Breeds of Sheep Methods to Classify Sheep… The most common way to classify sheep in the United States is by the type of wool produced. There are over 40 breeds of sheep in the US today Fine Wool Medium Wool Cross Wool Merino Cheviot Columbia Rambouillet Dorset Polypay Finnsheep Hampshire Southdown __________ Suffolk Sheep Body Parts MEAT BREEDS These breeds of sheep are produced for their carcasses. Their wool is not very valuable, therefore they are selected for mainly carcasses. Usually the Medium Wool breeds. Accounts for about 15% of the world’s sheep population Cheviot Originated in Scotland Resistant to cold, windy conditions White, wool free faces Long wool type Wool has a helical crimp Tend to be resistant to worms and footrot Dorset Originated in Europe Medium-sized breed with high quality, white wool Most popular whitefaced breed in the United States Horned and polled varieties exist Hampshire Originated in Hampshire, England Black face and legs Mild demeanor Unbroken wool cap should extend from the neck over the forehead Polypay Developed by U.S. Experiment Station Five goals of Polypay 1. High lifetime prolificacy 2. Good lamb crop at 1 yr. 3. Ability to lamb more than once a year 4. Good growth rate of lambs 5. Good carcass quality Southdown Developed in England one of the oldest sheep breeds Medium to small sized with light brown face and legs Farm flock breed used to produce meaty, light weight carcass Low maintenance breed with average prolificacy and milk production Suffolk Originated in England, very old breed used as a sire breed in commercial production Most popular breed in the US today Produce large amounts of meat, heavy milking but poor fleece Grow fast, produce lean muscular carcasses White with black faces and legs, free of wool on legs and head Account for more than 50% of the world’s sheep Merino Originated in Australia Very fine fleece, produce 20 lbs. of wool a year. White-faced High quality wool used in the textile industry Most dominant breed in the sheep industry Rambouillet Originated in Spain #1 range ewe’s in Texas Dual-purpose breed, fine fleece also acceptable growth and carcass traits White in color Columbia Developed by the US Department of Ag Dual-Purpose, Big Produce medium wool and large amounts of meat Produce 10-16 lbs. of 3/8 blood wool. (coarser than Rambouillet) Developed to thrive on Western ranges White faced, polled breed Targhee Planned breed, developed for range use in West White-faced, polled breed of intermediate size Fleeces are midway between Rambouillets and Columbias in fineness Lincoln Originated in England, heavy fleeced Heaviest breed in the world, rams weight 250-350 lbs. ewes, 225-250 lbs. White faced and polled, face, legs and ears covered in wool Pronounced forelock between the ears About 10% of the world’s sheep population. Dorper The Dorper breed was developed out of necessity Dorset Horn rams crossed with Blackhead Persian ewes The Dorper has a white body with a black head, while the White Dorper is all white. Otherwise two types are identical but considered separate breeds Typically hornless Mature male weight 230 lbs, female180-210 lbs.