Why Chios Sheep Farming?
The Chios Sheep is a traditional breed of Cyprus, with ancient origins going back to 1200-900 BC. They are the old heritage breed of Cyprus and are known for their fertility, strong and agile character and small frame. Since the early 20th century, there has been little breeding activity on the island and most of the animals that were present were classified as destitute by the authorities and were almost extinct by the 1950s. These were only reintroduced during the 1970s and it was realized that there was a massive pool of selection able animals within this animal. It is now recognized that the rarer the animal is, the better the condition is the progeny.
A stunning variety of colors are created by their hair coat which have been developed through selective breeding programs. Their hair coat naturally sheds every 3 months therefore no need of preventative maintenance. It has a fluffy and thick coat which suits very well to the Mediterranean climate and they are able to regulate their own body temperature very well. They are also able to eliminate parasites without any intervention. They can give birth at any time of the year and this makes it the best animal for shepherds in the rainy season and the cold winter. The shepherds have the opportunity of housing them in individual pens on the field and able to graze them at will. This is a great advantage in dry climates where cattle aren’t always available and are fed on grass.
The Chios Sheep may be used in the following sheep production systems: As a Medium, Large or Heavy Wool Merino ram In parallel with the introduction of the new sheep breeds like; the New Zealand Withers, the Romney BFL, the Dhurk Merino (various indigenous sheep breeds to be re-introduced in Cyprus), the Moor Dourado and the Egyptian Lambskins, and as a tool to reduce the cost of hay feeding, the medium, large and heavy wool (M.L.W.) lambs, lambs with the appropriate features are being bred. In the latter scenario, he makes use of the various other sheep breeds (combinatorial approach) Also known as the Cyprus breed of sheep, (M.L.W).
Chios Sheep More Protein Than Pig as it is more popularly known, is one of the most popular farm animals. This meat is characterised by more protein than pig, cow or goat. The meat has high levels of essential amino acids and have greater levels of selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamins and minerals that other meats can not match. Additionally, Chios Sheep has a very low level of parasitic worms compared to other meats. Chios Sheep breed is the only sheep known to produce prime lamb meat for both the local market and export markets. This is high-quality meat that is not contaminated with chemicals such as pesticides and so has a cleaner coat and skin. With the cattle being the only source of raw meat meat for consumption.