Українські гірськокарпатські вівці
In the past, rearing sheep was the main activity of the Hutsuls, local residents of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The Ukrainian Carpathian mountain sheep is a coarse-wool breed, medium in size with strong hooves and muscles. They are well adapted to the cold climate of the pastures on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains. Their wool is usually white, but can sometimes be black, gray, or brown. The animals are used to produce wool, milk, and meat. The Hutsuls use the milk of these sheep to produce traditional dairy products such as guslianka, budz, urdă and bryndza cheese.
Ukrainian Carpathian mountain sheep were originally bred from very old local breeds connected to the Hutsul communities. As such, they are the only remaining representatives of the local sheep genetic resources. Small-scale local farmers and shepherds are working to maintain ancient cheese making practices and traditional uses of sheep products. The basic requirement for this is open access to subalpine pastures rich in natural herbs and grasses. Fortunately, the population of Ukrainian Carpathian mountain sheep is being promoted, but the traditions that it represents and the landscape that it comes from still need to be protected.