Meat, wool and milk productivity of sheep takes the leading place when choosing the breed of these animals. Most of the farmers breed sheep solely for the purpose of obtaining meat and wool. The best breed in this regard is the Caucasian one. Caucasian sheep were bred in the territory of the former Soviet Union in the Stavropol Territory on the basis of a breeding plant. Approximate years of the creation of the breed in 1924-1936, work on the breed was entrusted to local zootechnicians and breeders Ya. V. Sladkevich and K. D. Filiansky.
The new breeding breed was bred using reproductive crosses of American sheep Rambulje with Ascanian fine-fleeced breed. After receiving qualitative offspring from the first crossing, the sheep were crossed again, this time with the sheep of the Merchant of Merchant of the New Caucasus. Newborn lambs were selected and continued the experiment on crossing, this time inside the new breed, in order to consolidate the manifested distinctive qualities.
The following special properties are characteristic of the breed:
– high rates of meat and wool output;
– the correct physique;
– The constitution of the trunk is strong;
– the size of the sheep’s body is average;
– fleece strong, dense, closed;
– The neck is thick, collected in several folds;
– coat color – gray, sometimes brown. The coat covers almost the entire sheep, its length depends on the sex of the animal – the rams – at least 8 centimeters, the queens – 7 centimeters.
The Caucasian breed of sheep is inferior in weight to many others, but the quality of meat and the cutting of wool more than pay for the cost of buying and growing individuals. The adult female reaches a weight of 60 kilograms, the sheep weighs slightly more than 100 kilograms with a good fattening, with the possible production of wool in the amount of 5 to 9 kilograms, whereas from one female it is possible to cut the wool no more than 3 kilograms. The yield of wool reaches 50%.
This breed is extremely prolific, in particularly successful years, farmers managed to get up to 160% of the yield of young animals, with a normal yield exceeding 140%. Nursing mothers give from 100 kilograms of milk, the lactation period lasts from 60 to 77 days. The fat content of milk is high enough, in some cases it reaches 8%.
The pedigree properties of sheep are almost entirely transferred to the offspring, newborn lambs, when crossing with other breeds, have the advantageous qualities peculiar to the Caucasian breed, due to what this breed is used for significant improvement of other breeds.
Negative qualities of the breed include rare wool and insufficient hair covering in the abdomen and head. Such shortcomings are manifested exclusively in farms where sheep do not have enough space for free-range walking and the production of pasture. The lack of vitamins and supplements also adversely affects the quantity and quality of the wool, it becomes rare, grows insufficient for this breed.
Recently, Caucasian sheep have started to breed not only in Russia, but also abroad, since the breed is extremely unpretentious to the conditions of detention, and is quite capable of being without water for some time, besides, the sheep cross well and give healthy offspring. Caucasian sheep feel great in large herds, the uterus treats lambs pretty well, cases of leaving their offspring, refusing to give milk and feeding, are practically excluded. Sheep have a calm and flexible nature, they are easy to take care of, signs of aggression are not observed even from the side of rams.
In Russia, the breed became widespread in the North Caucasus, the Middle Volga region, the Urals, Siberia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
Caucasian breed of sheep