Rampur Bushair is an important dual-purpose (meat and wool) sheep in the north temperate Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh state (India). The breeding tract of the breed runs across three districts namely Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. Information on three body biometric characteristics, viz. body length from shoulder to pin bone, chest girth and height at wither, qualitative confirmation attributes and body weights of 335 animals were recorded. Animals were strong, well-built and of medium size with a square brow. The animals were mostly white, but black, brown and mottled were also found in good numbers. Typically a prominent Roman nose, convex head, large eyes and pendulous ears (10 cm to 15 cm long) with a prominent mid-ridge were peculiar characteristics of this breed. The males had medium to long (19 cm to 29 cm) curling horns, running backwards and downwards. The ewes were polled. The average adult body weight of males was 34.7 kg and that of females was 26.0 kg. The body weight of adult male and female sheep varied from 24 kg to 47 kg and 18 kg to 40 kg, respectively. Wool yield varied from 200 g to 500 g per shearing. The animals were shorn twice a year (summer and winter). Sexual maturity in males and females is reached at one year of age.
The information on feed, management and breeding practices, flock size and structure, reproductive performance and disease prevalence in the breeding tract was collected through formal interviews, using a structured questionnaire given to sheep owners, who were chosen at random within a structured, stratified framework. There were 98 574 animals of the Rampur Bushair sheep breed in its breeding tract based on the sample survey estimates. The results indicated good scope for improvement of its productivity under the field conditions based on selective breeding.