Breed Standards (.pdf download)
OF WENSLEYDALE LONGWOOL SHEEP
- Bright and lustrous. Staple of medium breadth and excellent
length; each staple curled or purled out to the end. Of equal
staple all over the back and sides from shoulder to breech. The
whole free and open and free from mistiness on the back. The belly
and scrotum should be covered with wool and be free from hair. Regarding a black spot on a white animal or a white spot on a colored animal: any registered animal, at one year of age, shall not have more than one spot within the wooled area of the body and that spot shall not exceed 2.5 cm (approximate size of a quarter).
Broad at the muzzle especially in rams. Back of head flat and
wide between ears. The face seen in profile should show good depth
of jaw. Ears of good size, neatly set on and well carried. Head
and ears of a deep blue tinge which often extends to the rest
of the body. Tuft of wool on the forehead. Back of head, especially
around the ears, covered with fine wool. Entire absence of hair
about the forehead, back of head and ears. Any registered animal, at one year of age, shall not have a scur or horn over 3/4 in length, and such scurs or horns on breeding rams should be discouraged.
- Strong, rising gracefully from the shoulders and carrying the
head at a good height.
- Well laid back into the crop, which should be wide and full.
- Coming well down and forward between the forelegs, wide on the
floor of the chest. Ribs well sprung.
LOINS, SIDES AND QUARTERS - Great
length of side, loins broad and well covered with firm flesh along
the back. Hindquarters long, square and well fleshed. Root of
LEGS AND FEET - Thighs well down
into the hocks, large and broad behind. Legs with plenty of bone,
free of coarse or pigmented hair, straight set on at each corner
and well apart. Hind legs with nice covering of fine wool from
hock to hoof. Feet moderately large and well shaped.
- Should be well placed in good
opposition to dental pad.
- Rams should have two even and good sized testicles. Those with
a single testicle or a scrotal hernia should not be used for breeding.
Rams - 300 lbs.
Ewes - 250lbs.
Yearling ewe - 200%
Mature ewes - 250%
lambs will average 13 pounds each at birth with a growth rate
that enables ram lambs to reach 160 lbs. at 21 weeks.
Average lamb weight at 8 weeks:
Singles - 57 lbs.
Twins - 48 lbs.
Wensleydale wool is the finest
and most valuable luster longwool in the world.
Micron count 33-35
Staple length 8-12 inches
Yearling Fleece Weight 13-20 pounds
Fleeces are entirely kemp
free as a result of the unique characteristics of the wool-producing
follicles. This special quality is genetically transmitted to
cross-bred lambs, characterizing the Wensleydale ram as perhaps
the leading wool improving sire in the world.
Wensleydale wool is used
for its special effects and handle in hand knitting yarn, knitwear
and cloth and sometimes in upholstery fabrics. Because of its
similarity, it is regularly used to blend with mohair.
(Source: British Meat
and Livestock Commission recorded data)
Scrapie Flock Certification Program
There are three genetic color types
of Wensleydale sheep:
||Two white genes
||One white gene & one black gene
||Two black genes
The black gene is recessive to
the white gene in the Wensleydale. This means that if there is
a white gene present, the effect of any black gene will be masked
by the dominant white gene, resulting in a white lamb that is
carrying the black gene. If there is no white gene present, the
black genes can then be effective in producing a black lamb.