External Evaluators

Final Technical Report

Work Packages

Project - Meetings

Other Meetings




Heritage sheep data base





Rava   French   EFABIS Data


International Name


Local Name



Massif Central

Breeding females



Trend of population size


Flock book established



Origin – history

The Rava is an ancient Celtic breed which received infusions in the nineteenth century from the Merino breed or kempy-fleeced breeds from the west of the Pyrenees. It lives in difficult high altitude areas, with a harsh climate and soils that are frequently acidic and poor. The breed has acquired a good strength and hardiness: the rams are able to be sustained on a meagre diet for part of the year, and the fleece allows the breed to be resistant to inclement weather.


 Breed description

In its native areas, the breed is most often used in a pure-bred state, and 50% of ewes are pure-bred. Commercial crossing with rams from meat breeds is practised in the areas of wider distribution where conditions are more favourable. The breed has a good ability to breed out of season which with a fecundity rate of 1,43 per ewe, which increases to 1,6 - 2 when good grazing is available.
The Rava’s characteristics are distinct black or sometimes russet patches on their heads, with no horns. The legs are covered with fleece. The mature rams weigh 70-85kg, and the ewes weigh 50-60kg.

Conservation activities

Breed improvement is based upon maternal aptitudes which are achieved through ram selection. This is practised by monitoring performance on the farm, pedigree selection, collective management of rams at a breeding centre, and the use of artificial insemination. These procedures allow selected matings, better communication between breeders and as far as possible, an evaluation of a ram’s progeny.


Contact: UPRA Races Ovines des Massifs Route de Thiers site

                de Marmilhat 63370 Lempdes

               Telephone : 0473927407

Action Heritage Sheep AGRI GEN RES 040 receives financial support from the European Commission, Genetic Resources in Agriculture, under European Commission Council Regulation (EC) No 870/2004 AGRI GEN RES 2006 HERITAGE SHEEP