a breed of semifine-fleece sheep raised for wool and meat. In appearance and wool quality, the Tsigai sheep resembles the Merino. The breed was developed in antiquity, but its exact origin has not been determined. It was brought to Europe from Asia Minor; it was brought to Russia in the early 19th century.
Rams raised primarily for wool and secondarily for meat weigh 85–95 kg, and ewes, 45–50 kg. The wool, of 48–56 quality, is 8–10 cm long. The wool clip is 6.5–7.5 kg for rams and 3.5–4.5 kg for ewes. The yield of washed wool is 56–58 percent. Tsigai sheep raised primarily for meat are somewhat larger. The wool, of 46–56 quality, is 10–12 cm long. The wool clip is 7.5–8.5 kg for rams and 4–4.5 kg for ewes. The wool is elastic, strong, and with low feltability. It is suitable for the manufacture of commercialgrade cloth and knitted goods. The pelts are used for the manufacture of fur articles. The Tsigai sheep matures early and gains weight and fattens rapidly. Ewes are characterized by a high degree of fertility and a large milk yield.
The Tsigai sheep are very adaptable. They are raised in Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Rumania. In the USSR they are raised in the southern Ukraine, in Moldavia, and in Rostov, Saratov, Orenburg, Kuibyshev, and Aktiubinsk oblasts.
REFERENCESIvanov, M. F. Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 4. Moscow, 1964.
Ovtsevodstvo, vol. 2. Edited by G. R. Litovchenko and P. A. Esaulov. Moscow, 1972.
M. IA. KOGAN-BERMAN