List of Sheep Breeds: Different Types of Sheep for Raising Commercially

There are many different types of sheep breeds available throughout the world. All these breeds are not suitable for farming in all places around the world. Some of these breeds are good for cold areas, and some breeds are good for hot areas.

Some breeds are good for meat production, some are good for milk, and some are good for both milk and meat production. Some breeds are also good for fiber production.

Sheep is a very familiar domestic animal. Dry weather and cold area is very suitable for sheep farming. The main characteristics of sheep is that their body is fully covered with fur. Their skin and fur is very valuable. Sheep are not highly milk productive like goat. There are about 200 sheep breeds around the world.

Different types of Sheep Breeds

Sheep breeds are of three types according to their production which are described below.

  • Meat Productive Sheep Breeds: Dorset, Suffolk, Cheviot etc. are highly meat productive sheep breeds.
  • Hair Productive Sheep Breeds: Merino, Rambouillet etc. are hair productive sheep breeds.
  • Hair & Meat Productive Sheep Breeds: Cordially, Montadale, Kooka etc are famous for both hair and meat production.

sheep, sheep breeds, list of sheep breeds, sheep breeds picture

Characteristics of some sheep breeds are described below.


  • Marino sheep originated from Spain. But nowadays Marino sheep farming spread throughout the world. They are very famous for hair production. Male sheep produce about 8-15 kg and female produce about 5-10 kg wool per year. Wool is very long and high quality.
  • Mouth and legs are white colored.
  • Male sheep has horns but female has no horns.
  • Their whole body is covered with hair.merino, merino sheep


  • This breed came from Marino sheep.
  • Head become big sized.
  • Ears are surrounded by white hair.
  • Male sheep weights about 110-125 kg and female 70-90 kg.
  • Hair weights very high and dense.
  • Whole body is covered with hair. Even on mouth and legs.rambouillet, rambouillet sheep


  • Cheviot sheep breed originated from Scotland.
  • They become very beautiful to look.
  • Ears become straight.
  • Mouth and legs are bright white.
  • Hair of mouth and legs become very tiny.
  • Nose, lips and legs become blackish.
  • Male cheviot sheep weights about 80 kg and female 55 kg.
  • Legs, hip and thighs are very fleshy.
  • Produce about 2.5-3.5 kg wool annually.cheviot, cheviot sheep


  • Southdown sheep breed is a very old species of Britain.
  • This breed was made artificially.
  • Small in size.
  • Head is comparatively wide.
  • Adult male sheep weights about 80 kg and female 55 kg.
  • Color of their mouth is slightly brown.
  • They gain sexual maturity earlier.
  • Meat is very tasty.
  • Produce about 2-3 kg fur every year.southdown, southdown sheep


  • This sheep breeds originated from England.
  • Medium sized.
  • Mouth and legs are clean.
  • Hair become very long.leicester, leicester sheep, english leicester sheep


  • Become very big sized.
  • Head become wide.
  • Ears are, lincoln sheep


  • They are highly hair productive breed.
  • Male sheep has horns but female has no horns.
  • Male sheep weights about 90 kg and female 65 kg.karakul, karakul sheep


  • Hair becomes very long.
  • Male sheep contain horn but female has no horn.
  • Ears are very long and wide.
  • Thick fiber with their hair.
  • Annual production of hair is about 1.5 kg.


  • The color of their hair become white.
  • Expert grazing in the hill.
  • Male sheep has horn but female contain no horn.
  • Medium sized.


  • Meat of lohi sheep is very tasty.
  • Big sized body.
  • Ears become very long.
  • Fiber of hair is very long and grained.lohi sheep


  • The color of hair become black or ash.
  • Hair is separate and grained.
  • Small sized.
  • Expert in fighting.
  • Highly meat productive sheep breed.
  • Produce about 0.5 kg wool per year.


  • They are of black colored.
  • Hair become grained.
  • Produce about 1 kg wool annually.
  • Big sized.
  • Strong body structure.
  • Skin is very high quality.


