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Department of Animal Science - Oklahoma State University

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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - Corriedale Sheep

Breeds of Livestock - Corriedale Sheep



    The Corriedale was developed in New Zealand and Australia during the late 1800s' from crossing Lincoln or Leicester rams with Merino females. The development of the breed occurred in New Zealand during the time from 1880 to 1910. Similar crosses were also being done in Australia during this time. The breed is now distributed worldwide, making up the greatest population of all sheep in South America and thrives throughout Asia, North America and South Africa. Its popularity now suggests it is the second most significant breed in the world after Merinos.

    The Corriedale is a dual-purpose sheep. It is large-framed, polled with good carcass quality.  Although its role has traditionally been to produce premium lambs when mated to sires of meat breeds, the Corriedale is now achieving comparative performance rates with purebred lambs. This bonus together with a high skin value secures its future as a popular breed.

    corried2.jpgThe Corriedale produces bulky, high-yielding wool ranging from 31.5 to 24.5 micron fiber diameter. The fleece from mature ewes will weigh from 10 to 17 pounds (4.5-7.7 kg) with a staple length of 3.5 to 6 inches (9-15 cm).  The yield percent of the fleece ranges from 50 to 60 percent.  Mature rams will weigh from 175 to 275 pounds (79-125 kg), ewe weights range from 130 to 180 pounds (59-81 kg).

    The breed was first imported into the United States in 1914.  They are well adapted to farm flock situations where abundant feed is available but may also be used in range situations.

    The breed is found in most sheep areas of Australia, but mainly in the temperate, higher rainfall zones supporting improved pastures. Commercial and stud Corriedales represent approximately four percent of the total Australian flock.

    Corriedale Breed Associations and Registries

    Handbook of Austrailian Livestock, Australian Meat & Livestock Corporation,1989, 3rd Edition

    Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.

    Who's Who in U.S. Sheep Breeds(poster), American Sheep Industry Assn., Inc.; 6911 S. Yosemite St.  Suite 200; Englewood, CO 80112-1414  Phone: (303) 771-3500 FAX: (303) 771-8200

    Dr. Jerry Fitch, Extension Sheep Specialist, Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University
      Handbook of Australian Livestock, Australian Meat & Livestock Corporation,1989, 3rd Edition

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Updated June 10, 1997


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