Araucanian Creole Sheep

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

The Araucanian Creole Sheep descends from a cross that occurred during the 15th century with Spanish breeds imported from the conquistadores, and later in the 19th century, with English breeds. ""Araucanian"" sheep have adapted to the environmental and geographical conditions of the Araucania region, in the territory of the city of Victoria, and have been bred and consumed mainly by the Mapuche population for centuries.

This native sheep, which is very rustic, is used for both its wool and its meat. It has good maternal abilities, is highly prolific and resists well against disease.
Sheep have a good capacity to convert their food, making them able to easily adapt to harsh and marginal territories and pastures, and supply rich and highly appreciated meat.

This animal has a black face and hooves, and in general their body is covered in a white-yellow wool, but some can even have black wool. It has a small head with a rectilinear profile, with short ears and a thick neck. The weight of adult animals can range from 60 to 80 kilos for males, and from 45 to 55 kilos for females.

Breeding, which is traditionally extensive, has been an important part of Mapuche farming practices and the local economy for some time, where their wool is used to make clothes, and their meat, above all that of the lambs (cordero), is used for consumption. It was in fact tradition to prepare and eat a lamb in the presence of guests.

Araucanian lamb meat is highly appreciated, but from the 19th century onwards and during the last twenty years of the 20th century, a large number of foreign breeds were considered more suitable for intensive breeding systems subsequently introduced, thus resulting in strong competition with Araucanian sheep.

Back to the archive >



La Araucanía

Other info


Breeds and animal husbandry

Indigenous community:Mapuche
Nominated by:Victor Omar Hernandez Faundez