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17:26 | Jun 14 | 2013

New hybrid sheep in Yakutia

In late May, Cand. (Biol. Sc.) Gregory Machakhtyrov has received the first results of research on creation of a hybrid, which may eventually become the basis of a new breed - a Yakutian sheep.

For two years veterinarians have been tried to intercross a bighorn sheep and a domestic sheep. In December an experiment of artificial insemination succeeded and on May 26 the Yakutsk State Agricultural Academy’s scientists managed to develop a hybrid – a lamb with a half set of chromosomes from its father - a bighorn sheep (chibouk) from Eveno-Bytantayskiy ulus – and a domestic sheep of black color. On May 30, a male lamb was born (from sheep of white color). Lambs were called Lookuut and Nurguhun in honor of the Yakut fairy tale characters. Thus, Yakutian scientists developed the technology of artificial insemination in field extreme conditions of Yakutia for the first time in history.

“All modern species of domestic animals descended from wild animals, which were more adapted to life and survival in a particular area. Domestic sheep should be frost bearable to be able to survive in the territory of Yakutia. This necessary quality can be taken from wild animals living here for thousands of years. Such animals are bighorn sheep, hybridization of which can lead to the emergence of a new breed of frost bearable sheep”, explained the representative of the Yakutsk State Agricultural Academy Aleksey Pudov.

The Academy is working on the practical implementation of the innovative program of a new hybrid breed of sheep development. In scientific terms, this result is historically significant. Firstly, scientists have taken a practical step towards development of a sheep breed adapted to extreme conditions of the North and a special food ration. Secondly, the animal will able to take an ecological niche, which is not densely occupied by other species of northern animals. Thirdly, this species can become a basis for a new branch of agriculture in Yakutia; it can conduce a new occupation for indigenous peoples of the North.

The experience gained by Yakutian specialists is unique. In this case, they delivered successful results from the fortieth attempt. Further work may lead to creation of a new breed of Yakutian sheep in 15-20 years.

 

Mariia Ivanova