Teeswater sheep, indigenous as their name implies to Teesdale in the County of Durham, have for almost two hundred years been bred by farmers in that area of the North. In 1804, Teeswaters were sent to Tasmania from The Duke of Northumberland's Estate. Like all longwool sheep in northern England they were influenced by Bakewell's activities in the 18th century. Until the 1920's the breed was a comparatively rare one and was not found far from its native habitat, but now that the remarkable crossing qualities of the breed have been consistently improved and developed, Teeswater and Teeswater half-bred (Masham) are found in almost all parts of the UK.
What is the Teeswater...
The Teeswater is a large hornless breed carrying a long luster fleece. Although smart and alert, it is one of the most docile breeds.
The HEAD is of medium length with strong features, broad muzzle and short broad teeth. The color of the face is off white with dark markings, particularly about the nose. The ears should be large and have distinctive markings on the inside. Wool of a finely purled nature grows between the ears and falls down the face.
BODY. The neck is strong, firm and of good length set firmly into shoulders which should be fairly broad, but not coarse.
RIBS. Should be deep and well spaced with a strong loin. The Teeswater is a long-drawn sheep and should have square set hindquarters but without tendency to fall off at the rump.
THIGHS. Should be well rounded and deep-fleshed.
LEGS. Strong flat bone but not coarse, squarely set and of the same color as the face with brown or black feet.
WOOL. Should be fine long-stapled luster wool with each lock hanging free and no tendency to mattiness. There should be no dark fibers in the fleece, which should be uniform in texture over the whole body. Depending on age and feeding, a wool yield up to 8 kg (18 lbs.) may be expected. Excellent locks to felt or spin.
Average adult body weight:
Mature ewe 80 kg (176 lbs.)
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