Country of Origin: England

Dorset – Horned

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: dorsets.homestead.com

The Dorset is an ancient breed likely developed from white faced, horned, short wooled sheep that thrived in the sheltered valleys and lush hill pastures of southwestern England. Today, the Dorset is globally distributed and found in two varieties, Horned and Polled. The Dorset Horn (or Horned Dorset) is of conservation interest.

Dorsets are white sheep with open faces and long bodies. Ewes weigh 150–200 pounds, and rams weigh 225–275 pounds. The sheep are avid grazers and use feed well. Ewes are heavy milkers, easily able to raise their own lambs. They have also been used in dairying. Dorset sheep produce between five and nine pounds of medium grade wool per year. In the Horn variety, both ewes and rams carry horns. Ewes’ horns are light, curving forward neatly; rams’ horns are heavy and spiral out as well as curving forward.

The single most important attribute of the Dorset is its extended breeding season, also called nonseasonal or aseasonal breeding. This characteristic, not found in any other British breed, is an important performance trait. Sheep of most breeds are seasonal breeders, mating in the fall and producing lambs …

Shropshire

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: shropshires.org

Shropshires are a medium sized sheep that originated in the Shropshire Hills of England. They have a black face and are shown slick sheared. This breed is known for their meaty carcasses, great mothering abilities, and high growth rate.


This breed presented by

Mellow Meadow Farm
Lizzy Miller
12815A Woodsboro Pike
Keymar, MD 21757
(301) 788-5575

Leicester Longwool

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: leicesterlongwool.org

The fleece of the Leicester Longwool is prized by hand spinners and crafters for its curl, soft handle, and lustrous beauty. The fleece generally weighs from 11-18 pounds, although heavier fleeces have been recorded. The wool has an evenness of length with a spiral tipped staple length of up to 14 inches in twelve months growth. The wool dyes exceptionally well, maintaining the purity of color; the natural luster still shines through. This premium wool is very versatile, working well for combing for worsted products, carding for woolen products, and felting projects. The Leicester can be shorn twice per year. The Leicester Longwool is a medium to large polled breed with a high quality carcass, whose poll is well covered with locks of wool. Mature rams weigh 200-300 pounds and ewes weigh 150-200 pounds. The breed is white and natural in color.


This breed presented by

Clark Family Farms
Mary EllenClark
7902 Rocky Acre Drive
Thurmont, MD 21788
(301) 271-1020

Cheviot

Posted: April 15, 2021

Breed Type: Meat Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: www.cheviots.org

The modern Cheviot breed has been produced by selection rather than by crossing. It is a pure breed, one of a very few in this country. Because of this purity, when the Cheviot ram is mated with crossbred ewes of other breeds, he stamps an unmistakable Cheviotness on his offspring, importing to them a large measure of the superiority of which Cheviots are known. The breed is also recommended for its extreme hardiness. This is one of the breed’s strongest characteristics. For generations raised on the Cheviot Hills, rarely seeing the inside of a shed or barn, summer or winter, Cheviots have, from force of circumstances, developed into the hardiest of the medium-wool breeds. The newborn lambs are strong, vigorous and alert and are born with a will to live. Their unusual vitality and hardiness makes them easy to raise, and with reasonable care, losses are insignificant.

Cheviots produce generous fleeces of white wool which is preferred by mills because its fineness, crimp, and length of staple give it superior spinning and combing qualities, and its low grease content causes less shrinkage in scouring. The fleece is usually …

Lincoln

Posted: April 15, 2021

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: lincolnsheepbreeders.com

History of the Breed

Long-wool sheep appear to have ancestry from white-fleeced sheep imported to England from the European continent during the Roman occupation. Evidence of this body-type of sheep with similar fleece exists as figurines from the continent dating to the second century. The next evidence of long-wool sheep comes from Lincolnshire, appearing as a detailed illustration in the ‘Luttrell Psalter’ written between 1320 and 1340. In approximately 1460, a brass memorial with a curly-fleeced sheep was placed on the Northleach Church, Gloustershire.

The “old” Lincoln was first identified and depicted in the 1700’s. Robert Bakewell (1725-95), a famous livestock breeder, used the “old” Lincoln with other native stock while creating his “new” Leicester sheep by using inbreeding. Later, Lincolnshire sheepmen used “new” Leicester rams on “old” coarse-wool Lincoln ewes to begin development of the “improved” Lincoln using selective crossbreeding.

