BLEU DU MAINE Home page

The French sheep with remarkable qualities.

Origin of the breed


Origin of the Bleu du Maine breed is from the Western departments Maine and Loire, and also Mayenne and Sarthe.

It is the result of crossbreeding an extinct local French breed (Choletais from the region around Bazougers and Sablé-sus-Sarthe) with two English breeds, the Leicester Longwool and Wensleydale , during the nineteenth century.

Characteristics


The sheep has an attractive dark blue, narrow head with no horns, a sharp eye and alert long fine ears. The legs and skin underneath the dense fleece are also blue.

The neck, back and trunk are well developed. The average weight for mature rams is between 120 and 150 kg, with adult ewes weighing between 80 and 100 kg. Moreover the quality of the lean meat is extremely tasty.

Because of the relatively low birth weight (3.5 kg to 5 kg) and the small size head, the ewes lamb easily. The prolificacy of the breed is good with lambing percentage for mature ewes of over 200 percent. The lambs are strong and have great vitality with the result that their daily weight gain is more than 300 g.

For all these reasons the Bleu du Maine is suited for crossbreeding to improve qualities of other breeds.


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Last updated by Jan Depoorter on 10/6/2000