Devon & Cornwall Longwool

Devon and Cornwall Longwool & lamb

Key Characteristics

The Devon and Cornwall Longwool is a hardy breed able to cope with most conditions and do well on most grazing. The breed can be bucket trained and is a generally placid breed of sheep. The breed experiences few lambing problems and ewes are excellent mothers. Lambing percentages are generally around 150%. Lambs are medium sized and quick to rise.

History

  • There have been longwoolled sheep in the South West for centuries.
  • The Devon and Cornwall Longwool is the amalgamation of two local breeds: The South Devon and the Devon Longwool.
  • The Flock Book Association of the Devon and Cornwall Longwool was established in 1977.
  • The breed is relatively local and there are few flocks outside of the South West

Appearance

  • A large, sturdy sheep with a distinctive longwoolled fleece. 
  • Ewes weigh around 75-80kg and rams, 100-110kg.
  • The breed is shorter than other longwool breeds but has a bulkier build. 
  • The face and legs are white and both sexes are polled.

Uses

Cross Breeding

The ewe when put to a good terminal sire will lamb easily and produce a good, fast growing lamb that will grade well. A known cross is that of a Dorset Horn with a Devon and Cornwall Longwool to produce a ewe that will lamb out of season.

Wool

The fleece of the Devon and Cornwall Longwool may not be the finest quality but it is very hard wearing and widely used in carpets. The breed has so much wool that animals can be sheared as lambs and Devon lambswool is highly prized. 

Staple length- 20-25cm. Fleece weight- 7- 10kg (Some examples have weighed 20kg). Quality- 32s-36s.

Meat

The Devon and Cornwall Longwool purebred lamb is able to be killed within 4 months. At 8 weeks of age lambs should weigh around 20.5kg. The breed remains lean and is suitable for taking to heavier weights before killing. Crossbred lambs out of a Devon and Cornwall Longwool ewe will finish quickly and at good weights.

Did you know?

They are known for their massive fleeces. It is often said that they produce more wool per sheep than any other British breed. 

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