East African Fat-tailed
A hardy breed adapted to drought prone arid and semi-arid areas of the middle Awash valley of eastern Ethiopia; has a typical fat pad on the nose and behind the poll; both sexes are hornless; ears are short and pricked, and vestigial ears are common; small head with facial profile slightly convex in males but straight in females; the dewlap is pronounced; poorly fleshed; fat tail is shield shaped and descends to the hocks, with short S-shaped upturned tip; coat colour is off-white to sandy; coat has short and stiff hair (Galal, 1983; Wilson, 1991).
Inhabits the coastal strip of the Danakil depression and the associated Rift Valley in Ethiopia, with the Afar nomadic pastoralists; to the south-east it extends as far as Dire Dawa and in the north as far as Bati; the breed also spread westwards over the escarpments to highlands of up to 1500 m altitude; the climate is mainly desert, but also semi-arid in higher altitude areas; rainfall is erratic and ranges from 300 to 700 mm, and the region is drought prone (Galal, 1983; Wilson, 1991).
As for the Ethiopian highland sheep, the Afar probably originated from very early importations from Arabia but the tail shape is different and these sheep carry no wool. There is very little difference between this type and the types in northern limit in Eritrea and southern Djibouti (Wilson, 1991).