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South Suffolk

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Origin & History

South Suffolk Ewes

The South Suffolk first appeared in New Zealand during the 1930s in response to an overseas demand for leaner meat.

It is a New Zealand breed developed in Canterbury by a Southdown stud breeder, Mr George Gould, who was also responsible for the introduction of Suffolks to the country. Gould wanted a specialist breed to meet the requirements of a price schedule for prime lamb cuts which carried penalties for too much fat. The quick maturity and carcase shape of the Southdown and high flesh-to-fat ratio of the Suffolk were incorporated.

The South Suffolk became a registered breed in 1955 and is increasingly being used as a terminal sire for prime lamb production. Its high yielding carcase makes it ideal for further processing. The Down wool is used for fine apparels and hand knitting yarns.

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South Suffolk Carcasses

South Suffolk carcasses

These lamb carcasses all by South Suffolk Rams
Average weight of 22.35kg

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Breed Description

What you can expect from South Suffolk rams
By using South Suffolk rams you can ...

  • Produce early maturing lambs. Drafts of 16kg carcasses or better being achieved at 12 weeks of age
  • Produce lambs that have the ability to grow into heavier weights within the grading requirements
  • Produce a higher yielding animal ideally suited to the cutting trade
  • Produce South Suffolk cross lambs that are easily identified as terminal progeny
  • Produce lambs which are adaptable and perform in all climatic conditions.


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South Suffolk Ewes

South Suffolk Ewes

South Suffolk Ewes

South Suffolk Ewes


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Breed Classification

A large, comparatively heavy meat breed. Rams are used as terminal sires for cross-breeding for early prime lamb production.

Location: On all types of country throughout NZ in stud and commercial flocks. 

Bodyweight Wool

Ewes: 65-90 kg

Rams: 90-120 kg

Short, fine, Down type.

Fibre diameter: 27-33 microns.

Staple length: 75-100 mm

Fleece weight: Range 3-4 kg
Average 3.5 kg

Uses: apparel and knitting yarns.

High yielding carcase, ideal for further processing.


130-160 percent




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