Berrichon du Cher sheep
The Berichon du Cher is a domesticated breed of sheep in France. The original breed was crossed with a Merino in the late 18th century. More improvements were made in the 19th century with the introduction of the Dishley Leicester. They are used primarily as a terminal sire. From French stock imported some 40 years ago, British breeders have developed what they regard as a distinct sub-breed which they have named British Berrichon.
Breed sales are held five times a year. and 17 of the top agricultural shows, including the Royal Three Counties, the Royal Bath & West, the Royal Highland and England’s biggest show, Great Yorkshire Show, hold separate classes for British Berrichons. The British breeders are mainly based in the West from Devon up to Scotland.
- Breed Name: Berrichon du Cher
- Other Names: None
- Breed Purpose: Mainly meat
- Breed Size: Large
- Weight: Mature ram’s average body weight is around 110 kg, and the mature ewe’s average live body weight is around 70 kg.
- Horns: No
- Climate Tolerance: Native climates
- Color: White
- Rarity: Common
- Country/Place of Origin: France
The Berrichon du Cher sheep are large animals. They are mainly white in coloration with white face, and their face is generally free of wool. Their wool is medium which displays white and is unicolored. Both rams and ewes are generally polled.
Average body height of the mature rams is around 29 inches at the withers, and around 27 inches for the ewes. Average live body weight of the mature ewes is around 70 kg. And the mature rams on average weight around 110 kg.
The Berrichon du Cher has been targeted at meat production since it originated in the 18th century. This long-lasting breeding process has resulted in a well-conformed breed (the majority of lambs are classified as U in the E.U.R.O.P. quality grid, but without excess fat), characterized by early growth.
Berrichon ewes also have a natural ability to lamb out-of-season: 60% of lambs are naturally born from September to November, a schedule which provides high flexibility in terms of production.
Its meat production traits have not kept the Berrichon du Cher from retaining its hardiness and ability to cover wide distances, which render the breed suitable for various livestock management systems and territory types. For example, the breed enables production of well-conformed sheepfold lambs, as a complement to grain cultivation: lambing then takes place in the sheepfold from October to February and the ewes are turned out to pasture after the lambs have been weaned.
Berrichon du Cher sheep images