Full and prominent, but mild and placid, with a quiet gentle expression. This magnificent, highly productive ewe produces the majority of Australia’s high quality grass fed lambs that in recent years has seen exports go to nearly 100 countries, plus a rapidly growing domestic consumption through the restaurant trade. They have excellent maternal characteristics meaning that they make good mothers while producing quality lambs. [2] The wether portion of the first cross grow quickly in ideal conditions and produce good large lean lamb. The Border Leicester also has a longer loin and leaner meat than many sheep of its size. They are a robust, hardy breed with a very distinctive face and ears that stand up long on straight from their head. The nose should be black and the ears should be large, upright and alert. Brown or rust spots undesirable. This wool, though, is prized by spinners because of the crimp and lustre. The Border Leicester is a dual purpose breed of sheep, producing both meat and wool. The Border Leicester ram can have a huge role to play in any commercial sheep producer’s economic outcome. The Border Leicester breed was founded in 1767 by George & Matthew Culley of Fenton, Northumberland, England. This variation in the breed resulted in the two being nicknamed the "Bluecaps" and the "Redlegs". The Culley brothers were crossing their sheep with Teeswater sheep while other farmers in different areas along the border were crossing with Cheviots. The Border Leicester Sheep is a breed that originated in Britain a couple of centuries ago. Around the 1830s two distinct types of Dishley Leicesters were developing on the two sides of the border. The whole body including brisket, belly, purse and neck should be well covered, in the case of rams the fleece to be slightly stronger. Well sprung, deep body well let down forming good underline. Ewe numbers have been built up over the past few years with a little over … More lambs per head and/or unit … It has a long and respected history, and was developed in 1767 in Northumberland, England. This superior skin value is also extremely important when passed onto the ‘second cross’ lambs in the prime lamb industry; an economic advantage often overlooked by producers. [6] The Dishley Leicester was created and bred by Robert Bakewell (1726-1795) by crossing the old lincolnshire breed with the leicestershire type sheep. Border Leicester Merino cross ewes produced in this way offer the greatest overall performance when breeding meat type sheep, with a well proportioned carcase, high fertility, good foraging ability and good milk production. They have a body full of good wool, good meat to bone ratio and a docile, even-tempered nature that make them really easy to handle. Besides the huge production advantages that can be made through hybrid vigour, the crossing of Border Leicester rams over the readily available Merino ewes, produces a ewe … The Dishley Leicester became very popular with local farmers. Breeders show their sheep at county shows and fairs throughout the year with a National Show being held annually at the North American International Livestock Exposition held in Louisville, Kentucky every November. Unfortunately, because it doesn’t provide the same dramatic frame and lambing percentage improvements that the Bluefaced Leicester does, the Border Leicester … Poll Dorset or Southdown) to produce prime lambs, which grow rapidly to market weights and have the ideal carcase shape. Line of bottom law to correspond in arch shape with Roman nose. [8], Border Leicester sheep also contribute about 50 percent of the genetics used in the Gromark breed of sheep that were developed in Australia.[9]. Evenly and symmetrically balanced at every point, it should be free and noble in appearance, head carried boldly and alert showing character, should be able to move freely and carry itself in a majestic manner. [2], There are key strengths associated with the Border Leicester making them an excellent breed for farmers. Wide, level with back, with plenty of heart room, no depression behind blades. It is a polled, long- wool sheep and is considered a dual-purpose breed as it is reared both for meat and for wool. The first cross (both ewe and wether portion) also have a  superior skin  with the elimination of wrinkles and ribbing; these being huge devaluation factors in the skin trade. Australia’s dominant sheep breed is the Merino based on its wool production. The Border Leicester Sheep is the twin purpose of domestic sheep descended from the United Kingdom. Border Leicester wool falls in long, shining locks that are popular with hand spinners. Medium size, smooth crown, medium width in forehead, and even down the face to slightly Roman nose, deep through from eye. [7] They were a fairly common breed in the UK by the 19th century. Lambing is concentrated in autumn–early winter and crossbreeding is a feature of the system. In the Australian prime lamb industry, the development of the Border Leicester / Merino cross ewe has proven to be the backbone of its success. Pastern should be medium length and strong. They have been exported to other sheep-producing regions, including Australia and the United States. Over many years the Border Leicester has proved itself to be the number one maternal breed in Australia. The Border Leicester was developed in 1767 in Northumberland, England. Prime lambs are typically second cross produced from crossbred ewes (e.g. The Border Leicester is a British breed of sheep. Straight, good length, broad with wide flat loin, evenly covered with flesh that is firm to touch. The Border Leicester is the largest indigenous breed in the British Isles and the purebred is popular with adults and children alike as a show animal due … Free from wool and well covered with white soft hair, occasionally a black spot will appear, brown spots undesirable. Many farmers preferred the hardier redlegs and around 1850 this variation of the Dishley Leicester became known as the Border Leicester. The sheep are large but docile. Besides the huge production advantages that can be made through hybrid vigour, the crossing of Border Leicester rams over the readily available Merino ewes, produces a ewe that has superior maternal and meat producing traits. Border Leicester rams are used for mating with Merino ewes to breed the first-cross mothers that are so valuable for the production of prime lambs. The United States, Australian and New Zealand Border Leicesters very rarely sport the extreme of British flocks. Border Leicester Merino cross ewes are mated to shortwool rams (e.g. Lambs finish quickly due to their high growth rate and produce high quality, desirable meat. Border Leicester × Merino) that have been mated with a terminal sire or meat … They produce good milk and are good mothers with a lambing percentage of about 150%. Sheep breed compendium, Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX), 2010, North American International Livestock Exposition, "American Border Leicester Association » What is a Border Leicester?

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