Roussin Sheep

What is the history of Roussin Sheep?

Roussin de la Hague sheep originate from Normandy in France around the 18th Century. Today’s Roussins are a result of the development of the breed in the 1920s with the introduction of Dishley Leicester, Suffolk and Southdown blood to increase size and conformation.

In France, the Roussin are grass fed sheep and do well in the oceanic climate of the ‘de la Hague’ region.

They are known to cope well on poor ground and are easy to keep and naturally prolific.

The breed is strictly managed in France with the need for lambs to meet performance criteria in order to qualify for breed registration.

The original Roussin was developed by crossing local breeds of the moors and dunes of Northern France with two breeds from the UK – Dishley Leicesters and Southdowns. The resulting breed was first imported to the UK in 1989.

What are the characteristics of Roussin Sheep?

A medium-sized sheep with white wool and brown face and legs. A multifunctional breed that is capable of adapting to many farming systems, in particular systems in coastal areas.

Pure Roussin sheep are milky, prolific animals that produce a good lengthy carcase lamb. These qualities are also passed to cross bred females making the Roussin an excellent choice for either pedigree or commercial breeding.

The easy-lambing capabilities make it a first choice ram for use with commercial ewe lambs with the added benefit of ‘out of season’ breeding for early season lamb production. Strong ‘mule’ ewes are bred successfully by using Roussin rams on hill ewes.

What is the weight of mature Roussin Sheep?

A mature Roussin ram is in the range of 100–125 kg and a mature Roussin ewe 70–90 kg.

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