Sheep and goats on Mallorca

Sheep are the most typical animal of the Mallorcan landscape and it can be spotted grazing in the fields between orchards. In times gone by there were shepherds who watched over the sheep while they grazed, sometimes leading the flocks on a transhumant course from one pasture to another.

This animal provides wool for the production of textiles, a product of little market value; milk for cheese production; and meat is obtained from lambs, which is without doubt the most highly valued product, coming as it does from animals that feed exclusively on natural pastures. However, despite all this, sheep farming is dependent on public subsidies for its continued survival, whilst at the same time, the hotel industry imports large quantities of lamb from places such as Australia and New Zealand at prices much lower than those of Mallorcan lamb.

In the past, goats were kept in every rural home, serving as an animal that could provide both milk and meat. Nowadays consumption of goat products is uncommon and it is rare to see a herd of goats. They are most commonly found in the mountain areas of the island, and it is occasionally possible to see wild ones.

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