The Whiteface Dartmoor sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from United Kingdom. It was actually originated in the Dartmoor region of south west England. Total population of this breed is very less, and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust has designated this breed as ‘at risk‘. The modern Whiteface Dartmoor sheep breed is the descendant of the heath sheep that lived on Dartmoor in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The breed was actually developed to thrive in the inhospitable conditions and up until the mid twentieth century was very popular on both Exmoor and Dartmoor.
Today the breed is still mostly found on Dartmoor, but the Blackface is now the dominant sheep breed and the Whiteface has become rare. A breed association for this breed named as ‘The Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep Breeders Association’ was formed in 1950 when the breed looked like it may become extinct. However, review full breed profile of the Whiteface Dartmoor sheep below.
Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep Characteristics
The Whiteface Dartmoor sheep is a medium sized hill sheep breed with very beautiful appearance. As the name suggests, face of these animals is white and they have thick fleece. Both rams and ewes have horns, but the rams have heavy, spiraled horns. Average live body weight of the mature Whiteface Dartmoor ram is between 70 and 80 kg. And live body weight of the mature ewes vary from 50 to 60 kg. Photo and info from RBST and Wikipedia.
Whiteface Dartmoor sheep is mainly raised for meat production. It is also good for wool production, and sometimes also used for crossbreeding with sheep breeds.
The Whiteface Dartmoor sheep is a hardy and strong breed of domesticated sheep. It is a traditional hill sheep and has been raised on the hills of Dartmoor, grazing heather during the summer and the valley hay meadows during winter and spring. Most of these animals still live and thrive on the moor today, and they can survive well on poor forage. Average fleece weight for a ewe is 6 kg to 6.5 kg and it is classified as a longwool, which is unusual for an upland breed.
Anecdotal evidence suggests a level of resistance to flystrike and footrot. The breed can produce lambs at up to 10-12 years old. Currently the Whiteface Dartmoor sheep is raised mainly for meat production, but it is also good for wool production. However, review full breed profile of the Whiteface Dartmoor sheep in the chart below.
Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep | Breed Profile
|Breed Name||Whiteface Dartmoor|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and strong, both rams and ewes have horns, good foragers and can survive on rough and scrubby feeds, able to thrive on poor quality grazing and harsh terrain, ewes can produce lambs at up to 10-12 years old|
|Weight||Vary from 50 to 80 Kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||United Kingdom|