A Definitive Ranking of Sheep Breeds

Above WaterCreative


I’m not afraid to say when it comes to Suffolks, I’m biased. These are the sheep I grew up with on my Nanna and Poppa’s farm. The rams typically have black feet and faces with a white fleece. An aesthetically pleasing sheep with lambs that are cute as hell. 8/10

I’ve only seen my Poppa cry once.
He didn’t call it crying.
He said he got misty.



If you’ve seen a sheep in a paddock, you’ve likely been looking at a Merino. It’s Ol’ faithful, the Honda of sheep. When I was in my school show team, I had a Merino. His name was Mr Snuffleupagus. Rest in peace Snuffy. 7/10

Poppa’s dad died when he was a baby.
I hear his life in fragments.
He doesn’t talk about his mum much.



If you look at this breed you can see something’s off. It is in fact, not a sheep; it’s a dog. Seriously look at its face. This dude is the embodiment of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and weirdly thick considering it’s floof is average at best. 2/10

Princess, the truth is,
my mother was an alcoholic
who married another alcoholic.


Finn Sheep

A relatively new breed on the scene. Triplets and quadruplets are rife with this one. Not always a good thing. I’ve seen more births lead to more ewes rejecting some of their lambs. Moderation people! 6/10

After she remarried, she had twin girls.
Poppa was four, when he and my great uncle
were sent to an orphanage.
The first night he cried
“What did I do wrong?”
They never went home.




The floof alone on this sheep is tens across the board. If I hugged this sheep, I feel like I’d sink deep into a soft, warm place where I’d be safe forever. I want this sheep to be my mum. 10/10

When Poppa went to the sale yards,
he’d bring Nanna back a black lamb.
Farmers didn’t like them. Their wool
was hard to treat; harder to sell.
Nanna raised the lamb and
when its fleece was full and heavy,
Poppa would shear it.
Nanna sat with her spinning wheel
and spun the staples into yarn.



This is a show sheep if ever I’ve seen one. Too prissy. You could tell me this is an alpaca and I’d believe you. I don’t trust it. 4/10

Mum was Poppa’s firstborn.
When they brought her home,
he’d awaken at all hours of the night
gasping for breath. He’d slip out of bed
and creep into Mum’s room. He’d peer
into her cradle and stare at her.
Helpless, vulnerable, weak.
He’d watch her tiny chest rise and fall,
certain if he broke his gaze, she’d die.


White Suffolk

A hardy sheep. Bred for Aussie conditions. 9/10

When all the grandkids were young,
we’d help Poppa catch lambs for tailing.
People ask if I think it’s cruel, I ask
if they’ve ever seen a flystruck sheep?
Tailing hurts for a short time, but
the wound heals, and the sheep is protected.
Flystrike is another beast.
Flies bury their eggs in soiled wool
or more often sheepskin.
The maggots hatch and
eat the sheep’s flesh. It’s my
definition of cruel.
They can survive it, but
the sheep is never the same.

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