Old Norwegian Sheep
Old Norwegian Sheep

Old Norwegian Sheep
Old Norwegian Sheep
Images courtesy of Norsk Villsaulag BA

Ossimi sheep
Ossimi sheep


Ushant ram
Ouessant ram
Image courtesy of Frank De Smedt
and Vlaamse hobbyfokkers
van geiten en schapen

American Oxford ram
American Oxford ram
Photo courtesy of Double "O" Acres

Oxford ewes in the UK
Oxford ewes in the UK
Photo courtesy of Oxford Down Sheep
Breeders Association
and Alan Hambley

Painted Desert ram
Painted Desert ram
Photo courtesy of Cheyenne Farm

Panama ewe and lambs
Panama ewe and lambs
Photo courtesy of Dave Casebolt
(University of Idaho)

Pelibüey ewe
Pelibüey ewe

Pelibuey ewes
 Pelibüey ewes

Perendale ewe and lamb
Perendale ewe and lamb
Photo courtesy of
Graham Meadows Ltd.

Perendale sheep
Perendale sheep
Photo courtesy of Rangiatea
Blair and Sara Gallagher

Pitt Island rams
Pitt Island rams
Photo courtesy of Rare Breeds
Conservation Society of New Zealand

(Photo by David Tuart)

Polish Merino
Polish Merino
Image source: Sheep Breeds in Poland

Polish  Mountain sheep
Polish Mountain sheep
Image source: Sheep Breeds in Poland

Polwarth ewe
Photo Courtesy of Huddersfield
Stud in New Zealand

Polypay ewe and lambs
Polypay ewe and lambs

Polypay ram
Polypay ram
Photos Courtesy of American
Polypay Sheep Association

Pomeranian Coarsewool
Photo courtesy of
EAAP-Animal Genetic Bank

Pomeranian Coarsewool
Image source: Sheep Breeds in Poland

Portland rams
Portland rams

Portland ewe and lambs
Portland ewe and lambs
Photos Courtesy of Beer Mill Farm

Priangan ram
Priangan ram
Photo courtesy of the Ramfarm


    Sheep Breeds O - P

  • Old Norwegian Sheep

    The Old Norwegian Sheep is a small primitive type of sheep which inhabited Norway and the rest of Scandinavia as well, including Iceland and Faeroes. Probably only the feral Soay Sheep of St. Kilda are more primitive. The sheep are small framed, with good legs and a fleece varying in colour from almost white to greyish, dark brown, badger-faced, muflon pattern and black.

    Adult males weigh on average 43 kg (95 lbs) and females 32 kg (70 lbs). The fleece is remarkably fine and in contrast to the Mouflon, the inner fleece is highly developed. The outer coat has long fibers, up to 30 cm (11.8 in) around the neck on the males. Normally, the sheep shed their fleece naturally in early July. All the males of this breed are horned with approximately 10 % of the ewes also being horned. This breed of sheep has a unique pattern of flight (escaping an enemy), which makes it suitable for use in grazing areas with predators.

    Breed categories: primitive, rare, Northern European short-tailed, double-coated

    Distribution: Norway

    Go to Norsk Villsaulag BA =>

  • Ossimi

    The Ossimi breed originated in the Ossim village in the Giza Governorate of Egypt and is the most popular among the Nile and Delta sheep breeds. It is thought to be expanding its range at the expense of other breeds. The breed is adapted to variable conditions and is usually raised under intensive cropping conditions. They are a medium sized sheep, narrow, with a shallow body and long legs. They are multi-colored, usually white with a brown head, neck, and legs. They produce coarse/carpet wool and have a fat tail. Rams are horned.

    Breed categories: fat-tailed, meat, carpet wool

    Distribution: Middle East, Africa

  • Ouessant
    (Ushant, Breton Dwarf Sheep)

    The Ouessant is one of the smallest sheep breeds in the world. They originated on Ile d'Ouessant, a small island off the coast of Brittany, France. Most animals are black in coloration with a few white individuals also occurring. The average thickness of their wool is 27 to 28 microns. It is suitable for suitable for fine knitting yarns and soft weaving yarns. Ushants are a dwarf breed with the males being horned and the females polled (naturally hornless). The breed is rare.

    Breed categories: rare

    Distribution: Europe

    Go to Fokkersvereniging Ouessant Schapen =>
    Ouessant Sheep Moutons d' Ouessant Ouessantschapen =>
    Go to Spered Breizh Ouessants [blog] =>

  • Oxford
    (Oxford Down)

    The Oxford or "Oxford Down," originated in Oxford County, England. The breed was the result of crossing Cotswolds and Hampshires. It has been contented that very early in the development of the Oxford breed, a small amount of Southdown blood was introduced. The breed has never become prominent outside of its own native area in England. Oxfords have been exported to many major sheep countries.

