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Origin and diversity of North European sheep breeds
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Estonian Ruhnu sheep, (33)

Estonian native sheep, more picturesThe Estonian Ruhnu sheep have been raised for producing meat and wool from ancient times. The breed is now only found on several small islands (Kihnu, Ruhnu) in the Baltic sea. There has been no known influence of other sheep breeds. The sheep are mostly white with grey head and legs and some have a badgerface pattern. The ewes are polled but some rams are horned and the sheep have short or medium length tails. Some of the sheep have beads (one or two) under the jaw. The wool is double coated ( two fibre types). The wool is used for making hand knitting yarn and clothes. Adult live weight of rams is maximum 80 kg and of the ewes 50 kg. The population size is only around 30 sheep and stable (1999).
See more on Breeds of Livestock:

Local name: Eesti maalammas
Haldja Viinalass. Institute of Animal Science of Estonian Agricultural Universit, Kreutzwaldi 1, 51014 Tartu, Estonia.
Photographs:  Saulius Tušas













List of North European sheep breeds:
Ålands sheep
Cheviot sheep
Dala sheep
Dala fur sheep
Danish landrace sheep
-Estonian Ruhnu sheep
Faeroe sheep
Fine wool sheep Finnish Grey landrace

Forest sheep
Fuglestad sheep
Gotland sheep
Greenland sheep Grey Troender sheep
Gute sheep
Icelandic leader sheep
Icelandic sheep
Latvian darkheaded sheep
Lithuanian coarse wool sheep
Norwegian feral sheep  

Norwegian Old Spael sheep
Norwegian Spael sheep
Romanov sheep
Roslags sheep Russian Viena sheep
Rya sheep
Rygja sheep
Steigar sheep
Texel sheep
White faced Marsh


Created by ThEP and EE Edited by Emma Eythorsdottir for the North SheD group.
Agricultural Research Institute of Iceland.