  • Kooka sheep breed originated from Pakistan.
  • They are very suitable for meat and wool production.
  • White body color.
  • Mouth is medium sized.
  • Head is very heavy.
  • Their forehead become very wide.
  • Horns are very small.
  • Ears are hanging.
  • Produce about 3 kg wool per year.
  • Meat is very tasty.
  • Female sheep produce about 1 kg milk daily.

Breed name, production purpose and origin place of some popular sheep breeds are listed in the chart below.

List of Total Sheep Breeds
Breed Name Purpose Origin
Acipayam Meat, wool Turkey
Adal Meat Ethiopia
Africana Meat Colombia
Afrikaner Meat South Africa
Alai Meat, wool Kyrgyzstan
Algarve Churro Meat, wool Portugal
Alpines Steinschaf Meat, wool Germany
Altay Meat China
Appenninica Meat Italy
Arabi Meat Iran, Iraq
Afghan Arabi Meat Afghanistan
Arapawa Wool New Zealand
Armenian Semicoarsewool Meat, milk Armenia
Askanian Wool Ukraine
Assaf Meat, milk Israel
Aussiedown Meat Australia
Awassi Meat, milk, wool Syro-Arabian desert
Badger Face Welsh Mountain Meat Wales
Balkhi Meat, wool Afghanistan, Pakistan
Baluchi Wool Pakistan
Balwen Welsh Mountain Meat Wales
Barbados Blackbelly Meat Caribbean
Bardoka Meat, milk, wool Serbia
Basco-béarnaise Milk France
Beltex Meat Belgium
Bentheimer Landschaf Vegetation management Germany
Bergamasca Meat, milk, wool Italy
Berrichon du Cher Meat France
Beulah Speckled Face Meat United Kingdom
Bibrik Meat Pakistan
Biellese Meat Italy
Blackhead Persian Meat, wool South Africa
Black Welsh Mountain Meat United Kingdom
Brecknock Hill Cheviot Meat, wool Wales
Bleu du Maine Meat France
Bluefaced Leicester Meat, wool United Kingdom
Bond Meat, wool Australia
Booroola Merino Meat, wool Australia
Border Leicester Meat, wool United Kingdom
Border Cheviot Meat, wool United Kingdom
Boreray Meat, wool Scotland
Bovec Meat, milk Italy
Braunes Bergchaf Meat, wool, vegetation management Germany
British Milk Meat, milk, wool United Kingdom
California Red Meat, wool United States
Canadian Arcott Meat Canada
Castlemilk Moorit Hobby Scotland
Charmoise Meat France
Charollais Meat, wool France
Cheviot Meat, wool United Kingdom
Chios Milk Island of Chios
Cholistani Meat, wool Pakistan
Clun Forest Meat, milk, wool United Kingdom
Coburger Fuchsschaf Vegetation management Germany
Columbia Wool United States
Comeback Meat, wool Australia
Comisana Milk Italy
Coopworth Meat, wool New Zealand
Cormo Wool Australia
Corriedale Meat, wool New Zealand
Cotswold Meat, wool United Kingdom
Criollo Meat Central America
Dala Fur Meat, wool Sweden
Dalesbred Meat, wool United Kingdom
Daglic Meat, milk, wool Turkey
Damani Meat, wool Pakistan
Damara Meat Namibia
Danish Landrace Wool Denmark
Debouillet Wool United States
Delaine Merino Wool United States
Derbyshire Gritstone Meat United Kingdom
Devon Closewool Meat United Kingdom
Devon Longwoolled Meat, wool United Kingdom
Dohne Merino Meat, wool South Africa
Dorper Meat South Africa
Dorset Horn Meat United Kingdom
Dorset Down Meat United Kingdom
Drenthe Heath Meat Netherlands
Drysdale Wool New Zealand
Exmoor Horn Meat United Kingdom
Estonian Ruhnu Meat, wool Estonia
English Leicester Meat United Kingdom
Elliottdale Meat Tasmania
East Friesian Milk Germany
Fabrianese Meat Italy
Faroe Meat Faroe Islands
Finnsheep Meat, milk, wool Finland
Gaddi Meat, wool India
Galician Meat, milk Spain
Galway Meat Ireland
Gansu Alpine Fine Wool Wool China
Gentile di Puglia Wool Italy
Gotland Meat, wool Sweden
Greyface Dartmoor Meat United Kingdom
Grey Troender Wool Norway
Gromark Meat, wool Australia
Gulf Coast Native Meat United States
Guirra Meat Spain
Gute Genetic conservation Sweden
Hampshire Meat United Kingdom
Hebridean Vegetation management Scotland
Herdwick Meat United Kingdom
Hill Rannor Meat United Kingdom
Hog Island Wool United States
Icelandic Meat, milk, wool Iceland
Ile de France Meat France
Jacob Meat, wool Middle East
Jezersko Solcava Meat, wool Slovenia
Kerry Hill Meat Wales
Katahdin Meat United States
Karayaka Meat, milk Turkey
Karakul Meat, milk, wool Central Asia
Laticuda Meat, milk Italy
Lonk Meat, wool United Kingdom
Lohi Meat, wool India
Llanwenog Meat Wales
Lincoln Meat, wool United Kingdom
Latxa Milk Spain
Lacaune Milk France


