Berrichon du Cher Sheep
What is the history of Berrichon du Cher Sheep?
The berrichon du Cher is a French sheep breed from Berry . It is a very old race, crossed with Merino around 18th century.
There are approximately 140,000 Berrichon du Cher sheep today. More improvements were made in the 19th century with the introduction of the Dishley Leicester.
They are used primarily as a terminal sire. From French stock imported some 40 years ago, British breeders have developed what they regard as a distinct sub-breed which they have named British Berrichon.
It's primary role is that of a terminal sire producing quick growing, easy fleshed lambs capable of being finished at a range of weights.
What are the characteristics of Berrichon du Cher Sheep?
Berrichon du Cher Sheep breeders have concentrated on breeding sheep which can lamb easily and are active at birth being quickly on to their feet and suckling.
The Berrichon du Cher has a triangular shaped head and is smooth over the shoulder and hip making it an ideal choice for gimmers, ewe hoggs and all first-time lambers.
Both male and female are polled.
The wool is medium quality, white color, weighs approximately 3 kg.
The Berrichon ewes can lamb naturally all the year round and also have the ability to lamb three times in two years under intensive systems.
This ability to lamb out of season has led to the Berrichon du Cher being introduced to other breeds to produce cross bred females able to lamb earlier in the season to capitalise on the normally higher price spring lamb trade.
Berrichon du Cher ewes are very protective mothers with strong maternal instincts. Lambs can reach 25 to 30 kg in seventy days.
Berrichon Rams: The rams are very active and capable of serving large numbers of ewes both under intensive and extensive systems. They are well fleshed all over with deep gigots and as a result of this Berrichon sired lambs weigh very well.
Berrichon Ewes: The Berrichon ewes can lamb naturally all the year round and also have the ability to lamb three times in two years under intensive systems. This ability to lamb out of season has led to the Berrichon being introduced to other breeds to produce cross bred females able to lamb earlier in the season to capitalise on the normally higher price spring lamb trade. Berrichon ewes are very protective mothers with strong maternal instincts.
What is the weight of mature Berrichon du Cher Sheep?
Berrichon du Cher Rams weigh 110 - 140 kg, Berrichon du Cher Ewes 70 - 90 kg.
1 - Berrichon Society http://www.berrichonsociety.com
2 - French Genetics http://fr.france-genetique-elevage.org
Pictures by : Lynn Barbour
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