Sarda sheep

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Pecore agnelli razza-sarda.jpg
Other names Sardinian sheep
Country of origin Italy
  • Male: 59 kg
  • Female: 42 kg
Wool color white
Face color white

The Sarda is a breed of domestic sheep indigenous to the island of Sardinia.[1] It is raised throughout Italy,[2] and in other Mediterranean countries, particularly Tunisia.[3] The Sarda is considered to be among the best Italian breeds of sheep for production of sheep's milk; most of the milk is used to make pecorino sardo cheese.[3] The Sarda is highly adaptable; it may be kept on lowland or on mountainous terrains, and is suitable both for intensive and for extensive or transhumant management.[3] The long, coarse white wool is used for weaving carpets and other goods.[citation needed]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a number of attempts were made to improve the breed by cross-breeding with Merino, Rambouillet, Barbaresca, Gentile di Puglia, Sopravissana and Vissana breeds among others. These experiments invariably had a negative impact on milk production.[3] Recent selection has been aimed at improving the conformation of the udder and at making it more suitable for mechanised milking.[4]

The Sarda is one of the seventeen autochthonous Italian sheep breeds for which a genealogical herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia, the Italian national association of sheep-breeders.[4] The herdbook was established in 1928. Total numbers for the breed are estimated at 5,000,000;[3] in 2013 the number recorded in the herdbook was 225,207.[5]


  1. ^ Breed data sheet: Sarda. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed September 2013.
  2. ^ Graham R. Duncanson (2012), Veterinary Treatment of Sheep and Goats, CABI, p. 33, ISBN 978-1-78064-004-4 
  3. ^ a b c d e Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594. p. 272–273.
  4. ^ a b Le razze ovine e caprine in Italia (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Ufficio centrale libri genealogici e registri anagrafici razze ovine e caprine. p. 16. Accessed September 2013.
  5. ^ Consistenze Provinciali della Razza 21 SARDA Anno 2013 (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Banca dati. Accessed September 2013.

See also

Media related to Sardinian sheep at Wikimedia Commons

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