Altai Sheep

Altai Sheep

 

a breed of fine-wooled sheep raised for their wool and meat. It was developed from 1930 to 1949 on the Ovtsevod Sheep Breeding Farm (the former Rubtsovskii Sovkhoz) and the Strana Sovetov Kolkhoz (the former Sibmerinos Kolkhoz) in Altai Krai, RSFSR. The indigenous Merino sheep were crossed with the Rambouillet rams, and then the first-generation offspring were crossed with rams from the Australian Merino and Caucasian Tonkorunnaia breeds. The breed was officially recognized in 1949. Large and hardy, the sheep has a liveweight of 90–100 kg for rams and 55–60 kg for ewes. Rams yield 9–11 kg of fleece and ewes, 6.0–6.5 kg. Maximum wool yields are 30 kg for rams and 12 kg for ewes. The wool is fine, even, basically of quality 64, and 7–10 cm long; it is used for manufacturing the finest dress fabrics. Fertility of animals is 130–170 lambs per 100 ewes. The breed is raised in Siberia, the northern oblasts of Kazakh SSR, the Bashkir ASSR, and Cheliabinsk and other oblasts. The best flocks are found at the Ovtsevod and Kur’inskii breeding farms and the Strana Sovetov Kolkhoz in Altai Krai.

REFERENCES

Litovchenko, G. R. Metody vyvedeniia altaiskoi porody ovets. Moscow, 1950.
Novoe v tonkorunnom ovtsevodstve, collection 2. Moscow, 1955.

G. LITOVCHENKO