The Dalesbred Sheep is a dual purpose hill sheep breed which was developed in the Yorkshire Dales, England. The Dalesbred was created by crossing the native Swaledale Sheep with Scottish Blackface sheep. The breed flock book was established in 1931.
According to the Dalesbred Sheep Breeders Association, "In the stratification of the UK sheep industry the Dalesbred has a dual role. On its native hill ground it is mostly bred pure for three or four crops with the wether lambs being sold off the hill as stores, or increasingly finished at home. The majority of the female lambs are kept for breeding and then sold as draft ewes after three or four years lambing on the hill. They are mainly purchased by sheep farmers farming lower down the valleys. They are then mated with Teeswater, Bluefaced Leicester and Continental tups for three or four years more to provide Masham and Mule and other continental crossed gimmers for use in lowland flocks."
Appearance / health:
Dalesbred Sheep resemble the two breeds which they were created from. They have a black face and a distinguishing white mark above and on each side of the muzzle. They have have no wool on either the face or legs. Both sexes have a round, low set of horns. Dalesbred ewes weigh 45 to 60 kg (99 to 130 lb) and rams 55 to 75 kg (120 to 170 lb).