North Country Cheviot Sheep Society
The North Country Cheviot is a white sheep. For many years, the odd black example has been produced. For one reason amongst others, they have been retained and often sold for their “novelty factor” - often being purchased for children of a farm to distinguish them as their own and help develop an interest in sheep and farming.
A Black North Country Cheviot is NOT eligible for registration as it does not conform to the breed description standards, however the Society has permitted black North Country Cheviots to be sold at sales for the above reasons.
In recent years the Black North Country Cheviot has proved popular but, caution should be taken when used for breeding, as it is a recessive gene and if it can often produce a white lamb, which in turn could produce a black lamb, even if crossed with another white Northie. This could happen several generations forward.
For this reason, a white North Country Cheviot lamb produced out of a black North Country Cheviot should not be sold at a Society sale and ideally should be sold as fat stock or only retained for breeding within your own black flock with a note made of it's black parentage.
The Society most recently re-considered the position of the black North Country Cheviot and consulted with members. It was decided and agreed that in consideration of the membership survey and feedback provided in 2022, that the Black North Country Cheviot is recognised formally, but does not become a registered animal and this informative /educational section about the Black North Country Cheviot was added to this website.
For assistance, the description of the Black North Country Cheviot would be as the main description, save the white be replaced with black.
Society members wishing to be known as breeders of the Black North Country Cheviots would be listed here, to assist each other in finding stock for those wishing to retain a small number of black North Country Cheviots.
Draft North Country Cheviot ewes are frequently crossed with the Bluefaced Leicester to produce one of the best commercial sheep available in the UK and Ireland – the Cheviot Mule.
When crossed with a terminal sire, either native or continental, Cheviot Mules produce top quality prime lambs that generate a greater return at market than almost any other breed.
As a top performing hill breed, both the Park and Hill varieties of North Country Cheviots truly put their stamp on the Cheviot Mule, more than any other Cheviot type sheep.
The Northie produces a hardy animal that breeds consistency, grows quickly, benefits from a very high level of health, produces vigorous lambs, displays fantastic mothering qualities, and is often referred to as the ultimate lamb producer.
Northie blood also ensures Cheviot Mule ewes are easy to handle at lambing time and lamb with few problems, making lambing much easier for those managing large, commercial flocks.
For the commercial sheep breeder, the Cheviot Mule offers a range of benefits in terms of health, management, and price, with very few, if any, drawbacks.
With draft North Country Cheviot ewes still being able to raise two, three or even four crops of lambs, putting them at the centre of your breeding programme will generate stronger financial returns and an easier life.