Merinos


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Merinos

 

breeds of fine-wooled sheep with uniform fleece. Fine-wooled sheep are believed to be native to Southwest Asia, where they were bred in the third and second centuries B.C. They subsequently appeared in Mediterranean countries and, beginning in the mid-18th century, were imported into Western Europe, North America, and Australia.

In Russia, various types of Merinos imported from other countries were bred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These breeds included the Electoral, Infantado, Negretti, and Rambouillet. Also raised in Russia were breeds developed by Russian sheep breeders—Russian Infantado, Mazaevskaia, and Novokavkazskaia. Soviet sheep breeders have developed highly productive breeds of Merino sheep, including the Ascanian, Soviet Merino, Azerbaijan Mountain Merino, Caucasian, Altai, Salskaia, Stavropol’, and Groznyi.

Merino fleece is made up of fine (15-25 microns), soft, fluffy fibers. The curly wool is 6-8 cm long after one year. The wool clip is 8-12 kg for rams (record is 30.6 kg, from an Ascanian ram), and 4-6 kg for ewes. The yield of pure wool is 35-45 percent. The distinguishing feature of Merinos is the presence of folds of skin on the neck and sometimes on the body. Merinos are crossbred with semifine-wooled and coarse-wooled breeds to improve the wool productivity of the last two.

Merinos are raised in most countries of the world. The largest populations are found in Australia (Australian Merinos), the USSR, and the Republic of South Africa (Australian Merinos, primarily the fine-wooled type). In the USSR, Merinos are raised in the Ukraine, in the steppe regions of the Northern Caucasus, in the Lower and Middle Volga regions, in southern Siberia, in Kazakhstan and Kirghizia, and in several regions of Transcaucasia.

REFERENCES

Ovtsevodstvo. Edited by P. A. Esaulov and G. R. Litovchenko. Moscow, 1963.
Rukovodstvo po razvedeniiu zhivotnykh, vol. 3, book 2. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from German.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The merinos used to produce wool for Icebreaker apparel live at elevations over 8,000 feet in the Southern Alps on New Zealand's South Island, where temperatures range from 95 degrees in the summer to well below zero in the winter.
When it comes to choosing a base layer for a cold weather whitetail hunt, is hard to beat garments made from merino wool, a natural fabric that offers an excellent combination of comfort, warmth and breath ability, along with built-in antimicrobial properties that combat odor causing bacteria.
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The Turkish trip made Merinos owner and Chamber member Michael Bay (born in Turkey) aware of hydrail technology's environmental and climate importance.
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Established in 1970, Merinos Hali, the second biggest carpet manufacturer in the world, has become a giant enterprise with representations in 47 countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq.
The Prince was visiting the Moutere Station, about 15 miles north-east of Alexandra, which has 10,000 Merino sheep, making it the largest stud of merinos in the country.
White, Merinos, myths and Macarthurs, ANU (Pergamon) Press, Sydney, 1985, p.
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Bay opened the first phase of his Merinos Home Furnishings in May 2011.