Assaf Sheep: Origin, Characteristics and Uses

Assaf sheep are the best breed for starting a profitable sheep farming business. Unfortunately, a few numbers of farmers have less information about the sheep breed.

There is scant information about the sheep breed over the internet and this is the reason behind why they are not popular across the world despite being the most productive breed of sheep.

In this post, you will learn information about the history and origin, physical characteristics, common health problems and how to manage them.

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History and Origin of Assaf Sheep

The sheep breed originates from Israel. The domestic sheep were developed as a result of cross-breeding between Awassi sheep and East Fresian sheep breed.

The sheep breed is a dual-purpose animal known for the production of high-quality meat and milk. Most natives prefer sheep for milk production purposes.

The sheep breed is quite popular in the native region and it has seen it spread to the neighboring Mediterranean countries.

The kind of sheep is raised and managed under a serious intensive production system in the country of origin. The system was started in 1955 with the intention of increasing the number of animals.

Recently the breed of sheep has spread to almost all countries in Europe and even in North America. Most sheep farmers have decided to breed them with the intention of getting quality milk and partly meat.

Assaf Sheep Breed Characteristics

Size and Weight

These are medium-size animals. The average weight of the ewes and rams is about 450kg hence the reason why they are also used for meat production.

Breed Purpose

Assaf is mainly bred for both meat and milk production. However, they are typically known as dairy sheep in the country of origin due to a large amount of milk the sheep produces.

Climate Tolerance

The sheep breed is hardy and strong. They have the capability to survive in different weather climates across the world.


Both the ewes and rams are polled. This implies that they do not have horns at all.

General Appearance and Coat Color

The sheep are generally white in color and the facial appearance is purely white. The gorgeous appearance makes them be lovable easily. The body is also covered by a slight amount of wool that is supposed to be shear after some time.

Reproduction Rate

Under favorable conditions, the ewes have the capability to lamb about three young ones within two years. They also have a high maturity rate as compared to other breeds of sheep.

Behavior and Temperament

The sheep breed is generally active and docile in temperament. They can easily be managed and handle even by novice farmers.

Common Health Problem of Assaf Sheep

The animals are hardy and robust. They are rarely affected by common sheep diseases. However, it is recommended to call a professional vet in case you notice some weird symptoms of diseases for diagnosis and treatment.

Also, remember to shear the sheep once the wool has overgrown. It is advisable to shear the sheep during the spring season.

Note: You can read my article on how to shear the sheep like a pro step by step. Sheep shearing will help to prevent infestation of lice or mites and also make it easy to clean them.

Provide a well-balanced diet for your animals in order to make them stay healthy and productive throughout the year.


Are you planning to start a sheep farming business? Well, I would recommend Assaf sheep since it is a dual-purpose breed and its meat is pricey as compared to other breeds of sheep.

You need to consider the rules and regulations pertaining to sheep rearing in your country before considering this type of sheep farming activities. Good Luck.

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