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The Victorian South Suffolk Society outlines the qualities of the South Suffolk breed

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The Victorian South Suffolk Society  provides an overview of the South Suffolk breed. The sheep variety comes from crossing the Southdown and the Suffolk breeds. The South Suffolk has inherited the long carcase and fine meat structure of its parents. This breed is a fine meat breed without over-fats.

South Suffolk sheep are bred in many parts of Australia including Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and New South Wales. A South Suffolk ram may weigh from 90 to 140 kg while the ewe’s weight ranges from 70 to 100 kg. The lambing percentage ranges from 130% to 160%. South Suffolk rams are used in cross breeding to produce early lean prime lamb.

Wool produced by the South Suffolk breed is short, fine, and “downs” type and its diameter varies between 24-28 microns. The length of this wool ranges between 75-100 mm and it weighs between 3-4 kg. The wool is widely used for knitting yarns and by the apparel industry.

The breed-standard South Suffolk sheep should have a hornless, medium length head and moderately strong muzzle. A clean, chocolate colour face, with dark, bright and full eyes of fine texture is expected. The sheep should have a topknot of white wool on the forehead.

The breed-standard sheep is expected to have a short neck well set in broad and oblique shoulders. The legs should be clean, short, flat boned and chocolate in colour. The hind legs should have more meat with forelegs set well apart. The belly should be covered with wool. A short or medium length fleece that falls into the “downs” category wool is expected. The sheep should have a fine, soft and pink skin.

Blue skin, defective jaws, horns or any sign of a horn, and black fibres or bad wool are the criteria for the disqualification of a sheep from the breed stature.

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