English Meat and Wool Sheep

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

English Meat and Wool Sheep


breeds of sheep with good meat qualities and semifine wool developed in the 18th–19th centuries in England. The sheep are divided into three groups: long-wooled, short-wooled, and mountain. The most widely found long-wooled breeds are Leices-ters, Border Leicesters, Lincolns, Romney Marshes, and Devons. The sheep are large, with long wool (up to 30 cm) which has a characteristic luster. The clip is 4–6 kg.

Of the short-wooled sheep, six breeds are known as Downs, including the South Downs, Shropshires, Hamp-shires, Suffolks, Oxford Downs, and Dorsets. Of the other short-wooled breeds, the most widely found are the Dor-sets, Ryelands, Clanforests, and Kerry Hills. The wool is 6–10 cm long, and the clip is about 3 kg. All the short-wooled sheep are noted for high meat quality. They are used chiefly for commercial crossbreeding to obtain rapidly maturing meat animals.

The mountain sheep are characterized by their small size, and they are diverse in terms of wool quality.

English meat and wool sheep are renowned for their rapid maturing. By the age of three to four months, the fattened lambs produce carcasses of up to 20 kg. The meat is marbled and tasty. The meat qualities are combined with high wool productivity and are transmitted well to subsequent generations.

English meat and wool sheep are raised in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and a number of European nations having a predominantly mild climate. In the USSR small numbers of Romney Marshes, Lincolns, Border Leicesters, Hampshires, Oxford Downs, Suffolks, and Cheviots are raised. They are crossbred with the local sheep to improve the wool and meat qualities.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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