Ovine and Caprine Husbandry

Ovine and Caprine Husbandry

Anatomical Terms

Figures 14-1 and 14-2 will help you review the terms for body parts and areas of sheep and goats, as well as the names of bones and joints.

Breeds of Sheep

Fine Wool Breeds


Merino sheep originated in Spain. The three types of Merinos are A, B, and C. The A and B types have wrinkled skin. Type A is more wrinkled than type B. Type A and B Merinos are called American Merinos. The type C Merino, called the Delaine Merino, has very little wrinkle to the skin. The Delaine Merino tends to be more popular in the United States. It is a medium size and has an angular body. The Delaine Merino has a white face and legs with white wool on the head and legs. The skin is pale. The rams are horned, and the ewes are polled (Fig. 14-3).

Medium Wool Breeds


The Cheviot originated in northern England and southern Scotland. It has a small blocky body type. It has a white face and legs with black hooves and black nostrils. The head and legs are free of wool, and the skin is pink. The breed is polled and has small erect ears (Fig. 14-5).

Finnish Sheep

Finnish sheep originated in Finland. Finnish sheep are a medium-sized breed used for fleece and meat. The breed is commonly used in crossbreeding programs to increase lambing crops. Finnish ewes commonly have triplets, and many have four to six lambs yearly. One of the most notable characteristics is the naturally short tail. The tail should never be docked and be covered with hair at the end. When crossbred, the tail gets noticeably longer. The breed has a white ears, nose, face, and legs, with the head and legs free of wool. The skin is pink. The breed is considered polled, although some rams may have horns (Fig. 14-8).

Long Wool Breeds


The Cotswold is an old breed of sheep that originated in England. It has a large blocky body type that is firm and solid to the touch. The body is covered with thick, long, lustrous wool composed of wavy curls that extend to the legs. The head is wide between the eyes and is distinguished by a fine tuft of wool on the forehead. The face and legs are white, although a grayish-white color is not objectionable. Dark spots may occur on the face and legs. The breed is polled (Fig. 14-18).

Breeds of Goat

Common Meat Breeds

Boer Goats

The boer goat originated in the Easter cape province of South Africa in the early 1900s. Current breed standards are a white color with a red head and white blaze. A few red patches are allowed, and a pigmented skin is preferred. The breed is horned and has a roman nose. Polled individuals occur occasionally. Mature females weigh 200 to 265 lb. The breed is prolific, with a common kidding rate of 200%. Because Boer goats have an extended breeding season, three kiddings every 2 years are possible (Fig. 14-22).

Stay updated, free articles. Join our Telegram channel

Aug 11, 2016 | Posted by in INTERNAL MEDICINE | Comments Off on Ovine and Caprine Husbandry

Full access? Get Clinical Tree

Get Clinical Tree app for offline access