Napa sheep slaughter solved: Culprits were cougars. Mock continued his extensive search, and by 1990, he was able to find a total of 350 of the Southdown sheep that had the original bloodlines, and many of them still carried their original Southdown registration papers recognized by the UK. Special Characteristics: Southdown Sheep have extraordinary exploitation conditions that have stimulated the interest of farmers in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, Argentina, etc. The Southdown breed was originally bred by John Ellman of Glynde, near Lewes, East Sussex, about 200 years ago.His work was continued by Jonas Webb of Babraham in Cambridgeshire, who developed the larger animal of today.It was exported to … Southdown Sheep. Kept by the farmers and shepherds on the chalk hills of what is today known as … The Southdown sheep … The Southdown sheep are a very active breed of domestic sheep.  At the time, their wool was second only to the Hereford sheep in fineness and quality. Countries where this variety thrives more and more. The Southdown has been placed on a watch list by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. They are raised mainly for meat production. In 1780 John Ellman, realized the potential of these animals and set … In 1780, John Ellman realized the potential of these animals and set out to standardize the Southdown breed. Gradually surrendering to basic arable farming changes, the Southdown became largely a grassland breed. The Southdown was developed in southeastern England, specifically in the Chalk Hills or "South Downs" of Sussex. The staple length ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 inches (4-6 cm).. In the Second World War, the South Downs were commandeered for military training, only fringe farms being left to produce milk for the towns. The colour of its face and legs is brown to light brown or … His work was continued by Jonas Webb of Babraham in Cambridgeshire, who developed the larger animal of today. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Southdown Sheep Society, Meens Farm, Capps Lane, All Saints, Halesworth, Suffolk , IP19 0PD, United Kingdom, Articles of Association of the Southdown Sheep Society, Pass on its superb conformation to its offspring, Thrive and maintain its flesh when other breeds would likely suffer, Be an ideal sheep for small or large flocks. The breed declined drastically in the 1960's as a result of its very small stature and lambing difficulties. During the interwar years, the United Kingdom was known for farm animal breeding, and pedigreed Southdowns were still being exported to most parts of the world, especially New Zealand. This meant wheat could be grown successfully the following year. It also develops Shropshire sheep, Oxford, and Hampshire sheep. Southdown Sheep. The Southdown sheep are excellent meat producers. One other factor that affected the original bloodlines was that the Southdown could not satisfy the consumer demand for larger meat cuts. These small sheep were know for their extreme hardiness and produced meat with unmatched tenderness and flavor then any other breed of sheep. Uses. Each sheep's registration application was passed before a board of three members of the soon to be formed Olde English Southdown Registry. An estimated 110,000 sheep were in Sussex as early as 1341. [dubious – discuss] The large flocks grazed the open downs by day and at dusk they came down to the lower arable land for folding. With the gradual introduction of new crops such as field turnips, swedes, kohl rabi and other forage crops, the folding system took off, increasing in parallel with expanding human population. The Southdown raised by commercial growers today, is larger than the "traditional" Southdown of years past. For this reason, they are often kept as pets, but they are also used in a variety of ways such as grass mowers and weed eaters in vineyards and orchards and 4H projects. It was exported to New Zealand and was used in the breeding of the Canterbury lamb. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep. It is a medium to small sized breed with a gray to mouse-brown face and lower legs and is polled (hornless). Thus, they are referred to as being “easy keepers.” They are excellent mothers and are known for having multiple births. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep. Southdown are an early maturing breed with good lambing ability and average milk production. After a four-year search, two small flocks totaling 26 sheep were located; however, this group was not able to provide a sustainable gene pool. From mature ewes, fleece weights are between 5.0 and 8.0 lb ((2.5 - 3.6 kg) with a yield of 40% to 55%. They are relatively calm in disposition. Official website of the most active Southdown Breed State Association in the United States, Official website of the American Southdown Breeders Association, Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep Registry, English Sheep web site Located in the UK talks about Southdowns in the US, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Southdown_sheep&oldid=918235803, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2011, Articles with disputed statements from July 2011, Articles needing additional references from January 2016, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 September 2019, at 17:28. In California and New Zealand, they are placed in vineyards to graze weeds because they are too short to reach the grapes on the vines. In England, these small Southdowns grew in p… The main purposes of this breed are fleece production, meat production, and cross-breeding to develop other sheep breeds. The original Southdown breed probably reached the United States in 1803. Samuel Marsden imported Southdowns to Australia soon after his arrival in 1793. The Southdown is best suited for farm flock production. This breed is known as a native breed recognized by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The American Southdowns were developed by breeding the original bloodlines to larger breeds of Southdowns from other countries to create a sheep that could compete with the other larger meat breeds in the US. . Much remained the same until the First World War, when the Southdown flocks declined with some rapidity, as shepherds and farm workers went off to war. During the Great Depression, a severe and prolonged fall in the prices of wool and cereals due to rising volumes of imports from the British Empire was accompanied by the Wet Years - a six-year period of cold, wet weather with little sun. The Southdown is historically one of the most important of the British breeds of sheep, valued for fleece, meat, and for improvement of other breeds. The oldest of all British breeds of sheep, it has an ideal body conformation for meat production. They later declined in nearly the same pattern that had occurred in England. Join Southdown Australia. The use of artificial fertilizers had gained ground, and the combine-drill, which sowed grain seeds and fertilizer together, rendered close-folding by sheep unnecessary. They are adaptable to varied and wet climates. Southdowns are a British sheep breed registered by the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association. By 1911, 359 registered Southdown flocks contained some 114,495 breeding ewes throughout Britain. From then until 1939, the registered Southdown flocks numbered around 200. In 1813, Arthur Young estimated 200,000 ewes were kept on the eastern South Downs and commented, "the amazing number they keep is one of the most singular circumstances in the sheep husbandry of England". The fleeces are considered medium-wool type with a fiber diameter of 23.5 to 29.0 microns and a numerical count of 54 to 60. Not to be confused with the Olde English 'Babydoll' Southdown sheep.. The system reached its zenith from about 1845 to 1880. Crossed on any breed of ewe the resulting lamb will have a carcass of fine conformation and high grade if marketed correctly. Southdown Australia exists to encourage the breeding and use of high quality registered Southdown Sheep in Australia. It also develops Shropshire sheep, Oxford, and Hampshire sheep. Their popularity grew because the Southdowns were very easy to take care of and were resilient to many problems for which other sheep are known. The 20th century brought the establishment of pedigree recording. However, many of the original attributes for which the original Southdowns were known were bred out.
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