The origin of this station could be linked to the implementation of an ICAR funded research scheme on "Studies on carcass characteristics of Mecheri and Mandya lambs" at Alamarathupatti village of Kolathur Block in Salem district from 12.02.1971. The Mecheri Sheep Research Station was started on 05.06.1978 at Pottaneri Panchayat of Mecheri Block in Salem district with the aim of improving the Mecheri sheep which was considered to be the best indigenous mutton breed of Tamil Nadu.


  • To improve Mecheri breed of sheep by breeding and management.
  • To characterize, conserve, popularize and improve the local sheep and goat breeds.
  • To distribute superior germplasm of sheep and goats to the farmers of the breeding tract to improve their flocks.
  • To study the management practices and formulation of strategies involved in profitable sheep and goat rearing under dry land-farming systems.
  • To popularize suitable package of practices among farmers for improved fodder production, development of fodder seed bank and supply of fodder inputs.

Location and Agro-Climatic Conditions

This research station is situated in Salem –Mettur highway about 35 km west of Salem and 15 km east of Mettur at a longitude of 77° 56’E, latitude of 11° 45’N and altitude of about 650 feet above MSL. This station covers an area of 164.36 acres.

The soil profile of this area is loamy in the plain and rocky in the hills. The average annual rainfall is about 894 mm. The rainy season commences from July and continues till the end of November. The average maximum and minimum temperatures are 34.3°C and 21.9°C respectively.

Completed Research Projects

Project Funding Agency Period Budget Outlay (Rs. in lakh)
Survey, evaluation and characterization of Mecheri Sheep breed ICAR, New Delhi 1.04.2000 to 31.03.2002 11.73
Effect of neem(Azadirachta indica)feeding on reproductive and productive performance of Tellicherry goats ICAR, New Delhi 01.10.2004 to 30.09.2006 8.03
Establishment of modern Salem Black goat unit and optimize the feeding standards for economical production in dry land tract. (Part - II Scheme) Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai 01.11.2011 to 31.12.2013 12.55
Popularizing model fodder seed bank at farmers field to augment fodder production (NADP Scheme) NADP-RKVY, Government of Tamil Nadu. 06.01.2012 6.082
Improving Socio - Economic status of Scheduled tribes through backyard chicken rearing ICAR, New Delhi 23.11.2012 30.03.2013 25.02.2014 2.00
Soil and mineral mapping in farmers field and sensitizing them to improve biomass and to augment livestock productivity State Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu State Land Use Research Board, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai 16.05.2013 0.15
Soil- Fodder-Livestock Interface To Augment Productivity (Phase I) State Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu State Land Use Research Board, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai 2014 to 2015 0.30
Central sector scheme on "Biotech centre for fecundity genes" GOI - Integrated Development of Small Ruminants and Rabbits 21.05.2012 to 31.03.2016 19.99
Revolving fund scheme on Fattening of Salem Black kids TANUVAS, Chennai 02.08.2017 to 11.8.2019 80,000
Revolving fund scheme on Commercial Salem Black goat rearing TANUVAS, Chennai 11.08.2016 to 31.3.2020 70,000
Self- financing Scheme on Establishment of Vermicomposting unit in MSRS TANUVAS, Chennai 30.03.2017 to 30.08.2022 30,000

On-Going Research Projects

Project Funding Agency Date of Start Budget Outlay
(Rs. in lakh)
Mega sheep seed project -Mecheri sheep ICAR - Central Sheep and Wool Research Station, Avikanagar, Rajasthan. 01.04.2009 380.00 Continuing scheme
Self- financing scheme on Fattening of Mecheri Ram lambs TANUVAS, Chennai 30.03.2017 1.05


Sheep Unit

  • Nucleus flock of Mecheri is being maintained at this station to carryout various genetic improvement programmes and to supply superior germplasm to the farmers.
  • Mecheri sheep are distributed in Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Karur and parts of Dindigul and Dharmapuri districts of Tamil Nadu. The name Mecheri has been derived from its place of origin i.e., Mecheri block in Mettur taluk of Salem District. Mecheri sheep with typical morphological features are seen in Tharamangalam, Omalur, Kolathur and Mecheri blocks of Salem district.
  • Mecheri sheep are medium sized animals with compact body and covered with short hairs, which are not shorn. They are light brown in colour. The profile is slightly Roman nose. Mecheri sheep is classified under polled breeds of sheep. Both males and females are polled. The legs are medium sized, straight and medium in length, squarely set under the body. The hooves are brown or black in colour. Udder is not well developed. It is small and round, tightly attached to the belly with small conical teats placed laterally. The teats are directed slightly outward. The special features of this breed are early sexual maturity, superior skin quality and high dressing percentage.
Body weight (kg) of Mecheri Sheep
Sex Birth weight Weaning weight 6- months weight 12 months weight
Male 2.62±0.02 11.74±0.12 16.99±0.19 22.76±0.27
Female 2.44±0.02 10.64±0.13 14.50±0.17 17.14±0.24
Overall mean 2.54 ± 0.02 11.20 ± 0.09 15.72 ± 0.12 19.91 ± 0.18

Agriculture Unit

In this unit different pasture fields has been established with grasses and legumes as well as different fodder trees have been grown to meet the fodder production of this station. For effective water utilization different micro irrigation systems have been used.

