Patagonia Sheep

May 25th, 2009 Posted in fauna

Written by Shanie

Fluffy, cute and with a sweet disposition, Patagonian sheep are a kindred aspect to the region’s alluring affects.

patagonia-sheep

They are also one of Patagonia’s main forms of income.

With a history that dates back to the early 1900s, sheep are an increasingly popular means of livelihood among locals. Estimates today put about 50% of the Argentine sheep population in Patagonia. This number is continually rising as the popularity of raising sheep throughout the Pampa dissolves. The majority of sheep are being raised for their wool, though there is a small national distribution of meat — international export has restrictions.

Although the Argentine sheep industry saw a down turn with the lowering profits on global wool production in the 20th century, the 21st century brought a renewed hope. The devaluation of the peso and increased demand in supply by nations like China and Europe helped the enterprise move into the next level of profitability.

Today, the Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces are the most prolific sheep herders, a testament that this a great business choice for the barren, harsh conditions of deep Patagonia.

Sheep are an amazing animal. They are able to withstand intensely windy conditions, freezing temperatures and desolation.

Two of the more common breeds used in Patagonia are the Corriedale and Merino. Both known for their meat and wool, these breeds are also known for their docile mannerisms, a high fertility rate and soft texture to their wool.

Patagonia can be a land of harsh realities. Harsh winds. Harsh landscape. Harsh environment. But the sheep of Patagonia help balance that out with their teddybear-like energy. The two are true opposites of each other; a great dichotomy…one that works so well together.

Patagonia: an open, free-roaming landscape; a backdrop of peaceful existence for the sheep. And in exchange: an offer of animal companionship, warmth and a means to profit in a land otherwise devoid of much income ability.

Sounds like a pretty great trade-off to me.

 

 

  1. 3 Responses to “Patagonia Sheep”

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