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Top Ten Sheep Breeds

Suffolk Sheep​
Suffolk Sheep​

Although the Suffolk was a recognized breed as early as 1810, the flock book was not closed until much later. In 1930, Southdowns were described as large sheep without horns, dark faces and legs, fine bones and long small necks.

Delaine ​Merino​
Delaine ​Merino​

Delaine Merino History Over 95 percent of the Merinos are smooth or nearly smooth. Although, a few breeders specialize in producing "A" and "B" type Merinos. These are commonly referred to as "heavy types". The "A" type Merino was developed in Vermont through selection and inbreeding. A heavy fleece producing sheep was developed.

Dorset Horn​
Dorset Horn​

Dorset. Dorsets Horned and Polled. The exact history of the Dorset sheep is found wanting for some positive record of origin.

Hampshire ​Sheep​
Hampshire ​Sheep​

Hampshire. History. The Hampshire sheep acquired its name from the agriculture county of Hampshire in Southern England where they were developed. The Hampshire-Down evolved from the mingling of different strains of kindred blood from sheep in co-existence along the borders of Hampshire County.

Dorper​
Dorper​

Dorper. Overview: The Dorper is a South African mutton breed developed in the 1930's from the Dorset Horn and Blackheaded Persian. The breed was developed for the arid extensive regions of South Africa. One of the most fertile of sheep breeds that is hornless with good body length and a short light covering of hair and wool.

Southdown ​Sheep​
Southdown ​Sheep​

The Southdown is best suited for farm flock production. It is a medium to small sized breed with a gray to mouse-brown face and lower legs and is polled (hornless). Southdown are an early maturing breed with good lambing ability and average milk production.

Leicester ​Longwool​
Leicester ​Longwool​

Leicester Longwool Also Known By: Bakewell Leicester, Dishley Leicester, English Leicester, Improved Leicester, Leicester, New Leicester. The Leicester Longwool is a sheep breed with a long and interesting history. Physical Characteristics.

Rambouillet ​Sheep​
Rambouillet ​Sheep​

Rambouillet The history of the Rambouillet sheep is a fascinating one that began more than two centuries ago. The Rambouillet breed originated with Spain's famed Merino flocks, which were known from the earliest times as producers of the world's finest wool.

Lincoln Sheep​
Lincoln Sheep​

Lincoln The present-day Lincoln is said to be the result of crossing the Leicester and the coarse native sheep of Lincolnshire. Not all breeders cared for the greater refinement and increased quality that Leicester blood introduced, but in the end, market demand resulted in improved carcasses and higher quality wool.

Romney ​Sheep​
Romney ​Sheep​

The Romney fleece is unique among all breeds of sheep in the way it combines several important traits. The fleece is lustrous; it hangs in separate locks, with minimal cross fibers between the locks. It is also high yielding and easily spun.

Texel Sheep​
Texel Sheep​

Texel sheep are one of the most popular breeds of commercial sheep worldwide. In this guide, you will learn: how the breed was created, what Texel sheep look like, and how much they can sell for.

Cheviot ​Sheep​
Cheviot ​Sheep​

The Cheviot is a distinctive white-faced sheep, with wool-free head and legs, pricked ears, black muzzle and black feet. It is a very alert, active sheep, with a stylish, lively carriage. The Cheviot is a long-wool breed, hornless and of reasonable frame.

East Friesian ​Sheep​
East Friesian ​Sheep​

The East Friesian sheep breed is native to Germany’s Northern area and to Friesland province in the Netherlands. In 1994, Canada introduced the East Friesian to the United States as purebreds and the breed quickly caught on in local dairy operations.

Corriedale​
Corriedale​

The Corriedale is a dual-purpose sheep. It is large-framed, polled with good carcass quality. Although its role has traditionally been to produce premium lambs when mated to sires of meat breeds, the Corriedale is now achieving comparative performance rates with purebred lambs.

Border ​Leicester​
Border ​Leicester​

Border Leicester Early History of Leicester Sheep Sheep with long, lustrous wool have been in Leicestershire, England since the earliest recorded history of the British Isles and are responsible for the improvement and development of other longwool breeds.

Finnsheep​
Finnsheep​

Finnsheep Finnsheep or Finnish Landrace, as they are their native country of Finland, were first imported to North America by the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1966. Since that time, only a few importations have occurred through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1968) and private breeders in Canada.

Katahdin ​Sheep​
Katahdin ​Sheep​

Katahdin sheep are a breed of hair sheep developed in the United States. The Katahdin breed originated at the Piel Farm in north central Maine where Michael Piel was an innovator and amateur geneticist who enjoyed raising livestock.

