Rough Fell Sheep

What is the history of Rough Fell Sheep?

The Rough Fell is a derivative of the horned black-faced heath sheep found in Northern Britain in the Middle Ages. It was developed following crossings with now extinct breeds in that area.

The Rough Fell Sheep Breeders Association was established in 1926.

Native to the Westmorland area of Cumbria and the North West corner of the Yorkshire Dales, the Rough Fell continues to predominantly found in this area of the Northern Pennines.

What are the characteristics of Rough Fell Sheep?

A large, strong-framed sheep with a black head and definite white patch on the nose. The fleece is white and rams have large horns.

The Rough Fell sheep is ideally suited to endure the hardship of exposed and high lying places, but will settle placidly in a lowland farm or smallholding.

The ewes are excellent lamb rearers and are also in great demand to breed the Rough Fell mule, the ultimate milky mother.

These mules are crossed with a terminal sire to produce excellent carcasses for the production of meat. Birth weight of pure Rough Fell: Single lamb 5 kg average, twin lamb: 3.8 kg average. There is a good following for Rough Fell Mules, which are Rough Fell females crossed to the Bluefaced Leicester male.

Rough Fell Sheep requires no housing at all, not even in the most inclement weather. This is due to her supreme fleece of white wool.

Grade quality is 32-36 and the wool is sold mainly for exportation to Italy and France for mattress making whilst it is used in this country for carpet yarns.

What is the weight of mature Rough Fell Sheep?

Rough Fell ram is in the range of 80 - 85 kg and a mature ewe about 60 kg.

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