The Corriedale is the oldest of all the crossbred wool breeds, a Merino-Lincoln cross developed in Australia and New Zealand and first brought to the United States in 1914. Corriedales are a dual-purpose sheep with good meat and wool.

Their dense fleece is medium-fine and high yielding, with good length and softness, somewhat between medium wool and long wool. It is favored by hand spinners. Corriedale lambs produce good quality carcasses and have a high pelt value.

Breed categories: medium wool, dual-purpose

Distribution: Worldwide

Corriedale History

James Little is given credit for establishing the Corriedale breed when he was the manager of the Corriedale Estate at Otaga on the South Island of New Zealand in the 1860s.

The Corriedale is an in-bred half-breed with Merino on the dam’s side and the English Lincoln longwool on the sire’s side. The name Corriedale was chosen to be the proper name for the breed in 1902. The New Zealand Sheep Breeders Association began publishing Corriedale pedigrees in 1911; however, it was 1924 before a flock book was published by the Corriedale Sheep Society of New Zealand.

The Corriedale was developed in an effort to establish a true dual purpose breed, combining the best traits of the wool breeds and the meat breeds. The result is a sheep that excels in total commercial returns, yielding a heavy valuable fleece and a high quality carcass. Additionally, Corriedales are known for their mothering ability and their ability to forage under a variety of climatic conditions.

In 1914 the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appointed Professor F.R. Marshall, head sheepman of the Bureau of Animal Husbandry, and Frank S. King, of Laramie, Wyoming (representing the National Wool Growers Association), to begin a search for a new dual purpose sheep. They traveled to New Zealand, where they selected and imported 65 ewes and 10 rams to the government experiment station in Wyoming. It was F.S. King who was responsible for organizing the Wyoming Corriedale Society and founding the American Corriedale Association in 1916.

Since that time Corriedales have gained steadily in popularity. In fact, Corriedales rank high in popularity in many nations and are considered to be the second most numerous breed worldwide.

Corriedale Facts

  • Corriedale Rams sire vigorous, rapid growing lambs.
  • Corriedale Rams produce lambs with good carcasses and high value pelts.
  • Corriedale Rams sire crossbred ewes that make excellent commercial ewes.
  • Corriedale Ewes are early maturing and can be bred as lambs.
  • Corriedale Ewes possess outstanding mothering ability.
  • Corriedale Ewes have a high multiple birth rate.
  • Corriedale Ewes possess excellent potential for fall lambing.
  • Corriedale Lambs are vigorous at birth and rapid gaining.
  • Corriedale Lambs are efficient converters of feed into gain.
  • Corriedale Lambs have a high pelt value.
  • Corriedale Lambs produce very good carcasses.
  • Corriedale Sheep produce both a dense, uniform fleece with pronounced character.


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