Origin and diversity of North European sheep breeds
Finnish Landrace sheep date back to the early iron age in Finland and
is adapted to the cold climate of Finland. The breed has traditionally
supplied domestic needs for wool and fur and meat was used as a by-product.
At present, lamb meat is the main product. The impact of imported breeds
is small with some influence from Texel and Oxford Down. The lambs are
of multiple colours, white (65 %), grey (5 %), black (20 %) and brown
(19 %). A small proportion of the males are horned (1 %), otherwise
both sexes are polled with short tails. The sheep grow single coated
wool with mean fibre diameter of 24 - 25 micron and mean fibre length
of 8 cm. The mean greasy fleece weight is around 1.2 kg (8 months age).
The wool is used for clothes and souvenirs, and pelts are used for fur
clothes and wool-skin floor rugs. Adult live weight is 105 kg for males
and 72 kg for females. The breed is known for high fecundity with a
mean litter size of 2.6 lambs at birth. Mean carcass weight of lambs
is 18 kg when slaughtered at the age of 5 months. A large proportion
of the carcasses fall into grade O in the EUROP classification system.
The number of purebred ewes is around 25,000 and total population size
is 77,000 (year 2000)