Whether you’re planning to raise white sheep breeds for wool or meat, there are plenty of options to choose from. From the Australian White to the Rambouillet, white sheep are the backbone of the sheep industry. If you’re curious about the most beautiful white sheep breeds in the world, read on and find out which ones have made it to the list.
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Touted as the “Wagyu of the Lamb World,” the Australian white sheep is a breed that is generally raised for meat production.
As the name suggests, it is local to Australia, from which environment this breed has been developed. These self-shedding hair sheep are derived from the combination of four different breeds:
- Van Rooy
As a breed that falls under the category of hair sheep, the Australian white does not need to be sheared. Instead of wool, it is covered in straight hair — qualities it shares with two of its originators, the white Dorper and Van Rooy.
Australian White sheep meat is marbled, and has been compared in quality to that of the expensive wagyu beef.
Australian white sheep are highly adaptable to varying climates.
While they are used to the warm climate of the continent, Australian whites retain a good survivability rate. This is the case even in cooler climates despite their lack of fluffy wool.
The Rambouillet sheep earned the title of the largest fine wool-producing white sheep. It borrows its traits from the pure Spanish merino sheep and English long-wool sheep.
As such, this breed has achieved the fluffiest fleeces among white variations of the livestock. Cultivated by the French government, it is also known as the “French merino.”
Because of Rambouillet’s dense, long-fiber wool, its ewes are among the most sought-after sheep for manufacturing clothes and woolen yarns.
Rambouillet sheep can produce up to 18 pounds of fleece in a single shearing. The sheep are also ideal for meat production due to their large bodies.
The Royal White sheep is a new breed developed on a Heirmeleigh sheep farm in Texas. It features hybrid traits from the combined genes of St. Croix and White Dorper sheep.
As such, the resulting appearance of the Royal Whites is hair coats that develop into undercoats during cooler seasons. On the other hand, their bodies produce lean, tender meat.
Royal White sheep are relatively low-maintenance for a haired breed. They don’t require shearing since their hair coat naturally sheds off during springtime.
Royal White rams and ewes are polled (hornless). They are highly intuitive when it comes to protecting their kind and are naturally flocked.
Originally from the Netherlands, Texel sheep are known for their extremely lean meat. Its 32-micrometer sheared wool is often used in manufacturing leg hoses and warmers.
Although Texel sheep are generally considered a white sheep breed, its wool can be all white or off-white. Unlike breeds, Texel ewes and rams do not have wool on their legs or head.
Texel sheep typically develop unique muscle structures and lean carcasses.
Named after one of the US Virgin Islands, St. Croix was developed by handpicking sheep from the brown and black and white herds that remained on the island.
The white variant is known as Virgin Island white. This distinguishes it from its darker siblings.
As a breed native to the island settings, it’s recognized as a hardy tropical sheep. Its parasite resistance is something that appeals to many livestock owners.
Cheviot is one of the hardiest white sheep breeds. It’s capable of withstanding:
- Warm temperatures
- Cold temperatures
- Wet seasons
This significantly increases their survivability in any pasture environment. Despite having distinct long wool, Cheviot sheep don’t have wool on they’re face, ears, or legs.
Cheviots are known for looking after their own. This takes the hassle out of caring for and raising them to adulthood.
Although its wool is highly coveted in the garment industry, the white sheep breed is primarily bred for meat.