Fat-Tailed Altay sheep

The Altay sheep have come from the regions of China. 

The cold and dry mountains of china are their typical habitat. Altay sheep are raised primarily for the meat, but they also provide wool.

Even Altay belongs to the fat-tailed(rump) group. 

These sheep belong to the Kazakh group are found in the desert and dry mountain areas in the western Xinjiang area.

They produce carpet wool type. 

Altay sheep  Characteristics

Altay sheep are famous for their meet, though they produce carpet wool.

They are medium built sheep, with a height of the mature rams is 75 cm (30 in) at withers and ewes are around 72 cm(28 in).

The Mature Altay ram weight is 82kg (180 lb), and mature ewe weight is 68 kg (150 lb).

Both ram and ewe are horned.

The fat tail is not by birth; they grow gradually as a rump which is a biological characteristic. The rump(fat-tail) weighs around 7 kg (15 lbs).

The lambing percentage in Altay sheep is around 103% which is about 1 lamb per lambing cycle.

The sheep wool used to make Carpets. Each sheep produces on an average 1.3 kg (2.5 lb) to 1.5 kg (3.5 lb) of wool per shearing.

Things to know

Due to the regular climate changes in the mountain regions, food is scarce in these pastoral zones so the sheep will go in general store a lot of fat in the body to fulfil nutritional needs throughout the winter and spring.

What’s more, the herders working under these climatic conditions need fat as the fundamental wellspring of vitality supply, thus have chosen towards sheep with high-fat stores.

Brief characteristics of Altay Sheep

Breed NameAltay sheep
Other Name
Country/Place of OriginChina
Breed PurposeMeat  and wool
Breed SizeMedium
82 kg (180 lbs)
Ewe(Female)68 kg (150 lbs)
Kiddingone lamb
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing 
Climate ToleranceNative Climates


Cheng. P. (1984) Livestock breeds of China. Animal Production and Health Paper 46 (E, F, S). Publ. by FAO, Rome, 217 pp.

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