Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 1 December 2019; accepted for publication 14 February 2020)
Abstract. The goal of the present study is to perform an economic assessment of the local (autochthonic), merino and meat-type sheep breeds raised in Bulgaria without milking and under the conditions of a market economy and free commerce. We studied sheep from three herds, of the Srednostaroplaninska breed, Northeast Bulgarian Merino breed (NEBM) and the Île-de-France breed. The sheep from all three herds were under selection control. The results of the study indicated low economic effects for all three herds. Without subsidies, the local and merino breeds finished with negative values for profits and cost-efficiency of the income and expenses, and zero for the meat-types. The subsidy for the sheep of the Srednostaroplaninska breed made up 37.9% of the income, whereas the sold lambs and sheep culled for meat made up 60.7%. This indicated that the local mountain sheep cannot provide the necessary income for a farm’s normal function without milking and without subsidies, under the present market situation. The efforts in this field should be directed towards organic production of meat and dairy products and a closed production cycle. The income from sold lambs and sheep culled for meat from the NEBM breed made up 66.8% of the total income, whereas wool accounted for merely 4.6%. The subsidy provided 28.5% of the farm’s funds. Accomplishing an economic effect in merino breeds is possible only if prices for buying off wool were normalized, and the fertility of the ewes was increased. For the meat-type sheep of the Île-de-France breed, the income from selling meat and breeder lambs, as well as sold culled sheep made up 75.6%, and the subsidy – 22.7%. A higher economic effect for this breed could be achieved through selection towards fertility and more frequent births, i.e. 3 litters in 2 years. A significant productive and economic effect in the meat-type breeds could be achieved from ram breeding and conducting industrial crossbreeding in the stock part of the breeds.