The males of this species weigh between 90 and 100 Kg. It is the oldest of all the British breeds of sheep, with an ideal body conformation for the production of meat. By 1911, 359 registered Southdown flocks contained some 114,495 breeding ewes throughout Britain. The fineness of the fleece of this species is between 23 and 26 microns. Mature weights for rams range from 190 to 230 lb (86-104 kg); ewes weigh from 130 to 180 lb (59-81 kg). It has been split into two sub-breeds. With the gradual introduction of new crops such as field turnips, swedes, kohl rabi and other forage crops, the folding system took off, increasing in parallel with expanding human population. You can also like to read Rambouillet Sheep. Its wool is narrow and is one of the best of all British breeds. The extremely short members, face, and extremities of pigmented limbs from dark brown to dark gray. Their popularity grew because the Southdowns were very easy to take care of and were resilient to many problems for which other sheep are known. They breed once a year and their sheep produce more lambs of high quality than any other breed. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep. It has now been divided into two sub-races: The Southdown of today’s commercial producers is larger than the “traditional” Southdown of years ago. At the moment of commercialization, it was always classified as fine, obtaining good prices. The American Southdowns were developed by breeding the original bloodlines to larger breeds of Southdowns from other countries to create a sheep that could compete with the other larger meat breeds in the US. They have been selected specifically for their smaller size of the original blood lines and a focus on wool and hobby breeding rather than commercial meat production. The shoulders are soft and well balanced. During the interwar years, the United Kingdom was known for farm animal breeding, and pedigreed Southdowns were still being exported to most parts of the world, especially New Zealand. The sheep at birth weigh between 3.8 and 4.0 kg. After this initial review and acceptance period, the "Foundation Flock" registry was closed in 1991. These small sheep were known then for their extreme hardiness & produced meat with unmatched tenderness & flavor of any other breed of sheep. One of the oldest of the English breeds of sheep is the Southdown, originating on the South Down hills of Sussex County, England. An estimated 110,000 sheep were in Sussex as early as 1341. On the other hand, the rams are very hard workers and prolific, being able to cover to field up to 50 bellies without difficulty. As a Reference: Wikipedia. Read more information about this breed below. On the other hand, the length of the fleece goes from 4 to 6 centimeters. It takes its name from Suffolk County, although it developed in Suffolk, Essex, and Norfolk counties in south-east England. In the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, they were found in large numbers, especially in the South Downs near Lewes. The fleeces are considered medium-wool type with a fiber diameter of 23.5 to 29.0 microns[5] and a numerical count of 54 to 60. From mature ewes, fleece weights are between 5.0 and 8.0 lb ((2.5 - 3.6 kg) with a yield of 40% to 55%. There is no objective data of color at a national level, being totally white animals, unlike other carnivorous breeds. The legs should be strong and well plump, long and muscular. They later declined in nearly the same pattern that had occurred in England. The 20th century brought the establishment of pedigree recording. Each sheep's registration application was passed before a board of three members of the soon to be formed Olde English Southdown Registry. During the Great Depression, a severe and prolonged fall in the prices of wool and cereals due to rising volumes of imports from the British Empire was accompanied by the Wet Years - a six-year period of cold, wet weather with little sun. [3][4] Baby Doll breeders claim that their sheep are closer to the original English Southdown than are the commercial Southdown sheep being grown today. The Southdown raised by commercial growers today, is larger than the "traditional" Southdown of years past. Covered with wool up to the knee and hocks, clean down. No problems of Dystocia (or birthing) have been registered either in the slaughter sheds or in sheep of wool breeds in terminal crossing systems. On the other hand, the skin is fine, soft and pink. The presence of moles is practically insignificant, being able to appear black fleece animals but in very low proportion. Its wool is narrow and is one of the best of all British breeds. The Southdown is a small, dual-purpose English sheep, raised primarily for meat. One other factor that affected the original bloodlines was that the Southdown could not satisfy the consumer demand for larger meat cuts. Specialized breed for the production of precocious lambs and their own confirmation for a great meat yield; very indicated for industrial crosses with dual races. Official website of the most active Southdown Breed State Association in the United States, Official website of the American Southdown Breeders Association, Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep Registry, English Sheep web site Located in the UK talks about Southdowns in the US, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Southdown_sheep&oldid=918235803, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2011, Articles with disputed statements from July 2011, Articles needing additional references from January 2016, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 September 2019, at 17:28. Today the breed is popular among the small scale sheep breeders and raised mainly for meat production. The staple length ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 inches (4-6 cm).[6]. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep. In England, these small Southdowns grew in p… Tail broad and well implanted, long ribs and well extended. In the Second World War, the South Downs were commandeered for military training, only fringe farms being left to produce milk for the towns. The original blood line of the English Southdowns are the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep in the US. They have quite unique types of... 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