Popular Breeds of Sheep
A breed is a group of sheep that have the same kind of wool and the same origin. There are more than 200 breeds of sheep in the world today.
This breed originated in the Cheviot Hills on the border between England and Scotland. The face, ears, and legs of the Cheviot are free from wool and are covered with white hairs. The nostrils, lips, and feet are black. Cheviot are good milk producers and have a medium textured, easy-to-spin wool.
Originating from Hampshire, England, this breed is one of the most popular. The ears, face, and legs are dark brown to black. The wool is of medium grade and is easy to spin. A mature ewe will shear about eight pounds of fleece a year.
The Shropshire originated in Shropshire and Staffordshire counties in England. The faces, ears, and legs are deep brown and the wool is a medium texture. Shropshires are a good milk producers and are good for breeding.
The Suffolk breed originates from Suffolk, England. The faces, ears, and lower legs are black and are not covered with wool. Suffolk sheep are excellent milk producers and adapt very well to different temperatures. Their wool is a medium grade and easy to spin.
This breed originated in Dorset and Somerset counties in southern England. Their faces, ears, and legs are white and virtually free of wool. Their nostrils, lips, and skin are pink while their hooves are white. Dorset sheep produce a lot of milk, and unlike most other breeds of sheep, can give birth at any time of the year. Their wool is a medium fleece and is good for hand spinning.
Corriedales originated in New Zealand where lamb and wool production are very important. A mature ewe will shear 15 to 25 pounds of wool a year. The wool is noted for its length, brightness, softness, and distinct crimp. The face and ears care covered with white hair while legs have a heavy covering of wool.