The Latxa sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Spain. It is a milk sheep breed and raised mainly for milk production in it’s native area. It is native to the Basque Country of Spain.
These animals are mostly raised within the provinces of Biscay, Gipuzkoa and Navarre. They are known for their very quality milk production. Their unpasteurized milk is used for producing Idiazabal and Roncal cheeses.
The Latxa sheep have been managed traditionally by moving the flock to the mountain pastures in summer when the ewes have finished lactating, with cheese-making taking place on the farm.
Some flocks are moved while still lactating, with the animals being hand-milked on the high pastures. A breeding scheme has been introduced since 1982, and new production methods tested.
And for providing earlier lambing and prolonging the breeding season, the artificial insemination is being used. And machine milking is taking the place of hand milking.
Today, the Latxa sheep breed is raised primarily for milk production in Spain. Read some more information about this breed below.
Latxa Sheep Characteristics
The Latxa sheep are a small to medium sized animal. There are two sub-varieties of these animals. One is a dark-faced variety, and another one is the blonde. But both varieties have white colored wool, which is long and coarse.
The rams usually have horns, and the ewes are usually polled. Horns of the Latxa rams are long and spiral. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
Latxa sheep is a milk sheep breed. It is raised primarily for milk production.
The Latxa sheep are strong and hardy animals. They are well adapted to the rugged geography of their native area.
They are good foragers, and their natural diet is fresh grass that grows abundantly in the mountains.
Although the Latxa sheep are a milk sheep breed, but they don’t produce much milk. They have a seasonal lactation cycle which does not produce a great volume of milk like other milk sheep breeds.
But their milk is of very good quality which is known for richness, fruitiness and aroma. However, review full breed profile of these sheep in the following chart.
|Breed Purpose||Mainly milk|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and strong animals, well adapted to the rugged geography of their native area, excellent foragers, their natural diet is fresh grass that grows abundantly in the mountains, known for producing very high quality milk|
|Breed Size||Small to medium|
|Horns||Rams have horns, but the ewes are usually polled|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Spain|