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Karakachan sheep

The Karakachan sheep is the domestic sheep’s closest ancestor to the wild European mouflon, and is one of the oldest breeds of sheep in Europe. Animals of this breed have been bred from ancient times - ancient authors mention sheep with rough wool kept by the Thracians. The breed takes its name from the Karakachans who have been practicing nomadic farming.

The Karakachan sheep is the result of centuries of selection by  nomadic shepherds who, until the middle of the twentieth century,  crossed the Balkans with them. It is a durable breed, well adapted to severe natural conditions and a nomadic lifestyle.

Karakachan sheep are small, with strong bones and hard hooves. The males have long, strong, spirally twisted horns, while females are mostly without horns, although some of them have small ones. Hallmark of the breed is the short thin tail with the characteristic thickening at the base.

The wool is coarse, mostly gray-black or brown-black in colour, rarely white. The abdomen, the legs and the head are not covered in wool. The fleece has a specific structure that allows rapid draining of water during the frequent rains in the mountains, and thus keeps the animal body dry.

Karakachan sheep can be seen at the model farm in the village Topolovo, the village of Razhenovo in the Madzharovo municipality, the village of Nanovitsa in the municipality of  Momchilgrad, the village of Odrintsi in the Ivaylovgrad municipality or the village of Makedontsiin in the municipality of Kardzhali.

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