Ile de France Sheep

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Other common names: Île-de-France

The basics:
The Ile De France is a breed which was developed in France in the 1830's by crossing the English Leicester and the Rambouillet. Today, the Île-de-France is one of the top meat breeds worldwide, and is the most common breed in France.

According to the Canadian Sheep Breeders' Association, "The Ile de France has been selected for two primary purposes: as a terminal sire to produce vigorous, hardy, and fast growing lambs with superior carcass traits; and as an improver for crossbreeding with maternal breeds in a commercial flock. In this capacity they add hardiness, longevity, feed conversion and out of season breeding ability to a ewe flock. They have an excellent flocking instinct and are very successful when raised on pasture. Their high wool quality is an asset when crossed with range breeds."

Appearance / health:
According to the Oklahoma State University, "The breed is large and thick set. The face and lower legs are free from wool. The face is white with pink lips and nostrils. Both sexes are hornless (polled). The Ile-de-France produces a fine, heavy fleece that is very high in grease which results in low yields. The average fleece weight is 4 to 6 kilograms with a 7 to 8 cm staple length. The quality of the fleece is 56's to 60's."

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