Awassi Sheep: Origin, Characteristics, and Uses

Awassi is an Arabic sheep and it has a lot of nicknames like Ausi, Syrian, Ivesi, Deiri, ductales, naumi among many other names.

The sheep breed has an amazing appearance and it is a great breed for profitable sheep farming business. However, there is scant information over the internet about the sheep breed.

In this post, you will discover information about the history and origin of the breed, physical characteristics and common health issues linked to the breed.

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History and Origin of Awassi Sheep

Awassi is a domestic sheep breed that originated from the Syro-Arabian desert. It is a multipurpose breed of sheep.

The natural and selective breeding resulted in the development of this nomadic sheep breed in the Arabian Desert. Many breeders love the animal since it is good for milk, meat and wool production.

The sheep breed has some close similarities with the Eastern Fat-tailed type and the animal breed is highly popular in southwest Asia.

The domestic sheep is highly popular in Iraq, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. The indigenous sheep breed is quite important in the Syrian Arabic Republic.

The animal is typically raised and bred in desert conditions like that of the northern kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They tend to be hardy and strong hence able to survive in the harsh desert weather climate.

The sheep has a small population in the southern Anatolia region of Turkey and this region happen to major export center the animals into North America.

Awassi Sheep Characteristics

General Appearance

The animals are quite pretty and they tend to have a striking body appearance. The coat has multiple colors and the tail is fat. The general coat color is white with both brown or black head and legs.

They have long and dropping ears while the head is also long and narrow with a convex profile. These are some of the features that make them to stand out from other sheep breeds.

Size and Weight

These are large sized animals with a compact body. The average weight of the rams is around 60 to 90 kg while that of a mature ewe is around 30 and 50 kg.

A mature ram has an average height of about 68 to 80 cm while that of the ewe is also about 65 to 70 cm. These are factors that make the breed to have a large amount of meat hence making them suitable for commercial meat production.

Breed Purpose

 These are multipurpose sheep breeds. They are typically used for meat, milk and wool production. The sheep breed is a great deal for commercial sheep farming.


Ewes are generally polled while the Rams have horns that are long and spiral in appearance.

Climate Tolerance

The animals are robust and hardy. They are suitable breeds of sheep for nomadic farmers. They have the ability to withstand harsh weather climate in the desert region.

Behavior and Temperament

Ewes are motherly and active. However, the rams can be aggressive and it is recommended to handle them with care. Rams are also used as sire sheep breeds.

Common Health Issues

Awassi breed of sheep has unique physiologic features that make them be resistant to parasites and other common sheep diseases.

They also have the ability to walk for long distances in search of pastures for grazing and this is the reason why they are suitable for nomadic farmers.

However, it is recommended to have a close relationship with a professional vet who will be able to check and diagnose any symptoms of diseases.

It is also recommended to provide adequate water for the animals in order to keep them hydrated for a long period of time despite moving from one place to another.


Are you thinking of starting a sheep farming business? What are the rules and regulations of country states? It is recommended to start any kind of farming by adhering to the laws and regulations of the state.

What type of sheep breed do you intend to breed? Of course, Awassi sheep is the most recommended since it is hardy and multi-purpose.

Do you have these animals on your farm? We would love to hear more of their stories. Kindly use the comment form and share with us their stories. Cheers!

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