Wool from the sheep is normally fairly coarse and is used in the production of carpets but the Mohair from the Angora goats is more valuable and is widely exported. The female sheep and goats born onto Ozer's farm are bred right through the system as followers for the milking flock. Males from both the sheep and goat flocks are sold for their meat, along with any of the females not suitable for breeding. The meat from sheep and goats is vastly consumed in Turkey and sells for around 20 Turkish Lira (£4.90 or €6.20) per kilogramme on average. The top prices reached for goat meat is €7 per kg (£5.50) and €9 per kg (£7.10) for sheep meat. Ozer Turer said: "There is extremely good demand for the meat from both the sheep and goats. We normally fatten up the males and send them for slaughter. "The prices for the meat are normally quite high which gives us a good outlet for the males from our farm."
Turkish farmers also export live sheep and goats mainly to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Kuwait and Dubai, and mutton and lamb to Iran, Algeria and Iraq. Sheep and goats are grazed outdoors on natural pastures from February but this depends on the area, elevation, the distance from the sea and severity of winter. The vegetation dries off in the beginning of the warm summer period in almost all regions except on high grazing lands.
Autumn rains bring a much needed revival of the vegetation in lowland areas, allowing grazing to continue to the end of November before the animals are housed for the winter.
All Photos: By Chris McCullough