A long time I was thinking about buying this kind of sheep breed. But I was frightened because of the horns first. I thought it would be difficult to hold them into the electric fences. But it's nearly perfect, because of the straight horns they usually don't get tangled up. With luck and the help from Tamás - a hungarian friend - we have had the chance to import 10 ewes straight from Hungary. I've never never regret this decision! I think this breed is nearly perfect for the things I want to have from a sheep! They are shy and flighty, frugal, not too heavy, easy to handle, have perfect claws, and (for me) quite pretty to look.
Of archaeology researches it seems the hungarian Racka have been seen first at the time of emigration of nations in the Carpathian Basin. Linguistic dates show that for hungarian ancestors the name "Sheep" (juh) was just used for this kind of breed. Anyway, the Racka is one of the oldest domestic breeds.
The first written notices of animals with V-shaped horns are found between the 16th and 17th century.
1903 this breed was threatened with extinction. After the second world war, there have just been a few animals left. Since 1950 the breeding was increased.
In the year 1983 the hungarians founded a "hungarian Racka breeder association" (Magyar Rackajuh-tenyésztő Egyesület) The aims of this association are the conservation of the species and the preservation of the genetic database by breeding.
Both sexes have the characteristic feature of a V-shaped projecting, straight, twisted corkscrew-like horn. This is probably caused by genetic mutation and has spread as a result of selection. It is also possible that it was introduced by the Turks from the south to Hungary.
It is a medium sized, mixed-woolly, long-tailed sheep with a strikingly narrow head and small ears. Characteristic are the big, glowing eyes.
The rambs reaches a shoulder height of 70 centimeters and a weight of 55 to 75 kg. The approximately half a meter long horn is rotated in an angle of 90 to 110 degrees.
The ewes are with an average height of 66cm for a body weight of 35 to 45kg smaller and lighter. The horns are only 30 centimeters long and have an angle of 50 to 60 degrees.
The claws are small and very durable.
The well-trained udder with the teat striking form requires a good milking.
The Racka's coat is rather coarse and bushy. The hair is 25 to 30 centimeters long. There is one white, one black coloration. The rare animals with black fur have gray skin, hooves, tongues. At the age of one year, the fur begins to turn gray. The white color is the Delicacy of skin cream. The mouth and legs to argue against a light brown color. The lambs of the bright animals are born either in whole brown or brown and the front to the rear yellowish white.
The fur of the racka "sheep is not valuable, but it has a cultural history: the traditional sheperd's coat Suba (pronounced" Schuba ") is made of it. The wooly undercoat diameter is about 16 - 30 microns, the upper hair about 40 - 60 microns. The fleece locks ca provide up to a length of 30cm, but must not be less than 20cm. Rambs will give about 4 to 5kg wool, ewes about 2 to 3 kg each year.
Usually the lambs (most time just one - but twins can happen) are born at the end of winter or in early spring. This breed buck similar to wild and is strictly seasonal. The first mating is around the age of 18 month.
Meat production is not favorable. The meat however, is nutritious, fine-fibred, of good quality, tasty and crossed by little fat.
The Racka is a good dairy sheep. After the birth of a lamb the ewe gives about 60 liters of milk.
Currently this kind of sheep is bred because of the preservation of genetic purity. In more and more places, it acts as a tourist attraction.