Pasture fields:

Cenchrus ciliaris, Guinea grass (Panicum maximum), Stylosanthes hamata and Stylosanthes scabra

Irrigated fodders:

Cumbu Napier hybrid (Co-4), Cumbu Napier hybrid (Co-5), Guinea grass, Guinea grass-GG3, Desmanthus spp., Co FS 29, Australian Red Napier and Super Napier

Rain fed crops:

Horse gram, Sun hemp, Cow pea, Sorghum, Cumbu and Ragi

Fodder trees:

Subabul, Glyricidia, Vagai, Agathi, Kapok, Kodukapuli, Velvel, Teak, Neem, Tamarind, Puvarasu and Kalyana Murungai

The fodder slips and different fodder seeds are sold to the farmers.

Model Fodder Plot

A model fodder plot with various fodder varieties has been established at this station. The different fodder varieties maintained are as follows:

Model Plots

Herbal Garden

Herbal garden has been established at this station for maintaining important herbal plants for conservation and to supply the original herbal varieties to the needy farmers. At this station, around 100 important herbal plants have been established and maintained. The herbal plats are sold to the farmers.

Vermicompost Unit

A vermicompost unit has been established and maintained for the production and supply of earth worms and vermicompost to cater the needs of the station as well as farmers. Different types of vermicompost models have been established for demonstration to the farmers and vermicompost production. The earthworm Eudrillus eugeniae is used in all the three models. The vermicompost and earth worms are sold to the farmers.

Azola Unit

Azolla unit has been established with different models for the propagation of Azolla as a fodder among the farming communities in and around this station. Azolla seeds have been supplied to the farmers for establishment in their premises.

Other Activities

  • Farmer’s training program: Organizing on- and off- campus training programmes to the farmers and livestock entrepreneurs on sheep and goat rearing.
  • Advisory services: Regular advice and consultancy services to farmers concerning the farm problems and establishment of pasture in sheep and goat rearing.
  • Technical assistance to entrepreneurs involved in sheep and goat farming.
  • Centre for providing research facilities to post graduate students of the University.
  • Various aspects of livestock management practices and health related problems are broad casted in All India Radio periodically.
  • Preparation and distribution of pamphlets and handouts on livestock farming to farmers.
  • Participation in mass contact programmes and various veterinary health and livestock shows organized by line departments.

Name Ph.D. Thesis Research Year
Dr.K.Karunanithi Studies on cryopreservation of Ram Semen 1994
Dr.V.Jeichitra Genetic analysis of growth traits in Mecheri sheep 2006
Dr.G. Selvaraju Development of diseases forecasting system against diseases of small ruminants 2007
Dr.K.Arunachalam Epidemiology and metaphylaxis of subclinical coccidiosis in small ruminants 2007
Dr.D.Rajendran Optimising microbial protein synthesis through dietary manipulation in forage based diet of Mecheri Sheep 2007
Dr.A.Sudhakar Molecular Study on BMP-1B, IGFBHP-3 and POU-1F1 genes in Mecheri and Nilgiris Sheep 2007
Dr.D.Jayanthi Studies on growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of Salem Black goat 2012
Dr.D.Cauveri Genetic variability of growth hormone and Leptin gene and their association with growth traits in sheep breeds of Tamil Nadu 2013
Dr.R.Chitra Polymorphism of IGF-1, BMP and CAST genes and their association with growth traits in Madras Red and Mecheri sheep 2013
Dr. N. Sri Balaji Production performance of Mecheri sheep lambs fed with cotton gin trash 2018
Dr. P. Senthilkumar Dietary Non-structural carbohydrate levels on performance of Mecheri sheep 2018
Dr.B. Balasundaram Genetic analysis of production and reproduction performances of Mecheri Sheep under north- eastern agro- climatic zone of Tamil Nadu 2018
Name M.V.Sc. Thesis Research Year
Dr.R.Selvakumar Effect of Supplementation of protein and growth promoter on growing lambs on slatted floor 2003
Dr.R.Karthick Effect of herbal feed supplementation on the performance of grazing lambs 2010
Dr.S.Rajasokkappan Epidemiology and metaphylaxis of subclinical coccidiosis in small ruminants 2010
Dr.C.Balan Statistical modelling of growth performance in Mecheri sheep 2014
Dr.R.Santhoshkumar Early weaning performances in Mecheri sheep 2017
Dr.S.Senthilmuthukumararn Impact assessment of Mega Sheep Seed Project 2017
Dr.K.M.Abinesh Strategic supplementation on productive and reproductive performance of Mecheri sheep 2020
Dr. Sarang Shankar Vajpeyee Effect of dietary supplementation of nano selenium on growth performance of lambs 2020
Dr. Akshata Patil Genetic analysis of performance traits in Salem Black goats under farm conditions 2022
Name M.Sc. Thesis Research Year
M.Mohanasundari Studies on Biochemical profiles of Malabari goats in relation with age and sex 2001
M.Rameshkumar Influence of Age and Sex on Biochemical profile of Mecheri Sheep 2001


Name and Designation E-mail ID Mobile
Professor and Head
jmvetdr@gmail.com; muralidharan.j@tanuvas.ac.in +91-9443517695
Assistant Professor
sankar.v@tanuvas.ac.in +91-9585689018
Assistant Professor
vijayakumar.g@tanuvas.ac.in +91-9884515857

The Professor and Head,
Mecheri Sheep Research Station,
Pottaneri-636 453, Salem District, Tamil Nadu.
Phone: +91-4298-262023
E-mail: msrs@tanuvas.org.in