Dorset Sheep

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself

Gender: Both





Tolerance for heat


Tolerance for cold


Meat production


Milk production


Fleece quality


Commercial value


Wooly Friends with A Great Return


Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Posted Oct 30, 2013

Dorset sheep are a very gentle breed. They have white wool and white faces and maintain a fairly balanced demeanor. Dorsets are often sought after for their high breeding turn-over rate and can often have four to five lambs per year.

Dorsets are actually a mixed between the Horned Sheep of Wales and the Merino of Spain and have two types – the horned and polled Dorset. Both horned and polled Dorsets are an all-white sheep of medium size having good body length and muscle conformation to produce a desirable carcass. The fleece is very white, strong, close and free from dark fiber.

Dorset fleeces average five to nine pounds (2.25-4 kg) in the ewes with a yield of between 50% and 70%. The staple length ranges from 2.5 to 4 inches (6-10 cm) with a numeric count of 46's-58's. The fiber diameter will range from 33.0 to 27.0 microns. Dorset ewes weigh from 150 to 200 pounds at maturity, some in show condition may very well exceed this weight, Dorset rams weigh from 225 to 275 pounds at maturity.

Dorsets are one of the few breeds that carry the "out-of-season" breeding characteristic. The ewes are good mothers, good milkers and multiple births are not uncommon. Dorsets work well as trainers for children who are considering showing or breeding sheep as their calm demeanor lends itself to positive outcomes.

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