The Alpines Steinschaf sheep is a multi-purpose breed of domestic sheep which is raised for many different purposes. It is indigenous to the Eastern Alps of Austria and southern Germany.
Exact origins and meaning of the word ‘Steinschaf‘ is unknown. But various theories have been advanced and it is one of the four breeds in the Steinschaf group (others being the Tiroler Steinschaf, the Krainer Steinschaf and the Montafoner Steinschaf.
The Alpines Steinschaf sheep are variously thought to have derived from the Mediaeval Zaupelschaf type, or from the older Torfshaf. And they are believed to be the oldest sheep breeds of the eastern Alps.
These animals were widely distributed in the eastern Alps at the start of the 20th century.
The Alpines Steinschaf sheep breed was found mainly in Salzburg in Austria, but also in Carinthia, Vorarlberg, Salzburg and East and North Tirol.
And it was common in Germany in the Bavarian districts of Berchtesgaden and Traunstein and in the south-east part of Rosenheim. And was present in Italy in the Eisacktal, the Passeiertal, the upper Pustertal and in the upper Vinschgau, in the autonomous province of Bolzano.
The Alpines Steinschaf sheep was named ‘endangered livestock breed of the year‘ in 2009 by the German Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen, a national association for the conservation of historic and endangered breeds of domestic animals.
Total population of these animals were reported as 791 head in 2013 in Germany, and around 491-650 in Austria. Read some more information about this sheep breed below.
Alpines Steinschaf Sheep Characteristics
The Alpines Steinschaf sheep are medium to large sized animals with beautiful appearance. They are fine-boned mountain sheep breed with coat colors found.
Their lower legs and face are generally free of wool. Their legs are relatively thin but strong, and the hooves are hard. They can be either horned or polled.
The rams are often horned, but the ewes are generally polled (although they can have horns). They have slightly dropping ears which are carried horizontally. Their face and ears may be marked with black.
Average live body weight of the mature Alpines Steinschaf rams is between 55 and 80 kg. And mature live body weight of the mature ewes is around 40 to 60 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Alpines Steinschaf sheep are very hardy and strong animals. They are well adapted to their native environments, and generally do very well there.
They are multi-purpose animals and raised for many different purposes. They are generally good for meat and wool production, and also used for vegetation management purpose.
However, review full breed profile of the Alpines Steinschaf sheep in the following chart.
|Meat, wool and vegetation management
|Strong animals, well adapted and do well in their native climate, multi-purpose animals, good for meat and wool production, good for vegetation management purpose
|Medium to large
|Mature ram’s average live body weight is between 55 and 80 kg, and the mature ewe’s average live body weight vary from 40 to 60 kg.
|Either horned or polled
|Country/Place of Origin