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Author Topic: Which breed for a beginner?  (Read 4973 times)


  • Joined May 2008
  • Northumberland
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Which breed for a beginner?
« on: May 23, 2008, 09:24:55 am »
I have never kept sheep but often have other folks to graze down our grass a bit. If I was to get a few of my own which do you think would be the easiest for a beginner?


  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
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Re: Which breed for a beginner?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 06:54:10 pm »
A nice easy breed like a Dorset Down, Ryeland or Southdown if you want a pedigree breed or some nice commercial crossbred ewes known as 'mules' who are also nice and easy.
Avoid anything with horns or tendancies to jump such as Jacobs and only get primitive types such as Shetlands and Soays if you have very good fences, a lot of patience and can run 100m in less than 10 seconds!

Believe me its much easier to learn on a breed of sheep that appreciates your company, is easy to catch and handle and is too lazy to think about escaping!

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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Which breed for a beginner?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 11:15:56 pm »
We have three Ryelands - they are lovely sheep with no escapologist tendancies. They aren't too big and are dual purpose - although we haven't shorn or eaten any of ours yet!


  • Joined May 2008
Re: Which breed for a beginner?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2008, 12:17:09 pm »
I can recommend my breed too, we have Zwartbles, they are naturally quite tame breed and much more biddable than our xbred sheep that have a bit of Welsh in them! Zwartbles are quite striking to look at with their black fleeces and white markings and although the show sheep are on the large size, there are plenty that are a smaller size too. Some of them can be really tame and seem to like to be around people I think this may be due to their origins as a dual purpose dairy sheep, they also halter train quite easily and stay in their fields too!

It may be worth looking at all the breeds at the larger agriculture shows, you can usually ask people questions about their sheep and can decide which breeds you most like.


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