Rygja Sheep

About Rygja SheepAbout Rygja Sheep

Rygja sheep are originally from Rogaland in south west Norway. In the 18th century the local Norwegian Spael sheep were crossed with several imported breeds, such as Merino, South Down, and Leicester. After 1860 mostly Cheviot and Sutherland sheep were imported and had also an influence. In later years further crossings have been made with Texel, Finnsheep, Dala, and Steigar sheep.

Rygja sheep are now spread throughout Norway and are bred for both meat and wool production. They are white and long-tailed. Both rams and ewes are polled. Their wool wool is uniform with a mean fiber diameter of 37.4 microns. Their mean greasy fleece weight is around 3.5 kg. They are known for producing shiny wool, almost free of medullated fibers but with less bulk than the wool of Dala and Steigar sheep. Their wool is used for many purposes, mostly various types of yarns, and pelts are used for nappa-leather and woolskins. The wither height of the adult rams is 76 cm. Adult live weight is 110 kg for rams and 75-80 kg for ewes. The mean litter size is 1.89 lambs at birth and 1.52 weaned. Mean carcass weight of lambs is 18.3 kg when slaughtered at the age of 6 months. The largest proportion of their carcasses falls into grade O in the EUROP classification system.