Dutch Spotted Sheep
What is the history of Dutch Spotted Sheep?The Dutch Spotted Sheep also known as Bonte Schaap originates from Holland where the breed can be traced back around 1880. The purpose of this hardy breed of sheep was originally to graze the dykes in Holland helping with the maintenance.
During the 17th-19th centuries, farmers and authorities required a hardy breed of sheep to maintain the grass on the newly reclaimed low embankments (quays) and in later stages the sheep played an important part in transforming the peat bog into sod, which was eventually strong enough to carry cows.
Between the 1950’s-1980’s farmers crossed the Dutch Spotted Sheep with other breeds, such as Texels or Zwartbles, to create specific desired qualities in the Dutch Spotted Sheep. However, for the last 20 years there has been very little mixing with other breeds. From its origins in Holland the breed is now found in Germany, France, Spain and the UK.
What are the characteristics of Dutch Spotted Sheep?
- The Dutch Spotted sheep has a distinctive appearance with dark brown / black and white fleece with clear variation in markings all over the body.
- The sheep is medium sized.
- Neither male or females are horned.
- As with their hardy nature, they have very hard, durable feet, meaning they are less prone to foot root and other ailments.
- Dutch Spotted ewes lamb easily, lambs getting up quickly to suck.
- They are easy to handle with an inquisitive nature.
- High yeilding and plentiful milk.
What is the weight of mature Dutch Spotted Sheep?Dutch Spotted mature ram is in the range of 115–135 kg and a mature ewe 70–95 kg.
1- Cavan Maguire Dutch Spotted Flock - Picture by Katie Ward
2- Steven Girvan Bishopsbrae
3- Goblin's Nook Dutch Spotted Flock - Picture by Bernadette Charter
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