Galway Sheep
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About Galway SheepAbout Galway Sheep



Galway sheep are from Galway, in the west of Ireland. Theyrnwere developed in the West of Ireland, as a result of the importation ofrnEnglish Longwools from the late 17th century onwards. From the middle of thern18th century Robert Bakewell's Dishley Leicester, also known as the New orrnImproved Leicester, was exported to Ireland in large numbers, in particular tornthe estate of Bakewell's associate, Lord Roscommon, and later Lord Sheffield.

rnrnThe breed which developed was for many years known as thernRoscommon, and a Flock Book of Roscommon Long-Wool Sheep was established inrn1895, surviving until at least the 1920s. The Roscommon was a large,rnwhite-faced polled breed and, though classified as Longwool, did not have thernvery long staple characteristic of breeds such as the Lincoln and LeicesterrnLongwool. They bore, as the Galway does, an almost uncanny resemblance tornsurviving prints and paintings of Bakewell's sheep, being perhaps, closer tornthe Dishley breed than any of the English breeds which were influenced byrnBakewell's stock.

rnrnA group of breeders in Galway founded the Galway SheeprnBreeders Society in 1923, when the Roscommon breed society was ailing. ThernGalway Sheep Breeders Society was founded at Athenry, Galway. The societyrninspected over 200 rams and 6000 ewes, presumably sheep of Roscommon typern(admitting 10 percent of these to the new register).

rnrn rnrnA recording scheme started in 1969, which continues today, mainlyrnaimed at improving prolificacy. The plan was started with the help of thernDepartment of Agriculture and An Foras Taluntais (now Teagasc). Todayrncommercial Galway sheep farming is relatively common in the west of Ireland.

rnrnGalway are medium to large sized white sheep. Their face isrncompletely white and there are a characteristic bob of wool on their head andrnwool on their legs. Their outer lips are dark and they often have dark spots onrnthe ears. Both rams and ewes are usually polled. Their nostrils are of dark andrnwide. The rams usually have a bold masculine head. Their neck is thick, short,rnand their shoulders are well set. Their back is long and level with a strongrnwide loin. Their skin is usually light pink.

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