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Ouessant Sheep

Scientific name:  Ovis aries
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  Europe
Habitat:  Plains
Diet:  Herbivorous
Weight:  11 - 20 kg
Size:  40 -50 cm

It owes its name to a Breton island... Ouessant.

There are 6 wild species left in addition to the domestic breeds even today. They are ruminant herbivores that feed on grass, hay and seeds and live between 12 and 14 years. The ewe can give birth to 1 or 2 young after a gestation of 5 months and she nurses them for 6 weeks. Sheep are raised for their meat, their milk (which is made into butter and cheese), their hair (wool) and their skin (leather). The main sheep farms are found in Australia, New Zealand, Patagonia (southern South America), China, India and the United Kingdom. The Rouge du Roussillon breed comes from a North African breed. It was bred in the south of France for its meat but nearly disappeared until a rescue plan was put in place in the early 1980s. The Ouessant sheep is the smallest breed in the world and he is originally from Brittany.

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


The Ouessant sheep owes its name to a Breton island. It almost became extinct at the end of the 1970s (486 individuals) but was saved by passionate breeders.