Romanov sheep

The Romanov sheep

The origin and formation of the breed

 Romanov sheep originated in Russia during the 18th century. It is named after the small town of Romanov, located in the Valley of the river Volga.Bearing in mind the increasing interest of the current ("old"), and we hope and future (for now just interested) the "new" breeders of romanov sheep, we intend this article to list the most important features of the exterior, reproductive and productive traits, as well as the characteristics of adaptability and resistance to disease of romanov sheep.

In this way the breeders will be closely familiar with this sheep, especially those who do not have personal experiances, and so they will be able to compare their results with other breeders, primarily with those from its original breeding areas - Russia, northeast of Moscow. Russian scientists have no common opinion about the origin of the breed. Each claim that was formed by crossing the Rams imported from Sicily 1720. year, or from the Netherlands, 1754.year with the sheep of local breeds. Others feel that is created from a selection of mainly English sheep and Nordic sheep without any substantial proportion of the blood of foreign breeds. Genetic analyses indicate great genetic similarity romanov sheep with Mouflon (wild sheep).

There are indications that they are Finnish and romanov sheep of similar origin, partially comfirmed by genetic analysis. Under the name specified in the literaure are mentioned for the first time in 1802. of the year. Romanov sheep belongs to a group of sheep production of combined properties and is one of the most prolific breeds in the world. The most common is in Russia, but they are also breeding in Europe, South America (Cuba, Venezuela), then in Israel, Algeria and Egypt, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. In spite of its values, the number of roanov sheep in Russia has significantly been reduced from 859,000 in 1960.year to 456,500 in 1985.year. According to data from the croatian center of cattle - raising in 2007.year recorded a total of 2,253 romanov sheep, of witch imports 1,562 sheep, 648 ewes and 43 af rams.

Physical components

there are two types of romanov sheeps: there are black (who is better known and more distributed) and a white type. In this article wi will describe in more detail the black type with a note that the production charasteristics of the above mentioned types are quite similar but have different exterior color , especially the head, abdomen and legs. White type is white in color.:head, ears, legs, bella and all the fleece. In addition, the  fleece of a white type has better wool becouse there are no black fibers.

rams have a longer and narrower neck covered with black hair (it looks like a mane). The body of romanov sheep is developed medium, firm, with rounded ribs and harmoniously built. The back is medium long, straight, covered with short hair. The legs are high, solid and covered with black hair as well as belly. The tail is pointed short.

The average weight of lambs , four months old, is 19,2 kilos, and ewes that are eight, ten and twelve months old are 28,8 kilos, 33,3 kilos and 36,1 kilos. The average weight of adolt sheeps is between 50 and 55 kilos, and weight of adult rams is from 80 to 100 kilos. There is an opinion among local people that the romanov sheep is more timidly than other breeds.

Reproductive characteristics of romanov sheep

Romanov sheep is early mature becouse it can stay pregnant when it is between 6 and 7 months old. In 6.8 % of lambsfor the first estrus occurs with 4 to 5 months period of life,18.2% in age of 5 to 6 months, and 36.4% at the age of 6 to 7 months. In all herds romanov sheep in Hungary first estrous in young female lambs occurs in the age of 130 days, and in France between 12 and 16 weeks, although at that age the ovaries are not fully physically developed. However, a young female lambs and ewes do not admit at first estrus because of that at that moment they didn`t physically alert, or rather the lack of physical development.

Well-nourished female lambs with 6 to 8 months is achieved by the body weight of 35 to 40 kilos, but it is normally leaving them to be one year old. And male lambs  grow fast sexually and ripens are normally developed and established in sperm agility lambs already between the ages of 3 and 5.5 months. Testicular growth is a positive correlation with the general physical development. In most European and North American herds of romanov sheeps is mentioned for the first time the lamb with the twelve months. Romanov sheep for the first time permitted  at the age of 12 months, the average lamb 2.12 lambs birth masses of 2.3 kilos.

Important feature of this sheep is a long season of sexual activity that in Russia lasts from august to march, and in France from september to february. In the area of the ural mountains (in colder areas) sheeps are sexually active through all year, 46% of them in heat at the end of summer, 28% during the fall, 16% in the spring and 10% in winter . Estrous on average takes about 40 hours. Average duration of pregnancy is between 144 and 146 days. It depends on the number of fetuses (one fetus worn 147 days, but with four fetuses it lasts for 143 days).

High fertility, the most important quality of this breed takes on 100 sheep approximately from 184 to 320 lambs, depending on flock, especially about the condition of the sheep. According to the original Russian data , only 17% sheep has one lamb, 51% has two, and 32% more than two lambs. Record production was established in Russia; one sheep in 12 lambing delivered 64 lambs. The average fertility of romanov sheep amounted to 2.87 lambs. There is interdependence between the body mass of the sheep and the size of the litter so the harder sheep give more lambs than lighter one (sheep 56 kilos give 3.2 lambs, sheep 49 kilos give 2.4 lambs).

The production features of the romanov sheep

Indicators of production of meat and meat offal.

The quantity is quite variable and mainly depends on the age of lambs and sheep at sloughter and animal nutrition. The amount of the male lambs sloughtered at the age of six months and in the body mass of 30 kilos is 46,6% and in the female lambs sloughtered with the 28 kilos the quantity is 46,1% however the quantity of adult sheep average body  weght 57 kilos is significantly higher (53,7%). Romanov sheep are generally good mothers and 90% of them immediately after lambing (up to five minutes after partusa) approaches the lambs and licks them .Some are sheep after lambing (19%) more aggressively in order to protect the offspring, which is most often recognised by hitting the front legs to the floor, but in 60% of them does not cause any changes in your behavior.

Production and chemical composition of milk

Most milk products romanov sheep 6 - 7 years old between the 15th and 20th days of lactation. In the first twenty days average daily than they produce sheep 2,3 to 2,58kilos milk, respectively , in the first 100 days of lactation between 1,11 and 1,57 kilos of milk. From the above data, it can be concluded that the milking the sheep romanov be able to milk more than one raise of the lamb.

Production and quality of wool

After shearing lambs for the first time with a 7-9 months, you get a 1,1 kilos of raw wool,of those shearing with ten to twelve months 1,9 kilos , and those shearing with 13 to 15 months you get 2,2 kilos dirty wool. Adults, once a year the shearing sheep give from 2,2 to 2,5 raw wool. Dressing percentage of wool is between 60 and 70%. The fleece of the sheep romanov consists of white and black are tougher even finer fiber, and on one mm2 skin growing around 30 fiber. The combination of the two above types of fibre fleece is a seemingly gray.

Adaptability and health

Romanov sheep, just like any other breed, most loving envionment similar to that in whitch it was created. However, romanov sheep, according to certain studies, more resistant to parasite fasciola hepatica.



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