Despite the fact that sheep are animals that are popular among farmers, it is necessary to choose its breed for specific purposes. Not all types are suitable for large milk or meat yields. Merino - a breed of sheep with which you can get the maximum amount of wool.
Merino breed - description
Merino lambs look smaller in appearance than her meat-breeding sisters. Sheep wool is distinguished by its quality, durability and at the same time thin fibers.
Good to know! One sheep can be sheared as much as removed from its three competitors, intended for growing meat.
The origin of the sheep
External differences of merino from other species
The muzzle is elongated, with branched horns on the head. The legs are well developed, which allows you to travel long distances in search of food. To distinguish merino from another breed, you should pay attention to the skin. Sheep of this breed have excellent hair. The coat is thin and pleasant to the touch.
Merino sheep wool, its properties
Animals are specially raised for wool. The fibers are soft, clean. They absorb moisture and do not trap odors in themselves. Items made from merino wool are popular and considered very practical.
The weak point of the merino is the hooves. If you do not cut them in time, the ground, grass residues or other food will begin to clog under the nails. The nail wraps and grows into the skin, which brings pain and discomfort. It is necessary to cut with pruning shears. To do this, the animal is laid on its side, the leg is fixed and the nail is cut. It is advisable to carry out the procedure together, starting from the month of age of the individual.
The diet should include:
- fresh grass or hay;
- cereals (oats, barley, bran);
- salt and vitamins.
To get the meat of animals, it is best to keep in a well-equipped corral and not to display in the field. A food search does not produce the desired results, and individuals do not gain weight.
A sheep becomes ready for mating at the age of one. It is desirable that the offspring appeared in the spring. The gestation period is about five months.
The young offspring must be fed mother’s milk for at least a month. After two weeks, babies need to be accustomed to additional food. This should be done gradually so that the stomach gets used to new products. For the first feeding, young grass, compound feeds and cereals (barley or oats) are suitable.
An adult is a large ram with a thick curly coat and brown color. Obtained by crossing ramboules (a breed of sheep native to France) and sheep of the Caucasus. They have obvious differences:
- bent to the side of the horn and sharp at the end;
- crease on the neck;
- the weight of males is about 100 kg;
- high fecundity;
- about 15 kg of sheep wool is sheared per year, less than 2 times less from females;
- strong legs covered with wool.
The breed is appreciated for its unpretentiousness. They get good profit from animals, investments in business quickly pay off. At the moment - this is the most popular breed of merino. It received the greatest distribution in the Caucasus, Altai and Stavropol Territory.
Another name for merino is ramboule. Sheep ancestors come from England and Spain. Like the Soviet representatives, French lambs and sheep have high rates in wool and meat, but are slightly inferior to them. The main characteristics of the breed:
- the weight is slightly less than that of Soviet merinos (90 kg are males, about 60 are females);
- 10 kg of wool per year is obtained from sheep, half as much from sheep.
Ramboulier is often used to breed new breeds. Long and thick coat, adaptability to external factors and high productivity are appreciated by breeders and breeders.
The breed was bred after crossing American and French sheep. There are three subspecies of these animals, which differ from each other in the number of hair sheared per year and size.
- Fine has the lowest rates (not more than 70 kg of meat and 5 kg of beige wool).
- Medium has a white shade of wool. Get about 40 to 80 kg of meat and 8 kg of wool.
- Strong is the largest subspecies. Weight reaches 90 kg, the weight of sheared wool is 10 kg.
Animals come from Ukraine. Combine high meat and wool performance. Not inferior in weight and wool to the Soviet representatives of merino.
It is distinguished by fine coat and whimsicality. It does not tolerate temperature extremes, as well as heat.
Shearing process. What is needed for work, how to handle an animal
Before the procedure, the animal can not be fed for 24 hours. Haircut must be carried out from a year of age in the spring. Winter offspring are sheared at the end of summer.
For a haircut, you should choose a dry place, the hair should also not be wet or damp to the touch. Usually sheared with two or three. One person holds the animal, and the other carefully cuts the fleece. The procedure is carried out immediately, without delaying the haircut of other areas for an indefinite period.
Three weeks later, the animal must be redeemed. This can be done in the pond or in the area using a hose. The pressure of the water should not harm the animal.