Shropshire ​Sheep​
Shropshire ​Sheep​

The Shropshire breed of sheep originated in the counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire in central western England. Records are not clear as to exactly how the breed was developed.

Jacob Sheep​
Jacob Sheep​

The Jacob sheep is indeed a unique breed in America. Slight of build, with the narrow, lean carcass typical of some of the ancient British breeds, they are immediately noticeable due to their black and white fleeces and prominent horns.

Barbados ​Black Belly​
Barbados ​Black Belly​

Carcass studies of 5 to 7 month old male lambs sent to slaughter show that Barbados Blackbelly lambs have much less body fat than do other comparable sheep breeds. Fat over the ribeye muscle (longissimus dorsi) at the twelfth rib averages 1.5 to 2 mm compared to 5 to 6 mm on similarly reared Suffolk or Dorset crosses.

Wiltshire Horn​
Wiltshire Horn​

Wiltshire History The Wiltshire Horn is an ancient British breed from the Chalk Downs region of England. Reaching large numbers during the 17th and 18th centuries, they became almost extinct by the beginning of the 20th.

Scottish ​Blackface​
Scottish ​Blackface​

The Scottish Blackface is an attractive, hardy, old breed whose origins are lost to us. It is likely that the breed developed in the border area of Scotland and England. Monastery records show that monks in the Twelfth Century raised sheep that are the progenitors of the modern Scottish Blackface breed.

Columbia ​Sheep​
Columbia ​Sheep​

The Columbia sheep breed is the first of several breeds of sheep to have been developed in the United States, making it truly All-American. Columbia sheep originated as a result of crossing the Rambouillet and Lincoln in an effort to produce a breed which offered greater quantities of both meat and wool.

Awassi​
Awassi​

The Awassi evolved as a nomadic sheep breed through centuries of natural and selective breeding to become the highest milk producing breed in the Middle East. The breed is of the Near Eastern Fat-tailed type.

Welsh ​Mountain Sheep​
Welsh ​Mountain Sheep​

The Black Welsh Mountain is a small, black sheep with no wool on the face or on the legs below the knee and hock. The rams are typically horned and the females are polled (hornless).

image: flickr.com
Norfolk Horn​
Norfolk Horn​

The Norfolk Horn is one of the oldest breeds of sheep in Britain, believed to be descended from the ancient Saxon black faced sheep. It was the prevalent breed in Norfolk, Suffolk, N Essex and SE Cambridgeshire.

image: wikiwand.com
Ryeland​
Ryeland​

Today’s Ryeland is a somewhat bigger-boned sheep than the breed when first developed and is often regarded as primarily a meat breed. Originally, however, it was noted principally for the fineness of its fleece which was unequalled by any other British breed.

image: snipview.com
Cotswold ​Sheep​
Cotswold ​Sheep​

After 1825, Cotswold breeders started to select sheep for larger size, a part of which the breed had lost, and for heavier fleeces. The Cotswold in the United States and Canada. The first Cotswold imported into the United States of which there is a record was brought over in 1832.

Shetland ​Sheep​
Shetland ​Sheep​

The breed society for the Shetland Islands is the Shetland Flock Book Society. On the mainland UK the Shetland Sheep Breeders Group (SSBG) act as the breed society and also have foreign members (mainly US). Both groups are based on the breed standard set in the 1920s.

South African ​Meat Merino​
South African ​Meat Merino​

The first animals were imported from Germany to South Africa in 1932 by the Department of Agriculture to improve the quality of wool and meat from sheep in South Africa. The breed was recognised in 1971 when the name was changed to South African Mutton Merino.

image: bib.ge
Romanov ​Sheep​
Romanov ​Sheep​

Romanov hair sheep can breed at various times of the year and offer farmers advanced reproductive maturity, meaning that Romanov ewes cycle at a young age and Romanov rams are able to fertilize large groups of ewes at an earlier age than many other breeds.

Polypay​
Polypay​

Polypay. The Polypay was born out of frustration and a dream in the the late 1960's. The frustration was in needing more productive sheep to make a profit. The dream was to develop sheep which would produce two lamb crops and one wool crop per year.

image: roysfarm.com
Coopworth ​Sheep​
Coopworth ​Sheep​

The Coopworth sheep breed originated in New Zealand. The Coopworth breed was developed by crossing Romney and Border Leicester sheep during the 1950's and 1960’s and the breed was introduced to the United States in the later part of the 1970’s.

image: bib.ge
Targhee ​Sheep​
Targhee ​Sheep​

In fact, the Targhee is one of America's youngest breeds having been developed this century. The Western sheep industry about 1900 was based on Merinos and Rambouillets with the emphasis on raising wool.

