The inability to raise sufficient fodder impedes livestock development. The livestock population in 2001 included sheep, 6,000,000; cattle, 860,000; goats, 375,000; pigs, 45,000; asses, 25,000; horses, 17,000; and chickens, 4.8 million. Karakul sheep are raised for wool export; in 2001, 21,000 tons of greasy wool and 25,000 tons of sheep skins were produced. A private tannery in Mary processes about 100,000 sheepskins per year, selling its product to the state-run leathery factory.
Akhaltekin horses, raised at the Akhaltekin oasis, are a breed which dates date to the 3rd century. Bucephalus, the favorite horse of Alexander the Great, was Akhaltekin. In 1986, an Akhaltekin horse, Dancing Brave, was sold for $50 million. Akhaltekins have a large share of the racehorse breeding market worldwide, and are depicted on Turkmenistan's national emblem.