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The South Suffolk sheep breed and the Victorian South Suffolk Society

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The Victorian South Suffolk Society  is an association of South Suffolk sheep breeders in Victoria. It was founded in 1972 by Colin Christie, Ted and June Gain. South Suffolk is a sheep breed that is known for its short fleece, long carcasses and easy lambing qualities.

The South Suffolk breed is a cross of Suffolk and Southdown breeds. The idea of creating a new breed of sheep by crossing the well known Suffolk and Southdown sheep was developed and executed by George Gould of New Zealand. He believed the progeny of Suffolk and Southdown sheep would inherit the best qualities of both the breeds such as the leaner carcass of the Suffolk and the Southdown’s fine meat texture.

Gould’s experiment was successful and the resultant breed was a commercial success. The South Suffolk sheep was inducted into the flock book of The Council of The New Zealand Sheep Breeders Association as an appendix flock in 1940.

Mr C.H. Kennedy of Yooraling Stud imported the first South Suffolk into Australia in1946. By 1959, a total of eight Australian studs were breeding the South Suffolk sheep. In 1958, the Australian South Suffolk Sheep Society was formed. From that time, the popularity of the South Suffolk as sires of early maturing, long carcass, prime lambs has gradually increased.

The South Suffolk is renowned for its qualities such as easy lambing, prepotency, hardiness at birth and early maturity. South Suffolk lambs of different studs share common qualities. South Suffolk rams can be used on ewes of any breed, including the Merino. South Suffolk’s strong libido and greater longevity make it a viable commercial option. South Suffolks have successfully participated in many competitions.

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