BLUEFACED LEICESTER SHEEP
The Bluefaced Leicester is the most prolific of all the native British breeds. It is common for registered flocks to achieve lamb crops of 200% to 250%. The ewe has the milking ability to support these multiple births. They typically give birth and nurse their lambs on well-structured udders with great success.
The Bluefaced Leicester fleece is highly prized by spinners and knitters. The wool is tightly purled, fine, dense, and semi-lustrous. Although the Bluefaced Leicester is predominately a white wool breed, it does carry a recessive black gene and natural colored lambs do appear.
An alert animal with a bold carriage, purposeful stride, and commanding presence. Rams have a proud bearing and masculine look, and the ewes exhibit a feminine look. This this is a very athletic breed of sheep, very intelligent and quick to learn. They are self confident and exhibit calmness.
The Bluefaced Leicester evolved near Hexham in Northumberland, England, in the late 1800s to early 1900s. In the early 1970s, two separate shipments of Bluefaced Leicesters were imported into Canada from the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s, Bluefaced Leicesters arrived in the United States from Nova Scotia. The Bluefaced Leicester is very distinct with its Roman nose, long, upright earset, and deep blue skin contrasted with soft, white, semi-lustre wool. The BFL also has recessive black genetics, and “Natural Colored” lambs can be produced. Both rams and ewes are polled. They have a clean head/face, legs, and belly (free of wool).