Origin and diversity of North European sheep breeds
Norwegian Dala sheep, (17-19)
Norwegian Dala sheep is the most numerous breed of sheep in Norway and
is wide spread throughout the country. The breed originates from cross-breeding
between the Norwegian Spael sheep and Leicester sheep in the 1800´s.
Later Cheviot and possibly Oxford down sheep were crossed
into the breed. After 1960, other breeds have been crossed into the
Dala breed, such Texel, Finnsheep and other Norwegian breeds. The Dala
breed is bred for both meat and wool.
The sheep are mostly white (10% black) and both rams and ewes are polled
with long tails. The wool is uniform with mean fibre diameter of 35.5
micron. The mean greasy fleece weight is around 3.5 kg. The wool is
used for many purposes, mostly yarn for hand-knitting and machine knitting.
Woolskins and nappa leather are made out of the pelts. Adult wither
height is 78 cm for rams and live weight of ewes is 70-80 kg. The mean
litter size is 1.88 lambs at birth and 1.51 weaned. Mean carcass weight
of lambs is 18.5 kg when slaughtered at the age of 6 months. The majority
of carcasses falls into grade O in the EUROP classification system.
Local name: Dalasau