Dutch Spotted Sheep are a relatively new breed to UK. They are a particularly attractive sheep to look at and while this is an added advantage to any breed, they are becoming established commercially, with great potential in the production of prime lambs and crossbred ewes. Commercial farmers and butchers are finding that they fit the bill and they are increasingly sought after for commercial purposes. Their good temperament and ease of management makes them a good choice for any pedigree breeder regardless of their flock size. They are great for any substantial farming system, but equally happy in a smallholding.
DSSS currently runs sales at Carlisle and Welshpool as well as at Beatties Livestock Sales in Northern Ireland and NSA Builth Wells where members can sell their sheep. Showing classes are available for the breed at many major shows, including Great Yorkshire Show, Royal Lancashire and Shropshire among others. The Society National Show is held at the Great Yorkshire Show in July.
Based on descriptions and studies of paintings owned by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, we know that the Dutch Spotted Sheep originated around 1800. Generations of farmers and old documentation confirm that Dutch Spotted Sheep were kept in an area in the west of the country, commonly covered in lakes, bogs and swamps. Farmers reclaimed the area using connecting embankments and needed a hardy breed of sheep to maintain the grass but more importantly to eat any saplings. The sheep had to be able to walk long distances, due to the length of the embankments and also to withstand the acidic PH level of the peat bogs. They selected the traditional Dutch Spotted Sheep for the task and ultimately the breed played an important role in transforming the peat bogs into sod, strong enough to carry cows. During the 1950s, farmers began to make use of the specific qualities of the traditional Dutch Spotted and crossed them with other breeds, such as Texel and Zwartble, to produce a sheep with greater profitability and benefits with the characteristics of a modern breed. For almost three decades DSS have not been crossed with any other breeds and are now a pure sheep in their own right. There are over 1000 breeders in mainland Europe, the majority of whom are in Holland, but there are registered flocks in Germany, France Spain and Eire in addition to those in the UK.
• Thrive on a grass-based system producing a quality meaty carcase
• Light boned with a large framework
• High killing out percentage, lean meat and a unique taste
• Easy lambing with lambs getting up quickly to suck
• High yielding with plentiful milk
• Good mouths and excellent hard feet
• Mature weight Females 75kg - 95kg Males 115kg - 135kg
• Easy to handle with an inquisitive nature