The Gute sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Sweden. It is also known as Gutefår and it is a landrace-based breed.
It is native to the Swedish island of Gotland, and it is the most primitive breed of sheep native to Sweden.
The breed is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep group, and is related to the breeds such as the Faroe, Finnsheep, Icelandic, Orkney, Romanov, Spelsau and Shetland.
It’s direct descendant are the modern Gotland sheep. The Gute sheep are horned, unlike the Gotland sheep.
Landrace sheep on the Gotland island in the Baltic sea were little affected by the importation to Sweden of several long tailed foreign breeds during the 18th and 19th century.
Currently total population of the Gute sheep is very less. And today the Gute breed is raised mainly for genetic conservation. Read some more information about this breed below.
Gute Sheep Characteristics
The Gute sheep are medium to large sized animals. Their fleece appears in a wider variety of colors and patterns, which may be shed in the summer.
But most common color of the Gute sheep is grey. The animals which are dark grey in color have black heads and legs. The light grey animals have white and tan hair on their legs and head.
The grey and black animals usually have light hair around the face and eyes. And the white sheep are seldom all white.
The white Gute sheep generally have tan patches on the neck and other parts of the body. Most all non-white animals have markings that are white, and the markings can vary greatly.
Both rams and ewes usually have horns, and horns of the rams are larger than the ewes.
Average body height of the mature ewes is between 65 and 71 cm, and between 64 and 84 cm for the rams.
Average live body weight of the mature Gute ewes is between 45 and 60 kg. And average live body weight of the mature rams vary from 70 to 100 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Gute sheep is raised mainly for genetic conservation.
The Gute sheep are active and hardy animals. They are actually seasonal breeders, and the ewes usually come into heat around the end of October to early November.
These animals usually mature early and the ewes can easily lamb at their 12 months of age. And the Gute ram lambs can breed in their first autumn.
These animals are long lived, and the healthy ewes usually lamb until they are 11 to 12 years of age.
Currently the breed is mainly used for genetic conservation. However, review full breed profile of the Gute sheep in the following chart.
|Other Name||Also known as Gutefår|
|Breed Purpose||Primarily raised for genetic conservation|
|Special Notes||Active and hardy animals, seasonal breeders, ewes usually come into heat around the end of October to early November, mature early, long lived|
|Breed Size||Medium to large|
|Weight||Mature rams weight is between 70 and 100 kg, and ewe’s body weight vary from 45 to 60 kg.|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Sweden|
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I’d love to help perpetuate this species! How can I begin?