One of the legendary pearls of Russia, the Romanov breed of sheep, is now close to extinction: in 2000 there were only a little more than 5 thousand heads in the farms of the Yaroslavl region. For comparison, in the 50s of the XIX century, at the peak of popularity, there were 1.8 million heads.
The first mention of this breed appeared in 1802. It was bred in peasant farms of the Yaroslavl province (now most of it went to the Yaroslavl region). According to one version, this happened as a result of the order of Peter I.
At his insistence, two sheep dogs were discharged from Silesia and delivered to Yaroslavl to train local people in sheep breeding, and about 1,000 animals were intended for breeding in private farms. Since breeding sheep of the Romanov breed became in five different patrimonies, one of which was located in the modern city of Tutaev (formerly Romanov, one of the cities of the Golden Ring of Russia), it received the name by the name of the settlement.
A significant role in the spread of the breed was played by the Yaroslavl Society of Agriculture. In pre-revolutionary Russia, it was one of the leaders in the agrosphere. In the years 1850-1860 one and a half thousand heads were sent to the northern, central and steppe provinces of the country. At the same time, the sheep began to be exported abroad. In 1851, the Romanov sheepskins were noted at the World Exhibition in London.
At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, a crisis broke out in Russia, from which Romanov sheep suffered a great deal. Reproduction and systematic development of the species began only in 1924.
At the time of the Soviet Union, Romanov sheep were bred mainly in the northern and north-eastern regions of the European part of the RSFSR and the BSSR. In the middle of the 20th century, sheep were brought from Yaroslavl to Kirov, Kalinin, Vologda, Ivanovo, Sverdlovsk and Smolensk regions, as well as to Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai.
In the 90 years a huge number of animals went under the knife. Some enthusiasts create nurseries and farms, but in general, this branch of animal husbandry in the Russian Federation is in decline.
Soon after the appearance of the Romanov breed of sheep was spotted and imported to Germany, and then to France. In 1980, 14 sheep and 4 sheep were imported into Canada by the government of this country, where they were quarantined for 5 years, tested and monitored by Canadian experts. After such a check, several goals of this breed were imported to the USA.
In the period up to 1985, sheep were actively exported to many countries in Western Europe, in particular to France, Spain and Bulgaria. According to various sources, by 1999 their number was 100 thousand heads.
Currently, the breeding of Romanov sheep is carried out in many European countries: in Hungary, Germany, Poland, France - as well as in the United States and others. Two properties of these sheep have attracted particular attention of scientists. This is a multiplicity: one sheep brings on average 2-3 lambs per lamb, it can bring 3-4, and in exceptional and particularly successful cases - up to 7 babies per pregnancy. And also the fact that animals enter the hunt regardless of the season.
Appearance and characteristics
According to him, the Romanov breed of sheep is distinguished by polyherity, multiple birth, it ripens early and has high-quality meat and sheepskin. Thanks to the thick double sheepskin calmly tolerates cold. So building a heated shed for animals in temperate climates is not necessary.
This is a coarse-haired breed, which is divided into three types: coarse, strong and gentle. The first type is hardy and sturdy animals, with a dark and rough sheepskin. The second characterizes the best wool, medium build. And the gentle type is prolific, but having poor sheepskin and poor sheep health.
Lambs are born black, but within a few months the hairline is depigmented, and by 3-5 months they finally brighten, acquiring a gray color (dark gray with a blue tint is considered optimal). The weight of a Romanov sheep ranges between 70-75 kg for the male and 50-55 kg for the female.
Case and breeding
Animals can come into the hunt and successfully bear their offspring regardless of the season. Also able to give birth twice a year, bringing two or three lamb at a time. The hunting period lasts from 60 hours to 5 days, the gestation time is 145 days. Give birth quite easily. Severe labor in these animals are rare.
The weight of the lambs depends on how many were in the offspring. What else the Romanov breed sheep are good at (the photo below demonstrates the uterus and its 5 newborn babies from the lakoun sheep) is because they successfully interbreed with other species.
The survival rate of babies is high, animals very rarely abandon newborns, trying to feed them to all those who were born. Already in 3.5-4 months the lamb becomes sexually mature and ready to mate, but mating at such a young age is not recommended. Here you can focus on the weight of the animal - at least 70-80% of the mass of an adult sheep for a successful breeding and lambing.
