‘Selected Livestock-2013’ fair takes place at Khui Doloon Khudag


Last weekend, Shilmel Mal-2013 (Selected Livestock-2013) and Shilmel Nohod-2013 (Selected Dogs-2013) took place showcasing the nation’s finest livestock and canine breeds. The fairs took place for the 8th year at Khui Doloon Khudag, site of the annual Naadam horse races held in July.

Around 600 selected livestock from central six districts of Ulaanbaatar and 18 provinces participated in the fair. The goal of the fair is to improve the health, yield, and breeding quality of various livestock breeds, as well as preserve and enhance the finest breeding programs in the country. Here, herders sell or auction off their livestock. In total, there were 41 cattle for dairy and meat, 50 horses for meat as well as racing, 282 sheep, 59 goats, and several camels. Speciality farmers also brought 40 pigs, 60 chickens, geese, quail, pigeon, rabbit, fish and guinea pigs.

The visitors were enjoying khuushuur, fermented mare’s milk and horse meat. Hats, national costumes, boots, gloves made of domestic livestock hides and other accessories were on sale. The goods were all the result of the craftsmanship of Mongol herders.

The fair welcomed visitors with the noise of various livestock and birds. Journalists first went to a place with an unpleasant smell and guessed it must be pigs. Their guess was right and they discovered five pigs in a row. Interested buyers were bargaining prices with veterinary technician from Zurgaan Khoshuu LLC, O.Tsetsenbayar. The five pigs were Landrace, Duroc, Hampshire, Cornwall Black, and Yorkshire breeds and were specifically used for breeding. The prrice of pigs varies depending on their breed and whether or not they are hybrid. Zurgaan Khoshuu owns a pig farm with 3,000 pigs in Bayantsogt soum of Tuv province. According to O.Tsetsenbayar, the farm produces 50 kilograms of pork from six-month old pigs. Three to four month-old purebred pigs are usually sold for 400,000 MNT.

As for other livestock, rabbits, geese, and turkeys brought from Darkhan-Uul province shared an enclosure. There we met U.Sarantuya, who runs a cuniculture business. She started the business after studying cuniculture for 10 years. She says the meat of livestock such as cow and sheep have 70 percent protein content, while rabbit meat has 90 percent protein. When the tips of a rabbit’s fur becomes mature after November, cuniculturists cull rabbits and sell their meat, internal organs, and hides. Each rabbit physically matures at four or five months old. A mature rabbit is sold for 30,000 MNT, while white hares are sold for 10,000 MNT. All of the hares on exhibit were sold out as soon as the fair opened.

Turkeys, which were in a same fence as the rabbits, were brought by D.Buyanjargal, a turkey farmer in Darkhan-Uul province. He says he gets eight to ten kg of meat from each turkey, which is almost equal to the amount of meat from one sheep. Each turkey was sold at the cost of 150,000 MNT.

There were also a large amount of cashmere goats and sheep for meat brought from Dundgovi, Zavkhan, Govi-Altai, Uvurkhangai, Khuvsgul, Orkhon, Selenge and Khentii provinces for sale at the fair. One of the traders was G.Ganbayar and he brought cashmere goats from Gurvansaikhan soum of Umnugovi Province. He says he normally takes 800 grams to one kg of cashmere from each goat.

Herder in Tuvshin Shireet soum of Sukhbaatar Province, Sh.Dashnyam, was also there to sell his six male sheep and goats, which were all mature for breeding. The sheep were bred for meat while the goats were bred for cashmere. From a fat sheep, 50 kg of meat can be taken, and a fat goat gives 1.2 kg cashmere. Each male sheep cost 500,000 MNT, while a male goat cost 450,000 MNT.

There were also race horses for sale, tethered in a row. Ch.Byambadash from Nalaikh district brought purebred Mongol race horses of Khentii Province, and said he would auction off his horses at a starting price of nine million MNT.

A lot of cattle were also tethered nearby the horses. A caller presenting the cattle caught the attention of fairgoers. There was a purebred flecked black bull among the cattle, brought by a resident of Songinokhairkhan district, D.Tseyen-Oidov. The bull was three years-old and weighed 520 kg. Another purebred bull brought from Bayandun soum of Dornod Province, weighing 690 kg, was available. There were also dairy cows from Batsumber soum in Tuv Province that produce 18 liters of milk per day. Each cow cost 2 to 2.5 million MNT.

Next to the cattle, an automated milker manufactured by the German ITEC company was on sale. The milkers are able to milk up to 200 liters of milk per minute. They are made of non-corrosive steel and each has capacity of 23 liters of milk and weighs 0.5 kg. It cost three million MNT.

Male camels and mature females, as well as young camels were on sale. The herders said they produce 5.2 kg of camel wool and 500 grams of milk per day. Camels bred for meat produce 450 kg of meat. The starting price for female camels was 1.5 million MNT, while male camels cost more than two million MNT. Foreign attendees at the fair were very interested in the camels.

There was only one yak for sale at the fair.

At the end of the fair, the finest livestock from each category was awarded “Finest Livestock Champion”, a tradition valuing the hard work of herders.

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