|Image: The canadian Co-Operative Wool Growers Limited (http://www.wool.ca)|
Canadian Arcott sheep are
raised primarily for meat. As the name suggests, they were developed in Canada.
And the later half of their name, ARCOTT, is an acronym for the Animal Research
Center in Ottawa. They were developed from crossbreeding Romnelet (6%), North
Country Cheviot (7%), Leicester (14%), Ile de France (28%) and Suffolk (37%)
sheep. The remaining 8 percent was contributed from Shropshire, Lincoln,
Corriedale, East Friesian, Finnsheep, and Southdown Dorset.
They are medium to large
sized hardy sheep, and are well adapted to their native climates. They are able
to adapt to pasture or confinement systems easily. The lambs grow relatively fast
and produce excellent carcass meat and reach a market weight of 37 kg at their
118 days of age.
They are mainly white with
white or mottled faces. Their faces are free of winkles and wool. Their fleece
is soft and lustrous and is of medium grade. Their legs are heavily muscled,
and their tail is long and narrow.
The average live body weight
of the mature ewes is between 75 and 95 kg. And the mature ram’s average live
body weight varies from 80 to 100 kg.
Canadian Arcott ewes reach maturity within their
230 days of age when they reach approximately 49 kg. The ewes lamb at 8 month
intervals in February and October. Their average gestation length is generally
147 days, and about 65 percent of ewes produce multiple births. The rams are
used in many breeding programs for improving the meat characteristics of other