North Country Cheviot

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North Country Cheviots

North Country Cheviot sheep are a type of Cheviot. They are bred predominantly in Scotland, but are also bred in other parts of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland. They are raised primarily for meat.[1]


In 1791, Sir John Sinclair brought ewes from the Cheviot Hills near the English border to the counties of Caithness and Sutherland in north Scotland. He named these sheep "Cheviots" after the hill area they originated. Another hill breed was introduced into the ranges of central Scotland thus the Scottish Blackface created a definite separation between northern counties of Caithness and Sutherland and the border region in southern Scotland. Most authorities speculate that both English and Border Leicesters may have been introduced into the North Country Cheviots at this time. The result was a larger sheep that had a longer fleece, and one that matured earlier. The North Country is about twice the size of its southern relative.

In 1912, Caithness and Sutherland breeders formed the North Country Sheep Breeders Association to manage shows and sales. In 1945, the organization was reformed into the existing North Country Cheviot Sheep Society for registration, exporting, promotion and breed improvement.[1]


The North Country Cheviot has a striking, alert look with erect ears. The head is brilliant white and woolly. The body is completely covered with wool and is long, deep and white. The Roman nose has black nostrils. The eyes have a black line around them. Both sexes are polled (hornless). The neck is short and strong. The legs are covered with short, white fiber. In general, the wool is fine, white and free from kemp. Wool grades from 50 to 56 count. Mature rams weigh above 225 lb (102 kg) and mature ewes weigh above 175 lb (79 kg).[2]


  1. ^ a b "North Country Cheviot". Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Animal Science. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  2. ^ "Breed Standard". The American North Country Cheviot. The American North Country Cheviot Sheep Association, Inc. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 

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