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Dalesbreds have a distinctive white spot on either side of the muzzle, and the rams have large curling horns.

The Dalesbred is a breed of domestic sheep originating in England. Derived from the Swaledale and Scottish Blackface breeds, the Dalesbred is a hill breed most common in the Central Pennines in England, particularly around Upper Wharfedale and Nidderdale. Very similar in appearance to its parent breeds, it has horns in both rams and ewes and a white carpet-quality fleece.[1] It can be best distinguished by having a white spot on each side of its black face, with the end of the muzzle becoming grey. This breed is primarily used for meat and wool production.[2] The legs are free of wool and are mottled black and white. Dalesbred ewes weigh 45 to 60 kg (99 to 132 lb) and rams 55 to 75 kg (121 to 165 lb).[3]

Dalesbred are a hardy breed capable of surviving the harsh conditions of upland terrain. They are generally bred for several generations in this environment, then ewes are sold to lowland farmers for cross breeding to produce mules. Ewes are often crossed with Teeswater rams to produce the Masham which is one of the most famous of British crossbreeds.[4]

Due to the location and small extent of its distribution, this breed was threatened by culling in a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in 2001.[5]


  1. ^ "Dalesbred". Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University Dept. of Animal Science. Archived from the original on 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Dalesbred Sheep". heritagesheep.eu. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  3. ^ "Dalesbred". nationalsheep.org.uk. National Sheep Association. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  4. ^ Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland. "Sheep Breeds D-F". sheep101.info. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  5. ^ "The Sheep Trust". york.ac.uk. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Dalesbred at Wikimedia Commons