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Suffolk

Suffolk

Suffolk sheep

This British breed is the result of crossings between Southdown rams (links to breed pictures) and Norfolk ewes. Apparently the product of this cross was a great improvement over either one of the parents. Although the Suffolk was a recognized breed as early as 1810, the flock book was not closed until much later. The current breed type was established in 1810. In 1886, the English Suffolk Society was organized to provide registry service and to further develop the use of the breed. Through selection and careful breeding by many great English sheepmen, the Suffolks brought to this country retained the qualities for which they were originally mated. Suffolk sheep are popular for their prolificacy and precocity. Suffolk sheep are active, strong-limbed and gregarious and perform well in flocks kept extensively. Worldwide, the Suffolk is used in crossbreeding programs as an improving breed for the production of fast-growing prime lambs.

 

Breed characteristics

 

  • The wool is white and short. The head and distal limbs are not wooled and the hair is black.
  • Large size, similar to Texel but less stocky
  • Face is black, long and fine; ears black and of medium length
  • Muzzle moderately fine
  • Hornless
  • Straight and solid limbs, wooled to the knees and hocks, clean and black below
  • Precocious and fertile
  • Lambings are easy and occur between December and February
  • Carcass conformation and yield is not as good as in other breeds but the meat is appreciated for its marbling and special taste
  • Short wool
  • Fleece weights 3,5-4,5 kg

 

Sources
 

-        http://www.suffolksheep.org/

-        prof. Nicks’ notes

-        http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/

-        Guide des Animaux d’Elevage