Many of the ‘longwool’ breeds likely have a similar developmental history involving Lincoln and Leicester foundations. The distinctly hardy “improved” Lincoln evolved during the 1800’s toward the dual-purpose breed we have today. The “improved” Lincoln combined more quality meat with a higher quality of wool than …

Southdown

Posted: April 15, 2021

Breed Type: Meat Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: southdownsheep.org

The Southdown is one of the oldest purebred sheep breeds in the world. The breed originated centuries ago in the hills of Sussex, England, long know as the “Downs.”

There is little written history or description of the Southdown dating earlier than two hundred fifty years ago. The early Southdown was noted for some important qualities for which they have since become especially famous, they had a good leg, and their meat was excellent, possessing remarkable flavor.

Early literature indicates that Southdowns were among the animals brought into the English colonies as early as 1640. Later, documented importations where made into the United States from 1824 to 1829 from the English flock of John Ellman.

The 1960’s saw increased importation of the larger New Zealand Southdown to upscale the American Southdown. The increased size resulting from blending the New Zealand genetics into many flocks across the U.S. is the reason for much of the success and popularity of the modern day Southdown.

Southdowns are excelling as terminal sires in commercial production flocks, receiving the final handshake in supreme champion drives all over the country and are the first …

Hampshire

Posted: April 11, 2021

Breed Type: Meat Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: hampshires.org

The Hampshire sheep was developed from the crossing of Southdowns and Wiltshire Horn-Berkshire/Knot crosses in Hampshire County in Southern England. Later improved using a Cotswold ram followed by two of the largest and best Southdown rams, the Hampshire breed was imported to North America for the first time in 1840. After being almost entirely killed off during the Civil War, the breed was re-introduced in 1865 and, since then, these larger meat sheep have become extremely popular throughout the nation for their rapid growth, efficient feed conversion, and carcass cutability. Given good pasture, these animals are known to be adaptable to various geographic regions and are not easily startled. In addition to their high-quality carcasses, Hampshire sheep are also noted as being quite prolific and good milkers.

Breed standards state that Hampshire sheep should have dark faces and broad muzzles with an unbroken wool cap from the neck over the forehead. From the eyes down, the face should be clear with the exception of some light feathering. Wool is desirable on the legs below the knee. Structurally, Hampshire sheep are expected to have legs placed under the corners …

Border Leicester

Posted: April 11, 2021

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: ablasheep.org

The Border Leicester breed was developed by the Cully brothers in Northumberland, England in 1767 from the crossing of Leicester rams with Teeswater ewes. Some believe that Cheviot blood was also introduced prior to the firm establishment of the breed in 1850. While the Leicester breed was first introduced by George Washington, there are no reports of Border Leicesters being imported into the U.S. The breed was first recognized in the States in 1920 as the result of a census. Since their establishment, Border Leicesters have been used in the improvement and development of other longwool breeds.

These medium-sized sheep are easily recognizable by their characteristic heads which are free of wool with long, erect ears and an arched Roman nose. Their bare legs and head make it easy to shear them for their long, lustrous wool. Traditional Border Leicester fleeces are between 38 and 30 microns and have “pencil” locks with tips ending in small curls. Over the course of a year, these animals grow 8-12 pounds of wool which will yield 70% after scouring. The fleece of a Border Leicester is extremely versatile – it can …

Jacob

Posted: April 11, 2021

Breed Type: Minor Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Websites:
jsba.org
jacobsheepconservancy.com

Jacob sheep are a primitive (unimproved), multi-horned, spotted sheep. Jacobs are small in stature, with mature ewes weighing 80-120 pounds, and rams weighing 120-180 pounds. The Jacob breed was developed about 400 years ago in England, where the sheep were kept at just a few large estates. The name Jacob was applied only in the last century (probably because of the reference to spotted sheep in the Biblical story of Jacob). Before that, they were known as piebald (spotted or patched) sheep.

Horns: Both males and females are horned, generally one or two pairs, with some rams and ewes having up to six horns. The ram has larger and more striking horns. The two-horned ram has the classic horizontal double curled horn. The four-horned ram has two vertical center horns, which may be up to two feet or more in length, and two smaller side horns, which grow down along the sides of the ram’s head. The horns on the ewe are smaller in diameter, shorter in length and appear more delicate than those of the ram.

Markings: The Jacob is a white sheep with black spots. …

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