Krainer Steinschaf

Ark of taste
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The Krainer steinschaf used to be raised in several areas: in and around the city of Tolmin, the Soca-valley in Slovenia, in the Slovenian-speaking part of Friaul, and in a triangular region covering Austria, Slovenia and Italy. Among the proof of this history, is a black and white photograph taken in Friaul in 1942 of a flock of mostly light colored Krainer Steinschafe. Originally the Krainer Steinschaf was raised as a dairy sheep, making them very docile animals. The Krainer is still kept for milk production in Slovenia, while in Austria only two farms milk their animals today. The Krainer copes well with the dry area of the Carso region and rough climates. The fleece is coarse and thick and can be black, grey, white or brown in color (only rarely speckled). Some animals are spotted and some have horns. Lambing occurs year-round. Ewes weigh 50 – 60 kg (110-130 pound), rams 80 kg (175 pound) and yearlings are around 50 kg (110 pound). The Krainer Steinschaf is raised for meat production. Both the animals for slaughter and the breeding animals are raised on pasture without the use of concentrated feed for fattening. For this reason, it takes around 10 months for the animals to reach 40 kg, which is the ideal weight for slaughter. However, the this time can vary: some animals will reach 40 kg after just six months, while other take up to one year. The meat is of excellent quality: very tasty and tender. As the animals are raised according to the timeline of their natural development, the meat has a low percentage of fat.

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Kerstin Reichmann Kleintal