Derbyshire Gritstone Sheep, Best 9 Information

Derbyshire gritstone sheep is a breed of domestic sheep. They are medium-sized, rustic, long-wooled sheep with horns that curve forward and are pricked. They were first developed in the Derbyshire Peak District of England. The Derbyshire Gritstone Sheep Breeders’ Association was formed in 1894.

The first studbook was issued in 1901; there were two revisions, in 1956 and 1987. Gritstone sheep were bred for their high-quality wool which is used in weaving and knitting. They are generally white or cream with black markings on the face, legs, belly, and tail.


How to identify Derbyshire gritstone sheep?

Derbyshire gritstone sheep types include the Chester Vale breed and the Derby breed. The breed on the left is Chester Vale sheep. Derby sheep have white faces and black bodies with a broad axial stripe. The Chester Vale breed has a white body with a blackhead, legs, and belly.

Derbyshire Gritstone Sheep breed
Derbyshire Gritstone Sheep breed

The breed standard for the Chester Vale breed is higher than for the Derby breed. Weight: 75-110 kg; Grade 2 Merino Wool (carcass weight); Classification Fleece Group 3-4; Breast width 43.


There is approximately 2000 mature head of sheep. Currently, there are around 450 breeding ewes and 550 young lambs. About 50% of the breeding ewes are being sheared. Sheep are bred in large “mixed flocks” which include both ewes and rams for crossbreeding purposes.

At the beginning of each season, the flock is removed from the fields to a field adjacent to the stud farm where they can graze freely before returning to their original fields after shearing.

Behavioral characteristics

The Derbyshire Gritstone Sheep breed is docile; has good maternal instincts; it is docile and will usually not stray. They are usually quiet, gentle, and friendly. Derbyshire gritstone sheep breeds have short legs and their head resembles a lamb’s head.

Their legs do not reach the ground when the animal is standing still. They are typically more docile than most other sheep breeds (dingo). Black lambs are born with a grayish-white coat, and their color does not change until at least six months of age.


Derbyshire gritstone sheep breeds are used for meat and wool. They produce a medium-dense, long and lustrous fleece of fine quality. They are raised as purebreds and are found on several farms, particularly in the United Kingdom. They produce more meat than wool and they have a low birth weight.

As pet

Derbyshire gritstone sheep are a very intelligent, friendly, and affectionate breed. They make good pets because of their docile nature, gentleness, and intelligence. They are active and curious. Keep in mind that they are playful by nature and you should be consistent when training them. If grooming is to be done, it should be quick and efficient.

Special Considerations

Derbyshire gritstone sheep breeds are susceptible to common diseases and health problems such as: When purchasing these sheep, it is important to investigate the history of the animals. If the stock is of good quality, it can be a valued asset that provides economic security for years to come.

In bad weather, the good-quality stock will withstand cold and rain better than those with poor genetics. However, review the full breed profile of the Derbyshire gritstone sheep in the following table.

Best 9 information

Breed NameDerbyshire gritstone sheep.
Other NameChester Vale sheep, Derby sheep.
Country/Place of OriginThe United Kingdom.
Breed Class, sizeMedium, Large.
ColorBlack, white.
TemperamentGentle, friendly.
Climate ToleranceCold, damp.
Coat TypeLong, wool.


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