What are East Friesian sheep used for?

East Friesian sheep raised primarily for dairy. The breed is originated in East Frisia in northern Germany. In a lactation period of 210 days, the average milk production is around 500 to 600 liters.

East Friesian sheep breed information

The Sheep is large in size which has a pink nose and legs are clear of wool.

Both the rams and ewes are polled. 

The mature East Friesian ram weighs  110 kg(240 lb) and ewe weighs 90 kg(2000 lb).

Produces milk of around 500 to 600 liters per lactation period of 210 days.

The breed has lean meat and produces more milk.

Produces white wool with 37 microns diameter.

Medium-coarse white wool with a staple length of 120 to 160 mm and a fleece weight of 4 to 5 kg. The wool is used to make carpet.

East Friesian sheep are highly fertile and they mature fast.

The lambing percentage is around 280.

The breed is docile temperament which is an ideal sheep breed for any breeders.

The East Friesian sheep are strong and hardy.

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Things to know

East Friesian sheep are also called as Ostfriesisches Milchschaf.

The ingredients from the sheep’s milk make human bodies to be highly resistant to common health diseases since it makes the antibodies to have strong ability to combat the agents causing the diseases.

A dual-purpose, high fertility breed used to increase flock fertility.

The fetta cheese base milk is from East Friesian sheep milk.

Brief characteristics of East Friesian sheep

Breed NameEast Friesian sheep
Other NameOstfriesisches Milchschaf
Country/Place of OriginEast Frisia in northern Germany and Holland
Breed Purposemilk
Breed Sizelarge
110 kg(240 lb)
Ewe(Female)90 kg(200 lb)
Kiddingone and twins
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing  and Stall-fed
Climate ToleranceAll Climates

According to the New Zealand Sheepbreeders Association: “In December 1992 eleven pregnant ewes and four rams were imported into New Zealand from Sweden and entered a private quarantine station at Silverstream, near Dunedin. Thereafter a breeding program was commenced using embryo transfer techniques, with only those animals derived from the embryo transfers eligible for release from quarantine.

The first release occurred in March 1996, with 40 rams being sold while the remaining animals were held back to expand the flock numbers. However, there were substantial sales of semen, with an estimated 50,000 ewes of various breeds being artificially inseminated.

In 1995, the first flock was registered with the NZSBA by Silverstream East Friesians and in 1996 several more flocks were registered and this has continued.”

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