Herdwick Sheep a hardy breed

 

Herdwick sheep are widely considered to be the hardiest of all the upland breeds in the British Isles. They are originally from the high fells of the English Lake District, and they live virtually all of the year on England’s highest and roughest terrain

  • The ewes live and breed to a very advanced age (one of our ewes continued to breed until she was eleven and lived until she was twelve)
  • Their wool dries quicker than white wool breeds after rain. (Living in Ireland this is very beneficial)
  • They have a well earned reputation for foraging ability even in the most difficult terrain.

Herdwick Lambs

  • Our ewes’ lamb outside in all weathers and we have found them extremely good mothers.
  • Our lambing percentage is at least as good as other hill breeds with an average of between 1 and 2 depending upon the age of the mother.
  • The Herdwick is an active and strong boned sheep with good conformation. It is this which enables the Herdwick ewe to produce a good cross-bred lamb. Texels, Suffolks and increasing Charollais tups are used to cross with Herdwicks. These lambs can reach between 35-40kg live weight at the time when the fat market is at its strongest.

Superior flavoured meat.

Herdwick meat has a very high reputation for eating quality. In 1997 a study of meat quality was carried out by Bristol University’s Veterinary School, and it established that the reputation of Herdwick meat was well founded. The meat has a tight-grained structure and has ‘high levels of eating quality’. It was felt by an expert tasting panel to have ‘superior flavours’ and better eating quality to other sheep meat. Even older Herdwick meat came out better than young standard commercial lowland lambs.

Availability

We usually have; rams, breeding ewes and lambs for sale for most of the year representing two distinct lines of breeding.

We also can arrange for the importation of fully accredited and tested rams from England as we have very good contacts with breeders in Cumbria.

Note

*Most of the above Information is taken from Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association leaflets: Herdwick Sheep, A Hardy Breed – A Profitable Option and also Herdwick Sheep, A key part of a cherished landscape.