Merinosheep

About the oldest and most common breed in the world.

Origin and Characteristics

Merinosheep


The Merinosheep is one of the most historically relevant and economically influential breeds of sheep, much prized for its merinowool. The breed was originated and improved in Extremadura, in southwestern Spain, around the 12th century; it was instrumental in the economic development of 15th and 16th century Spain, which held a monopoly on its trade, and since the end of the 18th century it was further refined in New Zealand and Australia, giving rise to the modern Merinosheep.


Merinosheep is an excellent forager and very adaptable. It is bred predominantly for its merinowool, and its carcass size is generally smaller than that of sheep bred for meat. Poll Merinos have no horns (or very small stubs, known as scurs), and horned Merino rams have long, spiral horns which grow close to the head.

Origin and Characteristics

Merinowool


Merinowool is fine and soft. It contains a large amount of lanoline. Merinowool is generally less than 24 micron (μm) in diameter. Basic Merino types include: strong (broad) wool (23–24.5 μm), medium wool (19.6–22.9 μm), fine (18.6–19.5 μm), superfine (15–18.5 μm) and ultra-fine (11.5–15 μm). Merinowool is perfect for next to skin garments!


The merinosheep is late-maturing. The animal is only adult at the age of 3. A ewe gives 1,5 lam on everage. They are affectionate and well-behaved, both merino ewes and merino rams. Although often sugested differently, the merinosheep do very well in the Netherlands and Belgium. It has no problem with our climate!


The merinowool is evenly divided throughout the body, and the finest of all breeds, the fiber structure and thickness is uniform over the entire fleece and the wool quality is the same everywhere.


A merinowoolen fleece approximately has 50,000,000 fibers. If you compare it with romney that has "only" 15,000,000!

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