Nera di Arbus
|Other names||Pecora Nera di Arbus|
|Country of origin||Italy|
|Use||Dual-purpose, primarily for milk|
|horned; ear-lobes small or absent|
The Nera di Arbus, more fully Pecora Nera di Arbus ("black sheep of Arbus"), is a breed of small domestic sheep indigenous to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italy. It takes its name from the comune of Arbus, in the province of Medio Campidano, in the south-western part of the island. It is raised in the provinces of Cagliari, Nuoro, Oristano and Sassari. The breed achieved official recognition in 2008.
The Nera di Arbus is one of the seventeen autochthonous Italian sheep breeds for which a genealogical herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia, the Italian national association of sheep-breeders. In 2008, the first year of registration, 233 head were registered in the herdbook; in 2013 the total number recorded was 4118.
The milk yield of the Nera di Arbus, over and above that taken by the lambs, averages 50 litres in 100 days for primiparous ewes, and 88–98 l in 180 days for pluriparous ones. The milk averages 6.5% fat and 5.6% protein. Lambs weigh 9.5–9.8 kg at 30 days. Rams yield about 2 kg of wool, ewes about 1.2 kg; the wool is of coarse quality. It is used to make orbace, a coarse hand-woven cloth, from which two traditional Sardinian garments are made: sa mastrucca, the overcoat worn by shepherds; and su sacu, a heavy waterproof blanket.
- Breed data sheet: Nera di Arbus/Italy. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed February 2014.
- Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594. p. 256–257.
- [s.n.] (15 March 2008). La pecora nera ha il pedigree (in Italian). Regione Autonoma della Sardegna. Accessed February 2014.
- La Pecora Nera di Arbus: Standard della razza (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Ufficio centrale libri genealogici e registri anagrafici razze ovine e caprine. Accessed February 2014.
- Consistenze Provinciali della Razza NA Nera di Arbus Anno 2013 (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Banca dati. Accessed February 2014.