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.
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.
and mail to Jan Depoorter
Last updated by Jan Depoorter on 10/6/2000