It is related to the Clun Forest and the Kerry Hill sheep. The draft ewes of all three breeds are in high demand for breeding to Down and longwool rams in the English midlands.
The special characteristic of the breed is that the ewes take the ram at an unusually early period of the year, and cast ewes are in demand for breeding house lamb for Christmas.
Two crops of lambs in a year are sometimes obtained from the ewes, although it does not pay to keep such rapid breeding up regularly.
The rains possess large coiling horns - the ewes may or may not have them.
- A Shropshire flock of about two hundred breeding ewes is here taken as a typical example of the numerous systems of managing sheep on a mixed farm of grazing and arable land.
When drafted to an adjoining field they run in front of their mothers and get a little crushed oats and linseed cake meal, the ewes receiving kail or roots and hay to develop milk.
All are assorted and mated to suitable rams. Most of the older ewes take the ram in September, but maiden ewes are kept back till October.
During the rest of the year the ewes run on grass and receive hay when necessary, with a limited amount of dry artificial food daily, 4 lb each, gradually rising as they grow heavy in lamb to i lb per day.
To increase the number of doubles, ewes are sometimes put on good fresh grass, rape or mustard a week before the tups go out - a ram to sixty ewes is a usual proportion, though with care a stud ram can be got to settle twice the number.
With good management twenty ewes of any of the lowland breeds should produce and rear thirty lambs, and the proportion can be increased by breeding from ewes with a prolific tendency.
Ewes on natural pastures receive no hand feeding except a little hay when snow deeply covers the ground.
Nearly a month later black-face lambs are marked and the eild sheep are shorn - the shearing of mulch ewes being delayed till the second week of July.
In this month breeding ewes recover condition and strength to withstand the winter storms. Ram auctions are on in September and draft ewe sales begin and continue through October.
In some places at present "they neuerseuertheir lambes from their dammes "; " and the poore of the peeke (high) countreye, and such other places, where, as they vse to mylke theyr ewes, they vse to wayne theyr lambes at 12 weekes olde, and to mylke their ewes flue or syxe weekes "; but that, he observes, " is greate hurte to the ewes, and wyll cause them that they wyll not take the ramme at the tyme of the yere for pouertye, but goo barreyne."
In this book are named the recognized and pure-bred sires which have been used, and ewes which have been bred from, whilst there are also registered the pedigrees of such sheep as are proved to be eligible for entry.
The Suffolk is another Down, which took its origin about 1790 in the crossing of improved Southdown rams with ewes of the old black-face Horned Norfolk, a breed still represented by a limited number of animals.
The lambs are weaned towards the end of June and the ewes run on the poorest pasture till August to lose surplus fat.
In August the ewes are culled and the flock made up to its full numbers by selected shearling ewes.
Ewe hogs wintered on grass in the low country from the 1st of November are brought home in April, and about the middle of April on the average mountain ewes begin to lamb.
Six. There are two ewes and three lambs somewhere up there.
Ewes as well as rams generally have short horns, and the wool is long and very fine.
The flocks were shorn twice annually (a practice common to several Asiatic countries), and the ewes yeaned twice a year.
In the sheep section of the Smithfield show the classes for ewes were finally abolished in 1898, and the classes restricted to wethers and wether lambs, whose function is exclusively the production of meat.
Of England for crossing with ewes of the various black-faced horned mountain breeds to produce mutton of superior quality and to use the cross-ewes to breed to a pure longwool or sometimes a Down ram.
For this reason it has been the breed most in favour with breeders in all parts of the world for mating with Merino ewes and their crosses.
Its most notable success in recent years is on the Scottish and English borders, where, at the annual ram sales at Kelso, a greater number of rams is auctioned of this than of any other breed, to cross with flocks of LeicesterCheviot ewes especially, but also with Border Leicesters and three-parts-bred ewes.
One reason for this is the early date at which the ewes take the ram.
The breed does not thrive off its own geological formation, and the ewes seek the ram early in the season.
The ewes, although difficult to confine by ordinary fences, are in high favour in lowland districts for breeding fattening lambs to Down and other early maturity rams.
The ewes lamb from early in January till the end of February.
The ewes are hornless, but in Africa the rams have very short, thick and somewhat goatlike horns.
Ewes Water, which falls into the river, is spanned by a two-arched bridge, 1 m.
Weak ewes, not safe to survive the hardships of spring, are brought in to better pasture during February and March.