Selected Breeds of Sheep

 

 

Name

Type of wool

Distribution

Characteristics

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-Faced Highland, also called Scottish Blackface

Carpet

Originally Scotland, now also U.S., Italy, Argentina

Black or mottled, horned

Stylish appearance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbia

Medium

Developed U.S., since 1912

Large, white-faced, hornless

High wool yield; mutton acceptable

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corriedale

Medium

Developed N.Z., now also U.S., Australia

White-faced, hornless

Bright, soft fleece; good quality lambs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cotswold

Long

Originally England, now also U.S.

Large, white-faced, hornless

Coarse, curly fleece; acceptable mutton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorset

Medium

Developed England, now U.K., U.S., Australia

Medium-sized, white-faced

Small wool yield; out-of-season lambs; horned and hornless varieties

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hampshire

Medium

Developed England, now also widespread in U.S.

Large, hornless, dark faces and legs

Superior mutton breed; limited wool

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karakul

Fur

Originally Central Asia, now also Africa, Europe, U.S.

Medium-sized, fat-tailed

Coats of very young lambs called Persian lamb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leicester

Long

Originally England, now U.K. and North America

Massive body, white-faced, broad-backed

Heavy fleece

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln

Long

Originally England, now also Australia, N.Z., North and South America

World’s largest sheep, hornless

Coarse, long wool is used chiefly for carpets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merino

Fine

Originally Spain, now also Australia, North America, South Africa

Horned or hornless, heavily-wooled head

Excellent, fine, soft fleeces

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Country Cheviot

Medium

Originally Scotland, now widespread

White chalk; large, deep-bodied

Hardy; produces superior fleece

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rambouillet

Fine

Developed France from 18th century, now also U.S.

Smooth-bodied, horned or hornless

Lambs mature rapidly; bred from Merino

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romney

Long

Originally England, now also N.Z., North America, Australia

Hornless with white face and legs

Mostly raised for mutton; wool used for variety of products

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southdown

Medium

Originally England, now also N.Z., Australia, North America

Hornless with small, rounded body

Raised for mutton; fleece is short

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suffolk

Medium

Developed England, now also U.S.

Black face and legs, large, hornless

Fine mutton breed; acceptable wool