|Photo by Larry Meisegeier|
Awassi evolved as a nomadic sheep breed through centuries of
natural and selective breeding to become the highest milk producing breed in
the Middle East. They are similar to the Near Eastern fat-tailed type. They are
used for milk production and carpet wool.
The average Awassi ewe has single lactations over 300 liters
(650 pounds) per 210-day lactation, and it is not uncommon for outstanding
females to have 210 day lactations above 750 liters (1,625 lbs).
As a comparison, the lactation of the average U.S. sheep
breed is about 100 to 200 pounds per lactation. The breed also has the
advantage of natural hardiness and grazing ability. The males are horned and
the females are usually polled. The fleece is mostly carpet type with a varying
degree of hair.