- General and History
- Distribution in the past and today
- Processing and products
DescriptionThe unicoloured white animals bear considerable resemblance to the Bergamasca. They also have long and meaty lop ears, the forehead is slightly woolly. The breed is study, with a ram body weight of 100kg, the belong to the heavy Alpine breeds. The wool is long and hanging, it makes a part at the back of the body.
General and HistoryThe breed has its origin in the Sudan, with lots of resemblance to the Bergamasca. It also belongs to the lop-eared Alpine Group. Two types exist: the Biellese di Vercelli and the Biellese Piemontese Alpina.
Distribution in the past and todayAreas of distribution are Piedmont, Aosta Valley and Lombardy
UtilizationGood growth of lambs and good taste of the meat make the breed suitable for the production of lamb and mutton.
KeepingBiellese sheep graze the high-mountain pastures and slopes. During summer, the animals stay on Alpine pastures and graze less yielding sites at lower locations. Sheep are housed for 2 to 6 months (sometimes/not always).
PerformanceMilk yield of the ewes is between 120kg to 140kg.
Body weight: 100kg (m), 82kg (w)
Withers height: 86cm (m), 81cm (w)
Fleece weight: 3.5kg (m), 3.0kg (w)
Lambing percentage: 140%
Processing and productsThe wool ist used for mattresses and cushions.
CustomsBiellese sheep are also integrated into tourism programmes in Piemont.
LiteratureGünter Jaritz: Seltene Nutztiere der Alpen, 7000 Jahre geprägte Kulturlandschaft, Verlag Anton Pustet 2014
Schafrassen in den Alpen, Antja Feldmann, Ursula Bietzker, Dr. Christian Mendel, Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung von alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen e.V. - GEH.