The most common breed of sheep in Australia -Merino - is known even to people far from agriculture. On things made from merino wool, there must be an indication of this fact. And they are more expensive than those made from the other. So the name is virtually everyone's ears.
The most common breed of sheep in Australia: the history of origin
Merinos were descended from sheep coming fromSpain. Until the 16th century, it was this country that held the lead in breeding sheep and their quality. The breed was planted in the 12th century, when Spanish sheep breeders crossed several lines successfully, which were exported from the north of Africa and Asia Minor. The result of these successful experiments to take out from Spain for a long time was impossible: the caught smuggler was executed immediately. And this continued until the 18th century. Only then merinos (breed of sheep) became available for breeding in other countries. First they settled in Sweden, in the middle of the century they reached Saxony, and at the end it was brought to Australia. The population in this country began with the cargo of only one ship, to which it was possible to "pack" only 70 heads without harm to their health. Now merinos are the most common breed of sheep in Australia. Of the five sheep grazing on its expanse, the four refer to Merino. On this continent, so far, increased attention is paid to their improvement and breeding.
It would seem that Australia is an arid country, andsheep require a place for grazing. The sheep did not seem to have been given the right conditions. Nevertheless, it was the merinos that settled on its territory. And there are several reasons for this.
- The most common breed of sheep in Australiavery unpretentious. It does not have any special requirements for food, terrain and temperature. Most sheep do not get used to the surrounding changes badly, merinos are pretty indifferent to them, so when you move losses in the livestock are minimal.
- The main agricultural purpose isMerino - wool. However, in the face they are quite profitable. And on the quality of meat the age of the individual does not particularly affect (unless it is a ram-producer).
- Merinos grow quickly and without any complications. Despite the fact that lambing in females is possible only once a year, they bring from 2 to 5 lambs with good survival.
But the most important merit of Merino is theirwool. It just brings benefits for the sake of which these animals are bred: sheep give a fleece of very high quality. And the best of no other breed does not get.
Why is wool of sheep-merino so valuable? There are several explanations for this.
- Chesnoy (scientifically - worsted) fleece is extremely delicate. It has a thickness several times smaller than human hair.
- The fibers themselves retain heat for a long time and are pleasant to the touch even before any treatment.
- Merino wool has high thermal insulation properties. In suits from it it is not hot to walk on the sun and it is not cold - in frosts. As a result: a person does not sweat in them.
- In fiber extracted from merino, there is a natural lanolin, which to some extent gives it bactericidal qualities.
- Merinos give only white wool. It is considered the best for any production, because it allows painting in any color.
- From one kilogram of wool given by the sheep of this breed, the fabric is three times more than from the same amount, cut from a ram with coarse wool.
Varieties of Australian Merino
During that time, while on this continent were divorced Merinos, the sheep breed gave three varieties.
- Fine. The species with the lowest mass is an average of 70 kg. Unlike traditional merino, do not have folds of skin on the neck in front. At the same time they have the thinnest wool - 15 microns. Are divorced in areas with a humid and cold climate.
- Medium. In weight gain up to 85 kilos, wool a little thicker (grade tones - 66), are contained in the steppe zones.
- Strong. Maximum weight (95 kg), so they are also interesting as suppliers of meat. Fine fineness is expressed most weakly - about 24 microns. However, it is still very fine wool.
All species give a lot of wool - at least 10 from a sheep and up to 25 from a large sheep.
Features of the content
Merino - a grazing breed and for most of the year are kept in pastures. Experienced sheep breeders draw the attention of newcomers to the following nuances:
- In the spring, when the weather is still cool, the flock is chased to the meadow only after the dew comes - wet wool often leads to mass illnesses.
- In the heat, the pasture should be located next to the pond, and it is necessary to send the sheep to freedom with the rising of the sun.
- The merino is a vulnerable place - hooves. Check, clean and if necessary prune them regularly.
- In warm weather, constant skin checks for parasites are needed: thick wool creates favorable conditions for them.
Otherwise, as already mentioned, this is veryundemanding animals. Sheep are practically not in need of supervision and do not disperse. It is enough to tie the leading animal into place, and the whole flock will not go anywhere.
The natural areas of Australia are many deserts and
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