Beersheba Drysdales (Flock 255, est. 2002)
Drysdales are a specialist carpet wool breed of sheep developed in New Zealand.
In the 1920s Professor Dry noticed Romney lambs with a distinct “hairiness”. By the 1940s he had proved that the hairiness was the result of a dominant gene and the Drysdale breed was established.
During the late 1970s Drysdales were brought to Australia from New Zealand and, using a base of Romney ewes, quickly found a place in the sheep industry supplying the carpet manufacturers. The wool price collapse in the 1980s impacted the flock numbers in Australia as the industry began sourcing cheaper and inferior wools from overseas. Sheep numbers dropped off dramatically here and in New Zealand and whilst there are still a few breeders in New Zealand we are currently the only registered stud with Drysdales left in Australia.
About the wool…
- Chalky white (no lustre)
- Has no crimp
- Is double-coated (ie. Has an soft undercoat and a coarse, medullated outer coat)
- Heavily medullated (medullated fibres are hollow and more primitive than regular wool fibres)
- Has a crisp handle
- Average 35 micron
Fleece growth is highly responsive to the season and sheep will grow at least 25mm (1”) a month. Shearing is done 2-4 times a year to achieve ideal commercial fleece length of 100-150mm.
Drysdale wool is easy to spin and dyes well. Due to lack of crimp and the medullated fibres it may need blending with other wools to achieve satisfactory felting.
About the sheep…
Drysdales are medium-sized sheep and can be considered “dual-purpose” (wool/meat):
- Ewes 55-70kg
- Rams 75-100kg (mature)
- Good lean carcase
- Seasonal breeders
- Lambing rates of 120+%
- Excellent mothering ability
- Calm temperament
- Rams and ewes have horns
- Foot problems are rare
About Beersheba Drysdales…
There have been Drysdales on the property since the early 1980s. Back then they were run as a commercial flock. In 2002 the stud was formed with the Australian Drysdale Sheep Breeders Association (the ADSBA has now wound up and the flock book is held with the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association).
We have been the only registered Drysdale stud in the world for several years. Hopefully, this is only temporary!
Flock 255, Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association
Brucellosis accredited (Victoria)
If you, or someone you know, has a small commercial flock of Drysdales in Australia then please contact us!