    The Oxford is one of the largest breeds of sheep . It produces the heaviest fleece of any of the Down breeds. In the U.K., it is a specialist breed to cross with commerical crossbred ewes for meat production. The first Oxfords were imported to the United States in 1846. They are a relatively minor breed in the U.S.

    Breed categories: medium wool, meat, down

    Distribution: Worldwide

    Go to American Oxford Sheep Association =>
    Go to Oxford Down Sheep Breeders' Association =>

  • Painted Desert

    The Painted Desert Sheep is a spotted hair sheep that received most of its influence from the Mouflon. Before being established as a separate breed, it was considered by many to be a parti-colored Corsican. Other early influence came from Merino and Rambouillet, and a few four-horned individuals stem from Jacob or Churro ancestry. Long desired by hunters because of the large horns and aesthetic, flashy looks, the Painted Desert is now popular among exotic and alternative livestock fanciers.

    These sheep shed their short winter wool naturally each spring, leaving a glossy, slick coat. Colors can be very wild with mixes of up to four or five colors. They breed out of season and lamb twice a year, with twins and even triplets occurring often. They produce a carcass of lean meat without a muttony taste. Rams must show Mouflon influence by sporting a luxurious mane in addition to large, heavy horns of homonymous, supracervical or polycerate types. Some ewes may be horned. [Text by Anita Garza]

    Breed category: hair, exotic

    Distribution: United States

    Go to Painted Desert Sheep Society =>
    Go to United Horned Hair Sheep Association =>

  • Panama

    The Panama breed of sheep is one of only two recognized breeds of sheep which were developed in the United States by private sheep breeders. Originating in Idaho in the early 1900's, the Panama began as a cross between Rambouillet rams and Lincoln ewes. Following approximately five years of crossbreeding, rams and ewes were mated among themselves to establish the breed.

    The Panama is a hardy breed that is highly adapted to range areas with ample feed conditions. They are polled, resemble the Columbia breed, but are more intermediate in size, and produce a heavy, dense medium-grade fleece with a long staple length.

    Breed category: dual-purpose, medium wool

    Distribution: United States

  • Pelibüey

    The Pelibüey is a hair sheep, probably closely related to the West African, Red African, African or Africana breed of Columbia and Venezuela. It is descended from the West African Dwarf and is found in Cuba, coastal areas of Mexico, and other locales in the Caribbean. It comprises 75 percent of sheep population in Cuba.

    Hair color ranges from beige, brown, dark brown, red, white, black, and roan, with both solid and a combination of colors found. Males do carry a throat ruff, but usually do not have horns.

    Breed category: hair (meat)

    Distribution: Caribbean, Mexico, South America

  • Perendale

    The Perendale was developed in New Zealand during the 1950's at Massey University to meet the needs of hill country farmers on developing country. It is still a very popular breed in New Zealand. Developed from the Cheviot and Romney, the Perendale is a dual-purpose sheep producing a 28-32 micron wool with a 125 mm (5 in) staple length.

    The Perendale is characteristically a high fertility animal, and has great potential to produce a prime lamb dam when crossed with the Merino. As a purebred, its hardiness makes it ideally suited to colder, high rainfall areas. The Perendale is easy to care for; the ewes have little trouble lambing and are good mothers.

    Breed category: dual purpose, long wool

    Distribution: New Zealand, Australia, North America

    Go to Perendale Sheep Society of New Zealand =>

  • Pitt Island

    The Chatham Islands, inhabited by about 50 people, lie about 750 kilometers (469 miles) east of the Mainland of New Zealand. In 1841, Saxony Merino sheep were introduced to the Island. They have been untended for about 80 years. Natural selection has resulted in self-shedding fleeces and natural parasite resistance. Originally, they were all white. Half were black by 1950.

    Since 1997, 90 percent of flock has been pigmented, most being solid black and about 5% moorit. Almost 97 percent of the rams have horns. The horns can be massive, forming complete spirals up to 95 cm (38 in) around the curve. In 1981, 305 of these feral sheep were placed in a specially created scientific reserve on Pitt Island. Some have been exported to the mainland of New Zealand where they are maintained by rare breeds enthusiasts.

    Breed category: feral, rare

    Distribution: New Zealand

    Go to New Zealand Rare Breeds =>

  • Polish Merino
    (Merynos polski)

    The first Merino sheep were introduced to Poland from Spain in 1786. In the early 19th centural, Electoral Merinos were imported. After 1860, Merinos of the Rambouillet and Precoce types were brought to Poland, and work towards a dual-purpose type of sheep was begun. In the period between 1918 and 1939, the breed was improved for meat traits using such breeds as the Mele and Ile de France, created on the basis of English Longwool sheep.

    After 1945, Fleischmerinos and Landmerinos were introduced into some of the Merno flocks which survived the war. The Polish Merino flocks are located mostly in western Poland. The Polish Merino shows both meat and wool traits.

