About Karakul Sheep
Karakul Sheep are a fat-tailed (and
fat-rumped) sheep characteristic of the Middle East as well as southern Asia
and North Africa (although they were found as far south as the African Cape by
the seventeenth century). As the general name implies, they are distinguished
by an accumulation of fat in the tail and around the rump which evolved as a
store of food necessary for survival in a harsh, drought-prone environment.
Descriptions of such sheep can be found in
the earliest records of British exploration, but they have been known and bred
for thousands of years as is witnessed by Biblical reference to the type. The
Book of Leviticus records that a ram was bought for a burnt offering. After it
was slain, Moses "took the fat at the rump" which was then burnt at
Besides the characteristic ‘fat-tail’
feature, thay are relatively long-legged
with a long hairy coat, mainly black. Horns, Roman noses and pendulous ears add
to their highly distinctive appearance. They are well adapted to a hard, dry
The Karakul is the original ‘Persian lamb’
which has been known as a distinct breed for thousands of years. It is most
famous as a producer of high grade pelts for quality garments – the best being
taken from unborn lambs and those up to three days old. The hairy coat of older
animals was used in the production of Persian carpets.
Karakul meat is very lean and their
abundant milk supply is used for butter and cheese in some countries.
Content and Photo Source: New Zealand Rare