The Pinzirita sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Italy. It is also called by some other names such as Comune siciliana and Siciliana locale. It is mainly found in the area surrounding Sicily in southern Italy. The breed is also common in the hills of the provinces of Agrigento, Caltanissetta and the southern part of the province of Palermo, where the Barbaresca is predominant. The name of these animals derives from pinzuni, the Sicilian language name for the chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs, which it is thought to resemble in coloring.
The breed belongs to the Zackel sheep group, like the Leccese and Altamurana. The Pinzirita sheep is one of the 17 autochthonous Italian sheep breeds for which a genealogical herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia. The Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia is the Italian national association of sheep-breeders. Total numbers of this breed were estimated at 250,000 pure-bred animals in 1983. And the numbers recorded in the herdbook were 17,482 in 2013. Read some more information about this breed below.
Pinzirita Sheep Characteristics
Pinzirita sheep are medium-sized animal with beautiful appearance. They are usually white in color with white face, often with black mottling or patches. They also have black or brown marks on their legs. The rams are usually horned, while the ewes are usually polled. Average height of the mature animals is between 64 and 75 cm. As a medium-sized animal, average live body weight of the mature Pinzirita sheep vary from 47 to 72 kg. Photo and info from ansi.okstate.edu and Wikipedia.
The Pinzirita sheep are triple-purpose animals. They are good for milk, meat and wool production. But they are raised mainly for milk production in their native area.
The Pinzirita sheep are very hardy and frugal animals. They are well adapted to survive on poor mountain pasture and in the macchia mediterranea biome of inland Sicily. They are triple-purpose animals, and are good for meat, milk and also wool production. But the breed is raised mainly for milk production in it’s native area. Milk yield of these animals averages 80 ± 25 liters in 100 days for primiparous ewes, and about 130 ± 30 l in 180 days for pluriparous ones. Their milk is of pretty good quality containing around 6.4 percent fat and 5 percent protein.
The Pinzirita lambs are usually slaughtered unweaned; at 30 days they weigh 7–8 kg. The ewes on average yield about 1.6 kg wool, and the rams around 2.5 kg. Wool of these animals is of ordinary quality, suitable for rugs and mattresses. However, review full breed profile of the Pinzirita sheep in the following chart.
Pinzirita Sheep | Breed Profile
|Other Name||Also known as Comune siciliana and Siciliana locale|
|Breed Purpose||Meat, milk and wool|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and frugal animals, well adapted to survive on poor mountain pasture and in the macchia mediterranea biome of inland Sicily, triple-purpose animals, good for milk, meat and wool production, but raised mainly for milk production in it’s native area, milk is of good quality|
|Weight||47 to 72 kg|
|Horns||Rams are horned and the ewes are polled|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Italy|