a coarse-wooled breed of sheep raised for its pelt. It was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries by peasants in the areas along the Volga in Yaroslavl Province by selecting and mating the local northern short-tailed sheep with the best quality pelts. The breed acquired its name from the place of its original breeding—the Romanovo-Borisoglebsk District (now Tutaev Raion, Yaroslavl Oblast).
The Romanovo breed yields the best sheepskin for coats in the world; the most valuable skins are obtained from lambs six to eight months old. The wool contains much down, which is longer than the guard hairs and forms locks with beautiful ring-shaped curls. The coat of newborn lambs is black; by five months of age the down fibers lose their pigment. The coat of adult sheep is gray with a bluish cast; the guard hairs are black, and the down, white. The wool will not shed when the skin is made into a coat; the flesh side is thin.
Romanovo sheep are shorn three times a year. The wool clip from rams is 2.5–3.5 kg, and from ewes 1.4–1.7 kg. Rams weigh 65–75 kg, and ewes 48–55 kg. The breed is noted for high fertility: 230–250 lambs are born per 100 ewes, and some ewes give birth to as many as eight lambs in one lambing. The breed is common in the northern and northeastern regions of the RSFSR and in the Byelorussian SSR. It is used to improve coarse-wooled breeds.