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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Sheep Breeds

Sheep: (Ovis aries)

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There are a number of different theories regarding the origins of domestic sheep. However, most sources agree that they originated from mouflon. There are two wild populations of mouflons still in existence: the Asiatic mouflon which is still found in the mountains of Asia Minor and southern Iran and the European mouflon of which the only existing members are on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. These two species are closely related with the only difference being the redder coloration and different horn configuration of the Asiatic mouflon. Some sources even hypothesize that the European mouflon actually developed from the first domestic sheep in European being allowed to become feral and that all sheep are actually descendants of the Asiatic mouflon.

Sheep were among the first animals domesticated. An archeological site in Iran produced a statuette of a wooled sheep which suggests that selection for woolly sheep had begun to occur over 6000 years ago. The common features of today's sheep were already appearing in Mesopotamian and Babylonian art and books by 3000 B.C.

Another indication of the early domestication is the fact that they are the only species of livestock unable to return to a feral or wild state. Selection for wool type, flocking instinct and other economically important traits over the centuries has resulted in more than 200 distinct breeds of sheep occurring worldwide. Modern breeding schemes have also resulted in an increasing number of composite or synthetic breeds which are the result of a crossing of two or more established breeds.

 


 

Alphabetic Breed Listings

A-B C D E-G H-J K-L M-N O-P R S T-V W-Z

A - B

Altay

Africana

Apennine

Arabi

Arapawa Island

Awassi

Balkhi

Baluchi

Balwen Welsh Mountain

Barbados Blackbelly

Bavarian Forest

Bentheimer Landschaf

Bergamasca

Beulah Speckled-Face

Bibrik

Biellese

Blackhead Persian

Black Welsh Mountain Sheep

Bleu du Maine

Bluefaced Leicester

Bond

Booroola Merino

 

Border Leicester

Boreray

Bovska

Braunes Bergschaf

Brazilian Somali

Brecknock Hill Cheviot

British Milk Sheep

Brillenschaf

Bündner Oberland

 

C

California Red

California Variegated Mutant

Campanian Barbary

Castlemilk Moorit

Charollais

Cheviot

Chios

Cholistani

Clun Forest

Coburger Fuchsschaf

Columbia

Comeback

Comisana

Coopworth

Cormo

Corriedale

Cotswold

Criollo

 

D

Dala

Dalesbred

Damani

Damara

Danish Landrace

Dartmoor

Debouillet

Delaine Merino

Dorper

Derbyshire Gritstone

Devon Closewool

Deutsches Blaukoepfiges Fleischschaf

Dorset

Dorset Down

Drysdale

 

E - G

Elliottdale

Exmoor Horn

Fabrianese

Faeroes

Finnsheep

Fonthill Merino

Friesian Milk Sheep

Galway

Gansu Alpine Fine-wool

 

Gentile di Puglia

German Blackheaded Mutton

German Mountain

German Mutton Merino

German Whiteheaded Mutton

Graue Gehoernte Heidschnucke

Gromark

Gulf Coast Native

Gute

 

H - J

Hair Sheep Breeds

Hampshire

Han

Harnai

Hasht Nagri

Hazaragie

 

Hebridean

Herdwick

Hill Radnor

Hog Island Sheep

Hu

Icelandic

 

Ile-de-France

Istrian Pramenka

Jacob

Jezerskosolcavska

 

K - L

Kachhi

Kajli

Karakul

 

Katahdin

Kerry Hill

Kooka

 

Langhe

Lati

 

 

Leicester Longwool

Leineschaf

Lincoln

 

Llanwenog

Lleyn

Lohi

 

Lonk

Luzein

 

M - N

Manx Loaghtan

Masai

Massese

Medium-Wool Merino

Merino Strains

Mehraban

Merinolandschaf

Moghani

Montadale

Morada Nova

mouflon

Navajo-Churro

Norfolk Horn

North Country Cheviot

Norwegian Fur

 

O - P

Old Norwegian

Orkney

 

Ossimi

Oxford

Pagliarola

Pelibüey

Perendale

Pinzirita

 

Pitt Island

Poll Merino

Polwarth

Polypay

Pomeranian Coarsewool

Portland

Priangan

 

R

Rabo Largo

Racka

 

Rambouillet

Rasa Aragonesa

Red Engadine

Rhoenschaf

Rideau Arcott

Romanov

Romney

Rouge de l'Quest

Rough Fell

Rya

Ryeland

Rygja

 

S

Sahel-type

Santa Cruz

Santa Inês

Sardinian

Sar Planina

Scottish Blackface

Sicilian Barbary

Shetland

Shropshire

Skudde

Soay

Somali

Sopravissana

South African Merino

South African Mutton Merino

South Suffolk

 

Southdown

South Wales Mountain

Spælsau

Spiegel

St. Croix (Virgin Island White)

Steigar

Steinschaf

Strong Wool Merino

Suffolk

Sumavska

Swaledale

Swedish Fur Sheep

 

T - V

Targhee

Teeswater

Texel

Thalli

Tong

Touabire

Tsurcana

Tunis

 

Tyrol Mountain

Uda

Ujumqin

Ushant

Vendéen

 

W - Z

Walachenschaf

Wallis Country Sheep

 

Waziri

Weisse Hornlose Heidschnucke

Welsh Hill Speckled Face

Welsh Mountain

Welsh Mountain Badger Faced

Wensleydale

West African Dwarf

White Suffolk

Whiteface Dartmoor

Whiteface Woodland

Wiltshire Horn

Xinjiang Finewool

 


 

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Project initiated April, 1994 - Initial web site opened February 22, 1995

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