Royal white sheep is a breed of domestic sheep. Its most distinguishing features are its pure white coat, shorn wool with a slightly stiff texture, and lack of a horn spine. A royal white sheep’s coat is completely white, with no markings insight and a dense undercoat to protect against flystrike.
In the United Kingdom, herds of the breed can be found on farms throughout the country. The Royal White Sheep Society was founded in 1939 as an umbrella organization to help promote interest in this breed and establish standards of excellence for all members of the society.
How to identify royal white sheep?
Royal white sheep has a pure white coat, shorn wool with a slightly stiff texture, and full cheeks
Royal white sheep give off a sweet smell of lanolin which is the oil in wool. The sheep has no odor of its own. The Royal White Sheep will have black hooves and almost always black skin although occasionally they may have pink skin.
Royal white sheep fleece is shorn twice a year. The spring shearing is at a length of 8 inches (20 cm) and the autumn shearing is at 4 inches (9 cm). The wool has a staple length of 5–6 inches (12.5–15 cm). Its most distinguishing feature is its white color, with no patches or spots.
Royal white sheep are docile, gentle, and intelligent. They are very social and friendly. The females are good mothers. A ewe will generally give birth to one lamb at a time. She will be able to care for the lamb well if she has no other lambs to look after, but it is a good idea to keep an eye on her in case she gets distracted by one of the other lambs or does not have enough milk for them all.
A lamb will usually spend the night in with its mother and be taken out to graze in the morning. Lambs are weaned from their mothers at 8–12 weeks. At this time they will have been fed a good supply of colostrum which will help give them strong bones and healthy growth. Royal white sheep can be kept as pets or companions and are very good-natured.
Royal white sheep is not used for breeding. The wool is shorn twice a year (e.g. spring shearing at 8 inches and autumn shearing at 4 inches). The high quality of the wool makes it ideal for making clothes and rugs.
There are no indications from research on the current use of the hair, or that there may be any useful medicinal properties in the hair or wool. The meat from sheep has been found to have low-fat reserves and protein levels, so it would not be a good food source.
Royal white sheeps’ docile and friendly nature makes them good pets. They are naturally clean and are not very vocal, so they do not need daily grooming. Their lightweight makes them easy to shear (the shavings are a good energy source for other livestock). They can be kept in a small space or chook yard.
A large, open pen is ideal for the lambing period but it is important to fence off an area for the rest of the time; otherwise, lambs may get lost or become injured.
There are currently no known health issues or diseases contracted by the breed. Royal white sheep receive enough exercise by grazing and it is not necessary to supplement this with additional exercise or movement.
It is good practice to clean the sheeps’ bedding (e.g. straw) regularly, as cleaner bedding will promote good hygiene and a healthier flock. In hot weather, there may be an increased need for water supplies, particularly if the water supply is from a bore or well.
Before breeding, check that the sire and dam are both healthy, as lambs can be born with genetic defects. A clean and disinfected holding pen is essential to minimize disease (such as lambing diarrhea).
Royal white sheep should be immunized against footrot according to current national requirements. Footrot vaccine can be sourced from a qualified veterinary surgeon or a national chemical supply company. However, review the full breed profile of the royal white sheep in the following table.
Best 11 information
|Breed NameRoyal White Sheep.|
|Other NameWhite Cap, British White Sheep.|
|Country of Origin||The United Kingdom.|
|Color||White with black hooves and black skin.|
|DietWheat, maize, oats, barley, and lucerne; supplemented with a variety of extra feed to meet the breeding requirement.|
|Temperament||Adaptable, docile, and friendly.|
|Climate Tolerance||Cold Tolerant.|
|Age at first calving||3 months.|
|Life span||10-12 years.|
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