The Laticauda sheep is a breed of domestic sheep which was originated from Italy. It was actually originated from Campania and Calabria, in southern Italy.
Today the breed is raised mainly in it’s area of origin in the provinces of Avellino, Benevento and Caserta. But it is also found in some other provinces such as Cosenza, Matera and Naples.
The Laticauda sheep breed appears to result from the hybridization of local sheep breeds with Barbary sheep of Maghrebi origin (just like the Barbaresca breed of Sicily).
It has been suggested that, these animals were first brought to the area by the Bourbon king Charles VII of Naples.
The Laticauda sheep is one of the 17 autochthonous Italian sheep breeds for which a genealogical herdbook is kept. And the herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia, the Italian national association of sheep-breeders.
Total number of these animals is decreasing gradually. Their total numbers were estimated at 60,000 in 1986, and 2802 in 2013.
And total population was estimated at 7000 head in the Campania region. Read some more information about this breed below.
Laticauda Sheep Characteristics
The Laticauda sheep are medium to large sized animals. They are mainly white in color with white face. They are generally polled animals.
Average body height of the mature rams is around 82 cm, and around 71 cm for the ewes.
Average live body weight of the mature Laticauda rams is around 95 kg. And the mature ewes on average weight around 69 kg. Photo and info from LaMalvizza and Wikipedia.
The Laticauda sheep are hardy and strong animals. They are well adapted to their native climates and do well there.
Today the breed is raised for both meat and milk production purpose. Meat of these animals is of pretty good quality.
The lambs are generally slaughtered at their one month of age when they weight around 10-15 kg.
The breed is also very good for producing milk, and the milk production is about 120 to 140 liters per lactation. Their milk is of very good quality containing about 5.5-8.5 percent protein and between 7 and 13 percent fat.
Milk of the Laticauda sheep is the only milk used in the production of Pecorino di Laticauda Sannita, a pecorino cheese for which DOP status has been requested. However, read some more information about this sheep breed below.
|Breed Purpose||Meat and milk|
|Special Notes||Hardy and strong animals, well adapted to their native climates, raised for both meat and milk production, both milk and meat is of very good quality, lambs are generally slaughtered at their one month of age|
|Breed Size||Medium to large|
|Weight||Mature ram’s live body weight is around 95 kg, and the mature ewe’s average live body weight is around 69 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Italy|