Suffolk Sheep Origin, Facts, Pros and Cons, Size, Weight

Suffolk sheep is a domestic sheep breed commonly found in the United Kingdom. The two famous sheep breeds named Southdown and Norfolk horned sheep were crossbred in England. As a result, Suffolk sheep produced. Rams of Southdown sheep and ewes of Norfolk sheep were involved in this crossbreed. The resultant sheep, i.e. Suffolk sheep, appeared to be better sheep than its parent sheep breeds. Suffolk is an open-faced and significantly black-faced sheep. The primary purpose for which these sheep are raised is meat production. In the year 1810, this breed was first recognized. Later in 1886, an English Suffolk Society was organized for registering these sheep.

    Suffolk Sheep Origin

    Suffolk sheep are named after the region they first originated. In the late 18th century, Suffolk sheep first originated in the surrounding area of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk. Two different breeds were first bred in Suffolk, and the resultant breed was named Suffolk sheep. The initial names of Suffolk sheep were Blackface or Southdown-Norfolks. This breed was named Suffolk in the year 1797. Suffolk sheep was first recognized as a different breed in the year 1810. After the establishment of Suffolk sheep society, almost 15000 ewes were recorded in a flock book. In 1980, the breed number increased up to 500,000 in the United Kingdom.

    Suffolk Sheep Origin, Facts, Pros and Cons, Size, Weight

    Suffolk Sheep Facts

    Suffolk sheep were previously known as blackfaced sheep. They are large-sized sheep breeds. Along with their faces, their legs are also black. The body frame of Suffolk sheep is large and muscular. That’s why these sheep are raised for meat production. Both ewes and rams of Suffolk sheep are polled. These sheep are prolific. Their growth rate is fast and reaches maturity in the early phase of life. These sheep are energetic and intelligent. These sheep are easy to handle. They have appreciable stamina. They are active and alert. The quality of their meat is also admirable.

    Suffolk Sheep Pros

    The pros of Suffolk sheep include easy adaptability. They are hardy and can survive in most of the climatic conditions. They are resistant to parasites. Their bodies do not let the parasites develop inside their body, causing diseases. These sheep have tremendous libido. Their fertility rate is also good. Lambing is also an easy task for them. Because the heads of lambs are narrow and their shoulders are smooth. Suffolk sheep are considered the ideal crossbreed. They have excellent quality carcass. Worldwide their carcass is highly demanded. They have a fast maturity rate. After maturity, they start serving meat and wool.

    Suffolk Sheep Cons

    Suffolk sheep are considered an ideal breed considering their meat and wool quality. But there is a drawback regarding their health. Although they are good fighters against parasites, but there are greater chances of developing spider lamb syndrome in Suffolk sheep. The syndrome is related to the deformity of the sheep's body. The deformity may not be visible in the initial years of birth, but later in life, the deformity becomes clear. It is an inherited disease, and mostly, the defects are facial, twisted spines, and abnormal legs. Other than this, there isn’t any disadvantage reported till yet.

    Suffolk sheep Weight

    Suffolk sheep are big size sheep. The average weight falls in the range of 180 pounds to 350 pounds. There is a slight difference in the weight of Suffolk rams and Suffolk ewes. The rams are usually heavier than the ewes. The average weight of a Suffolk ram is about 250 to 350 pounds (approx. 113 to 159 kg) whereas the average weight of a Suffolk ewe is about 180 to 250 pounds (approx. 81 to 113 kg). Weight is a variable factor as age, with the development of the bones and the body of Suffolk sheep, their weight increases.

    Suffolk sheep Size

    Suffolk sheep are large size animals. They are heavy by weight and have a muscular body. They actively convert their feed into muscle fat. With age, their size differs. They usually become mature within the 1st year of their life. Upon maturity, the average height of a Suffolk ewe is about 80 cm, and the average height of a Suffolk ram is about 74 cm. Taking the remaining measurements of their body, they are 68 cm cross-body, and the length of their body is about 100 cm. Their chest is measured up to 130 cm. They have a large body frame.

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