Masham sheep have been bred on the hills of northern England for well over a century. Breeders dedicated to producing top quality sheep for the modern market formed the breed association in 1986. Her qualities of longevity, hardiness and milking ability are second to none.
The breeders of Masham Sheep are to be congratulated for maintaining the high standard of their lambs. The quality of the gimmer lambs at last autumn sales have never been better and there are favourable comments from buyers.
The Masham is a breeding ewe which is long lived, hardy, highly prolific and an excellent milker and mother. A ewe when mated with the right terminal ram will produce a heavy crop of lambs of superior carcase quality with an abundance of tender, succulent, lean meat in the right places, and another important attribute, she produces a valuable fleece of wool.
R Verity - MSBA President
The Wilson family have bred and stood by the Masham for four generations despite the sheep industry’s diverse range of continental and half bred alternatives. The Masham proves its longevity year after year. She produces and finishes her lambs quickly whilst maintaining condition. The Masham’s tremendous mothering instinct and reliability to produce ample milk has proved invaluable. Over the last eight years we have kept increasing numbers of our gimmer lambs to breed a quality commercial prime lamb ready within twelve to fourteen weeks of birth. The majority of the remaining gimmer lambs have been traditionally sold for the same purpose to farmers throughout the country.
David M Wilson - MSBA Chairman
West Cornwall is not perhaps traditional masham ewe territory however our warm and wet climate suits them and they thrive. Usually a quarter of our flock are mashams purchased from David Wilson, these are put to a Lleyn or Suffolk tup with the ewe lamb retained and the wethers sold fed off grass.
We have found Mashams to have key advantages over other sheep, including longevity (10 years is not unusual), excellent milk production, and remarkable maternal instinct as well as being highly prolific. These traits give us a ewe we can out winter on grass keep, bring home and lamb outside with little or no supplementary feed. They seem quite happy lambing anytime from January to May always giving a good to heavy crop off grass with almost no assistance.
Mashams are the sort of low input high output sheep we would not want to be without. They are good value and represent an excellent investment.