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The Finnsheep is an old breed of sheep that has been produced in Finnland over the centuries to accommodate the needs of the Finnish sheep market. They have also become quite a popular sheep breed in many other countries amongst sheep farmers/breeders due to their high prolificacy and high lambing numbers per birthing.
They are a docile, calm and easy to manage and maintain sheep breed that are also excellent landscape managers.
FINNSHEEP SHEEP QUICK PROFILE OVERVIEW
|The Finnsheep are a multipurpose sheep breed that have a high production value as well as being able to produce a high number of lambs per birthing.|
|Country of Origin:||Finland|
|Other Names:||Finn or Finnish Landrace|
|Breed Size:||Medium to large|
|Main Purpose:||Meat, wool, milk, skin and landscape management|
|Can be used for||Breed, Meat, Milk, Skin, Wool **LSC (Landscape Management)|
|Temperament:||Calm, docile and alert|
|Ideal Climate:||Most climates|
Not Listed by the *ALC
Status/ Rarity: Common
|Health Issues?||No known health issues|
|Good Starter Sheep?||Novice to intermediate sheep farmer/keeper level|
|Sheep Associations:||Finnsheep Breeders Association and the International Finnsheep Registry|
|Sheep Clubs:||Finnsheep Breeders Association and the International Finnsheep Registry|
| Note: *ALC stands for American Livestock Conservancy
** LSC stands for Landscape Management – the animal is used for controlling various vegetation growth
|They are a medium to large sized breed with no wool on the fine boned faces or long strong legs.
They have a well-proportioned smooth body that is of medium length with a straight strong back. Their tails are usually docked to length of around 4 to 6 inches long.
|Color(s):||Mainly white but there are various other colors such as black, brown, reddish-brown and more|
EWE BREEDING & MILKING INFORMATION
|Finnsheep take advantage of the short summers due to the long dark Finnish winters. They breed out of season and can lamb all year around. They are highly prolific and tend to have large litters or lambs. They have an excellent maternal instincts and will raise their lambs with no problems. They have a high birthing percentage with hardly any birthing difficulties as they are adept at surviving in the harsh Finnish climates and environments. They also produce ample milk that can be milked as they are very easy on a milking stand.|
|Breeding Period/cycle:||Usually lasts 16 to 59 hours|
|Estrous cycle:||Ave. 17 days/15 to 20 days|
|Gestation Period:||Usually, around 149 to 155 days but most gestation is 152 days|
|No. Lambs/Litter:||Between 1 to 6 there has been a recorded birth of 7 lambs in one birthing|
|Lactation Period:||Usually, around 150 to 240 day but most are milked for 180 days|
|Milking From:||4 to 6 weeks after lambing|
|Milk Quality:||Good, Quantity: Ave. 495 liters , Per: Lactation period|
|Milk Ideal for:||Lambs, human drinking and specialist cheese production|
|You may Also Like:||10 Best Sheep Breeds for Milk|
SHEEP MEAT PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|The Finnsheep breed has a high quality of meat with the lambs reaching an acceptable size at around 5.5 months of age. They sheep have very little fat as they tend to keep their fat around their organs rather than between the muscles cells. This makes them very low in fat with a lean, fine textured, tender mild flavored meat.|
|Meat Production:||Yes, Quality: Excellent|
|You may Also Like:||11 Best Sheep Breeds for Meat Production|
SHEEP WOOL PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|Finnsheep breeds wool has and superb quality of wool with an excellent luster, very silky with a great curl. As Finnsheep tend to come in quite a few colors around the world there is the possibility of numerous natural wool colors. The wool is durable, light weight and so soft. In is good to note that in the US the Finnsheep are predominantly white in color.|
|Wool Production?||Yes, Quality: Spinning count of 53 s to 54s|
|Wool is used to Produce:||Knitted garments, clothes, blankets, etc. Most desirable for hand spinners and knitters.|
|You may Also Like:||18 Best Wool Producing Sheep Breeds|
SHEEPSKIN PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|The Finnsheep is said to have a superior quality of fine, soft, resilient leather.|
|Skin Production?||Yes, Quality: Superior|
|Skin is used to Produce:||Kid skin leather products such as shoes, car seats, fine leather coats, gloves, etc.
Chamois cloths, leather goods such as seats, shoes and other garments and leather materials such as furniture, etc.
GOOD TO KNOW ABOUT THE FINNSHEEP BREED OF SHEEP
|A few more interesting facts to know about the breed|
|Child-Friendly?||Even though they are docile and calm they should not be left unattended around unsupervised children|
|Landscape Management?||Finnsheep are exceptional for use with landscape management projects. They suite most types of file and environmental managements and tend to give excellent results. They are excellent foragers and enjoy shoots from bushes, shrubs and trees. Thus they can clear out a field, bushes and undergrowth effectively.|
|Where to buy them?||Please refer to the Finnsheep Breeders Association and the International Finnsheep Registry for information on breeders|
|General Information||The Finnsheep are designed to handle extreme conditions and take full advantage of the short summer seasons of Finland due to the long dark winters. The ewes are capable of breeding out of season.
The Finnsheep are known for their multiple births with one sheep having been recorded having 7 lambs in one birthing. They are in demand all over the world for their high reproductive rate, easy lambing, hardiness and even, calm temperament with a good wool clip and excellent meat qualities.
The Finnsheep is a breed of sheep that was developed in Finland. It was developed over the past few centuries and the breed continues to evolve as it is improved through selective breeding in order to efficiently supply the needs of the Finnish people.
The Finnsheep genes show that it was developed through the crossing of sheep that were native to Finland with sheep that were brought to Northern Europe through various trade routes that were established along the Volga River Systems, Danube and Atlantic Coast line.
The first Finnsheep imported to North America were done so by the University of Manitoba, Canada. The sheep were first taken to Canada in 1966 where some of the off-spring were then bought by private breeders in the USA.
- United States Lamb Resource Center
- American Sheep Industry Association
- American Sheep Industry Association List of Breed Associations & Standards
- American Milk Sheep Association
- Dairy Sheep Association of North America
- American Wool Council
- Fur Commission USA
- North American Meat Institute
- American Lamb Board
- National Lamb Feeders Association
- American Livestock Conservancy
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Animal Husbandry Society
- United States Department of Agriculture