    Breed category: fine wool, dual-purpose

    Distribution: Europe

  • Polish Mountain Sheep
    (Polska owca górska)

    Polish Mountain Sheep evolved from the old Carpathian Cakiel, and especially one of its varieties - the primative Podhale sheep. The breed can be found in the whole Polish part of the Carpathian mountains; however, it is most frequently found in the Podhale region near the town of Nowy Sacz, where the breed traditionally originates. It has a light build, thin but strong legs and narrow rump.

    Polish Mountain sheep are milked. The milk yield is 50 to 100 liters per lacation and 40 to 80 liters in a milking period of 150 days with a fat content of 7 to 8%. Meat production is rather poor. The wool is white and coarse, suitable for carpet manufacture. The thatch-like coat consists of loose locks, with a characteristic parting line along wthe back.

    Breed category: carpet wool, dairy

    Distribution: Europe

  • Polwarth

    The Polwarth is a dual-purpose sheep, developed in Victoria, Australia, in 1880. It is 75 percent Merino and 25 percent Lincoln. Polwarths are well suited to areas with improved pastures and are mainly found in the higher rainfall districts of southern Australia. The breed has been successfully exported to many countries, particularly South America where they are know as "Ideals".

    The Polwarth breed contains both polled and horned sheep with the polled types predominating. It is large framed, robust, and produces a high-yielding, soft-handling fleece of 22-25 micron fiber diameter. Much of the emphasis within the breed has been directed towards developing and improving the wool aspects.

    Breed category: dual-purpose, medium wool

    Distribution: New Zealand, Australia, South America

    Go to Polwarth Sheep Breeders' Society of Australia =>

  • Polypay

    The Polypay is a synthetic breed, developed in the 1970's at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho, and Nicholas Farms at Sonoma, California. Targhee x Dorset and Rambouillet x Finnsheep crosses were mated to form a 4-breed composite that could produce two lamb crops and one wool crop per year.

    Polypays are a medium-sized, prolific breed with an extended breeding season. Good mothers and milkers, they produce lambs with acceptable growth and carcass quality. The name Polypay comes from "poly" for many or much and "pay" to indicate a return on investment and labor.

    Breed category: medium wool, dual-purpose

    Distribution: North America

    Go to American Polypay Association =>

  • Pomeranian Coarsewool
    (Rauhwolliges Pommersches Landschaf, Pomorska)

    The Pomeranian Coarsewool is a landrace sheep that used to be kept in small flocks along the Baltic Sea in Pomeranian (Pomerania) and Mecklenburg for its wool, meat, and milk. The Pomeranian are highly resistant against parasites. They are not fussy eaters, thrive on sandy, as well as moory ground and can be kept alone or in small flocks. They attach themselves to people, are hardy and not demanding.

    They lamb easily by themselves on the pasture and can be bred three times in two years. It is a dual-coated breed, with an outer coat of 14-22 cm long wool and a fine downy undercoat. The Pomeranian turn lighter as they age, therefore a silver-gray lamb will turn white and should be culled. Handspinners love the wool with its interesting shades of gray, and they turn the yarn into rugged, indestructible sweaters and jackets.

    Breed category: landrace, double-coated

    Distribution: Europe

  • Portland

    The Portland, once common in Dorset, is now one of England's rarest breeds. It is most likely that the Portland is all that is left of the Western Tanfaced horn, common in the Southwest during the Middle Ages.The Portland was one of the breeds used in the development of the Dorset breed. Portlands are small. They are free of wool on the face and lower legs, which are tan.

    The lambs are born fox red in color and lighten to either white or gray during the first few months of life. Both sexes are horned, with the ram's horns having a heavy spiral. This breed will sometimes breed out of season. In fact, it was the first breed of sheep in Britain able to have lambs at any time of the year.

    Breed category: medium wool, rare

    Distribution: United Kingdom

    Go to Portland Sheep Breeders Group =>

  • Priangan
    (Preanger, Garut Sheep)

    In the Priangan residency of West Java which includes the five districts of Bandung, Garut, Sumedang, Ciamis and Tasikmalaya, there is a breed of sheep which has been developed primarily for ram fighting (Ketangkasan Seni Domba). The rams are selected for size, horn size, and for fighting ability. The champion rams are highly priced and may fetch up to 300,000 rupiah (US$ 1 = 415 rupiah). However, they are not used for breeding during their fighting career as it is feared that mating would deprive them of their taste for fighting.

    The Priangan is a variety of the Javanese Thin-tailed. Some indications are that Africander and Merino breeding were introduced in the 19th century. They are usually black or pied, occasionally individuals will be gray or tan. Males are horned and females are polled. Individuals often lack external ears.

    Breed category: meat

    Distribution: Indonesia

Last updated 19-Apr-2021
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