From historical sources we find, that sheep-farming in the Karst area was very developed. Sheep farmers could gain meat and milk, from which they made different products. Grazing in summer took place on Snežnik and on the area surrounding the hill, in autumn on the area of Vemščica and in winter time on the area of Istria and Friuli.
Istrian strand is a sheep of large frame, which is a result of long, highly placed torso and long, strong legs. Legs of the animal are strong with solid and hard pasterns. Animal is medium muscled. Narrow head, with nose bridge and protruding ears, is placed on a long neck. Sheep are generally without horns, rams have them well developed and curved. Color of the coat of most sheep is white with dark spots on the head and trunk. With some animals, dark is the dominating color. For strands is typical impaired hairiness with wool, as on the legs and belly is almost naked, but elsewhere is covered with only rough graves.
Body weight of the sheep ranges from 60 to 75 kg, rams reach up to 95 kg and more. All strains of strand mature late, they stop growing at the age of 3-4 years. Sexually they are mature at the age of 16 to 18 months. In the past, they took out only durable and modest animals with a single lamb and were capable of walking several kilometres per day. The litter size is on average 1.21 born lambs.