Picking The Right Sheep For You

Picking The Right Sheep For You

Namely the most common farm animal in the world, sheep can be used for 2 to 3 different purposes. 1. Their wool is highly favored. 2. They produce some of the most delicious meat in the world. and 3. They also give the sweetest milk in the world. In this report, I will explain the best breed of sheep that meet all these requirements, and that would do exceptionally well on a family farm.

photo by Andrei Niemimäki from Turku, Finland

photo by Andrei Niemimäki from Turku, Finland

The Finnsheep is best in meat, then fiber, then lastly milk. The colors range from the common white, black, spotted white and black, brown, gray, or tan. This breed is of a medium size, and naturally does not have horns. The ewes grow quickly and are good mothers, and there are few lambing problems. Three to four lambs can be expected most often, yet 8 lambs have been known to happen. The fleece is also soft, basically yielding 5 pounds of wool per sheep. Concerning meat, although they aren’t large sheep, they have lean and delicious tasting carcass.

The East Friesian Sheep is native to Germany. This breed is known as the “Holstein of the World” because it’s extremely high milk production. But because of their ability to produce much milk, they need high quality feed and excellent management. Best in dairy, then meat, then fiber. This breed naturally does not have horns, and while most are just white, there are colored ones as well.

British Milk Sheep is also another good breed for dairy, meat, then fiber. The face is wool free, and their color is white. These sheep are naturally polled (They don’t have horns). Very few lambing problems and a good milk production. Fattened lambs produce a heavy and lean carcass and the wool is lustrous. The origin of this breed is argued about, but they say a man by the name of Lawrence Alderson developed this breed in Britain. But obviously he did not keep good records of what foundation breeds he used.

Polypay is a breed that was developed in the early 1970s. Known for doing equally well on farm pasture and on the range, the Polypay is a muscular kind of breed. All white, with some wool on the forehead, but a wool free face below the eyes, this breed also produces an abundant amount of milk, perfect for a family farm. The fleece is plain, but the lambing is very good. This breed would be an excellent producer on a small self-sustaining farm.

The last kind of sheep mentioned here in this report is the Rideau Arcott. This breed has become very successful because of its ability to give more lambs than any other breed. Best in meat, fiber, then dairy. They are very sweet and feminine looking, with a clean narrow face. Generally white, although the legs and face may show some spots of a different color. Lambing is so good, quadruplets are to be more expected than a single lamb, and they mature much earlier than most breeds.

Before starting your own flock, take this warning to heart. Sheep are very prone to sickness and death. Watch out for illness, but dumping them in chemicals isn’t the way to keep them from disease. There are healthier, organic ways that will keep you and your sheep happy. I hope you enjoyed my report on family farm sheep and which one is best for You.

For more reports, look for more reports at www.survivngtheoregontrail.com

For more information read “Goats, Sheep, Cattle, and Pigs” by Carol Ekarius

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