An Eco-sustainable World
Sheep and goatsSpecies Animal



The Livo is a sheep (Ovis aries Linnaeus, 1758) native to Lombardy, with a main aptitude for meat production.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Animalia,
Phylum Chordata,
Mammalia class,
Order Artiodactyla,
Suborder Ruminantia,
Bovidae family,
Subfamily Caprinae,
Genus Ovis,
O. aries species,
Livo breed.

Geographic and Area Distribution –
The Livo breed is a native sheep of Lombardy and in particular of the mountainous area of the upper Lario.
Unfortunately, today this breed is one of those that risk extinction in Lombardy.

Origins and History –
The Livo breed is a sheep of which there is no precise information on its origin; the little information refers to a survey carried out by the CNR in 1983.
However, observing the structure of the woolly cover and some somatic features, it is conceivable in its formation interventions of specialized sheep for the production of wool, introduced around 1950 in the northernmost area of Lake Como, in particular the Merinolandschaf (or Merino Württemberger ) originally from Württemberg (Germany). Furthermore, it would seem that some lop-eared sheep from the Alpine arc are involved (Bergamasca, Brianzola) and there are considerable similarities with the Alpine Ciavenasca breed.
At the beginning of the 1980s a population of about 500 heads was recorded but there are currently no recent data. We assume a consistency of less than one hundred heads and the registry has been empty for several years.

Morphology –
The Livo breed is a medium-sized sheep, with an average height at the withers of 70-75 cm in males and 65-70 cm in females. The average weight is 70 kg for males and 50-55 kg for females.
It has a fine and proportionate head, with a slightly ramified straight profile. The ears are small, semi-drooping and, moreover, it is hornless in both sexes; moreover, a pronounced front tuft is noted.
The trunk is well proportioned and of medium development and the croup is slightly sloping.
It has relatively long limbs with excellent perpendicularity.
The fleece is straw-coloured, semi-closed, with quite long fine flocks; this extends over the forehead and the lower third of the forearm and up to the withers at the rear.

Productive attitude –
The Livo is a breed mainly used for the production of meat; this is obtained from lambs slaughtered at a weight of 10-12 kg. The milk is intended exclusively for feeding the lamb.
The annual production of wool per head is around 2-2.5 kg, obtained in two shearings but of mediocre quality.
It is a hardy breed well adapted to its range but which, like other endangered breeds, has been affected by competition from other more productive breeds but, above all, by the abandonment of some marginal areas with considerable damage to the ecology and the economy of entire territories, where maintenance is guaranteed precisely by the breeding activity, with the silent work of cleaning and compacting the soil carried out by these animals.

Guido Bissanti

– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon , 2010. Atlas of native breeds. Cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs reared in Italy, Edagricole-New Business Media, Bologna.

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