Characteristics of the breed Merino
Merino is a representative of sheep, which allows the farmer to get expensive fluff and wool. Such a sphere of human activity as sheep breeding is expanding every day, so the presence of such a breed is a prerequisite for the farmer. Consider what Merino sheep is, what makes this breed unique, how to breed and keep it in the household.
Description of the breed Merino
Features of Origin
In fact, Merino is a breed that was bred in Spain in the Middle Ages, which is why it has a Spanish name. Such an animal was considered a fine-fleece representative, since, considering the characteristics of the wool, it can be noted that it is a soft and thin fiber. If we compare these animals with other representatives of sheep of meat breeds, then they give a lot of wool. But if we take other representatives of the variety under consideration, the weight of the resulting wool can be commensurate with the meat indicator.
Variety Merino was obtained for the first time in Spain in the distant XIII century. To obtain a good breed, North African and Middle Eastern sheep were crossed. Until the XVII century, the inhabitants of Spain were considered real monopolists in this area, but already in the XVIII century all exports were banned, and the death penalty was imposed for the implementation of actions. Only after the defeat in the war in the XVIII century did it manage to take out several samples in other countries.
Already in new territories, representatives of sheep were used for breeding in pure form or were considered as animals that can be crossed with another species to obtain a new representative of this category. Naturally, by crossing similar sheep with others, it was possible to obtain productive animals. Today, representatives of the variety are very common: they can be found on all continents of the globe.
Such an animal as Merino is valuable among other representatives of the sheep due to the unique wool, which is a high-quality and delicate product. If we compare human hair with the hair of this animal, the second will be several times thinner, but also several times stronger. Due to this, the variety belongs to fine-fleece.
A similar breed of sheep has the thinnest and most valuable coat at the withers. Here it is quite warm, tender, soft and has a special snow-white appearance. If we look at how much such raw materials are valued and who has the most valuable wool, then the Australian and New Zealand Merinos are on this list. In this case, the characteristic of the wool cover of a Merino sheep will be as follows:
- You can feel a special warmth;
- soft and pleasant to the touch;
- excellent hygroscopic indicators.
Despite the fact that the Merino wool coat is valued for quality, one should not forget that from such an animal you can get 4-5 times more finished fabric than from any animal of any other meat breed. Moreover, all clothing made from such raw materials will never smell like human sweat.
The features of the Merino breed include:
- unpretentiousness of Merino's in leaving, undemanding to a diet;
- quite easy adaptability to various climatic conditions and temperature conditions;
- high fertility rates, which cannot be said of other breeds;
- excellent heat transfer between the body and the environment.
Merinos are sheep that make it possible today to get a fleece of good quality with excellent hygroscopicity. At the same time, Merino sheep have such a dense and dense cover of the rune that it is difficult to see even the muzzle behind it.
Most common types
There are a decent number of varieties of the breed described. The variety of representatives of the Merino breeds is actually quite large, but only those that are most often found and, accordingly, are bred at home, can be distinguished among them. These types include the following:
- Soviet Merino;
- Jalgin Merino;
And this is not the whole list.
Soviet-style merino was bred on the territory of the former USSR to acquire wool, and then meat. Nowadays, it is most often possible to meet these animals in Siberia, the Stavropol Territory and Dagestan. Due to the detailed and high-quality work of breeders who worked hard for fame, it was possible to get a fairly improved breed with excellent indicators of both wool and meat. At the same time, lambs weigh about 50 kg, and adult sheep Merino - about 110 kg.
Despite the fact that Merino are considered fine-fleeced animals, in one year about 15-20 kg of wool can be sheared from one ram, and about 7-8 kg from a sheep. At the same time, this species enjoys special value because about 120 cubs per approximately 100 adult Merinos. If we consider the Altai representatives, this variety took about 20 years of fruitful work by breeders. They are good primarily because they have a fairly strong body constitution.
Fertility is also at a high level, as a hundred adults can give birth to 150-170 lambs.
Now, a similar variety is found not only in the territory of Altai, but also in Bashkortostan and the Chelyabinsk region.
One of the latest breeders' accomplishments is a ram known as Merino of the Djalga species. If we consider a similar animal and its detailed description, it is worth paying attention to the fact that, in comparison with other breeds, it has almost identical indicators of meat and wool productivity.
Also, do not forget the Spanish Merinos, as they are also in great demand among current farmers.
Looking at the numerous photos of the Merinos, we can confidently say that this is an amazing variety of lambs. But everyone who at least once held in their hands merino wool items can say with confidence that they are good not only because they are soft and comfortable, but also with the ability to serve a person for a huge number of years.