Sheep of the Belìce valley

  The territories of the Belìce valley have a very ancient tradition in dairy farming and oviniculture.
Even today, sheep farming is mainly traditional, practiced in family-run or semi-industrial sheepfolds.
These characteristics favor the free grazing of sheep, with positive effects on the quality of the milk. In this way, good milk gives the Vastedda della Valle del Belìce PDO its peculiarities.
It has always been used for the production of native sheep's milk Vastedda, today elevated to the Valle del Belìce breed known for the production of milk with good dairy characteristics
  The belìce's sheep presumably originated from the numerous foreign contaminations that the island has seen throughout history.
The cross between the pinzirita breed, originally local, with the Comisana and Sardinian breed, has generated a variety of sheep that has become indigenous to the Belìce valley.

  The selection carried out by Sicilian breeders over the centuries and recently by the S.EN.FI.MI.ZO.8 Department of the Faculty of Agriculture of Palermo and by the Regional Breeders Association have made the Valle del Belice sheep one of the best sheep breeds from milk in Italy and Europe
The characteristics attributed to this breed are the high productivity, due to the presence of a voluminous and well-shaped mammary apparatus and biological characteristics that confer resistance to climatic adversities and aptitude for twin births.
  The confirmation of the dairy potential of the breed comes from tests carried out by the Institute of General Zootechnics of Palermo in which various farms in the area of ​​Santa Margherita del Belìce were monitored.
The results showed average milk production of 354 + 110 kg in 220 + 63 days of lactation with a daily production of 1.61 + 0.38 kg / d.
The milk of this local species shows a quality standard that remains constant throughout the entire lactation
The good levels of fat and protein, but above all, the pH stability with the high percentage of reactive milk with good coagulability, underline its remarkable dairy aptitude.