Manchega Sheep


A type of sheep called Ovis aries ligeriensis was the ancestor of today’s Manchega sheep.  This early sheep crossed the Pyrenees and various regions of Spain (Aragon and Castilla y Leon) eventually settling in the region of La Mancha.  That was where the Manchega sheep put its wandering, migratory days behind it and became a sedentary breed faithful to the land that was to adopt it forever.


It is a proven fact that the early inhabitants of La Mancha domesticated the Manchega sheep and improved the breed without allowing it to mix with other sheep breeds.  That is how the Manchega sheep has maintained its purity and original qualities, as well as its unique characteristics, which have hardly changed throughout the year centuries.



The Manchega sheep spends all year roaming the pastures and making the most of the natural resources of La Mancha, although its diet is reinforced with rations of concentrates and other by-products when its nutritional requirements are heavy (pregnancy, suckling, etc.). Depending on the size of the farm, the Manchega sheep can live in herds between 100 and 600 sheep, although there can be herds of up to 2,000 animals.


There are two varieties of Manchega sheep, differentiated by their coats:  a white sheep with no pigmentation of its mucous membranes (the more numerous variety), and a black sheep with white spots on its head and the distal ends of its anatomy.  There is no difference however, in the quality of the milk the two varieties produce.


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