Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Breed Association Website: https://www.facebook.com/HSBANAInc/
Herdwick sheep are the native breed of the central and western Lake District, U.K., and live on the highest of England’s mountains. They are extremely hardy and are managed in the traditional way on the Lake District fells that have been their home for generations.
The word “Herdvyck”, meaning sheep pasture, is recorded in documents going back to the 12th century. Herdwick sheep are the most hardy of all Britain’s breeds of hill sheep, grazing the central and western dales of the Lake District with fells running to over 3000 feet.
Beatrix Potter, of Peter Rabbit stories, raised and showed Herdwick Sheep. She served as the first woman president of the U.K. Breed Association. During her life, she acquired many farms, which upon her death, she bequeathed to the National Trust to preserve the Herdwick Breed.
Herdwick are a multi-coated, primitive, original type dual purpose breed. Born black, the lambs’ faces and legs turn white over their first summer, and the fleece turns a brown. Over the following years, the fleeces fade to a striking blue/grey. Adult ewes are about 100lbs, and rams 165lbs. The fleece is a long wool, natural color quadra-coat. Containing 4 separate fibers, the fiber is coarse, durable and highly insulative. Shepherds in the UK state the Herdwick are the first breed to dry off after a rain. Shedding moisture so well, the wool is ideal for outer-wear, and so durable it is perfect for carpets, rugs, bags, house-wares, knitting, weaving and felting!
As of March, 2021, the process of acquiring rams for genetics collection and import has begun, for the first time since 2009. Fresh genetics are greatly needed for the breeding up program in the U.S.
This breed presented by
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