The rare breed for this week comes from the horse infested land of Mongolia. The Astrakhan is also called the Kalmykskaya & Kalmyk. They are ancient & a member of the Mongolian equine group
The Astrakhan breed went to Russia from Dzungaria in the 17th century, brought by the Kalmyk people. The breed was described as plain, medium-sized animals that were very tough & possessed speedy gaits. They were hardy, useful animals & were traditionally bred in the territory along the Volga & Ural rivers. This continued until the mid 1940s when selective breeding in any official capacity ended.
Hard to pronounce name aside, the Astrakhan breed is in danger of becoming extinct. They are definitely on our Dangerously Rare list.
The Power of Life
In 1986 the local University of Cattle Breeding attempted to determine their numbers & located an isolated heard in the eastern regions that seemed to be of purer blood. Of around 2000 animals, only about 500 were considered suitable to develop a breeding farm in their attempt to preserve the breed.
Be sure to check out our own Astrakhan page – we couldn’t find any official sites for the breed.
As of now we have very few images of the Astrakhan for our informative page on them. If you have images (or information about the breed) you’d be interested in sharing, please get in touch today.