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Our Unique Coloured Bluefaced Leicester Sheep

Bluefaced Leicester SheepWith more than 40 breeding ewes, I probably have the largest flock of coloured Bluefaced Leicesters in the UK. All of my original ewes (now very elderly!) came from Wales, many from the prestigious Grugor flock as was in Denbighshire, some from the Great Llwygy flock at Pandy in Powys and a few descendents from the high-flying Craig Yr Orsedd and Myfyrian bloodlines. My homebred sheep have all the strength and quality of their forefathers.

White sheep are certainly favoured by the pedigree breeders in the UK, but the coloured rams are gaining favour with sheep farmers wanting a robust ram to produce Mules, as the coloured animals are considered by some to be hardier than their white brothers.

Shepherds keen to improve the quality of their fleeces are also attracted to the coloured rams and as naturally-coloured wool becomes more popular with hand-spinners, felters and weavers, value is added to the fleeces.

The Daddy of them all

The BFL has been described as ‘the vital piece of the UK sheep industry’, simply because of their crossing ability. When crossed with any hill ewe, the BFL ram produces the famous Mule Sheep, the backbone of British meat production. The crossing ability of the Blueface means that a Mule can be ‘designed’ to suit any type of farm. She will lamb in her first year and continue to produce for at least six years with little lambing difficulty, offering plenty of twins, good mothering ability and excellent feet. They revel in their strength and diversity.

History

The Bluefaced Leicester sheep dates back to the 1700s when Robert Bakewell instigated a breeding scheme in Northumberland to produce a longwool sheep. They originated from the Leicester Longwool and at that time were called the Dishley Leicester, then later the Hexham Leicester. 200 years of development later and the sheep known today as the Bluefaced Leicester came into being - a tall, elegant sheep with a long, strong back and majestic Roman nose. Their bright alert eyes, huge erect ears, long neck and broad shoulders make them stand out in the crowd. Fully grown, rams  are tall and can weigh up to 110kg and ewes up to 90kg. 

Why we love their lustrous wool

Their fleeces are tightly purled and open cleanly to the skin. Although their fleeces are relatively light (weighing just 1 – 3 kg), the wool is fine, long (85-90cm), dense and resilient and of outstanding quality. The Bluefaced Leicester produces the finest commercial 'lustre' wool and because it lacks surface scale on its fibre, it’s brighter and softer than other wools. With a 25-26 micron diameter; it is highly prized and can be compared in character to the finest mohair and alpaca. 

 

SHEARLING RAMS FOR SALE SEPTEMBER 2017.  COLOURED AND WHITE. LOVELY BOYS IN GOOD HEALTH AND READY TO WORK.

Pure bred Jacob Sheep
Coloured and White Crossbred Sheep



 
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