British Milk sheep breed primarily raised for milk purposes. In 1970 Lawrence Alderson developed the breed in England at Wiltshire and Northumberland.
Famous for high milk production and high lambing capacity. The breed is not only seen as dairy sheep, it been used for meat, wool and to increase the flock too.
British Milk sheep breed information
The British Milk sheep are largely built and with a white face, with woolless face and legs.
Both ram and ewe are polled(no horns).
The British Milk sheep ram weighs around 103 kg (227 lbs) and ewe weighs around 79 kg (174 lbs).
Produces heavy and lean carcass.
The average litter size is more than 3. The lambing percentage is 220 %.
The average milk yield is around 250 to 400 liters in a lactation period of 210 days with a fat percentage of 6.
Rams are used extensively for crossbreeding.
The fleece weight of ewes is around 4 kg and rams are 6.5 kg on average. The spinning count is 50 to 54 s and taple length is 12 to 18 cm.
Things to know
The meat is more tender, the crossbred lambs from British Milk sheep have more carcass weight when compared to crosses sired by Ile de France, Suffolk and Mutton Merino rams.
According to the wiki, British Milk sheep crosses proved superior to crosses by Lacaune and Awassi rams. They yielded 90-130 liters compared with 60-80 liters from Lacaune crosses and 80-105 liters from Awassi crosses.
Conflicting source of information about the breed’s origin according to afs.okstate.edu “Frahmy (1996) gives it like 70% East Friesian, 10% Bluefaced Leicester, 10% Polled Dorset, 5% Lleyn and 5% a composite of Bluefaced Leicester, Polled Dorset and Lleyn, previously developed by the same breeder. Mason (1996) shows a breed composition of 42% Friesian (East and West), 16% Bluefaced Leicester, 15% Composite, 13.5% Lleyn, 11.5% Polled Dorset and 2% other.”
The breed can now be found globally, in countries such as the UK, Greece, Hungary, France, Canada.
In 2001, the breed was almost wiped out due to foot-an-mount disease.
In the early years of the breed, sextuplets were quite common, one ewe is on record having had 44 lambs in 10 lambings cycle.
Brief characteristics of British Milk sheep
|Breed Name||British Milk sheep|
|Country/Place of Origin||England|
|Breed Purpose||Meat and wool|
|103 kg (227 lbs)|
|Ewe(Female)||79 kg (174 lbs)|
|Kidding||triplets are common|
|Good for Stall Fed||open grazing|
|Climate Tolerance||local conditions|
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