Red Karaman Sheep

What is the history of Red Karaman Sheep?

The Red Karaman some similarities with White Karaman, and in fact carries the word Karaman in its name. According to Mason (1967), however, it merits classification as a separate breed, along with the White Karaman, and not merely as a colour variant of the Karaman.

The Turkish names KiziI Karaman and Mor Karaman are used for the breed, often interchangeably, because of its reddish-brown colour. Kizil is the Turkish word for red and Mor is the Turkish word for maroon.

The breed also exists in the port of Iran bordering Turkey, with the name used in the literature as Kizil, Gezel or Ghezel.

The Red Karaman is distributed in the northeastern provinces of Turkey, namely Kars, Erzurum, Agri, Muş, Bingöl, Van, Bitlis, Erzincan and Elaziğ.

The White Karaman also occurs in the above provinces in smaller numbers. Nomadic flocks of the Red Karaman are seen in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir and Urfa during winter.

The Red Karaman flocks are managed under either sedentary or migratory (nomadic or transhumant) systems. Migratory flocks spend the summer on mountain grazing in eastern Anatolia and migrate to their winter base or to warmer lowland areas in southeastern Anatolia for the rest of the year.

Most of the lambings take place in April (about one month later than in Central Anatolia). The nutrition of the sheep can be considered to be good during summer and early autumn, but maintenance of the animals during the long winter months is often difficult.

Other management aspects are generally similar to those described for the White Karaman.

What are the characteristics of Red Karaman Sheep?

  • The Red Karaman is a fat-tailed sheep.
  • The fat tail and the end-piece form an S-shape as in White Karaman.
  • The size of the body and the tail are larger than in White Karaman.
  • The colour is brown or reddish-brown; the colour is darker on head, neck and legs.
  • In general, Red Karaman ewes and Red Karaman rams are polled; about 1 percent of ewes and 10 percent of rams may have small horns.
  • Ears are pendulous or semi-pendulous.
  • The wool is of mixed, coarse carpet type, with low density and open head, neck, belly and legs.
  • They have an average of 1 lambs born per lambing, with lambs averaging 3.5 - 3.9 kgs at birth.
  • Red Karaman Sheep reach sexual maturity at 18 months old.

What is the weight of mature Red Karaman Sheep?

Red Karaman ram is in the range of 50 - 90 kg and a mature Red Karaman ewe 40–60 kg.

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