About Tautersheep SheepAbout Tautersheep Sheep

Tautersheep, also known as Tautra sheep, are an extinct breed of sheep from Tautra island in Frosta, Norway. They were a sheep with fine wool resembling the Spanish merino. The origin of this breed is disputed, but could possibly be a merino sheep brought to Tautra several hundred years ago, and afterwards mixed with old Norse sheep, others have claimed that the origin is from the English Ryeland sheep, which suggest that the Tautersheep was a far younger race.

The fine wool of the Tautersheep became very popular at the end of the 19th century, increasing the demand for the growth of the wool, which caused problems because the wool had a tendency to grow over the eyes of the animal. As early as 1805, 70 Tautersheep were exported to Sweden, and in 1884, some were sold to Denmark, and later, exported to The Faroe Islands. The fertility of this sheep was low and they had problems with the stony Norwegian terrain. As foreign sheep breeds became more common in Norway in the 20th century, the interest in breeding Tautersheep declined.

After the Second World War, the individuals of the breed gradually grew fewer. In 1959, only one place bred Tautersheep, six grown individuals and five lambs were the only ones left, the breeding organization dismissed the breed and the sheep were advertised, but no buyers turned up. The last Tautersheep were then slaughtered and the breed then became extinct.