Longwool breeds are characterised by their lack of horns, large size/frame, long wool with a silvery and glistening appearance. They have a heavy, long fleece and all-white face and legs. They are typically used to crossbreed with draft hill ewes. Compared to hill sheep, they are faster growing.
- The Border Leicester originated in the border regions of Southern Scotland and the North of England.
- They have a distinctive appearance. Their head is covered with short white hair (no wool).
- They have large white ears and a roman nose.
- The Border Leicester ewe has a good maternal instinct and is moderately prolific.
- The chief uses of wool are hosiery, dress fabrics, lining materials and hand-knitting wool.
- The Bluefaced Leicester originated in the North of England.
- The Bluefaced Leicester is considered the most important longwool crossing breed.
- The skin of a Bluefaced Leicester is blueish in colour which shows through the white hair covering the head.
- Their fleece is the finest of the longwool breeds, and it is important that the wool be tightly purled, fine and open cleanly to the skin.
- They are the longest bodied of the British sheep and have large ears and a roman nose.
- They are free of wool on their head, neck, belly and legs.
- The Bluefaced Leicester ewe is prolific and has very good milking ability to match this.
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