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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - Santa Inês Sheep

Breeds of Livestock - Santa Inês Sheep

Santa Inês

santa4.jpgAlso Known By: Pelo de Boi de Bahia

The Santa Inês is a breed of Brazilian hair sheep. It is generally thought to be a cross of Morada Nova, the course-wooled Italian breed, Bergamasca, and the native coarse-wooled Crioula followed by a period of selection or evolution for absence of fleece. There do seem to be striking differences between the Santa Inês and the Sahelian types of hair sheep from the arid regions of west Africa. Their colors range from red, black and white and can be spotted or solid. They have large bodies, are long-legged and have large pendulous ears and are polled. The rams do not have a throat ruff. They have a low litter size of 1.25. Mature weights of the ewes in the field fall between 40 and 50 kg, and if well fed, the rams can weigh as much as 100 kg. The Santa Inês comes the closest to serving as a terminal sire breed in a crossbreeding system as any native hair breed of the American tropics. Unfortunately, because of their larger body size many producers of northeast Brazil are using Santa Inês to replace the smaller sized breeds with lower maintenance costs and larger litter sizes.


Mason, I.L. World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds. Third Edition. C.A.B International. 1988

Thomas, D.L., Hair Sheep Genetic Resource of the Americas. Proceedings Hair Sheep Research Symposium (ed. Stephan Wildeus). 1991. University of the Virgin Islands.


Carlos Eduardo Azevedo Souza, Brazil


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Updated December 14, 1998


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