Border Leicester sheep

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Border Leicester sheep

The Border Leicester is a British breed of sheep. It is a polled, long-wool sheep and is considered a dual-purpose breed as it is reared both for meat and for wool. The sheep are large but docile. They have been exported to other sheep-producing regions, including Australia and the United States.

The Border Leicester Sheep is the twin purpose of domestic sheep descended from the United Kingdom. It has a long and respected history, and was developed in 1767 in Northumberland, England. The name of the tribe comes from the fact that their birthplace is close to Scotland’s border, their foundation stock is Dishley Leicester RAM.

Robert Beckwell made Dishley Leicester Sheep by crossing the old Lincolnshire tribe with Leicestershire’s sheep. And Dishley Leicester sheep grew very popular with local farmers.


  • Breed Name: Border Leicester
  • Other Names: None
  • Breed Purpose: Dual-purpose (meat, wool)
  • Special Notes: Large animals, very hardy
  • Breed Size: Large
  • Weight: Mature ram’s average live body weight is between 140 and 175 kg, and the mature ewe’s average live body weight vary from 90 to 120 kg.
  • Horns: No
  • Climate Tolerance: Almost all climates
  • Color: White
  • Rarity: Common
  • Country/Place of Origin: United Kingdom


The live weight of a mature Border Leicester ram is in the range of 140–175 kg (309–386 lb) and a mature ewe 90–120 kg (200–260 lb). A yearling ewe is around 64 kg (141 lb).[3] Their white wool tends to be very long and by Merino standards, broad crimped, and in fineness about 32 to 38 microns, and is used for medium- to heavy-weight garments.

This wool, though, is prized by spinners because of the crimp and lustre. The sheep are normally shorn twice a year when the wool has reached a length of around 100 mm (3.9 in). Lambs yield an average of 1.8 kg (4.0 lb) of wool; yearlings may yield 3.2 kg (7.1 lb) at each shearing. The United States, Australian and New Zealand Border Leicesters very rarely sport the extreme of British flocks. All strains of Border Leicesters are known for their docility. They produce good milk and are good mothers with a lambing percentage of about 150%.


Border Leicester was developed in 1767 in Northumberland, England and has a long and respected history. His name comes from the fact that his birthplace is near the border of Scotland, his foundation stock is Dishley Leicester’s horse. Dishley Leicester was created and raised by Robert Backwell (1726-1795) by crossing the old Lincolnshire caste with Leicestershire type sheep. Dishley Leicester became very popular among local farmers. Georges and Matthew Cullly bought some of Derby Leicester’s Robert Backwell and the caste was soon found on both sides of the border by the sale of the brothers of the clan.

About two different types of decade of 1830s Dishley Leicester was developing on two sides of the border. Quli brothers crossed their sheep with Teeswater Sheep while other farmers crossed with the Cheviots in various areas along the border. As a result of this variation in the species, there are two nicknames called “BlueCaps” and “Relaclage”. Many farmers prefer strict representatives, and in about 1850 Dishley Leicester’s distinction is known as Border Leicester. They were the most common breed in the UK in the 19th century.


The Border Leicester sheep are large sized animals. Their body is long and are completely white in coloration. They have well sprung ribs and a wide, strong back. They have a distinct roman nose which is much like the North Country Cheviot. And their nose is black and the ears are large in size, upright and alert. Feet of these animals are also of dark color.

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