Romanov sheep

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Romanov sheep

Romanov is a breed of domestic sheep originating from the Upper Volga region in Russia. These domestic sheep got the name Romanov from the town of the same name. In the 18th century, these sheep were first noticed outside of Russia.

Soon after, they were imported to Germany and then to France. In 1980, 14 ewes and 4 rams were bought by the Canadian government and were quarantined for 5 years. After the testing, some of the Romanov breed was brought into the United States. The distribution of this unique breed is worldwide. This breed is raised primarily for meat.

  • Breed Size: Medium to large
  • Weight: Rams weight between 55 and 80 kg, and the ewe’s weight vary from 40 to 50 kg
  • Horns: No
  • Climate Tolerance: All climates
  • Color: Black and gray
  • Rarity: Common
  • Country/Place of Origin: Russia


Purebred Romanovs are born black and lighten to a soft silver grey as they make their fleece. The color is lost on the first cross. Most 1/2 Romanov lambs are born white (even the 1/2 Suffolk). A few are born tan, grey or speckled and bleach out to look like a regular crossbred sheep as they make their fleece.


The Romanov is originally from the valley of Volga in Moscow’s northeastern region. The name Romanov is derived from the former Russian royal family’s name and the breed dates back to the 18th century, after which they were brought to France and Germany.

The Canadians imported the Romanov in 1980 and there the breed remained in quarantine for five years. After the quarantine period, some were relocated to the United States. Today the Romanov sheep breed is one of the most abundant breeds of sheep in the world, a fact which is due (at least in part) due to their highly adaptable nature.


Romanov sheep is a medium to large sized breed of domestic sheep. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. These animals are usually pure black in color when they are born. But their body color quickly changes to gray, as they grow older. They are usually polled.


They will share concentrate and hay with their mothers while still in the claiming pens.Romanov carcasses remain lean as a large portion of their fat is laid down internally. Purebreds finish at relatively light weights (80-100lbs) which makes them ideal for the rapidly expanding ethnic market. When bred to a terminal sire such as a Charollais the crossbred lambs grow rapidly, and grade very well. The Romanov is aseasonal and therefore an ideal breed to incorporate into an accelerated lambing system.


The North American record for a Romanov ewe is seven live, healthy lambs in a litter. The Romanov breed record is a litter of nine. Romanov sheep have a phenomenal early sexual maturity. Rams and ewes are fertile by the time they are three months old.

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