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My babe, Maimouna

This is Fatoumata with her daughter, Maimouna. I have recently become the part owner of a handful of sheep in Badugu Djoliba, which is 30km or so outside of Bamako. I have partnered with Arouna, who I mentioned in a previous post, and we are trying our hand at some good old fashioned animal husbandry.

As of now, we have one male and four females. For the time being, we also have a larger male on loan so that he can make love with the women and hopefully spread his genetics far and wide.

The idea here is to eventually sell some of the sheep, re-invest, have more sheep babies etc. I am not planning on getting rich off of sheep, but we’ll see where the project goes.

Here are some pics:

Had enough of Maimouna yet?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

This is Le General. He’s still a youngin, but we’re counting on him.

Typical living room. An armoire filled with fake plants, decorative plates and stuffed animals, with a TV as the centerpiece. This is where Arouna stays when he’s not in Bamako.

The veterinarian came to visit our sheep. He carries this tool on his moto in case he needs to castrate a bull.

To buy a new sheep, you will spend 25,000 – 35,000 CFA ($50-70. In Bamako the prices are higher). That price is for a sheep that is several months old. A full grown male can be sold for as much as 150,000 CFA ($300 – and sometimes more than that) in Bamako around the Tabaski holiday. Housing and feeding the sheep costs very little if you are in a place like Badugu Djoliba, so you could theoretically make a decent income raising your sheep en brousse and selling them in the city.

Maimouna, however, will never be eaten or sold. Promise.

On my way to Abidjan tomorrow. Update on the food biz soon.

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{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Jeremy Branham December 13, 2012, 12:40 pm

    This is why I love what you’re doing. How many other travel bloggers and writers are raising sheep? That’s awesome! Good luck with your daughters and son! :)

    • phil December 14, 2012, 8:50 am

      Thanks, Jeremy!

  • Steph December 13, 2012, 5:09 pm

    Phil, aren’t these goats? or are goats called sheep in Mali? either way you should bring Maimouna home to live with Mom. So freakin adorable!! Also, I must say congrats on your newest venture, I know it will be a success!

    • phil December 14, 2012, 9:01 am

      So when I first arrived in West Africa I thought these were goats as well. Turns out it is just a different breed of sheep. They don’t get the big wooly coats and they mostly look like goats. Come pick Maimouna up and take her home :)

  • Monique December 14, 2012, 3:24 am

    Fantastic….I have a similar idea I hope to put to work at some point in time. I will be watching your project with great interest. Go well….you will. :-)

    • phil December 14, 2012, 9:03 am

      Hey Monique,
      Keep me posted and I’ll do the same for you. My email is phil.paoletta@gmail.com :) Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Linda December 14, 2012, 3:59 am

    Completely enthralled by all your adventures, but especially this one. I’ll be interested to know how to tell the difference between sheep and goats, because I would have assumed they’re goats too, of which I see plenty here. In the meantime you should inundate FB with pictures of Maimouna – it’s time all those kittens had some competition! Stay safe.

    • phil December 14, 2012, 9:05 am

      I mixed them up when I first got here, too. This particular breed of sheep is indeed very goat-like and it does well surviving in what is a fairly harsh climate. When I get to a faster internet connection, inundating FB with maimouna pictures will be my first mission :)

  • Meghan December 14, 2012, 5:11 am

    As I was reading this post I kept thinking – why does he have pictures of goats when he keeps talking about sheep? They do not look like sheep in the US! A google search of “sheep africa” confirmed that sheep look pretty different around the world.

    Good luck!

    • phil December 14, 2012, 9:07 am

      whoa so these really do like goats to everyone. I guess I was in denial a long time myself. Ok, yeah! Now google “mali sheep” and see what you get :)

  • Kay Johnson December 14, 2012, 6:02 am

    Hallo Phil – Lili has posted u on f/b. Happy Christmas to you & Clyde ! Lotsa luv Kay (& Lili)

    • phil December 14, 2012, 9:08 am

      Hi Kay,
      Please say hi to Lili as well for me. Happy holidays!

  • Kira December 14, 2012, 9:22 am

    Hi Phil, love your sheep,

    Please think of selling some to CREER as youngsters as we’re intending to raise a small flock and do similar to raise money & keep the children fed etc … I will bring a vehicle up so we can put some on the roof :)

    In all seriousness, I am serious … we could cross-breed Malian/Ivoirian sheep – a Malivor breed?!!!

    • phil December 19, 2012, 3:48 am

      We could work something out. Sheep donation instead of a monetary one 😉 It’s going to be a year or so before we are ready to start unloading some (if all goes well), but I will keep you posted. I think these are actually the same sheep you would find in Cote d’Ivoire. There are a fair amount in northern CI, saw quite a few herders even on this last trip through north.

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures December 14, 2012, 10:22 am

    Looove that you’re doing this! Your daughter is gorgeous!!!

  • Lucy January 4, 2013, 7:41 am

    Easy way to tell the difference between Malian sheep and goats, mouton tails go down, chèvre tails go up! Maimouna is a beaut, i hope she grows big and strong :)

    • phil January 6, 2013, 5:54 am

      ahhhh, good tip!! Thanks, Lucy!! This is the stuff I need to know :)

  • Kay Johnson January 4, 2013, 9:50 am

    Lots of sheepygoats in the Alpujarra and as long as they aren’t pensionistas they make excellent estafados ! Goatysheep r the same ! Mop up sauce with plenty of local bread – chomp on crisp salad & down a local glass of wine followed by aerosol cream & flan.

    GREAT OPENING FOR LOCAL DELIVERY ROUTINE.

    Just WOT r u waiting 4 ???

    • phil January 6, 2013, 5:56 am

      pensionista sheepygoats?? Kay, we need to hang out some day.

  • kole January 14, 2013, 3:57 pm

    Almost every photo in this post made me swoon with cute!

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