Rambouillet sheep

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Rambouillet sheep

The Rambouillet is a breed of sheep also known as the Rambouillet Merino or the French Merino. The development of the Rambouillet breed started in 1786, when Louis XVI purchased over 300 Spanish Merinos from his cousin, King Charles III of Spain.

The flock was subsequently developed on an experimental royal farm, the Bergerie royale built during the reign of Louis XVI, at his request, on his domain of Rambouillet, 50 km southwest of Paris, which Louis XVI had purchased in December 1783 from his cousin, Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre. The flock was raised exclusively at the Bergerie, with no sheep being sold for several years, well into the 19th century.

Outcrossing with English long-wool breeds and selection produced a well-defined breed, differing in several important points from the original Spanish Merino.

The size was greater, with full-grown ewes weighing up to 200 pounds and rams up to 300 pounds, live weight. The wool clips were larger and the wool length had increased to greater than three inches.


  • Breed Name: Rambouillet
  • Other Name: Also known as the French Merino and the Rambouillet Merino sheep
  • Breed Purpose: Meat, wool
  • Breed Size: Large
  • Weight: Rams weight between 113 and 135 kg, and the ewe’s weight vary from 68 to 90 kg
  • Horns: Yes
  • Climate Tolerance: All climates
  • Color: Can vary
  • Rarity: Common
  • Country/Place of Origin: France


The Rambouillet is the largest of fine wool sheep. The breed has a white face and white legs. The face covering of wool is rather heavy, even to the extent of causing wool blindness in some specimens, but selective mating has alleviated this problem.

Fleeces of Rambouillet sheep are relatively heavy. The lambs grow rapidly under good feeding conditions to produce satisfactory market weights at from six to nine months of age. Rambouillet ewes are crossbred extensively with medium-wool and long-coarse-wool rams to produce choice market lambs and rugged breeding ewes with heavy, attractive medium wool.


Rambouillet sheep are large sized animals with beautiful appearance. Both rams and ewes are horned, but the rams have large curved horns.

As a large sized animal, average live mature body weight of the Rambouillet rams is between 113 and 135 kg. And average live body weight of the mature ewes vary from 68 to 90 kg.


  • Rambouillet sheep, a breed known for its production of high-quality fine-wool fleece, has an extended breeding season.
  • The ram weighs about 300 pounds and ewes average between 135 and 180 pounds.
  • Developed from the Spanish Merino in France and Germany, the Rambouillet is the foundation of most Western U.S. range flocks.


Mature rams weigh about 250-300 lbs. Mature ewes weigh about 200-275 lbs. Lifespan can be upwards of 10-12 years*. The average ewe will have 1-2 lambs per birth* The average ewe may lamb more than once per year* Mature ewe fleece will weigh 8 to 18 lbs. with a yield of 35-55%.


Rambouillet sheep’s diet includes feeding with haymaking, corn silage, and cereals. However, this breed has no food restrictions, and are quite resistant.

They can feed in open spaces, so the grass is not the fittest, but just as they can survive with it. You May Also Like To Read Greyface Dartmoor Sheep.

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