outside the state of Karnataka, farmers in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra are showing interest in the product and some enthusiasts have started farming these sheep in nearby states.
The sheep sell per kg and the does sell for up to 200 rs per kilo during the off-season while the buck sells for around 300-350 per kilo. The sheep used for breeding are selected based on their health and weight. Bucks are expected to be heavy-set and older than 6 months to be ready to mate.
Most sheep are slaughtered at the age of one year. The average weight of a sheep in one year is expected to be around 20 Kilos. Though not at its full weight, it is considered to be the best age for the sheep to be slaughtered for its taste.