Romanov breed of sheep is quite highly productive. With good nutrition during lactation, one animal gives up to 100-150 liters of milk, separate uterus - up to 250 liters.
Feeding and maintenance
The room for the sheep should be spacious, well protected from cold, moisture, sun, have good ventilation. Absolutely unacceptable drafts and high humidity. It is possible to build a room from any materials: brick, adobe, foam concrete - with the division of the territory into queen cells and for ordinary sheep.
In the summer, animals provide themselves well, feeding on pastures (Romanov's sheep are not adapted to constant life in stalls and need walking). In addition to grass, animals can be given legumes and cereals (the ratio between them is 40:60), roots, hay, and straw.
From cereals, you can use rye, corn, winter wheat, oats, perennial grasses. From legumes are good peas, alfalfa, espartit.
Root crops: beets, carrots, pumpkin - serve as a source of vitamins, but it is not recommended to give them to the sheep whole.
Perfectly alfalfa hay, from cereal grasses, sainfoin and clover. Rating straw, the most useful sheep, open legumes (the best option). Next come the spring straw, oatmeal, barley, millet. The proportion of straw in the diet of sheep should not exceed 60%.
A very good option - concentrated feed. With a small volume, they contain a large amount of sugars, proteins, fats and other useful components.
No need to think that animals will provide themselves with food by walking in the pasture in the afternoon. In many regions, the grass does not contain all the nutrients that Romanov sheep need. A description of what happens because of a poor diet can be found in the list of symptoms of beriberi, bronchopneumonia, etc.
What not to do
We note several important points:
- sheep should be given salt, about 10-15 grams each;
- vegetables, roots and fruits should be chopped;
- it is not recommended to feed with food grown in marshes, forest and flood meadows;
- lambs do not need to give bread.
Animals of this species are subject to various diseases. Viruses, bacteria, parasites infect sheep just like other creatures. And the resulting diseases require an attentive and professional attitude. In sheep, there are:
- Bronchopneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and bronchi, which is very acute and fast. The reason - poor conditions: too high humidity, unclean air, poor feeding, no walking.
- Avitaminosis. It happens different types, the reason for the wrong diet, sour feed, lack of sunlight. It can also begin if sheep have a disturbed process of assimilation of nutrients (this happens in case of diseases of the digestive tract, liver, thyroid gland).
- Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that rodents or other sick animals suffer.
- Smallpox. The most sensitive to her are fine-fleeced and sheep of the Romanov breed. Photos of sick animals show rashes, scabs, affected eyes and joints. Smallpox also affects humans, cows, goats, pigs and even birds, most often it happens in winter and spring.
- Enterotoxemia - an infectious disease that occurs very quickly and rapidly, animals can die suddenly. It is called toxins of spore-forming microbes.
- Mastitis. Not only lactating sheep, but also goats or lambs can get sick. Also caused by bacteria.
- Necrobacteriosis A very unpleasant and dangerous disease, most often found in hoofed form. It starts with lameness, then erosion and cracks appear, then sores, the process moves to the tendons. In severe cases, purulent-necrotic disintegration of the skin can reach the larynx, trachea, esophagus, affect the lips and limbs.
Diseases of sheep of the Romanov breed and domestic animals of other species occur most often due to inadequate housing and feeding conditions. Therefore, one of the main elements of prevention will be full and proper nutrition.
It is necessary to provide a varied diet, including pasture, and grain, and vegetables with fruits, to give enough sulfur and phosphorus. Take into account the differences in the needs of animals in different periods of their lives. Requests of the uterus are much higher than the young sheep, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy, and at the same time differ from the needs of the sheep for food.
Prevention also means compliance with veterinary requirements. It is necessary to provide clean bedding and pens, frequent cleaning, well-designed feeders and drinkers, timely vaccination.
Views of the owners
The reviews of the owners of these sheep vary from admiring to diametrically opposed. There are people who bought animals, worked with them, and sold them. They talk about weak lambs, diseases and problems of the breed.
There are others: having chosen Romanov sheep, they breed them, annually receiving considerable profit from the sale of meat and by-products. This category of people speaks about the fecundity of females, the rapid weight gain of young sheep and good milk production.
Foreign manufacturers are delighted with the breed. After all, with proper care, animals give healthy, fast-growing offspring, tasty meat and good wool.