Red Maasai Sheep

The Red Maasai sheep is a breed of sheep which is kept by the Maasai. But both smallholder farmers and pastoralists in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania also keep flocks of these animals.

The breed is also known by some other names such as Red Masai, Masai and Tanganyika Short-tailed.

Exact origins of these animals are unclear, but they are native to Kenya and have long been a part of the farming cultures of the Great Rift Valley.

Though traditional Maasai culture does place cattle in higher prominence than small ruminants, many Maasai and smallholders in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda have raised the Red Maasai sheep.

Until the 1970s, this breed was the predominate sheep breed among the Maasai and other tribes in Kenya. And then subsidies began to support crossbreeding with Dorper Sheep and other imported types.

Currently, total amount of purebred Red Maasai sheep are less, but the crossbreeds are available in a huge number.

Currently the breed is found in northern Tanzania, Uganda and south central Kenya. Read some more information about the Red Maasai sheep below.

Red Maasai Sheep Characteristics

Red Maasai sheep are to medium to large sized animals. They are named so mainly because of their usual red-brown color.

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Although they may also be pied. The rams are usually horned, but can also be polled. And the ewes are generally polled.

The Red Maasai sheep are actually a hair sheep breed, meaning they do not produce wool.

Although they may have a shaggy coat of hair. They are a fat-tailed breed known for their visibly large fat deposits in their tail and hindquarters. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


The Red Maasai sheep are medium to large bodied animals. They are well suited and mainly raised for meat production.

Special Notes

The Red Maasai sheep are very strong and hardy animals. They are valued for their hardiness in arid conditions and their relatively stronger resistance to internal parasites.

They are also noted for their resistance to parasite like Haemonchus contortus. This resistance is potentially of great value to other sheep operations due to the significant financial losses caused by parasites in other sheep-producing regions.

Currently the Red Maasai sheep are found in East Africa, especially available in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. And the breed is raised mainly for meat production. However, review full breed profile of this breed below.

Breed NameRed Maasai
Other NameAlso known by some other names such as Red Masai, Masai and Tanganyika Short-tailed
Breed PurposeMainly meat
Special NotesStrong and hardy, excellent meat breed, well adapted to native climate, highly valued for their hardiness in arid conditions, noted for their relatively stronger resistance to internal parasites
Breed SizeMedium to large
HornsRams may have horns or polled, and the ewes are polled
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Country/Place of OriginEast Africa

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