Origin and diversity of North European sheep breeds
Faeroe Islands sheep, (30)
Faeroe sheep are of ancient origin, probably from wild sheep that existed
on the islands more than 1000 years ago. The breed has been kept in
isolation on the islands and genetic influence from other breeds is
meant to be minimal.
The sheep are short-tailed, mostly white (30%), black (30%) or grey
(30%), with a high frequency of piebald animals. There is also some occurence of
brown, black/brown mouflon, black/brown badgerface and lateral stripes.
Most rams are horned and most ewes are polled. The wool is double coated
and is used for knitting yarns. The greasy fleece weight is around 1
kg. Adult wither height of rams is 80-85 cm and 70-80 cm of the
ewes. The live weight of rams is 75-85 kg and of ewes is 45-50 kg. The
main use of the sheep is for meat production. The mean litter size is
1.1 lambs at birth and 1.05 weaned. Mean carcass weight of lambs is 12.5
kg when slaughtered at the age of 4 months. The population size is
around 70,000 adult sheep and stable (year 2000).
Local name: Føroyskur