Dorset Down

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A Dorset Down in France

The Dorset Down is a breed of sheep native to the Dorset Downs region of England. It originated in the early 19th century from crosses of local and Hampshire ewes with Southdown rams.[1] The breed is not closely related to the Dorset (a.k.a. Dorset Horned), which is a white-faced sheep.

Dorset Downs are medium-sized, robust sheep with dark faces and short wool.[2] Prior to the importation of Continental breeds like the Texel, the Dorset Down was a popular terminal sire breed in the United Kingdom. Today it is listed as a minority breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.[3] It was also exported to North and South America, New Zealand and Australia, but remains fairly rare in those countries as well.[4]


  1. ^ Susan Schoenian. "Sheep Breeds D-F".
  2. ^ "Dorset Down". National Sheep Association.
  3. ^ "Dorset Down". Watchlist. Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Archived from the original on 2009-08-29.
  4. ^ "Dorset Down". Oklahoma State University Dept. of Animal Science. Archived from the original on 2010-06-05.

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