Polwarth Sheep

What is the history of Polwarth Sheep?

Established over 100 years ago in Australia, the Polwarth is now proving its value as the ultimate dual purpose breed.

With its origins of three-quarters (%75) Saxon Merino rams and one-quarter (%15) Lincoln ewes, and later through selected breeding for both wool type, fertility, and meat production, the Polwarth is the breed for today's farming and economic environment.

Polwarths are well suited to areas with improved pastures and are mainly found in the higher rainfall districts of southern Australia.

The breed has been successfully exported to many countries, particularly South America where they are known as "Ideals".

The Polwarth Sheepbreeders' Association of Australia was formed in 1918.

What are the characteristics of Polwarth Sheep?

  • They thrive in a mix of hot and cold temperatures, with low to high rainfall, either hill and high country, or lowland environments.
  • The Polwarth breed contains both polled and horned sheep with the polled types predominating.
  • All year breeding, 60% of multiple births can be achieved with minimum flushing, good mothering ability with high lamb survival rate.
  • It is large framed, robust, and produces a high-yielding, soft-handling fleece of 22-25 micron fiber diameter. The high-yielding fleeces weigh an average of six to seven kilograms.
  • Polwarth sheep were developed with white wool; however, natural black, brown, grey wool flocks have expanded the popularity of Polwarth wool for the craft.
  • The Polwarth yields a uniformly lean carcass suitable to a number of export markets.
  • Mated to selected meat-breed rams, Polwarth ewes make good prime-lamb dams.

What is the weight of mature Polwarth Sheep?

Mature Polwarth ewes weigh 55 to 60 kg and mature rams weigh 70 to 80 kg.

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