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Long-wool Racka sheep


The Hungarian gray cattle and the long-wool Racka sheep are both considered treasures of the country. The long, curly hair and the spiral horns make this sheep unique in the world. It is very adaptable, and it can live practically on any type of pasture. It is bred for its wool, meat, and abundant milk.


Even the yurts – rotund, tent-shaped homes – of the conquering Huns were covered with the wool of these animals. The dried meat of the Racka sheep provided excellent food for the herders. Its skin served as clothing – coats and weskits (waistcoats) were made out of it. The herds were kept in corrals for the night, and were guarded by sheep dogs. The ancient technique of shearing was passed down from father to son.


In the 1950s the long-wool sheep were thinned, their numbers dwindled, and it soon became an endangered species. Fortunately, its advantages were reconsidered, and the professional efforts – mainly in the Hortobagy area – resulted in a steady growth in their numbers.