The Chios sheep is a breed of domestic sheep, and it’s exact origins are unknown. But it is thought to have originated on the Greek island of Chios, and is classified as a semi-fat tailed breed. Some sources suggest that ‘the Chios sheep is the result of crossbreeding between local sheep of the island of Chios and other sheep breeds from Anatolia (possibly the Kivircik and Daglic breeds).
Today the breed is raised mainly for milk production. From 1983 to 2007, the world population of the Chios has increased from 16,000 to 51,860. Read some more information about this sheep breed below.
Chios Sheep Characteristics
The Chios sheep are medium to large sized animals. They are generally colored white with black, occasionally brown. They usually have black spots on the ears, belly, legs, nose and around the eyes. Generally both rams and ewes usually have horns. The rams have large spiral horns, but the ewes have smaller sized and knob like horns. Sometimes some ewes can also be polled.
As a medium to large sized animal, average live body weight of the mature Chios rams is between 66 and 91 kg. And average live body weight of the mature rams vary from 48 to 70 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Chios sheep is a milk sheep breed. It is raised mainly for milk production.
The Chios sheep are pretty strong animals, and they are especially well suited to their local environments. The ewes are excellent mothers and they can have two crops of lambs per year with an average of 1.5 to 2.3 lambs per litter. Average weight of the lambs at birth is 3.6 to 3.9 kg. The lambs grow relatively faster and they reach 14.7 to 15.9 kg live body weight within their 45 days of age.
The ewes are excellent milk producers and they can produce 120 to 272 kg of milk per lactation. And their average lactation period is 210 days. Their milk is of pretty good quality and used to produce many types of cheeses such as Batzos, Feta, Manouri and many others. However, review full breed profile of the Chios sheep in the following chart.
Chios Sheep | Breed Profile
|Breed Purpose||Mainly milk|
|Special Notes||Strong animals, especially well adapted to the local environments, the ewes are excellent mothers, they can have 2 crops of lambs per year with an average of 1.5 to 2.3 lambs per litter, lambs grow relatively faster, ewes are excellent milk producers and can produce 120 to 272 kg of milk per lactation|
|Breed Size||Medium to large|
|Weight||Mature ram’s live body weight is between 66 and 91 kg, and the mature ewe’s average live body weight vary from 48 to 70 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climate|
|Color||Generally white with black and occasionally brown|
|Country/Place of Origin||Greek|