The Finnish Landrace or Finnsheep is a breed of domestic sheep known for large lamb crops. It is not uncommon for a ewe to have three, four, or even five lambs at once. There have been several instances of seven lambs born in the USA at one time. The record in Finland is a litter of nine live lambs. The lambs are often small, but vigorous at birth, and grow well. The lambs mature early and can be bred at six months of age. Ewes commonly breed out of season and some are bred to lamb twice a year. ["Finnsheep In Finland", by H. Goot, 1973 (Special Publication No. 28, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel] The breed belongs to the group of Northern Short-Tailed Sheep, which includes Shetlands, Icelandics, Romanovs, Norwegian Spælsaus, the Swedish Landrace and several other breeds. All are believed to have descended from the wild Mouflon sheep.

The Finnsheep is often used in cross breeding programs to increase lambing percentage, and Finnsheep blood is found in many of the newer breeds. In the USA the breed is promoted by the US Finnsheep Breeders Association.

In Australia

The breed was brought to Australia in two main importations: by the University of NSW in 1981 and by the Australian Texel Corporation in 1993. Considerable improvements to the breed have been undertaken in the 27 years since to better suit them to Australian conditions. Lamb size and survival rates have increased. Typical litter sizes are 3-4 lambs. Better mothering, milking ability and hardiness in paddock conditions are paramount.

The breed has been used extensively for crossbreeding to produce sheep with various desirable characteristics but particularly leanness, better wool production and improved fertility and fecundity (more lambs) and excellent 'doing' ability. An important feature of Finnsheep is their thin wrinkle-free skin and bare breech. This means that Finncross sheep are much less susceptible to flystike and do not require mulesing, a contentious operation intended to reduce the incidence of flystike in the Merino flock. Their thin wrinkle free skins produce more better quality wool as well as superior leather.

Australian Finns (and particularly Finncrosses) are extraordinarily lean (and tasty) and have contributed greatly to an improvement in the leanness of first and second cross lambs. They are also more resistant to worms than many other breeds, and to a range of other problems such as pregnancy toxaemia (twin lamb disease), coccidiosis, and facial excema.

The most common cross in Australia is the Finn-Merino. Many breeders have achieved lamb survival rates over 180% and twice a year shearing of high quality wool from large flocks (1,000 + sheep per flock) of this cross. Other numerically important crosses include Finn-Dorsets and Finn-Texels. The breed is having a significant effect on lifting the average productivity of the nation's flock.


While there is a range of wool fineness across individual Finnsheep, the American Sheep Industry’s American Wool Council ranks Finnsheep in the fine end of the medium wool category. ["Wool Grades and the Sheep that Grow the Wool", from the American Wool Council, a division of the American Sheep Industry Association, 6911 South Yosemite Street, Englewood, CO 80112-1414 - [] .] The wool has a soft handle, a moderate crimp and a high luster.

Finnsheep have a similar range of fleece colors to that of Shetland and Icelandic sheep. White is genetically dominant and the most common color. Black and black/white piebald (spotted) sheep are also fairly common, while brown, grey and fawn Finnsheep are very scarce in the USA at this time. Markings such as white stockings, tail tips, white crown or facial markings including the panda-like eyespot pattern are common in colored Finnsheep.

Australian Finns are universally white; the wool has superior length, softness, better radius of curvature and reduced prickle factor. In Australia wool quality and length have improved greatly to the extent that there are now sheep which can be shorn twice per year and whose advantageous wool characteristics have been extensively incorporated into the Merino flock.

See also

*List of sheep breeds


External links

* [ The US Finnsheep Breeders Association]

* [ Australian Finnsheep]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Finnoise — Deux brebis finnoises …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Northern European short-tailed sheep — Shetland ewe showing characteristic short, hair tipped tail of northern European short tailed sheep. Northern European short tailed sheep are a group of sheep breeds and landraces from the British Isles, Scandinavia, and the area around the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of sheep breeds — This is a list of domestic sheep breeds. Domestic sheep ( Ovis aries ) are partially derived from mouflon ( Ovis orientalis ) stock, and have diverged sufficiently to be considered a different species.Comprehensive list of domestic sheep breeds… …   Wikipedia

  • Finnish Dorset (sheep) — A Finnish Dorset is a crossed breed sheep, half Finnsheep, and half Dorset breed. Dolly the sheep, first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, was a Finnish Dorset [cite web|url=|title=Sc… …   Wikipedia

  • Polypay (sheep) — The Polypay sheep breed is a white, medium sized sheep which was developed in the 1960s at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho. [ [ Alberta Sheep Breeders Association Polypay] ] In… …   Wikipedia

  • Shetland (sheep) — Shetland sheep have been on the Shetland Isles for over a thousand years, probably brought there by Viking settlers. They are Northern European short tailed sheep, a group which also includes the Finnsheep, Norwegian Spaelsau, Icelandic, Romanov… …   Wikipedia

  • Shetland animal breeds — Shetland has long had its own distinct animal breeds because of the area being made up of remote islands. Most of its breeds however originated from animals brought from Scandinavia by the VikingsFact|date=April 2008. Below is a list of Shetlands …   Wikipedia

  • Gotland (sheep) — The Gotland, sometimes called the Gute, is a breed of domestic sheep originating on the the Swedish island of Gotland. They were thought to be the crossbreeding by the Vikings with Karakul sheep and Romanov sheep that were brought back from… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”