Précoce(redirected from Precoce)
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a breed of fine-wooled sheep raised for meat and wool. It was developed in France in the late 19th century by crossbreeding Rambouillet ewes with Leicester rams and in Germany by crossbreeding German Merino ewes with English longwooled rams. The sheep are large and as a rule have no folds of skin on the neck and body. The rams weigh 100–110 kg, with some reaching 115 kg and more. A clipping from rams yields 8–10 kg (up to 14 kg), and from ewes 3.8–4.2 kg (up to 10 kg). The fleece is of 58–60 quality and is 7–10 cm long. The yield of pure wool is 45–50 percent. Fertility is up to 150 lambs per 100 ewes.
Précoce sheep are early maturing and require special feeding and maintenance; they are not suitable for raising in dry regions. The breed is raised in France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Poland, Italy, and the countries of North Africa. It was brought to the USSR from Germany between 1926 and 1931 and is raised in the central regions of the RSFSR, in the Bashkir ASSR, in the Tatar ASSR, and in the forest-steppe zones and poles’e (wooded sandy lowland) regions of the Ukrainian and Byelorussian SSR’s.