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    Mukiibi, R. Rochus, C. M. Andersson, G. and Johansson, A. M. 2015. The use of endogenous retroviruses as markers to describe the genetic relationships among local Swedish sheep breeds. Animal Genetics, Vol. 46, Issue. 2, p. 220.


    Beynon, Sarah E. Slavov, Gancho T. Farré, Marta Sunduimijid, Bolormaa Waddams, Kate Davies, Brian Haresign, William Kijas, James MacLeod, Iona M. Newbold, C. Jamie Davies, Lynfa and Larkin, Denis M. 2015. Population structure and history of the Welsh sheep breeds determined by whole genome genotyping. BMC Genetics, Vol. 16, Issue. 1,


    von Holstein, Isabella C.C. and Makarewicz, Cheryl A. 2016. Geographical variability in northern European sheep wool isotopic composition (δ13C, δ15N, δ2H values). Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 30, Issue. 12, p. 1423.


    Kutluca, M. Emsen, E. Koycegiz, F. Gimenez-Diaz, C.A. and Aslan, F.A. 2011. Reproductive performance and milk traits of F1 Romanov ewes. Small Ruminant Research, Vol. 100, Issue. 1, p. 34.


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North European short-tailed breeds of sheep: a review

  • Ó. R. Dýrmundsson (a1) and R. Niżnikowski (a2)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S175173110999156X
  • Published online: 16 December 2009
Abstract

The short-tailed sheep, native of an area stretching from Russia to Iceland, are generally considered a primitive type. These robust northern sheep seem to have been spread by Norse vikings to several countries in this area from the late eighth century to the middle of the eleventh century ad. They have several common characteristics in addition to the fluke-shaped and tapered short tail, such as a wide range of colour patterns, dual-coated wool and the ability to thrive under harsh environmental conditions, often in isolated marginal areas. While 34 short-tailed breeds of North European origin can still be identified, it is clear that their population sizes have declined in most cases and several of them are now rare and endangered. Although these breeds have mainly been confined to certain localities, some of them have gained considerable distribution due to their genetic merits, such as prolificacy. Of these, the Finnsheep and the Romanov are best known being exported to several countries in the world where their genetic material has been utilized through crossbreeding with local sheep. This has resulted in the production of some new synthetic breeds. Meat is now generally the main product of the North European short-tailed breeds and their crossbreds, whereas wool, skins and milk are normally regarded as byproducts, yet of considerable economic importance in some cases. Such breeds have clearly a role to play in sustainable grassland-based production systems in the future.

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E-mail: ord@bondi.is
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ÓR Dýrmundsson 2006. Sustainability of sheep and goat production in North European countries – From the Arctic to the Alps. Small Ruminant Research 62, 151157.

MH Fahmy 1989. Reproductive performance, growth and wool production of Romanov sheep in Canada. Small Ruminant Research 2, 253264.

N Hunter , W Goldmann , JD Foster , D Cairns , G Smith 1997. Natural scrapie and PrP genotype: case–control studies in British Sheep. Veterinary Record 141, 137140.

V Jakubec 1977. Productivity of crosses based on prolific breeds of sheep. Summary of reports presented at the EAAP Annual Meeting, Zürich, Switzerland, 1976. Livestock Production Science 4, 379392.

K Maijala , S Österberg 1977. Productivity of pure Finnsheep in Finland and abroad. Livestock Production Science 4, 355377.

G Ricordeau , L Tchamitchian , J Thimonier , JC Flamant , M Theriez 1978. First survey of results obtained in France on reproductive and maternal performance in sheep with particular reference to the Romanov breed and crosses with it. Livestock Production Science 5, 181201.

M Tapio , I Tapio , Z Grislis , L-E Holm , S Jeppsson , J Kantanen , I Miceikiene , I Olsaker , H Viinalass , E Eythórsdóttir 2005a. Native breeds demonstrate high contributions to the molecular variation in northern European sheep. Molecular Ecology 14, 39513963.

S Thorgeirsdóttir , S Sigurdarson , HM Thórisson , G Georgsson , A Pálsdóttir 1999. PrP gene polymorphism and natural scrapie in Icelandic Sheep. Journal of General Virology 80, 25272534.

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