Steinschaf sheep are a direct descendent of the now extinct
Zaupelschaf. They have developed characteristics that made them perfect for
life in the high mountains of Eastern Alpine regions. In the beginning of the
20th century the Steinschaf still roamed the meadows of Bavaria, Germany,
especially the areas around Berchtesgaden, Traunstein, and Rosenheim. In
Austria, their range was mainly in the Salzburg area.
The original Steinschaf used to be a dual-coated, small, and
wiry high mountain sheep, weighing 28- 30 kg (62-66 lbs). It was bred twice a
year and it had 20-70 % twins. The modern Steinschaf is a robust, small to medium-sized
sheep with a coarse, dual-coated fleece that can be of all colors and markings.
It would benefit the breed if it could be kept exclusively on high alpine
meadows, in order to retain its excellent characteristics.