One of the legendary pearls of Russia, the Romanov breed of sheep, is now close to extinction: in 2000 in the farms of the Yaroslavl region there were only slightly more than 5 thousand heads. For comparison, in the 50s of the XIX century, at the peak of popularity, there were 1.8 million heads.

Romanovskaya sheep breed: description, photos and reviews

History of the breed

The first mention of this breed appeared in 1802. It was excavated in peasant farms in the Yaroslavl Province (now the greater part has moved to the Yaroslavl Region). According to one of the versions, this happened as a result of the order of Peter I.

At his insistence, two sheep-dogs were sent from Silesia to Yaroslavl to train local people for sheep breeding, and about 1,000 animals were intended for breeding in private farms. Since the sheep of the Romanov breed were bred in five different patrimonies, one of which was in the modern city of Tutaev (the former Romanov, one of the cities of the Golden Ring of Russia), the name was given by the name of the settlement.

The Yaroslavl Society of Agriculture played a significant role in the distribution of the breed. In pre-revolutionary Russia it was one of the leading in the agrosphere. In the 1850-1860's. one and a half thousand heads were sent to the northern, central and steppe provinces of the country. Then the sheep began to be exported abroad. In 1851 Romanov's sheepskins were marked at the World Exhibition in London.

In the late XIX - early XX century in Russia, a crisis came, from which the sheep of the Romanov breed suffered significantly. Reproduction and systematic development of the species began only in 1924.

During the Soviet Union, Romanov's 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 XX century sheep was taken from Yaroslavl to Kirov, Kalinin, Vologda, Ivanovo, Sverdlovsk and Smolensk regions, as well as to the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories.

In the 90 years a huge number of animals went under the knife. Some enthusiasts create nurseries and farms, but in general this sector of animal husbandry in the Russian Federation is in decline.

Distribution abroad

Soon after the advent of the Romanov breed sheep was seen and imported to Germany, and then - to France. In 1980, 14 sheep and 4 sheep were imported into Canada by the government of that country, where they were quarantined for 5 years, tested and observed by Canadian specialists. After this inspection, several heads of this breed were brought to the United States.

In the period until 1985, the sheep were actively exported to many countries of Western Europe, in particular to France, Spain and Bulgaria. According to various sources by 1999, their number was 100 thousand heads.

Currently, the sheep breeding of Romanov breeds is carried out in many European countries: in Hungary, Germany, Poland, France - and also in the USA, etc. Two properties of these sheep have attracted special attention of scientists. This is a multiplicity: one sheep on average brings 2-3 lambs per lamb, can bring 3-4, and in exceptional and especially successful cases - up to 7 toddlers 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 polyester, multiply, ripen early and has high-quality meat and sheepskin. Thanks to a thick double sheepskin it tolerates cold. So it's not necessary to build a barn for animals with heating in a temperate climate.

This coarse-wool breed, which is divided into three types: coarse, strong and tender. The first type is hardy and strong animals, with dark and coarse sheepskin. The second characterizes the best coat, medium build. And the gentle type is prolific, but sheep having bad sheepskin and poor health.

Lambs are born black, but within a few months the hair is depigmented, and by 3-5 months they finally brighten, acquiring a gray color (the best is dark gray with a blue tint). The weight of the sheep of the Romanov breed varies between 70-75 kg for a male and 50-55 kg for a female.

Layer and breeding

Animals can come in hunting and successfully bear offspring regardless of the season. Also able to give birth twice a year, bringing two or three lambs at a time. The hunting period lasts from 60 hours to 5 days, during pregnancy - 145 days. They give birth quite easily. Heavy labor in these animals is rare.

The weight of lambs depends on how many of them were in the offspring. What is good about the sheep of the Romanov breed (the photo below shows the uterus and its 5 newborn calves from the larcen breed), so this is because they successfully interbreed with other species.

