Characteristics of Red Maasai sheep

Red Maasai sheep primarily raised for meat. The breed is originated from East Africa. Red Maasai sheep serves as the main food for local Maasai communities. Red Maasai is known for its drought-resistant and parasite resistant characteristics.

Red Maasai sheep breed information

The Red Maasai sheep are part of Maasai (Semi-nomadic herders of Kenya) culture.

The sheep are small-sized usually red in color.

The sheep have no wool, covered by dense hair.

The Red Maasai sheep are resistant to drought and local parasites.

The adult Red Maasai ram weighs 45 kg (99 lb) and ewe weighs 35 kg (77 lb).

Red Maasai has a fat-tail which is the source of fat storage that helps in drought conditions.

The height of the ram is 73 cm and the ewe is 62 cm withers.

The Red Maasai sheep are used only for meat.

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Things to know

The Red Maasai sheep is also called as Tanganyika. Now the breed is found in Southern Kenya, northern Tanzania, and Uganda.

The Red Maasai are butchered only after 12 months of age. The local community feasts on sheep meat only on special occasions.

According to traditional belief, the rain god entrusted livestock to the Maasai when heaven and earth were divided, and the Red Maasai sheep was the first animal chosen by the community to be farmed.

“The Red Maasai was the predominate sheep breed among the Maasai and other tribes in Kenya until the 1970s, when subsidies began to support crossbreeding with Dorper sheep and other imported types. Developed in South Africa, Dorpers began to be widely crossbred with native Kenyan stock. Today, fewer purebred Red Maasai sheep remain, and crossbreeds are the majority, making the future of the breed uncertain.” – wiki

The endoparasites cause huge losses in livestock when compared to the introduction of Dorper, the Red Maasai are more resistant to the parasites.

Characteristics of Red Maasai sheep

Breed Name Red Maasai sheep
Other NameTanganyika
Country/Place of OriginKenya
Breed Purposeamericamilk, blood, and meat
Breed Sizesmall
 45 kg (99 lb)
Ewe(Female)35 kg (77 lb)
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing 
Climate Tolerancelocal conditions

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