The Sarda sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Italy. It is also known by some other names such as Cagliari, Campidano and Sardinian sheep. It was originated from the local lowland sheep breed which were large, polled and had white wool. The breed is indigenous to the island of Sardinia, and raised throughout Italy and in other Mediterranean countries, particularly in Tunisia. The Barbary and Merino breeding were also used in developing the breed. Currently the breed is raised mainly for milk production in it’s native area. And the Sarda sheep is considered to be among the best Italian sheep breeds for the production of sheep’s milk. In Italy, most of the milk of these animals is used to make pecorino sardo cheese.
A number of attempts were made for improving the breed by crossbreeding with Barbaresca, Gentile di Puglia, Merino, Vissana, Rambouillet and Sopravissana breeds among others. The attempts were made in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those experiments invariably had a negative impact on milk production. Recent selection has been aimed at improving the conformation of the udder and at making it more suitable for mechanized milking.
The Sarda 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. The herdbook for this breed was established in the year of 1928. Total numbers of the Sarda sheep was estimated at 225207 in 2013. Read more information about this sheep breed below.
Sarda Sheep Characteristics
Sarda sheep is a medium sized animal with very beautiful appearance. They are usually complete white in color with white face. Their wool is long, coarse and used for weaving carpets and other goods. The rams are occasionally horned and the ewes are polled.
Average live body weight of the mature Sarda rams is about 59 kg. And the mature ewes on average weight around 42 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Sarda sheep is a milk sheep breed. It is raised mainly for milk production. And the breed is considered to be among the best Italian sheep breeds for milk production.
The Sarda sheep are hardy and strong animals. They are well adapted to the local climates. They can be kept on lowland or on mountain terrains. And the breed is suitable both for extensive or intensive sheep farming system. Currently the breed is raised mainly for milk production in it’s native area. However, review full breed profile of the Sarda sheep in the following chart.
Sarda Sheep | Breed Profile
|Other Name||Also known by some other names such as Cagliari, Campidano and Sardinian sheep|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly milk|
|Special Notes||Hardy and strong animals, well adapted to local climates, can be kept on lowland or on mountain terrains, suitable for both intensive and extensive system, currently raised for milk production|
|Horns||Rams are horned, but the ewes are polled|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Italy|