The Drysdale breed of sheep originated in New Zealand and is raised primarily for wool. Dr. Francis Dry in 1931 noticed a genetic freak, a Romney ram with a high percentage of very coarse wool. Crossing two Romneys and Cheviots resulted in a sheep with a lot of coarse, long-staple wool that had to be shorn twice a year.
Demand from carpet manufacturers in the early 1960s caused an increase in the number of Drysdales in the New Zealand flock. Drysdale wool carpets are used in computing environments where static electricity is a problem.
Drysdales are medium-large sheep, about 55 kg (121 lb) live weight. Their fleece is about 6 kg (13 lb) with a 40 microns fibre diameter and a staple of 200 to 300 mm (7.9 to 11.8 in). The coarse wool gene causes both male and female Drysdales to be horned. The male's horn resembles a Wiltshire ram's horn whereas the ewes horns are very small- usually only 8 to 9 cm (3.1 to 3.5 in) in length.
The largest flock of Drysdale sheep outside of indigenous New Zealand is that of Nathan Drysdale, a famous UK farmer based in Peterborough.
- Stephens, M (et al.), Handbook of Australian Livestock, Australian Meat & Livestock Export Corporation, 2000 (4th ed), ISBN 1-74036-216-0
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