Charollais sheep

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Charollais sheep

The Charollais is a breed of domestic sheep originating in east central France, in the same region in which Charollais cattle originated, Charolles and Saône-et-Loire. It has a reputation as an easy lamber and is used as a terminal sire to increase muscling and growth rate of the lambs. It has been exported internationally, and is commonly used in the United Kingdom as a sire to produce market lambs from pure-bred ewes and mules.


  • Breed Name: Charollais
  • Other Names: None
  • Breed Purpose: Mainly meat
  • Breed Size: Large
  • Weight: Mature ram’s average live body weight is around 135 90 kg, and the mature ewe’s average live body weight is around 90 kg
  • Horns: No
  • Climate Tolerance: Native climates
  • Color: Generally white
  • Rarity: Common
  • Country/Place of Origin: France

Robust vigorous lambs

Lambs are straight up on their feet, bleating and ready to suckle. The trouble-free birth ensures they are not stressed and the nature of the breed means they ‘get up and go’.

Fast growth

growth rates for Charollais cross lambs are excellent. Their length, wide loin and good hind quarter conformation means heavy, well-fleshed lambs.  Single lambs can achieve weights of 40kg in just 8 weeks.


The Charollais sheep is a medium to large sized breed used as a terminal sire. The head is pinkish-brown and is usually free of wool but may have a fine covering of pale coloured hair and both sexes are polled. It is long in the back, wedge shaped and well-muscled. The breed is fine boned making for a high killing out percentage. The legs are brown, quite short and free of wool. On average at maturity, rams weigh 135 kg (300 lb) and ewes weigh 90 kg (200 lb).

The fleece usually weighs between 2 and 2.5 kg (4.4 and 5.5 lb) and has a staple length of 4 to 6 cm (1.6 to 2.4 in). The wool is fine and measures 56 to 60 on the Bradford count, with a diameter of 29 to 30.5 microns.

Charollais Sheep New Zealand

The Charollais is among New Zealand’s newest terminal sheep breeds. New Zealand Sheep Breeders Charollais Sheep NZ have developed the largest line of breeding rams and ewes for New Zealand conditions.

The extensive experience and technical knowledge within Charollais Sheep New Zealand is key to our success as Terminal Sire sheep breeders. As New Zealand’s largest developer of Charollais sheep genetics we can offer improved lamb growth rates and higher yielding lambs for commercial sheep farmers.


Body of the Charollais sheep is long in the back, wedge shaped and well-muscled. They are also fine boned animals, good for a high meat percentage. Legs of these animals are brown, quite short and usually free of wool. Both rams and ewes are generally polled.

Charollais sheep for sale

Charollais sheep images

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