Guirra Sheep

What is the history of Guirra Sheep?

The Guirra sheep is a domestic Spanish breed, mainly found in Spanish provinces along the Mediterranean coast (Alicante, Valencia, Castellón de la Plana).

Guirra sheep also known as Levant Red, Sudat. The exact origins of the Guirra sheep is not yet known, though it is suggested that the breed was developed through crossing another local Spanish breed, the Manchega, with North African thin-tail breeds.

The Guirra breed is now officially protected in Spain and it is raised not only for meat and milk production but also for its wool.

What are the characteristics of Guirra Sheep?

  • A small to medium sized sheep breed, the Guirra breed is widely known for the unique red tinge to their coat. 
  • At birth, lambs are born a red-brown colour, though the wool on their fleeces lightens to a red/cream colour as they mature.
  • This fleece covers the neck, trunk and parts of the legs of the Guirra breed.
  • Their fleece never grows dense and is known to be quite greasy to touch.
  • Guirra sheep have a dark, red pigmentation on their skin.
  • Both sexes are polled. Guirra sheep live up to 10-13 years.
  • The breed are best known for this pigmentation, while they are also famed for the convex profile of their nose and forehead.
  • They have medium-sized ears, which point horizontally from the side of their heads.
  • Historically raised for meat, wool and milk production, they are primarily raised for their meat today.
  • A very hardy and strong breed, Guirra sheep are quite adaptable and can cope with most climates.
  • One unique, goat-like, trait of the breed is that they can reach for food up high, using two legs to balance on.  
  • Guirra breed was once widely used for milk production purposes. This isdue to the high quality of the milk, which is excellent for producing high-quality artisan cheeses.

What is the weight of mature Guirra Sheep?

The mature Guirra ram weighs around 80 kg and ewe weighs 50 kg.

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