Tunisian Milk Sheep


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Sardinian; Silico-Sarde.
Special Characteristics: 
Body conformation is poor but it is a hardy animal in the harsh environment of the coast. The fleece is very open with coarse locks; the head, lower part of the neck and chest, belly and legs are bare. Coat colour is white with black or red-brown head. Males are horned and ewes are usually polled (Mason, 1967; Mason, 1996).
Main Location: 
The breed mainly inhabits northern Tunisia.
This breed is developed from interbreeding of imported Sardinian and Sicilian milk sheep in northern Tunisia. The original stocks of Sardinian and Sicilian sheep were introduced to Tunisia by Italian settlers before 1900, and by 1949 there were 40,000 of these sheep in the districts of Mateur, Bizerta, Beja, Tunis and Grombalia. The Sicilian sheep had greater influence on the composite Tunisian milk sheep until further large importations of the Sardinian sheep were made in 1948. Consequently the breed is also referred to as Sardinian. They had been crossed to some extent with al least Lacaunr and Barbary breeds (Mason, 1967).