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World Merinos Conference - may 2010

The Mérinos d'Arles
('Arles' Merino sheep)

Aptitudes
The major qualities of the Mérinos d’Arles breed are:

  • its fleece and its wool, 
  • its hardiness , of great value in extensive breeding systems ,at the time of transhumance when the animals are in the high mountains (up to altitudes of 2,500 -3,000 m) or when they are in the Crau (battered by the mistral, the violent North wind, or in corching heatwaves , of great value in extensive breeding systems),
  • its aptitudes for off-season breeding (65% of lambings are off-season).

It is the typical great transhumance animal. 

Selection and expansion
The choice of breeding stock, aided by the breeding Centre, is carried out according to wool value, conformation, growth, but above all according to fecundity.
If the qualities of the fleece were the start of the development of this breed, the Mérinos d’Arles female is today increasingly appreciated when crossed with meat breeds.

Mérinos d’Arles breeding animals have been exported to Spain, East Europe, North Africa and Nepal.

Population in France
255,000 ewes, 19,377 of them recorded

Maternal qualities (*)
Prolificacy: 1, 20
Average Daily Gain 10-30 days of males born as twins: 188 g/d.
Weight at 30 days of males born as twins: 9,6 kg.
Meat qualities (*)
Weight of rams: 70 to 90 kg
Weight of ewes: 40 to 60 kg
(*) On farm Performances Recording, Livestock Institute, FUS, 2007

Wool Average weight of fleece: ewe 3kg; rams 5,5kg.
Square tuft, wavy, soft, fine, wiry strand.
Length: 60-70 mm.
Average fineness: 20 µ (maximum 17- minimum 26 µ)



Contact

UPRA Mérinos d’Arles.
Domaine du Merle. Route d’Arles.
F13300 Salon de Provence.
Phone : +33 (0) 4 90 17 01 50
Mail : upramerinosdarl(at)free.fr 

Organisme de sélection GENOSE section Mérinos d’Arles.
Le Poux. F04200 Valernes
Phone : +33 (04) 92 61 18 56
Fax :+33 (0)4 92 34 49 97