Australian All Breeds Miniature Goat Society Inc.


INC#: IA41987
HEAD OFFICE: 1165 Brightview Road, Brightview QLD 4311

Persian Sheep


Photos curtsey of

Sharon Evans & Sarah Burgess

Painted Persians - Eudlo. Qld

Persian sheep are an ancient breed of sheep that originated in Africa.  They come in two varieties, harlequin (or speckled ) and kleur kop (which means ‘coloured head’)

The coloured head variety was first imported into Australia in 1999 and the first harlequins were imported in 2006. They are small, attractive sheep that come in a number of colours . 

They have a short coat made up of hair and some wool.  The breed does not require shearing, with the coat being shed each year in late Summer and Autumn. 

They have high fertility, good maternal instincts and become remarkably placid when regularly handled.


Many people when seeing Persian sheep for the first time mistake them for goats.  They are however a handsome breed of sheep.  The outstanding feature of Persian sheep is their colour and pattern.  Persian sheep come in two basic varieties:-


1. Coloured head(kleur kop in Afrikaans)– in this variety the entire sheep is white except for the head which can be either black, brown, red, tri-colour or blue.


2. Harlequin or Speckled – these sheep have solid coloured heads, legs and tails, while the body is covered with spots and patches on a white background.  The pattern on each  individualsheep is unique.   Harlequin Persians are called ‘Skilder Sheep’ in Afrikaans which literally means painted sheep . This term describes these beautiful animals well.  These sheep are extremely attractive and can also either be black, brown, red, tri-colour or blue.

Breed Standard

A. CONFORMATION


1. HEAD AND NECK
Strong head and neck symmetrically formed with a masculine wide, curved and prominent nose in the ram. Width between the eyes which are well protected above, ears in proportion to head, large and pointed. Strong, wide mouth and well-formed teeth. Loose horn buds acceptable, but no horns fixed to skull. Dewlap prominent and well-rounded with the neck, strong and full, but not too long and properly attached to dewlap. Head slightly higher than the line of the back and should have a tranquil and stately demeanour.

2. FORE QUARTER
Deep and wide with straight legs, spaced far apart. Chest wide, deep and rounded. Shoulders well-attached and well-muscled.

3. BODY PROPER
BODY : good depth, with well-sprung and muscled ribs, back straight from shoulders to hip bones. RUMP : Well-fleshed, wide with a strong connection to the back. GROIN : Held low and well-filled.

4. HIND QUARTER
Loin fairly long, wide hips, meaty with a square shape. Well-fleshed outer and inner thighs with shanks in proportion to bone – meat ratio of hindquarters.

5. TAIL SECTION
Substantial tail, well attached, balanced and in proportion to body. Symmetrically formed. Base on first connection (between tail section and body), sturdy and squarely attached and in proportion to the body size. Second connection (between first connection and apex) to be firmly attached to base or first connection and to be level with rump. Apex to be held high, well attached and symmetrical. Tassel or small tail to preferably hang straight down, be in proportion to the rest of the tail section and be lighter in ewes than in rams. A skew tassel or small tail is now also acceptable for stud purposes. The mirror (shining skin triangle without hair) to be black without any white spots, wide and have an inverted V-shape which is level on the bottom section.

6. LEGS
Strong well placed legs on sturdy feet, strong pasterns, hocks not sickle or cow-hocked. Hooves short and black in colour without being turned-in or turned-out.

B. SIZE


An animal with a good and acceptable size for its age. Height Standards will be introduced as the breed develops.

C. HAIR COVERING


Smooth and lustrous in quality without evidence of wool.


D. COLOUR PATTERNS:
 
BLACK HEADED PERSIAN


HEAD AND NECK
Even black colouring around neck. Notches or indentations and/or loose points maximum ONE finger width allowed for stud or TWO fingers width acceptable for flock. STUD : Black not to extend lower than FOUR fingers from point of chest (brisket) or higher than FOUR fingers width from back attachment of dewlap to neck. STUD : When the animal stands in its normal upright position the black colouring should start no further up the neck than TWO fingers width from the point of the neck attachment to the back. FLOCK : Black not to extend lower than TWO fingers width from point of chest (brisket) or higher than TWO fingers width from back attachment of dewlap to neck. FLOCK : When the animal stands in its normal upright position the black colouring should start no further up the neck than FOUR fingers width from the point of the neck attachment to the back. White hairs around mouth are acceptable in mature animals.

TAIL SECTION (COLOUR)
Mirror triangle well pigmented with 80% black. Black hairs on tail (blue tail) acceptable in mature animals.

UNDER BODY (BELOW KNEES AND HOCKS) (COLOUR)
Black markings or patches in total no more than ONE cm are acceptable. Small spots resulting from mosquito or midge bites are acceptable.

RED HEADED PERSIAN

HEAD AND NECK (COLOUR)
Even red colouring around neck. Notches or indentations and/or loose points maximum ONE finger width allowed for stud or TWO fingers width acceptable for flock. STUD : Red not to extend lower than FOUR fingers from point of chest (brisket) or higher than FOUR fingers width from back attachment of dewlap to neck. STUD : When the animal stands in its normal upright position the red colouring should start no further up the neck than TWO fingers width from the point of the neck attachment to the back. FLOCK : Red not to extend lower than TWO fingers width from point of chest (brisket) or higher than TWO fingers width from back attachment of dewlap to neck. FLOCK : When the animal stands in its normal upright position the red colouring should start no further up the neck than FOUR fingers width from the point of the neck attachment to the back. White hairs around mouth and nose are acceptable in mature animals.

TAIL SECTION (COLOUR)
Red-headed Persians should have adequate pigment on mirror. Red hairs on tail acceptable in mature animals.

UNDER BODY (BELOW KNEES AND HOCKS) (COLOUR)
Red spots or patches in total no more than ONE cm are acceptable. Tiny red spots in total no more than ONE centimeter are acceptable. Ideally hooves should be dark coloured.

PAINTED PERSIAN

Only black or red plus white Painted Persians are acceptable.

COLOUR PATTERN (minimum requirements)
The body should display easily recognizable patches on both sides of the body. A totally red, black or white animal is not acceptable. A Painted Persian with a flecked (skimmel) appearance is not acceptable, but limited flecking (skimmel) in isolated patches is allowed, although it is discriminated against. More than TWO colours present are totally unacceptable. No discrimination against colour on the scrotum of rams, as long as the rest of the body colouring is typical. The whole head should be a specific colour (black or red) and should be repeated on the legs. White hairs around mouth and nose are acceptable in mature animals.

E. REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS : RAMS
Two matching, well-developed and formed testicles in a single sheath, which is not split at end. Testicle sac to be firmly attached to body.

F. REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS : EWES
A well formed and attached udder with ONE fully functional teat PER side. Texture of udder to be soft and pliable.