Most Popular Sheep Breeds Raised for Meat and Wool

sheep breedsSheep breeds are highly demanded in the countries with a favourable environment including pasturing fields and beautiful hills for the farms. Most of them are multi-purpose livestock, raised for meat, wool and skin, but particularly, some breeds are excellent for their taste of meat, some are better at providing a good amount of milk while others give a great wool production.

Karakul Sheep

The Karakul is a fat-tailed breed that is possibly the oldest of the domesticated sheep dating back to 1400 B.C. in Persia (the Karakul sheep is also called “Persian lamb”).

It is a breed of sheep raised for meat, milk, pelts, and wool, but their most important feature is the fat deposit at the base of the tail, which has a distinctive texture and flavour that are highly valued in central Asian cuisine and Arab countries.

Merino Sheep

Merino sheep breed is characterised by fine wool and account for about 50 percent of the world’s sheep population. Merino wool is used in high-end, performance athletic clothing, and in making baby clothes, shawls and other warm accessories.

There are many breeds of merino wool sheep, including:

  • American Rambouillet;
  • German Merinofleischschaf;
  • South African Meat Merino;
  • Delaine Merino;
  • Argentine Merino;
  • Booroola Merino.

Lincoln Sheep

Also named Lincoln Longwool, this sheep breed is popular worldwide for its finest wool and fleece, which is demanded all over the world for weaving and designing.

It is a breed of sheep from England, but according to Wikipedia, it is now one of Britain’s rarer breeds, categorized as “at risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, since there are fewer than 1500 registered breeding females in the United Kingdom. The Lincoln is best known for the production of the heaviest, longest and most lustrous fleece of any breed in the world and because the mature rams of this breed weight between 110 to 160 kg.

Suffolk Sheep

The Suffolk sheep is primarily a breed for good-quality meat. Also called “Black faces”, these sheep without horns are characterized by a large body with fine bones and long small necks. They have medium wool, with dark faces and legs. A mature Suffolk sheep weights range from 110 to 160 kg.

Hampshire Sheep

The Hampshire sheep is a medium-sized, quickly growing breed which offers tasty mutton. The breed produces fine quality medium wool, has black legs and faces, and good meat carcasses.

The Hampshire sheep breed is a result of cross-culture, and that is the reason for its varying skin tone. The breed got its name from the agriculture county of Hampshire in Southern England where they were first bred.

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