General information

Breeds of fine-woold sheep

Different breeds of sheep have their own characteristics and due to them they are divided into: fine-fleeced, semi-fine-fleeced, semi-coarse and coarse.
A distinctive feature of fine-wool sheep is white wool, consisting of down and grease. The thickness of the wool does not exceed 15-25 microns (from 60 to 80 quality), the length is up to 9 cm. The crimpiness is well expressed. The representatives of this trend sheepskin stronger. The output of wool after all treatments is up to 50% of the nastriga (depends individually on the animal).
The breeds of fine-wool sheep are divided into: meat - wool, wool - meat and wool type.
Wool type is represented by the rocks: Azerbaijani mountain merino, Stavropol, Salsk. It is customary to breed these sheep breeds to obtain high-quality merino wool. They are distinguished by a well-developed bone structure and skin, but the muscles are poorly developed. They have a highly developed folding in the neck and torso. Due to the density of wool and folds, the males cut up to 18 kg of wool, from females up to 8 kg. The weight of the sheep does not exceed 90 kg, and in the queens - 50 kg.
The woolly meat type is represented by the breeds: Soviet merino, Trans-Baikal, South Ural, Caucasian, Altai, Askanian, Soviet merino, Kyrgyz fine-fleeced, South Ural, north-Kazakh merino. Differ in weaker folding of the skin, larger dimensions. Wool trimmed is the same as wool type. More pronounced musculature and subcutaneous tissue. Shearing up from a ram makes up to 15 kg, from queens up to 6 kg, and sheep weight up to 120 kg, uterus up to 65 kg.
The meat - wool type includes rocks: Kazakh arkharomerinos, Vyatka, Kazakh fine-fleeced, Georgian fat-tailed, prekos, Dagestan mountain. They differ from other types of fine-fleeced sheep: skin folding is absent, barrel-shaped body, early maturity, middle bones, meat qualities are well developed. Nesting wool is significantly worse than that of other representatives (in a ram up to 7 kg, in a uterus up to 4 kg). The weight of the ram does not exceed 100 kg, the uterus - 65 kg.
Half-breeds of sheep combine in themselves good wool and meat productivity. The wool of such animals is thicker. This direction is divided into animals with long luster hair, half-luster hair, short-haired.
For breeds with long luster wool include: Russian long-haired and Lincoln. They are distinguished by strong bones, the skin is thick. The length of wool reaches 17 cm, and the output after all treatments up to 65%. Wool has shine.
Kuibyshev and romney march belong to the half-velum. They have a shine of wool present, but more faded in comparison with luster rocks. Wool yield up to 60%.
The short-haired breeds include: Estonian dark-headed, Gorky, Tsigai, Lithuanian black-headed and others. They have a strong constitution and good bone. Wool yield more than 50%.

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General characteristics of fine-wool sheep

Although there are many breeds of fine-fleeced sheep, all of them are characterized by certain signs. A distinctive feature of these animals is a long thin coat. It has the following characteristics:

  1. The thickness of the fleece fibers does not exceed 25-30 microns. Such wool assign 64-80 level of quality.
  2. Fluff uniformity.
  3. The tortuosity of the hairs is high - up to 8 waves per 1 cm length.
  4. The type of structure of wool fibers is staple.
  5. The average fiber length is 8-10 cm.
  6. The coat color is white or beige.
  7. The coat of merino sheep has good thermal insulation properties.
  8. A large number of grease. It contains the antibacterial component lanolin.

Attention! From one kilogram of fine-wool sheep wool, 3 times more raw materials are produced for the manufacture of clothing than with the same amount of coarse wool.

Fine-wooled sheep are animals with well-developed bones, hardy and unpretentious. They prefer steppe pastures. One of the advantages of the merino is the ability to quickly adapt to different climatic conditions.

Main varieties

Fine-wool sheep are divided into 3 groups, depending on the direction of productivity:

  • wool,
  • meat-wool, they are also called half-fine,
  • meat.

