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Nikolay Dadzhiev, Sheep Breeding

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Terbish, Baasanjav 
Churyumova, Elvira 


Nikolay has been working in animal husbandry since he returned home from military service. Today he works as a shepherd at the Aduch farm. His grandfather was a shepherd too. In his childhood Nikolay lived and worked in a farm. He says that the Kalmyk breed of sheep with the black head is well-known for its endurance. A grown-up sheep weighs 50-60 kilograms. In Nikolay’s flock there is one ram for every 30-40 ewes. Sheep give birth between March and April. During this period, the shepherd tends his flock around the clock. Lambs grow quickly. In the first two days, the newborn lambs are kept together with their mothers in a barn, and later are allowed to graze together. After five months, the lambs are separated from their mothers. The flock is watered at 4 am and then the animals graze in the pastureland until 9 pm. Sheep graze on their own all year around, although in winter they are given fodder supplement. Male sheep graze separately from ewes. Kalmyks usually do not keep sheep and goats together. Sheep have their wool sheared in May. The wool is sold to a factory. Sometimes the sheep get attacked by wolves. Each flock has a leading sheep. Shepherds perform the ritual of gazr tyaklgn (worship of the land) for a successful year.



Sheep, lams, wolves, ritual

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.