East Friesian sheep

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East Friesian sheep

The East Friesian is a breed of dairy sheep originating from East Frisia in northern Germany. It is either the best or one of the best sheep breeds in terms of milk yield per ewe.

The East Friesian sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Germany. It was actually originated from the Friesland area in northern Germany and Holland, and also known as Ostfriesisches Milchschaf. It is a dairy sheep breed and raised mainly for milk production.


  • Breed Name: East Friesian
  • Other Name: Ostfriesisches Milchschaf
  • Breed Purpose: Mainly milk
  • Breed Size: Medium to large
  • Horns: No
  • Climate Tolerance: Almost all climates
  • Color: Mainly white
  • Rarity: Common
  • Country/Place of Origin: Germany


The breed originated from the Friesland area in northern Germany and Holland. In Europe the breeds main purpose is to produce milk. However, the breed is also used as a cross for other breeds to improve milk production in non-dairy breeds of sheep.

In 1992 11 pregnant ewes and 4 rams were imported into New Zealand from Sweden. The sheep were placed in quarantine in Silverstream. A breeding program was created that used embryo transfer techniques.

Only embryos from these original sheep were allowed to be released from the quarantine. It was not until march of 1996 that the first sheep were released from the quarantine and allowed to leave the farm. These sheep consisted of 40 rams while the rest of the sheep remained in quarantine to expand the flock numbers. Semen sales from the flock were very high with over 50,000 ewes being inseminated. In 1995 the first flock of East Friesians from Silverstream was registered.


  • A large framed sheep, ewes 85 to 95 kgs, thin tailed, and very clean around the back end
  • Pink nose, and head and legs clear of wool, pale hooves
  • Lean on the outside of their carcase
  • High fertility; very milky
  • White wool of approximately 37 microns.

Friesian Milk Sheep

iesland extending along the North Sea coast westward from the Weser River in the northeast of Germany along the north coast of the Netherlands and south to the Schelde (Scheldt) River at the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. Offshore is a fringe of islands including the West “Frisian” Islands belonging to the Netherlands, the “East Frisian” Islands belonging to Germany, and, to the north, the North “Frisian” Islands divided between Germany and Denmark.


The East Friesian sheep are large sized animals, and are large-framed. They are usually white in coloration, and there are also a dark variation exists of these animals. They have pink nose and a thin tail. their heads and legs are generally clear of wool, and have pale hooves.

East friesian sheep for sale




The German East Friesian Milk Sheep is the best known and most important of the Friesian breeds and is the breed known in the scientific literature as the “East Friesian”. It is found in small numbers in many parts of the country as a household milk producer.

Litter size in the East Friesian is reported as averaging 2.25 lambs with milk yield of 500-700 kg per lactation testing 6-7% milk fat, the highest average dairy milk yield recorded for any breed of sheep. Wool production is about 4.5 kg per ewe with a clean wool yield of 65% and a fineness of 50/56s / 48/50s (German Ministry of Agriculture). The mature weight of this breed is between 150 to 200 pounds (70-90 kg).

East Friesian sheep images

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