The first group includes the rocks and varieties of merino, which are grown exclusively for the sake of getting fleece. It meets the highest quality indicators - level 80. Representatives of this group do not differ in large body dimensions, and skin folds are located on their necks. The average weight of sheep - 80-90 kg, and females - 45 kg.

Attention! The annual shearing from a fine-fleece sheep is 8 kg, and from a male - up to 18 kg. The fleece of these sheep is used to make high-quality knitwear.

The second group includes sheep, characterized by increased body size. They have a well-developed muscular system, and under the skin there is a layer of fat. The fleece of meat-wool breeds is rougher than that of fine-fleeced ones, and the average annual trimmed hair is smaller. They are bred for getting fleece and meat. The average weight of adult sheep - 100 kg, and ewes - 55-60 kg. Fleece meat and wool breeds has 64 quality levels.

The third group includes sheep, the wool of which is much rougher than that of the two previous varieties. However, these animals give good quality meat. The muscular system in meat breeds is well developed, the bones are strong. There are no folds on the neck. Male weight reaches 110-120 kg, and ewes - 65-70 kg. The average annual values ​​for these sheep are 6 kg per sheep and 4 kg per female.

Attention! One of the advantages of sheep meat and wool direction is precocity, that is, the ability of lambs to gain weight quickly.

Breed overview

It is impossible to say which breed of fine-fleeced sheep is better. When choosing a variety for breeding, the farmer must take into account not only the performance indicators, but also the climate of his area, the ability of animals to adapt to them. Popular merino breeds:

  • soviet merino
  • Salsk sheep
  • Stavropol,
  • South Ural sheep,
  • sheep prekos,
  • Kazakh fine-wool breed.

Soviet merino

Breeding work on breeding the Soviet merino breed was carried out in 2 stages. It began in 1925, and ended in 1946. Representatives of this fine-wool breed are divided into 2 types - wool and meat-wool. In the first variety, 2 skin folds are formed across the neck, across, and in the second, one longitudinal.

  • strong build,
  • the body has the correct proportions
  • powerful backbone
  • on the neck there are 1 or 2 skin folds,
  • powerful limbs with direct staging,
  • wool dyed white
  • Obrosly high (thick hair evenly covers the whole body, except for the eye and lower legs),
  • fiber length reaches 8-10 cm,
  • level 64-70 toning,
  • sheep weight - 95-110 kg, ewes - 45-55 kg.

Attention! The Soviet merinoes, related to the meat-wool type, are more weighty, their average weight is 10-15 kg more than that of the woolly variety.

The annual mowing of the Soviet merino reaches 12 kg (from the male) and 6 kg (from the ewe). Females of this breed have good maternal qualities. Every year, one hundred sheep are able to increase livestock by 130-150%.

Salsk sheep

This breed was registered in 1950, it was bred by breeders of the Rostov region. Its representatives are characterized by a strong constitution, medium body size. On the neck there are 1 longitudinal and 2 transverse skin folds.

Salsk sell sheep

  • weight of an adult male is 95 kg, females - 50 kg,
  • long body,
  • the back line is straight,
  • chest wide,
  • grease light shades
  • fleece staple structure, closed type, its length - 7-8 cm,
  • fineness taken from sheep, 64 classes, from rams - 60 classes,
  • Nastrig per year is 14 kg from the male and 6 kg from the female.

Attention! Salsk sheep are distinguished by strong health and endurance.


The Stavropol breed of fine-fleeced sheep was registered in 1950. To get large animals with thick and thin hair, adapted to the conditions of the local climate, they used the Novokavkaz and Australian merino, Grozny rams and the ramboulee breed.

  • animals are not high, height at withers at one year old reaches 62 cm, the uterus is slightly lower,
  • strong build,
  • sheep weight - 100 kg, sheep - 50 kg,
  • back straight,
  • The loin is wide,
  • croup slightly saggy
  • crease of the skin on the neck,
  • fibers rune long - 9 cm,
  • wool has staple structure, hairs are uniform,
  • the belly, head and limbs of animals are very overgrown with wool, which makes it possible to obtain more raw materials from each individual,
  • grease color is cream.