Survival of babies is high, animals very rarely refuse to give birth to newborns, trying to feed everyone they gave birth to. Already in 3.5-4 months the lamb becomes mature and ready to mate, however, 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 adult sheep's weight for successful bearing and lambing.

Romanovskaya sheep breed is quite high-yielding. With good nutrition during lactation, one animal gives up to 100-150 liters of milk, individual uteri - up to 250 liters.

Feeding and maintenance

The room for sheep should be spacious, well protected from cold, moisture, sunshine, have good ventilation. Absolutely unacceptable drafts and high humidity. You can build a room from any materials: brick, adobe, foam concrete - with 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 permanent life in stalls and need to walk). In addition to grass, animals can be given legumes and cereals (the ratio between them is 40:60), root crops, hay, straw.

Rye, corn, winter wheat, oats, perennial grasses can be used from cereals. From beans are good peas, alfalfa, sainfoin.

Root crops: beets, carrots, pumpkin - are a source of vitamins, but it is not recommended to give them to the sheep whole.

Perfectly suited hay of alfalfa, from grass grasses, sainfoin and clover. The rating of straw, the most useful to sheep, opens legumes (the best option). Next come spring straw, oatmeal, barley, millet. The share 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 number of sugars, proteins, fats and other useful components.

It is not necessary to think that animals will provide themselves with food, having taken a walk in the pasture on a pasture. In many regions, the grass does not contain all the nutrients that sheep of the Romanov breed need. The description of what happens due to a poor diet can be found in the list of symptoms of avitaminosis, bronchopneumonia, etc.

What you should not do

Let's note some important points:

  • sheep should be given table salt, about 10-15 grams for each;
  • vegetables, roots and fruits should be crushed;
  • it is not recommended to feed food grown on swamps, forest and flood meadows;
  • lambs do not need to give bread.

Diseases of sheep

Animals of this species are susceptible to various diseases. Viruses, bacteria, parasites affect sheep as well as other creatures. And subsequently arising diseases require attentive and professional attitude to themselves. In sheep there are:

  • Bronchopneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and bronchi, which proceeds very rapidly and sharply. The reason is poor conditions: too high humidity, unclean air, poor feeding, lack of walking.
  • Avitaminosis. There are different types, the reason for improper diet, acidic foods, lack of sunlight. It can also start if the process of assimilation of nutrients is disturbed in sheep (this happens with diseases of the digestive tract, liver, thyroid gland).
  • Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that is carried by rodents or other sick animals.
  • Smallpox. The most sensitive to it fine-fleece and sheep Romanov breed. Photos of sick animals show a rash, scabs, affected eyes and joints. Smallpox also infects humans, cows, goats, pigs and even birds, most often it happens in winter and spring.
  • Enterotoxemia is an infectious disease that occurs very rapidly and rapidly, and animals can die suddenly. It is caused by 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, often found in hoofed form. It starts with lameness, then erosions and cracks appear, then the sores appear, the process changes to tendons. In severe cases, purulent-necrotic decay of the skin can reach the larynx, trachea, esophagus, affect the lips and limbs.

Prevention of diseases

Diseases of sheep Romanov breed and domestic animals of other species occur most often due to improper conditions of detention and feeding. Therefore, one of the main elements of prevention will be full and proper nutrition.

It is necessary to provide a varied diet, including both forage and grain, and vegetables with fruits, to give enough sulfur and phosphorus. Consider differences in the needs of animals in different periods of their lives. The demands 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 requirements of the sheep in food.

Prevention also means compliance with veterinary requirements. It is necessary to provide clean litter and paddocks, frequent cleaning, well-designed feeders and drinking bowls, timely vaccination.

Owners opinions

The responses 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 problem of the breed.

There are others: selecting romanovskie sheep, they breed them, annually receiving a considerable profit from the sale of meat and by-products. This category of people speaks of the fertility of the queens, the rapid weight gain of young sheep and good milk productivity.

Foreign manufacturers are in full delight with the breed. After all, with proper care, animals give healthy, fast-growing offspring, tasty meat and good wool.

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