The Suffolk sheep breed have been around for a while now and they are a large, sturdy breed with a long body, black faces and legs.
They are quiet docile breed that can be used as a dual-purpose sheep breed for both their meat and wool. Their pelts have been known to be of quite high standard and can be used for producing some leather goods.
SUFFOLK SHEEP QUICK PROFILE OVERVIEW
|The Suffolk sheep breed is a large, strong, sturdy breed with a long body and pretty black faces.|
|Country of Origin:||United Kingdom|
|Main Purpose:||Meat but can be used for their wool|
|Can be used for||Breed, **LSC, Meat, Skin, Wool|
|Temperament:||Quiet, docile and easy to handle|
|Ideal Climate:||Heat, Cold, Most climates|
Not listed by the *ALC
|Health Issues?||No known health issues|
|Good Starter Sheep?||Novice to intermediate sheep farmer/keeper|
|Sheep Associations:||United Suffolk Sheep Association and Suffolk Sheep Society|
|Sheep Clubs:||Please refer to the United Suffolk Sheep Association and Suffolk Sheep Society members/breeders directories|
| Note: *ALC stands for American Livestock Conservancy
** LSC stands for Landscape Management – the animal is used for controlling various vegetation growth
|The Suffolk sheep breed have a strong sturdy frame, are heavily muscled and a long compact body. Their faces, heads and legs from the knee down are clean of wool. Their wool forms a collar around their necks making them look like they have a woolen bomber jacket on.|
EWE BREEDING & MILKING INFORMATION
|The ewes breed once a year and mostly produce enough milk to wean their lambs. They have a high percentage lambing rate of around 180% and the ewes are excellent mothers with good maternal instincts protecting their lambs at all costs. The lambs are usually weaned at around 90 to 100 days after birth.|
|Breeding Period/cycle:||Usually lasts 24 to 36 hours|
|Estrous cycle:||Ave. 17 days/13 to 19 days|
|Gestation Period:||Usually, around 150 to 155 days but most gestation is 152 days|
|No. Lambs/Litter:||1 and on the rare occasion 2 (twins)|
|Lactation Period:||Usually, around 150 to 240 day but most are milked for 180 days|
|Milking From:||4 to 6 weeks after lambing|
|Milk Ideal for:||Lambs|
|You may Also Like:||10 Best Sheep Breeds for Milk|
SHEEP MEAT PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|They have an excellent meat quality with lambs maturing early and market ready by 9 to 12 weeks. The lambs average weights at 42 days old is around 15 kgs and about 53 kgs at 100 days old. The meat has a superb flavor with one of the highest proportion of lean meat to fat. Making the meat lean and it has a fine grain and good color.|
|Meat Production:||Yes, Quality: Excellent quality with a high meat grade.|
|You may Also Like:||11 Best Sheep Breeds for Meat Production|
SHEEP WOOL PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|The Suffolk sheep do produce a medium quality wool type. Once clean expect around a 50 to 60% yield from the full weight of the fleece.|
|Wool Production?||Yes, Medium quality with a spinning count of 48s to 58s|
|Wool is used to Produce:||Hand spinning, knitted garments, clothes, blankets, scarves, etc.|
|You may Also Like:||18 Best Wool Producing Sheep Breeds|
SHEEP SKIN PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|The Suffolk Sheep generally produces a Grade 1 leather product that is used for good quality sheep skin products. Their leather can endure a lot of wear and tear as it is very durable and retains its shape extremely well. Their leather tends to be a lot thicker.|
|Skin Production?||Yes, Quality:Excellent quality sheep skin|
|Skin is used to Produce:||Hats, pelts, slippers, shoes and superior auto accessories.|
GOOD TO KNOW ABOUT THE ROMNEY SHEEP
|A few more interesting facts to know about the breed|
|Child-Friendly?||Unattended children should never be left around livestock no matter what the animals temperament may be.|
|Landscape Management?||They are good grazers and foragers that are able to maintain the landscape|
|Where to buy them?||Please refer to the United Suffolk Sheep Association and Suffolk Sheep Society members/breeders directories|
|General Information:||The Suffolk sheep breed were originally called Southdown Norfolks or just Black Faces.
They are a very energetic breed with a highly muscled frame that shows their great stamina and durability.
They have a pink skin that is soft to the touch and produces a top quality high grade sheep skin.
The Suffolk Sheep breed originated in the United Kingdom off the rugged coast southeastern coast. They are the result of the crossing of Norfolk Horn ewes to the Southdown sheep breed rams. They were developed over 200 years ago and are the leading terminal sire in the British Isles.
The Suffolk sheep breed was said to be a great improvement on its parental breeds and was recognized as a breed in 1810 although its flock book was not closed until much later.
The Suffolk Sheep breed are found all over the world in present times including, The United States where they are by far one of the most popular breeds of sheep in the country. The registry for the Suffolk sheep breed in America show that the breed account for more than fifty percent of pure-bred sheep registrations in the US.
The Suffolk sheep breed was first brought to the US in 1888 by a Mr. G.G.B. Streeter who resided in Chazy, New York. But the Suffolk sheep breed did not make an appearance in the western states until 1919 when two rams and three ewes were donated to the University of Idaho by the English Suffolk Sheep Society.
One of the rams that were donated was sold on an auction at the National Ram Sale in Salt Lake City, Utah. Several sheep breeders took and interest in the sheep which provoked a bidding war where the ram was finally won and sold to Laidlaw and Brockie who were the developers of the Panama sheep breed. These sheep breeders were from Muldoon in Idaho and the ram sold for $500.
They were so impressed by the off-spring of their ram that became consistent buyers of the Suffolk breed at the National Ram sale.
- United States Lamb Resource Center
- American Sheep Industry Association
- American Sheep Industry Association List of Breed Associations & Standards
- American Milk Sheep Association
- Dairy Sheep Association of North America
- American Wool Council
- Fur Commission USA
- North American Meat Institute
- American Lamb Board
- National Lamb Feeders Association
- American Livestock Conservancy
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Animal Husbandry Society
- United States Department of Agriculture