The East Friesian Advantage
The East Friesian breed originates from the same general area in Europe as Finnsheep and is genetically similar. As such, they offer some of the same productivity enhancing traits of Finnsheep, although greater increased milk production. In 1998 Dr. Dave Thomas documented increased weaning weights of lambs from East Friesian cross ewes compared to Dorset cross ewes at the Spooner Experimental Station.
The East Friesian ewe productivity increases have been recognized and investigated in other parts of the world. In New Zealand, the “TEFRom”; a 25% Texel, 25% EF, 50% Romney composite has become popular . The TEFRom composite has recently been imported to the UK.  Australian shepherds have recognized the benefit of adding East Friesian genetics to their flocks. East Friesian/Border Leicester cross rams are gaining popularity to replace straight Border Leicester rams for crossing on Merino ewes in the production of “first cross” ewes; which are the ewes that are bred to terminal sires for market lambs. East Friesian/Border Leicester rams topped a production ram sale in October 2020.
In each of these crosses the resulting productive ewe is 25% East Friesian.
This is the same percent of East Friesian genetics that we found to boost ewe productivity. We firmly believe that the East Friesian breed has much to offer commercial lamb production. The increased milk production and duration of lactation offers bypass protein and fat that combine with quality high protein from grass to provide excellent nutrition for lambs. This nutritional combination is a cornerstone of grass based lamb production.
Besides the increased milk production and lamb drop, we appreciate the East Friesian’s quiet disposition and mothering ability, clean open faces and length of body capacity to carry their lambs and thrive in a grass based sheep enterprise.
You can purchase replacement ewe lambs that are 25% East Friesian to improve your flock productivity. We’ve also embarked on a project to create half East Friesian rams, necessary to make ewes that are 25% East Friesian, check out the Breeding Stock tab in the Store.