Morada Nova Meat Brazil
Montadale Meat, wool United States
Meronolandschaf Meat, wool Germany
Merinizzata Italiana Meat, wool Italy
Meatmaster Meat South Africa
Massese Meat, milk Italy
Manx Loaghtan Meat, wool Isle of Man
Merino Meat, wool Spain
Najdi Meat, milk, wool Saudi Arabia
Navajo Churro Meat, wool United States
Newfoundland General Canada
Norfolk Horn Meat United Kingdom
North Ronaldsay Meat, wool Scotland
Northern European Short-Tailed Meat, milk, wool Germany, British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia
North Country Cheviot Meat, wool Scotland
Oxford Down Meat, wool United Kingdom
Ouessant Wool France
Pelibuey Meat Mexico
Panama Meat, wool United Kingdom
Perendale Meat, wool New Zealand
Pinzirita Meat, milk, wool Italy
Polwarth Meat, wool Australia
Polypay Meat, wool United States
Portland Meat United Kingdom
Poll Merino Meat, wool Australia
Polled Dorset Meat United States
Pomeranian Coarsewool Meat Germany
Racka Meat, milk, wool Hungary
Rambouillet Meat, wool France
Red Maasai Meat East Africa
Rideau Arcott Meat, wool Canada
Romanov Meat Russia
Romney Meat, wool United Kingdom
Romeldale Meat, milk, wool United States
Roslag Meat, wool Sweden
Rouge de l’Ouest Meat, milk France
Rough Fell Meat United Kingdom
Royal White Meat United States
Ruda Wool Albania, Croatia
Rya Wool Sweden
Ryeland Meat United Kingdom
Santa Cruz Wool United States
Sarda Milk Italy
Scottish Blackface Meat Scotland
Serrai Meat, milk, wool Greece
Shetland Meat, wool Scotland
Shropshire Meat, wool United Kingdom
Skudde Meat Germany
Soay Meat Scotland
Sopravissana Meat, milk Italy
Southdown Meat United Kingdom
Soth African Meat Merino Meat, wool South Africa
Spaelsau Meat, milk, wool Norway
St. Croix Meat United States
Suffolk Meat, wool United Kingdom
Swaledale Meat, wool United Kingdom
Targhee Meat, wool United States
Teeswater Meat, wool United Kingdom
Texel Meat Netherlands
Tiroler Steinschaf Meat, wool Austria
Tunis Meat, milk Tunisia
Uda Meat Africa
Valais Blacknose Meat Switzerland
Van Rooy Meat South Africa
Vendeen Meat France
Welsh Mountain Meat Wales
Wensleydale Meat United Kingdom
West African Dwarf Meat Southwest to central Africa
White Suffolk Meat Australia
Whiteface Dartmoor Meat United Kingdom
Whitefaced Woodland Meat United Kingdom
White Horned heath Meat, wool Germany
White Polled Heath Meat, wool Germany
Wiltipoll Meat Australia
Wiltshire Horn Meat United Kingdom
Zwartbles Meat, milk Netherlands
Zulu Meat South Africa

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