Still the leading domestic terminal sire breed throughout the UK and Ireland, the Suffolk is one of our oldest, domestic breeds and has been in existence since the late 1700’s with the Suffolk Sheep Society formed in 1886. The Suffolk remains No 1 for growth rate as proven by numerous independent scientific studies. This ability to grow means that Suffolk lambs are ready for market earlier resulting in reduced input costs, or also be taken to heavier carcase weights, if required.
The Suffolk Sheep Society has been a major contributor to the sheep industry in Ireland for over 125 years, with Henry Strevens from Athleague in Co. Roscommon the first recorded Irish member of the Suffolk Sheep Society. He started his flock in 1891, closely followed by R L Moore from Derry two years later. It is interesting that the Suffolk Sheep Society has been in Ireland since before Scotland and Wales.
Suffolk Breed Points
|Head||Hornless: Face black and long ; Muzzle moderately fine in Ewes. (A Small quanity of clean white wool on the forehead not objected to.) Ears a medium length, black and fine texture. Eyes, bright and full.||15|
|Neck||Moderate length and well set. (In Rams stronger, with a good crest)||5|
|Shoulder||Broad and oblique||5|
|Chest||Deep and wide||5|
|Back and Loin||Long, level and well covered with meat and muscle; Tail well set up, the Ribs long, and well sprung, with a full flank.||25|
|Legs and Feet||Straight and black, with flat bones of good quality, wooled to the knees and hocks, clean below. Forelegs set well apart. Hind legs well filled with meat||25|
|Belly||Well covered with wool||5|
|Fleece||Moderatley short; close fine fibre without tendency to mat or felt together and well defined, ie. not shading off into dark wool or hair||10|
|Skin||Fine, soft and pink colour||10|
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