Xinjiang farmers turn fertile floppy-eared sheep breed into cash cow
A sheep breeder in China’s far western region of Xinjiang has made headlines for turning down a multimillion yuan offer for one of his sheep, the Xinjiang Chenbao reports.
Mijit Abdurehim, a Uygur farmer from Kashgar, was offered 6 million yuan (US$926,000) for the Maigaiti sheep, a variety prized for its meat and ability to breed year round.
Abdurehim sold the sheep for 950 yuan soon after it was born in 2005 but bought it back two years later. By 2008, it was valued at 4 million yuan, the report said.
The sheep farmer’s success with the distinctive floppy-eared breed – also known as Duolong or Daolong – has enabled him to buy four homes and four cars over the last six years.
Many other farmers in the town of Aiximai have followed Abdurehim’s lead, with more than 100 Maigaiti breeders now in the area.
Deputy mayor Zhou Zhongyin said a breeding pair could produce up to 15 offspring in two years, providing a valuable source of income for local farmers, the report said.