English Leicester (also known as Bakewell
Leicester, New Leicester, Dishley Leicester, Leicester Longwool, Improved
Leicester, and simply as Leicester) sheep were developed by the eighteenth
century breeding innovator Robert Bakewell.
At first they were pretty slow-growing and
closely boned. But over time they have been developed to gain weight quickly
and grow very fast. In 1826 they were one of the first pure sheep breeds
introduced to Australia. They have been used for improving may other sheep
breeds, mainly because of their meaty carcass and heavy fleece.
They are large sheep. Their face is usually
of a wedge shape and covered in white hairs, often with a blue tinge). Their
lips and nostrils are black. Their neck is of medium length and their shoulders
are strong and level with their flat back.
Today they are very rare
and there are fewer than 500 registered breeding ewes available in the United