Drysdale sheep characteristics

The Drysdale breed of sheep is raised primarily for wool. The breed is originated in New Zealand. The wool was used particularly in carpet manufacture and it had an advantage in computing environments where static electricity was a problem.

Drysdale Sheep breed information

The Drysdale is a medium-sized sheep.

The mature weight of Drysdale ram is 60 kg(130 lb) and the ewe is  45 kg(99 lb).

A good lean Carcass, the sheep which doesn’t produce good wool, will be finished.

The lambing rate is around 120 percent. 

Drysdale has a calm temperament and even foot problems are rare.

Both ram and ewe are horned. Ewes horns are small about 8 to 9cm while ram’s horn similar to Wiltshire ram’s horn.

The wool of the Drysdale is without crimp, long and hairy fibers.

Drysdale sheep on an average fleece weight of 6 kg with a fibre diameter of 40 microns and a staple length of 200 to 300 mm.

The Drysdale wool is mainly used for making carpet.

Things to know

Drysdale sheep were developed in New Zealand by Dr. Francis Dry of Massey University when he discovered that Romney ram of a high percentage of hairy fibers.

But Cheviot genetics produced a coarse and long-staple fleece that had to be shorn twice a year.

The crossing of Romneys and Cheviots resulted in the Drysdale breed.

Half-bred Drysdales may be distinguished at birth by the identification of crimp wool on the shoulder.

According to rarebreeds – “In recent years the number of Drysdales being farmed in New Zealand has dropped dramatically through lack of demand for their fleece. In 2006 there were only two breeders registered with the New Zealand Sheepbreeders’ Association, and by 2010 the breed was no longer included in the flock book – any remaining breeders were switching to more commercially viable breeds. In Australia, too, the number dropped to 38 recorded breeding ewes by 2013.”

Brief characteristics of Drysdale Sheep

Breed NameDrysdale Sheep
Other Name 
Country/Place of OriginNew Zealand
Breed Purposewool
Breed Sizemedium
90 kg(200 lb)
Ewe(Female)60 kg(130 lb)
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing  and Stall-fed
Climate ToleranceAll Climates

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