Terminal Sire Breeds
Terminal sire breeds are large, meaty sheep that are typically used to crossbreed with ‘mule’ ewes to produce finished lambs for meat. The lambs from these breeds are renowned for their rapid growth rates, carcass conformation and killing out percentage.
- The Suffolk originated in Southern England.
- In the UK and worldwide, they are one of the leading terminal sire breeds
- Suffolks have a distinctive black face with moderately long black ears and legs that are free from wool.
- They are naturally polled.
- The white fleece of the Suffolk is short with close fibre, and provides wool for hosiery, hand-knitting wools, tweeds, flannel, felts and dress fabrics.
- The Texel originated from the Netherlands but is now used extensively throughout Europe and further afield.
- The Texel is a white-faced breed with no wool on its legs or head.
- They have a distinct short and wide face with a black nose. They also have widely placed short ears and black hooves.
- The Texel is a highly adaptable breed that has been bred for muscle development and leanness.
- Charollais originated in France, but is now used extensively in other countries.
- Both sexes are naturally polled.
- They have pink-grey skin on their faces, covered by white hair. They also have a distinct feature of white flash, above each eye.
- Their fleece is white or cream colour but is not found on their face or legs.
- The Charollais ewe has strong maternal traits, easy lambing and can produce fast growing, robust lambs.
- The Dorset Down originated in Southern England.
- The Dorset Down is a shortwool breed that is polled. It has dark colour on its face and lower legs.
- It has white fleece round the cheeks, between the ears, on the forehead and down the legs.
- Dorset Down fleece is considered to be of high quality and is greatly valued in the UK.
- The Dorset Down ewe can produce early maturing lambs.
- Their wool is used for hosiery, fine knitting wools, flannel and dress fabrics.
- The Beltex, originally called the Belgian Texel, originated from Belgium where Texel breeders selected double-muscling traits. This breed is now used extensively in many countries.
- The Beltex is a white-faced breed with no wool on its legs or head. There may be black, blue or brown shading or patches on the head.
- They have a short and wide face. They also have widely placed short ears and black hooves.
- Beltex has distinctively large, double-muscled hindquarters/gigots.