Rya sheep are from Sweden, they are also known as Swedish
Carpet Wool Sheep or Ryafar sheep. They originated from Norwegian, Swedish, and
Norwegian Spaelsau sheep. They were raised to produce long, wavy and shiny wool
to produce rya-wool.
Few long wool sheep breeds remained in the province of
Dalarna, leading to the restoration of this sheep breed in the early 20th
century. And there was a stable population of about 2000 Rya sheep in 2000.
Currently most of the population of them can be found in the northern and
central Sweden, and most of the herds are located in Dalarna. Dalarna had a
population of sheep with long wool at the start of the twentieth century, which
was popular in the area to decorate national customers. Breeding was done for
obtaining sheep that produce the rya-wool in 1915. Read some more information
about this breed below.
Rya are medium-sized sheep. They are generally white, but
black, brown and gray animals are also found in the breed. They have relatively
short legs, and have strong and shiny long wool fibers. Their legs, tail,
cheek, forehead and crown do not have wool. The wool can be about 6 inches long
for a 3 month old lamb. And the wool can be up to 12 inches long for an adult
Rya sheep. Half the fleece should be the hair coat, which should be lustrous
with a well-defined, broad crimp. Both rams and ewes are usually polled and
have long tails. Average wither height of the adult rams is about 75 cm, and
around 70 cm for the ewes.