Attention! From the Stavropol sheep it is possible to get a huge amount of wool in a year. She cut from a ram more than 15 kg, and from an ewe - 8 kg.

Stavropol breed fine-fleeced sheep

The fleece of Stavropol sheep is highly valued due to its softness and density. It belongs to the 64-70 class in quality. After washing, the net yield of wool raw materials exceeds 43%.

South Ural sheep

This breed was bred in the Orenburg region. They took representatives of the breed prekos and local coarse-wooled sheep, who were distinguished by their endurance and adapted to the climate of the Urals. The descendants obtained as a result of crossing were first bred inside the tribe, and later blood of Tsigai, Grozny, Stavropol and Caucasian breeds was mixed into them. The South Ural sheep was registered in 1968.

  • large figure,
  • male weight reaches 120 kg, uterus - 60 kg,
  • round body,
  • there is a burda on the neck,
  • Oblasti body satisfactory
  • fiber length is 7-9 cm, the fleece is very crimped,
  • fineness class in ewes 60-64,
  • fleece refers to a closed type, staple,
  • after washing, the yield of pure wool often exceeds 50%,
  • zhiropot light.

South Ural sheep belong to the meat-wool type. One of the advantages of the breed - the rapid growth and weight gain. The meat of these animals is tender, juicy, almost devoid of a specific smell.

Sheep prekos

This breed is bred in France. Fine-fleeced merino sheep from England and ramboulet sheep were taken as its basis. Prekosy belong to the meat-wool direction.

  • strong bones,
  • muscular physique
  • body weight in sheep - 85-100 kg, in queens - 58-65 kg,
  • wide staging feet
  • the back line is straight,
  • the sacrum and chest are wide,
  • legs and head are devoid of hair,
  • wool length - 8-10 cm, white color,
  • annual shearing from a ram - 8-9 kg, and from a uterus - 4-5 kg,
  • greetings beige shade.

Prekos sheep provide farmers with tasty and nutritious meat. One of the advantages of the breed is precocity. Lambs grow quickly, they are sent for slaughter at the age of 8-9 months. In 40% of cases, uterus of the prekos breed bring 2 lambs in one okote. However, breeders set a goal - to increase their fecundity.

Attention! The net yield of wool fiber after washing in prekos is close to 50%.

Kazakh fine-wool breed

Kazakh sheep meat and wool directions were created in the south of Kazakhstan in the period from 1931 to 1946. Their ancestors are local fat-tailed sheep and representatives of the breeds ramboule and prekos.

  • strong bones,
  • large figure,
  • body elongated cylindrical shape
  • horned animals,
  • there are no folds on the neck,
  • the growth of a ram is 105-118 kg, the uterus is 60-65 kg,
  • fleece white, staple, closed type,
  • fiber length - 8-9 cm, tortuosity in the normal range,
  • level 60-64 toning,
  • annual mowing down from females - 4-5 kg, from males - up to 11 kg.

Kazakh sheep meat-wool direction

Reference. Kazakh fine-wool sheep are valued for their stamina. They are adapted to year-round pasture maintenance. Eating even sparse vegetation, they quickly gain weight.

Fine-wool sheep breeds have gained popularity because they provide farmers with quality fleece, meat and milk. Some of these varieties have good health and endurance. Breeders are constantly working to improve the productivity and fertility of existing breeds.

Woolly sheep

Wool sheep differ from other breeds in low weight and folds in the neck, shoulder blades and hips. The mass of the female reaches 45 kilograms, the ram - up to 90 kilograms. Musculature in animals is poorly developed, the fat layer is thin. That is why their wool is the most valuable: gentle, warm, long, reaching the level of 80 quality.

Sheep are sheared up to 8 kilograms of wool, and sheep are up to 18 kilograms annually.

The most famous breed:

  • Rozna,
  • Salsk (excellent immunity, endurance, large size and strong constitution, high fertility, fleece color is pure white, wool per year from 7 to 17 kg),
  • Azerbaijani,
  • Stavropolskaya (a thermophilic breed, two folds and a burda on the neck, a strong build with a pendulous butt, nastril - up to 6 kg per year).

