(11) Afghanistan - Domestic Animals. Camels, Horses, Cows, Sheep, Goats, Dogs.
DOMESTIC ANIMALS. The camel is of a more robust and compact breed than the tall beast used kin India, and is more carefully tended. The two-humped Bactrian camel is sometimes seen, but is not a native.
Horses form a staple export to India. The best of these, however, are brought from Maimana and other places on the Khorasan and Turkman frontier. The indigenous horse is the yabu, a stout, heavy-shouldered animal, of about 14 hands high, used chiefly for burden, but also for riding. It gets over incredible distance at an ambling shuffle; but is unfit for fast work, an dcannot stand excessive heat. The breed of horses was improving much under the Amir Dost Mahommend, who took much interest in it. Generally, colts are sold and worked too young.
The cows of Kandahar and Seistan give very large quantities of milk. They seem to be if the humped variety, but with the hump evanescent. Dairy produce is important in Afghan diet, especially the pressed and dried curd called krut (an article and name perhaps introduced by the Mongols)
There are two varieties of sheep, both having the fat tail. One bears a white fleece, the other a russet or black one. Much of the white wool is exported to Persia, and now largely to Europe by Bombay. Flocks of sheep are the main wealth of the nomad population, and mutton is the chief animal food of the nation. In autumn large numbers are slaughtered, their carcases cut up, rubbed with salt, and dried in the sun. The same is done with beef and camels flesh.
The goats, generally black or parti-coloured, seem to be a degenerate variety of the shawl-goat.
The climates is found to be favourable to dog-breeding. Pointers are bred in the Khistan of Kabul and above Jalalabad-large, heavy, slow-hunting, but fine-nosed and staunch very like the old double-nosed Spanish pointer. There are greyhounds also, but inferior in speed to second-rate English dogs. The khandi is another sporting dog, most useful, but of complex breed. He is often used for turning up quail and partridge to the hawk.
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Afghanistan - Table of Contents