Jalisco’s Pelifolk Sheep Soon to be First Sheep Breed Developed in Mexico

Jalisco’s Pelifolk Sheep Soon to be First Sheep Breed Developed in Mexico

Jalisco sheep farmers may finally get the official recognition they have sought for over 15 years.

After many years of overcoming challenges, finally there is optimism for Pelifolk sheep to be officially recognized as a synthetic breed. This will also bring validation to the work of Jaliscan breeders who have worked to strengthen the profile of this livestock which is increasingly gaining popularity in the country's sheep farming.

This was indicated by Salvador Álvarez García, head of the Jalisco Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER,) who announced that “there is encouraging news from the Federal Government so that the Jalisco union finally gets the recognition of the Pelifolk progeny… regardless of whether Jalisco is the cradle of genetics breeding sites.”

SADER’s Director of Livestock Development, Carlos Villalobos Romo, added that “it would be a great achievement to get (the registration) of a 100% Jalisco breed, knowing that the producers of this breed have already been working for 15 years or more. To register the breed would be something very successful."

Both officials pledged that support given to the sheep guild will be strengthened, to encourage that recognition of the Pelifolk breed is realized as soon as possible.

The head of the Zapotlanejo Pelifolk Specialized Local Livestock Association of Sheep, Giovanni Darío Torres Nuño, assured that fortunately there has been a very positive response from the Federal SADER General Livestock Coordination, and expects that the request will be fulfilled.

The cross-breeding efforts to develop a stronger species have been in the works for for almost 30 years. Pelifolk sheep arise from the cross of the Pelibuey breed, of African origin; the Suffolk breed, of English origin; and the Black Belly breed, of Barbados.

The combination of the three bloods results in several benefits, with more muscular animals that produce more meat per animal, animals of greater milk production, increased fertility, and animals that adapt and survive well in rustic terrain.

One of the Pelifolk sheep’s main promoters, veterinarian Benjamín Nuño Hernández, emphasized that this livestock will be the first sheep breed developed in Mexico, and it has been said that this breed will be a contribution to world sheep farming, similar to the introduction of the Azteca horse and the Sardo Negro cattle breed.

Currently there is an estimated 5,000 head of this breed in Jalisco, more than double than that of 10 years ago, when there were only about 2,000.

photo by SADER