The Suffolk Sheep is a fine, strong and very characterful breed. We usually have pure Suffolk ram lambs for sale every Summer so please call for details.
Suffolk sheep are purportedly the favourite of the commercial farmer to cross with their ewes for meat production. The Suffolk Sheep are by no means a breed to be snuffed at; they are big, strong, solid sturdy creatures.
Suffolk sheep, a relatively large breed, developed in England, well known for its high quality meat. The Suffolk Sheep has many desirable qualities and is becoming widely accepted there. Suffolks have bare heads, black faces, and bare black legs but no horns. They breed aggressively and have upstanding carriage, an active nature, the capacity for rapid growth, and a good mutton build; they are, however, relatively light fleece producers. Suffolk rams are widely used with ewes of other breeds to produce crossbred lambs for slaughter.
The original Suffolks were the result of crossing Southdown rams on Norfolk Horned ewes. Apparently the product of this cross was a great improvement over either one of the parents. Although the Suffolk was a recognized breed as early as 1810, the flock book was not closed until much later.
In 1930, Southdowns were described as large sheep without horns, dark faces and legs, fine bones and long small necks. They were low set in front with high shoulders and light forequarters; however, their sides were good, rather broad in the loin, and were full in the thigh and twist. Today's Suffolk Sheep derives its meatiness and quality of wool from the old original British Southdown.
The Norfolk Horned sheep, now rare, were a wild and hardy breed. They were blackfaced, light, fleeced sheep. Both sexes were horned. The upland regions of Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge on the southeastern coast of England are very rugged and forage is sparse. It was this dry, cold and windy area in which the Norfolk breed adapted itself to travelling great distances for food, thereby developing a superbly muscular body.
It was said at that time of the Norfolk Horned, "their limbs are long and muscular, their bodies are long and their general form betokens activity and strength." This breed and its crosses were valued highly both by farmers and butchers. However, shepherds of that day did not like the long legs, flat sides, nor wild nature of the Norfolk Horned. They noted that Southdowns crossed with Norfolk produced a progeny that reduced most of the criticisms of both breeds.
In 1886, the English Suffolk Sheep Society was organized to provide registry service and to further develop the use of the breed. Through selection and careful breeding by many great English shepherds, the Suffolk Sheep brought to this country retained the qualities for which they were originally mated.