Soviet Merino

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Soviet Merino


a breed of fine-wooled sheep developed from 1920 to 1952 in southern regions of the European USSR through the selection and culling of crossbreeds obtained by crossing Ma-zaev and New Caucasian merinos (improved by Rambouillet rams) and of crossbreeds obtained by the grading-up of local coarse-wooled ewes with Merino rams. Many flocks were later improved by crosses with sheep of the Askaniia, Caucasian, Stavropol’, Groznyi, and Altai breeds. The breed includes two types: one type raised for wool, and the other for wool and meat.

The fleece is closed—that is, it is a very dense fleece. The wool, which is mainly of 64th quality, is of uniform thickness, length (7.5–10 cm), and twist. A clipping yields 13–16 kg (sometimes as much as 24 kg) of wool from rams and 5–7 kg (sometimes as much as 12 kg) from ewes. The yield of scoured wool is 36–42 percent. Rams of the wool-meat type weigh 95–115 kg, and ewes 50–60 kg. Sheep of the wool type weigh 5–10 kg less than the other type. Fertility is 120 to 140 lambs per 100 ewes. The sheep are well adapted to winter pasturing.

The Soviet Merino breed is raised in Stavropol’ Krai, Rostov Oblast, Astrakhan Oblast, Western Siberia, the Kalmyk ASSR, and the Kazakh SSR.


Ovtsevodstvo, vol. 2. Edited by G. R. Litovchenko and P. A. Esaulov. Moscow, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(2016) reported the allele frequencies of 5' regulatory region of IGF1 gene as 0.87 (C) and 0.13 (T) in Russian Soviet Merino sheep breed.
This is the motherland of such finewool breeds as Stavropol Breed, Caucasian Breed, Soviet Merino, Manych Merino and semifine-wool Northern Caucasian meat-wool breed.
--Russian breeds: Stavropol Breed (ST) and Soviet Merino (SM);
The researchers studied the parameters of sperm production (Table 3) and the fertilizing capacity of the following breeds: Soviet Merino, Australian Merino and cross--1/2 Australian Meat Merino/Stavropol Merino.
The lambing results show that Soviet Merino rams had higher fertilizing capacity (86.3% against 82.3% of Australian Meat Merino and 84.7% of their crossbreeds with Soviet Merino).

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