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- Scottish Blackface are the more numerous breed in the United Kingdom. The breed originated in Great Britain but is now used in the USA and Ireland as well.
- The ‘Blackie’, as it’s often called, can also be sub-divided into 3 types, which differ slightly in size and appearance – the types are known as Perth, Lanark and Northumberland.
- The outstanding qualities of the breed are survivability/hardiness, adaptability and versatility.
- Blackface ewes are excellent mothers and will protect their lambs against predators.
- Once settled, the stock rarely leave their own area or mix with sheep from other areas which reduces the need for expensive fencing (a practice known as hefting).
- Scottish Blackface have large horns, a roman nose, and unusual black and white facial markings. The fleece is white, long and coarse. The legs are usually black or black and white and are free from wool.
- Scottish Blackface wool is used primarily in carpet making or in mattresses.
- The Swaledale hill breed originated in the Yorkshire valley of Swaledale.
- The upper part of a Swaledale face is dark complexioned while the muzzle is white/grey or mealy in colour. Swaledale sheep have large, curled horns.
- Their fleece is thick and white while their legs are grey or mottled in colour and are free from wool.
- The ewes make excellent mothers and are known for being able to rear lambs well, even in adverse conditions.
- They are known for producing good mutton and wool.
- The Welsh Mountain is a hill breed from Wales.
- Like the Scottish Blackface there are different types that differ in size and appearance – the types are known as White, Badger Face, Balwen, Black and South Wales. The White Welsh Mountain type are the most common variant.
- Welsh Mountain sheep are typically smaller and more compact than other hill breeds, where they have been bred to survive in harsh environments.
- Often the tails of Welsh Mountain sheep are left undocked.
- Rams usually have horns while the ewes are usually polled.
- They have fleece covering except for their head and legs.
- The Cheviot is a hill breed that originated in the Cheviot hills in the Scottish Borders.
- Like the Scottish Blackface there are different types – North Country and South Country Cheviot.
- The North Country Cheviot is the largest of the UK hill breeds.
- The South Country Cheviot is smaller than the North Country Cheviot.
- Rams may have horns while the ewes are usually polled.
- They have a dense, firm white fleece covering except for their head and legs.
- Like many hill breeds the Cheviot is hardy and has very strong maternal instincts.
- Cheviot wool is used for wool coats, blankets, rugs and hosiery yarns.
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