Rouge de Roussillon Sheep
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About Rouge de Roussillon SheepAbout Rouge de Roussillon Sheep



Rouge du Roussillon are an endangered breed of sheep fromrnsouthern France. They are primarily raised in the French Mediterraneanrncountryside for lamb meat. They are of Algerian descent, and came to France inrnthe 18th century, and were likely introduced to France via Spain.rnrn 

rnrnThey are a medium fine-wool breed. The males typically weighrn75-100 kg and stand 75-90 cm tall, while the ewes normally weigh around 55-65rnkg and stand 65-75 cm tall. They have white wool with a red head and legs. Theyrnare extremely hardy, and are able to survive all year outside. They can alsornthrive at high temperatures, and can live in climates with temperatures of overrn40 degrees Celsius. However, they also do well in colder climates with scarcernfood supplies.rnrn 

rnrnThey are raised mainly for meat production. Traditionally,rnlamb meat has accounted for about 95% of income from raising Rouge durnRossillons. The lambs are usually sold when they are still fairly light, aroundrn28-30 kg. Lambs sold when they are heavier are commonly considered to be toornfatty and are not as desirable on the market. The rest of the income comes fromrnwool sales They were historically milked, with the milk often being used forrncheese production, but this is not common today.rnrn 

rnrnRouge du Rossillon are not raised by transhumance, withrnherds mostly being sedentary. from mid-october to march the herds graze onrnresidual plants left over from crop harvests. They are often raised alongsidernLacaune sheep.rnrn 

rnrnToday, the Rouge du Rossillon is endangered, largely due torna general decline in livestock raising in its native region. There is anrnestimated world population remaining of around 5,900 reproductive females.rnHowever, there has been considerable improvement in recent years in terms ofrnits population numbers. A 1974 study estimated its population at only 750 ewesrnand 25 rams. In 1981, national protection actions were implemented to protectrnthe breed, and from 1994-2001 a conservation program was launched in GrandrnCausses regional natural park in France.

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