Herdwick​
Herdwick​

The Herdwick is a breed of domestic sheep native to the Lake District of Cumbria in North West England. The name "Herdwick" is derived from the Old Norse herdvyck, meaning sheep pasture.

Soay Sheep​
Soay Sheep​

In 1932 this island was evacuated and, in 1932, 107 Soay sheep (20 rams, 44 ewes, 22 ram lambs and 21 ewe lambs) were brought from the island of Soay and released. The Soay are small framed, good legs and a fleece varying from light to dark brown and sheds naturally in the summer.

Blackhead ​Persian Sheep​
Blackhead ​Persian Sheep​

The breed known in Brazil as the Somalis Brasileira, Brazilian Somali or Somali Blackhead is comprised largely of sheep with Blackheaded Persian decent with some authors suggesting local breeds also make up a small percentage of the genetics.

image: quazoo.com
Navajo-​Churro​
Navajo-​Churro​

Navajo-Churro sheep are descended from the Churra, an ancient Iberian breed. Although secondary to the Merino, the Churra (later corrupted to "Churro" by American frontiersmen) was prized by the Spanish for its remarkable hardiness, adaptability and fecundity. The Churra was the very first breed of domesticated sheep in the New World.

Perendale​
Perendale​

Perendale Sheep Breed Information Originally from New Zealand, the Perendale is a mixture between the Romney and Border Cheviot. Their features include open faces and average size bodies.

image: bib.ge
Wensleydale ​Sheep​
Wensleydale ​Sheep​

The Wensleydale is a breed of domestic sheep that originated in the Wensleydale region of North Yorkshire, England Possessing a blue–grey face, the breed was developed in the 19th century by crossing English Leicester and Teeswater sheep. One of the largest and heaviest of all sheep breeds, the Wensleydale has long, ringlet-like locks of wool.

Kerry Hill ​Sheep​
Kerry Hill ​Sheep​

The Kerry Hill sheep is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the county of Powys in Wales. It is a meat sheep breed, and raised mainly for meat production in it’s native area. The breed derives it’s name from the village of Kerry, near Newtown.

source: roysfarm.com
Poll Dorset​
Poll Dorset​

Dorset. Dorsets Horned and Polled. The exact history of the Dorset sheep is found wanting for some positive record of origin.

Dorset Down​
Dorset Down​

Dorset. Dorsets Horned and Polled. The exact history of the Dorset sheep is found wanting for some positive record of origin.

image: flickr.com
Black Welsh ​Mountain Sheep​
Black Welsh ​Mountain Sheep​

The Black Welsh Mountain is a small, black sheep with no wool on the face or on the legs below the knee and hock. The rams are typically horned and the females are polled (hornless).

Lacaune ​Sheep​
Lacaune ​Sheep​

The Lacaune sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from France. It was originated from the near area of Lacaune in southern France. And it was named for it’s origin place. It is mainly a dairy sheep breed, and most widely used as dairying sheep breed in France. And it is the predominant breed of sheep used for Roquefort cheese production in France.

source: roysfarm.com
image: sheepusa.org
Charollais ​Sheep​
Charollais ​Sheep​

Charollais sheep is a medium to large domestic sheep, originally from east central France. It has gained huge popularity internationally as a provider of high-quality meat.

St. Croix ​Sheep​
St. Croix ​Sheep​

St. Croix Sheep Breed Information The St. Croix sheep breed originated in the Virgin Islands and as a result it is sometimes referred to as the Virgin Island White. These sheep are typically white in color, though there are known variations such as light brown, tan and black or white with black or brown spots - the breed standard calls for the St. Croix to be white.

Île-de-France ​Sheep​
Île-de-France ​Sheep​

Ile de France The Ile de France is the result of crossing the English Leicester and the Rambouillet. The breed was originally known as the Dishley Merino. The breed is widespread in France and was introduced to Great Britain in the 1970's. The breed is wide and thick set. Both sexes are polled.

source: sheep101.info
Swaledale ​Sheep​
Swaledale ​Sheep​

The Swaledale sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from United Kingdom. It was named after the Yorkshire valley of Swaledale in England. The breed is found throughout the more mountainous areas of United Kingdom.

source: roysfarm.com

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