Raising livestock for both meat and dairy products is an important part of Jordanian agriculture. Animal husbandry is usually on a small scale and is often of the nomadic or seminomadic type indigenous to the area. The large nomadic tribes take their camels into the desert every winter, returning nearer to the cultivated area in summer. The camels provide transportation, food (milk and meat), shelter, and clothing (hair); the sale of surplus camels is a source of cash. Sheep and goat nomads make similar use of their animals. Imported milk and meat are sold at subsidized prices.
Animal products account for about one-third of agricultural output. Sheep and goats account for 90% of the livestock, and are raised for both meat and milk. The Awasi is the major breed of sheep used, and the goat is the Baladi. In 2001, the number of sheep was estimated at 1,484,000, goats at 426,000, and cattle at 67,000 head. Jordan had an estimated 23,750,000 chickens in 2001; poultry meat production was 117,000 tons that year. Meat production from cattle and sheep reached 8,300 tons in 2001. Production of fresh milk from cattle and sheep was 185,000 tons in 2001. Jordan produces about 31% of its needs in red meat and 50% of milk.