Wensleydale

October 21, 2020

Wensleydale

Wensleydales are the result of a cross between the native long wool sheep of the Tees Valley, which later developed in to the Teesdale, and a Dishley Leicester ram’Bluecap’.

The breed has developed in to a large, polled, longwool breed. Noted for the quality of its fleece the breed, like many longwool breeds it was developed for crossing on to hill breed ewes to produce crossbred ewes as well as being bred pure to produce valuable fleeces noted for their lustre.

Today the breed can be found across the United Kingdom and an several other countries across the globe where its fine, heavy fleeces are much in demand from spinners. 

Characterised by its blue head and ears, the Wensleydale breed is noted for its prolificacy with ewes regularly producing and rearing twins and often bearing three lambs. 

Lambs grow rapidly and can thrive off poorer pasture, particularly when used as a crossing sire. 

Fleeces are of 8-12inches long and are entirely kemp free as a result of the unique characteristics of the wool-producing follicles. This special quality is genetically transmitted to cross-bred lambs, characterising the Wensleydale ram as perhaps the leading wool improver sire in the world. 


Pictures provided by Deb Nelson Gourley
For more information visit:
UK - Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders' Association
USA - North American Wensleydale Sheep Association
https://wensleydalesheep.org/
 




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