Poll Dorset Sheep

About Poll Dorset SheepAbout Poll Dorset Sheep

Poll Dorsets are short wool, meat producing sheep that were developed in Australia between 1937 and 1954 with the aim of breeding a true Dorset type sheep without horns. They were developed at a property called Valmore in Whitemore, Tasmania, a noted center for pedigree livestock stud farms. Poll Dorset resulted from the introduction of Corriedale and Ryeland blood into the Dorset Horn.

Their main distinguishing features are its hornless appearance, long, lean square body set on short legs, pink skin and 'spongy' short-stapled wool. Poll Dorsets produce a fleece of white, dense downs type wool of around 30 microns fiber diameter and they have a white wool free face.

Poll Dorset rams are the most commonly used sire for the production of prime lambs in Australia. Ewes are noted for their high fertility, mothering and milking ability. The characteristics of the breed such as rapid growth rate, superior fleshing and muscular development make them ideally suited for the meat trade. Lambs sired by Poll Dorsets can satisfy the lightweight Middle Eastern market, the local market or the export market to the USA at 20 to 25 kg or heavier. Poll Dorset carcasses have excelled in Australian carcass competitions having very good eye muscle and a good lean meat to fat ratio. Poll Dorset genes have also been a major contributor to the developing White Suffolk breed and almost all other prime lamb composite breeds in Australia.

Export sales have been made to Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America.  

In 1992 Meat Elite Australia was established by a group of Poll Dorset breeders to share genetics, and progeny test elite young sires to identify animals that will benefit the Australian sheep meat industry.

The Australian Poll Dorset is not to be confused with the Polled Dorset that was developed at North Carolina State University in the early 1950s.