The Romanov sheep are from the Volga Valley, northwest of Moscow. Genetically unique to North American and British breeds of sheep, the Romanov (a “pure gene” – not a “cross” of anything) used on traditional ewes, will produce a “hybrid” – high performance ewe for the flock of the future and a top gaining market lamb. Quadruplets, quintuplets and even sextuplets are normal performance for a Romanov ewe. The North American record for a Romanov ewe is seven live, healthy lambs in a litter. The Romanov breed record is a litter of nine.
Romanov is a domestic breed that originated from Russia. The Upper Volga region located in northwest of Moscow, Russia is the main origin of these sheep. Romanov sheep are named after the town they were originated i.e. Romanov town. In the 18th century, these sheep were first identified outside Russia. After discovery, these sheep were transported to France following Germany. In 1980, Canadian government bought 14 ewes and 4 rams and kept in quarantine for 5 years. Tests were performed on them and then brought to the United States. In the current century, these sheep are available throughout the world.
Romanov sheep have a phenomenal early sexual maturity. Rams and ewes are fertile by the time they are three months old. Romanov ewes will breed any month of the year. This out-of-season breeding ability, combined with the multiple birth ability allow the high production of a Romanov ewe. Lambing every eight months, it is common for a Romanov ewe to lamb three times in two years, – with three to five lambs each time. Combined with the aggressiveness of the newborns that contributes to lamb survival, impressive lamb crops are possible.
Purebred Romanovs are born black and lighten to a soft silver grey as they make their fleece. The color is lost on the first cross. Most 1/2 Romanov lambs are born white (even the 1/2 Suffolk). A few are born tan, grey or speckled and bleach out to look like a regular crossbred sheep as they make their fleece. The practical application of the Romanov genetics is in the development of the ewe flock. Crossbreeding to get the high performance half Romanov ewe, we have created a “market lamb machine” that will produce a 250 to 300 percent lamb crop every eight months.
Romanov Sheep Characteristics
Romanov sheep is a medium to large sized breed of domestic sheep. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. These animals are usually pure black in color when they are born. But their body color quickly changes to gray, as they grow older. They are usually polled. Average live body weight of the mature Romanov rams is between 55 and 80 kg. And average live body weight of the mature ewes vary from 40 to 50 kg.
The main advantage or purpose of Romanov sheep is meat production. The secondary purpose is wool production. The wool obtained from Romanov is resourceful and very strong. Their wool coat is double layered and the mean diameter of wool fiber is 20.09 micrometer and the outer coat diameter is about 71.09 micrometer. These sheep are hardy and can survive in extreme conditions. They can easily adapt themselves to the environment and local feeding. After 3 to 4 months of age, they may gain full maturity. They start breeding at the early stage of life. These sheep are also known for milking properties.
Very hardy and strong animals, well adapted to cold inland climate and local feeding, mature pretty faster, noted for very high prolificacy, can start breeding at any time throughout the year, often crossed with more popular breeds for increasing their prolificacy, currently raised mainly for meat production
Medium to large
Rams weight between 55 and 80 kg, and the ewe’s weight vary from 40 to 50 kg