Bluefaced Leicester Sheep
Also Known By: Hexham Leicester, Bluefaced Maine, Blue-headed Maine
The Bluefaced Leicester is one of the English Longwool type and originated near Hexham in the county of Northumberland, England, during the early 1900's. The breed was originally developed to use in the production of high quality crossbred ewes which were pastured in the neighboring hills of the region. They originated from Border Leicester individuals selected for the blue face (white hairs on black skin) and finer fleeces. They are found primarily in Northern England, Scotland and Wales.
The average weight for mature rams is approximately 250 lbs (115 kg) with adult ewes weighing 175 lbs (80 kg). The prolificacy of the breed is good with the lambing percentage from mature ewes being reported to range from 220 to 250 percent. The wool is classified as demi-luster and fine. The average fleece weight is 2 to 4.5 pounds (1-2 kg), staple length is 8 to 15 cm and quality is 56's to 60's. These wool qualities appear to be passed on to the crossbred offspring.
Registries and Breed Associations
Bluefaced Leicaster Sheep Breeders Association
Kelly Ward, Secretary/Treasurer
760 West V.W. Ave
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
Phone: (616) 679-5497
Bluefaced Leicester Breeders Association
Brenda Lelli, Membership Secretary
17496 88th Ave.
Coopersbille, MI 49404
Phone: (616) 837-1872
British Sheep and Wool, British Wool Marketing Board, Oak Mills, Station Rd., Clayton, Bradford. 112 pp.
British Wool Marketing Board, Oak Mills, Station Rd., Clayton, Bradford BD14 6JD UK, Phone : Bfd. 882091
Fahmy, M.H. and I.L. Mason. 1996. Less Known and Rare Breeds. Chap 3.12, Prolific Sheep. (M.H. Fahmy, ed.), CAB International, University Press, Cambridge 542 pp.
Mason, I.L. World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds. Third Edition. C.A.B International. 1988