Herdwick sheep characteristics

Herdwick sheep are primarily raised for both meat and wool. They are very good at landscape management. The native breed of England. The dual-purpose breed that has been around since the 12th century.

Herdwick sheep breed information

Herdwick lambs are born with black fleeces, but as they grow older turn a dark brown in their first year and the grey color after their shearing.

The males are horned, but females are polled.

One of the slowly maturing breeds which are hardy and has flavored meat.

The fleece weight of Herdwick is 2 to 3 kg. The wool is coarse and difficult to dye.

The wool is used to make carpet.

A dual-purpose breed is raised to produce meat and wool.

Herdwick sheep are hardy and even to this day, they are managed in the traditional way.

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Things to know

Herdwick sheep are one of England’s oldest native breed which lives on lake District and mountains of England.

The name “Herdwick” is derived from the word “Herdwyck” which means sheep pasture.

Beatrix Potter was engaged with keeping and rearing Herdwicks, even acting as president of the breed association for a time. .Upon her demise in 1943, she handed down fifteen homesteads – an aggregate of around 4,000 acres land (16 km²) to the National Trust and, according to her guidance, all keep on brushing Herdwick groups

Herdwick ewes also commonly produce desirable market lambs and mules by cross-breeding with SuffolkCheviotCharollais and Texel sheep.

In 2013, Lakeland Herdwick meat received a Protected Designation of Origin from the European Union.

There are around 60k of Herdwick breeding females and 40k of them are in National Trust farms.

Brief characteristics of Herdwick sheep

Breed NameHerdwick sheep
Other NameHerdwyck
Country/Place of OriginEngland
Breed Purposemeat and wool
Breed Sizesmall
50 kg (110 lb)
Ewe(Female)40 kg (88 lb)
Kiddingsingle or twins
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing 
Climate Tolerancelocal conditions

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