Suffolk Sheep Breed Information, History and Facts
Suffolk sheep can be found around the world and are a popular choice in countries which value commercial sheep production. The Suffolk sheep breed is perhaps the most commonly used purebred sheep breed in the United States and are a frequent choice for commercial shepherds as terminal sires in crossbreeding programs. This breed was introduced to the U.S. in 1888, but it originated in England as a product of crossing Norfolk and Southdown sheep. Suffolk sheep are the largest breed found in the United States and they are renowned for their rapid rate of growth. You can distinguish Suffolks from other large meat breeds because they have bare legs and heads (as opposed to Hampshires, which have wool on top of their head and down their legs with coarser black hair fibers). Suffolk rams are commonly used as a sire in crossbreeding programs as they imbue their lambs with lean, high-yield carcasses and a rapid rate of growth. Suffolk ewes have a strong maternal instinct and produce plenty of milk. Farmers select for Suffolk sheep which are able to thrive in a variety of climates and while their wool is not a primary concern, they do produce fleece that is of medium grade. Suffolk sheep carcasses are easy to cut and are often popular among diners who enjoy lean lamb.
Visit the United Suffolk Sheep Association website.
Suffolk Sheep Breed Information
Mature Body Weight
Ram: 275-400 pounds
Ewe: 200-300 pounds
Average Fiber Diameter
USDA Wool Grade 46's-58's
Grease Fleece Weight