It is highly likely that the Arabi is descended from very ancient importations from Arabia across the narrow Bal-el-Mandeb Straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. This breed has adapted to extreme temperatures and conditions. Within the foothills of Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, summer temperatures rise to 41 °C (110 °F) and winter tempuratures down to −26 °C (−15 °F) with less than 400 mm (16 in) rain. From 1990 to 2000, the population of the Arabi increased from 1.4 million to 1.5 million.
The Arabi is usually white; however, black, brown and black-and-brown can occur. The wool has an average diameter of 26.2 micrometres. The average weight of mature rams is 53.5 kg (120 lb) with an average height at the wither of 81.2 cm (32 in). For mature ewes, their average weight is 38.2 kg (84 lb), 71.6 cm (28 in) at the withers and provides 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) of wool per shearing. Birth weight for rams is about 4.4 kg (9.7 lb) and ewes 4.0 kg (8.8 lb). On average, slightly more than one lamb is produced per litter.
- "Arabi". Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Animal Science. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- International Livestock Research Institute. "Arabi". General Breed Information. Domestic Animal Genetic Resources Information System. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- "Arabi/Iran (Islamic Republic of)". Breed data sheet. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
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