The Scotch Mule Sheep is the name for a crossbred sheep derived from a Scottish Blackface ewe crossed with the Bluefaced Leicester Ram. According to the Scotch Mule Association, the Scotch Mule combines "the conformation and hardiness of the Blackface married to the prolificacy and the milking ability of the Blueface Leicester. Combined with the mothering instinct of both we have a female, which given the correct management, will not only produce 200% lambing but is capable of nursing them whether it be for early market or finishing at grass."
The Scotch Mule ewe is then usually crossed with a meat-type ram to produce market lambs. As the North American Mule Sheep Society explains, "The Mule ewe lambs are either retained for the next step of the system, or sold off the farm in the fall at the livestock markets by the thousands. They are purchased to make-up large commercial flocks for the UK’s “prime” lamb production. In the final tier of the scheme the Mule ewes are bred to terminal sires, renowned for their heavy carcass genetics; the preferred ones being either a “British” Suffolk or the Texel. This third step in the system produces a carcass lamb that easily reaches market weights off milk and grass."
Appearance / health:
The Scotch Mule Sheep is a medium sized, polled breed, which has a mottled brown face. It has fine white wool which should have a curled appearance (passed down from the sire). Average mature bodyweight 70kg.