Charollais Sheep

What is the history of Charollais Sheep?

The Charollais Sheep is a breed of domestic sheep originating in east central France, in the same region in which Charolais cattle originated, Charolles and Saône-et-Loire. Charollais Sheep developed in the 19th century from local breeds and intended to be crossed with the British Dishley Leicester.

The breed was first introduced to the UK in 1977 where it was further improved. Charollais sheep were introduced to Ireland in 1990 and Canada in 1994

What are the characteristics of Charollais Sheep?

  •  A Charollais sheep is a medium to large size breed with a pinkish/grayish head that is largely free of wool.
  • They will excel in both lowland and hill flocks which make them versatile to today’s farmer and a dominant force to compete with.
  • They are a polled breed with a wedge shaped well-muscled back.
  • Charollais rams are renowned for being hard working.
  • They reach sexually maturity from 7 months of age and will work for most of the year.
  • They certainly are keen and ready for work for early lambing flocks.
  • Most Charollais rams will work for 6 or 7 seasons and many have been known to live for 10 years or more.
  • Farms and research projects have found that Charollais rams sire more lambs than other terminal sires working at the same time.
  • Lambs are straight up on their feet, bleating and ready to suckle and growth rates for Charollais cross lambs are excellent.
  • Single lambs can achieve weights of 40kg in just 8 weeks.
  • Ewe lambs can be bred at seven months, when they reach sexual maturity.
  • Birth weights average 5.0 kg for singles, 4.0 kg for twins and 3.5 kg for triplets.
  • The fleece usually weighs between 2 - 2.5 kg and has a staple length of 4 - 6 cm.
  • The wool is medium grade and measures 56 to 60 with a diameter of 29 to 30.5 microns.

    What is the weight of mature Charollais Sheep?

    Charollais rams weigh 100 - 145 kg and ewes weigh 85 - 95 kg.

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