Largest Sheep Breed

What is the Largest Sheep Breed in the World?

If you’ve ever wondered what the biggest sheep breed is you’re not alone, and while many meat sheep breeds grow to an impressive height, length and weight, the Suffolk is considered to be the largest sheep breed in the world.

You may see some large Hampshire or Columbia rams give the Suffolk a challenge as the largest breed of sheep.

But on average Suffolk sheep still come out on top in terms of size and weight. This is one of the reasons this massive breed is valued as a terminal sire. Suffolk rams produce large-framed, fast-gaining lambs in commercial crossbred flocks.

By the Numbers: Breaking Down the Biggest Sheep Breed

The American Sheep Industry Association lists the Suffolk as the largest sheep breed in the world. They report that mature rams reach weights of 400 pounds and mature ewes weigh up to 300 pounds.

Biggest Sheep Breed
A flock of Suffolk ewes

For context – a fully grown Suffolk ram can weigh approximately the same amount as a Welsh Pony.

ASI Study Finds that Largest Sheep Breed Makes an Excellent Terminal Sire

Biggest Sheep Breed in the World
KIMM 3019-7012, MacCauley Suffolks in Pennsylvania

In a 2013 American Sheep Industry performed a study of terminal sire sheep breeds for use in western range operations. In this study, researchers compared the rate of growth, feed efficiency, ewe production and lamb survival rate for four terminal sire breeds (Suffolk, Columbia, Texel and crossbred rams) mated to Rambouillet ewes. The study collected data over the span of three years. It found that the Suffolk rams produced the highest performing crossbred lambs in most categories.

Select Texel/Suffolk cross rams could produce lambs with an improved feed efficiency and similar growth rate.

You can read the complete findings of the study HERE.

Photo of KIMM 3019-7012 courtesy of MacCauley Suffolks, Atglen,

12 thoughts on “What is the Largest Sheep Breed in the World?”

    1. Hi, Shadrack. I’d reach out to the South Africa Suffolk Breeder’s Society to see if they can put you in touch with a local breeder in Kenya or arrange an import for you from South Africa. You can visit their website at: Best of luck!

      1. Hi Joe, thanks so much for the advice. I will follow up from South Africa and bring them to Kenya. I am so thankful for your help.

      2. Hi Joe is there any Suffolk society in Asia. I am from Mongolia and trying to find a way to bring Suffolk sheeps to Mongolia.

  1. Hi,
    I have a sheep farm in india. I need Suffolk one male and one female. but they are not around. How can I get them to come to India. +919622974639 also reply me on my whatsapp no please if possible.

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