ABOUT THE BREEDS
Emma has carefully chosen several breeds of sheep to run in the flock at Westwood Farm to ensure quality lamb is produced which include Texel and Suffolk Mules and more recently Emma has added pedigree Lleyns and is excited to be building this blood line into the existing flock.
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Appearance: The Texel is a white, hornless breed with a broad head, white face and jet black nose. It is a medium-sized, has a long rectangular body and well pronounced muscles.
History: The breed can be traced back to Roman times and originated on the island of Texel on the north west coast of Holland. It was first imported into the UK in the 1970s, with the Texel Breed Society established in 1974.
Geography: The Texel has become increasingly dominant in the UK since its arrival, challenging both native terminal sire breeds and other imports from the continent. It is also well known in the rest of Europe, Australia, Africa and South America.
Breed attributes: As a terminal sire breed bred to produce lambs for the food chain, the Texel combines pronounced muscling, a long loin and lean meat. It made its mark in the UK as a crossing sire on native UK breeds, but Texel Mule and Texel cross females are increasingly popular as breeding females.
Commercial desirability: The Texel Sheep Society promotes the breed for its suitability for efficient prime lamb production in a variety of lowland and harsher environments, with fast growing lambs that stay lean.
Appearance: The Suffolk is distinctive for its completely black face and downturned ears. The legs, also black, stand out against the single colour of its dense, white fleece.
History: he breed became established in its own right in 1810, having been developed by crossing Southdown rams and Norfolk Horn ewes in the Bury St Edmunds area of Suffolk, England. Suffolk Show in 1859 was the first to have competitive classes for the breed, with the Suffolk Sheep Society established in 1887.
Geography: From its origins in Eastern England, the Suffolk became the dominant terminal sire breed in the UK and is still the most used native terminal sire breed today. The Suffolk Sheep Society represents flocks throughout Europe and has seen the breed become know around the world, including in the USA,
New Zealand and Australia.
Breed attributes: As a large, lowland, terminal sire breed, the Suffolk’s purpose is to produce quality lambs with good conformation and growth rates, both crossbred and pure, for the food chain.
Commercial desirability: The Suffolk Sheep Society emphasises the fast-growing nature of its crossbred and purebred lambs, meaning they can be ready for market earlier, resulting in reduced input costs. It markets the females as having high milk output, hard hooves and easy lambing traits.
Appearance: A medium-sized sheep, the Lleyn has white legs, a slender white head with a black nose, and a white fleece. The breed standard requires males and females to not have horns.
History: The origins of the Lleyn are in Ireland, where Dishley Leicesters brought from the UK were used to improve indigenous Irish sheep and develop the Roscommon breed. The Roscommon was exported to the Lleyn peninsula of North Wales in the early 19th century and used to improve local Welsh sheep into the Lleyn. The Lleyn breed society was formed in 1971.
Geography: Originally bred to thrive on the Lleyn peninsula, the Lleyn did not find popularity until the mid-20th century, when it gained a reputation for being the fastest growing breed in the UK. It is now found in large numbers on farms throughout the UK, as well achieving some export success.
Breed attributes: The Lleyn is desirable for its combination of low maintenance and prolificacy, meaning hard working mothers will easily rear two lambs at a time. As a maternal breed, it is a popular cross with terminal sire breeds to produce prime lambs for the food chain.
Commercial desirability: The Lleyn Sheep Society promotes the breed as low maintenance, low disease risk and efficient, with the ability to thrive on upland and lowland grazing.