Askaniia Breed of Sheep

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Askaniia Breed of Sheep


a fine-fleeced breed developed in the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute for Animal Breeding (Askaniia-Nova) by Academician M. F. Ivanov (member, V. I. Lenin Ail-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences) in the period from 1925 to 1934 by systematic selective breeding of local merino sheep, chosen for their wool yield and liveweight, which were crossed with rams of the American Rambouillet. Great attention was paid to the care and feeding of the animals. The sheep had a strong constitution and good body formation.

The Askaniia breed of sheep is outstanding for both wool and meat productivity. The liveweight of the rams is between 110 and 140 kg, reaching a maximum of 180 kg; the liveweight of the ewes in the best flocks is 60–70 kg. The average wool yield of the rams is 10–12 kg; that of the ewes, 5.5–6.0 kg. The Askaniia breed holds the world record for wool yield—30.6 kg. Most of the wool is rated 64 and is 7–8 cm long. The yield of pure wool is 40–55 percent.

The sheep are well adapted to a dry climate. The breed is widely used for improved fleece qualities. It is raised in the southern Ukraine and in the RSFSR. The best herds are on the Askaniia-Nova pedigree stock breeding farm and on the Krasnyi chaban (Kherson Oblast), “Kommunist” (Zaporozh’e Oblast), and Shmidt (Nikolaevsk Oblast) pedigree stock sovkhozes.


Ivanov, M. F. Ovtsevodstvo, 4th ed. Moscow, 1940.
Greben’, L. K., K. L. Bozrikov, and K. P. Letuchev. Plemennaia rabota s tonkorunnymi ovtsami askaniiskoi porody. Moscow, 1951.
Nikolaev, A. I. Ovtsevodstvo, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.