Wool and meat sheep

The group of fine-wool sheep belonging to the wool-meat group is larger in size, and skin folds are less pronounced. The skeletal frame looks more powerful due to the more developed muscles and a good layer of fat. The quality of meat is high.

Rams grow up to 110 kilograms, and females - up to 65 kilograms. For the year they are cut off from representatives of this group: from a sheep - up to 15 kg of wool, from a sheep - up to 6 kg. The quality of the fleece receive 64 levels.

One hundred sheep of the wool-meat group have excellent performance; they can give birth to 135 lambs a year. These rocks develop beautifully in temperate climatic zones of Russia.

The most popular breeds of the group:

  • Askanian (great-growing with a strong build, rams with developed horns),
  • Caucasian,
  • Transbaikal merino (endurance, strong immunity, the backbone is developed, tasty meat),
  • Kyrgyz,
  • South Ural (adapted breed to the conditions of the Urals and Volga region, wool color is white, medium crimpiness, high quality grease, rams can be hornless, cut up to 12 kg of wool, fleece with dry staple tops, low fecundity, breeding work continues),
  • north kazakh and south kazakh merino.

Meat-wool sheep

The value of wool in this group is much lower, but sheep are unpretentious in grooming, excellent indicators of productivity show in the northern regions. They calmly tolerate the humidity of the climate and poor vegetation during grazing.

The skeletal base of these animals is strong, the body is barrel-shaped, there are no folds on the skin. Development is fast. The meat has an excellent taste. Rams grow to 100 kilograms, sheep - up to 60 kilograms.

For a year, wool is cut from a sheep about 7 kg, from a sheep - about 4 kg. The output is low: about 45% wool for production.

The most leading breed in the group:

  • prekos (early maturing French breed, recognized since 1929, the leader in wool productivity - from 5 to 9 kg per year, timid in nature, unpretentious),
  • Kazakh arharomerinos,
  • Mountain Dagestan,
  • Vyatka,
  • Georgian fat-tailed
  • Kazakh (large build, uniform wool, sheep can be hornless, able to live on pasture all year round, shear wool to 7 kg).

Sheep keeping and shearing

Sheepskin sheep are built bright, spacious, well-ventilated, with small pens. They set the feeders and containers with water. Drafts are not allowed.

The surface of the floor is covered with straw on top of the boards. Concrete coverings are unacceptable, as they provoke diseases of the legs, joints. The temperature inside should not fall below 8 degrees.

The beginning of grazing in the spring comes at a time when the grass in the pasture grows to 10 centimeters. Pasture herds in the dew is unacceptable. Sheep must be sheltered from the scorching sun in the event of the heat of the day.

Sheep diet:

  1. concentrated feed
  2. fresh vegetables,
  3. hay,
  4. salt, mineral and vitamin supplements.

Fine-wool sheep need water procedures with a disinfecting detergent up to 4 times a year (in the spring after shearing, two weeks after shearing, in summer and autumn). Preventive measures against parasites are carried out only in sunny warm weather.

Sheep hooves are regularly checked and cleaned if necessary, so that infection with fungal or bacterial infections does not occur.

Breeding sheep fine-wool group begin with the age of one year. Coverage passes successfully in October for two days. Pregnancy lasts 20–22 weeks. There are no additional requirements for females during this period. Lambing is expected in late winter or early spring.

Births are completed in 30 minutes, as a rule, independently. After another 30 minutes, the lamb rises to its feet and searches for the female's breast. It is recommended to feed young with milk for up to three months. After that they are transferred to adult food.

Shearing with a single fleece occurs in the spring, when the wool becomes marketable after the winter season. The exact time depends on the breeding climate zone.

This procedure requires wooden flooring, rope for tying up the feet of the animal and a special tool for cutting. Products are washed up to three times in a soap-soda solution at a water temperature of about 45 degrees, squeezed, dried, stored in a dry room.

The quality and quantity of wool depends on the total number of shearing, the physical development of a sheep, the characteristics of the breed, the conditions of detention, the quality of feeding.