If you’re looking to start a small flock of sheep, the choice of breeds available is a bit overwhelming! Black and white sheep are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the rising fame of some colored sheep breeds.
As well as being adorable, there are other advantages to having black and white sheep. Some colored sheep breeds make excellent breeding stock, while others can become lovable family pets.
But – which black and white sheep do we recommend for your farm or homestead?
Let’s look at 11 black and white sheep breeds for you to consider!
11 Black and White Sheep Breeds
Black and white sheep breeds are perfect for homesteaders & smallholders!
It is challenging for us to choose the best breed. But – we still want to brainstorm sheep with black faces in more detail.
Let us begin!
1. Dorper Sheep
If you’re looking for a majestic black and white sheep breed, then the Dorper sheep deserves a top spot on your list! This sheep breed is not cute and cuddly, but their muscular long-limbed bodies and regal black faces would grace any homestead or family farm.
The Dorper sheep is unusual, as it produces hair instead of wool. Dorper hair does not need to get shorn, but they appreciate regular trimming to prevent the hair from becoming matted and untidy.
How Much Is a Dorper Sheep Worth?
Dorper sheep are highly sought after by farmers. Dorpers are famously easy to care for and thrive on poor-quality grazing. Dorper lambs will (usually) fetch around five to ten dollars more than their counterparts. And a purebred registered breeding ewe can reach several hundred dollars or more.
What Are Dorper Sheep Used for on the Homestead?
In most countries, Dorper sheep are used to produce mutton. These sheep have a long reproductive life and are relatively low maintenance to rear.
Farmers also prize Dorper sheep for their thick, soft skin, which gets used when manufacturing sheepskin gloves.
2. Jacob Sheep
Jacob sheep have two tremendously rare features not found in many other sheep breeds. Firstly they are multihorned, and most Jacob sheep have four horns.
The other unusual feature of Jacobs is that they are piebald, with both black and white areas of white wool on the body.
This distinctive look meant that in the past, Jacob sheep were kept as ornamental features, sought after to grace the parkland of the British gentry! Nowadays, they get kept as pets – or reared for wool and meat.
How Much Does a Jacob Sheep Cost?
The price of a Jacob sheep will depend on its pedigree and coat markings. Jacob sheep are one of the few sheep where appearance matters more than size – a beautifully marked Jacob sheep will fetch a high price regardless of proportions. Expect to pay upwards of $300 for a good quality breeding ewe.
Read More – Sheep vs. Lambs. What’s the Difference?!
Here's one of the most popular books for raising black and white sheep. And sheep of all styles! It's Raising Sheep the Modern Way by Paula Simmons. It's also one of the most famous sheep books that we've ever found - and the book boasts over 100,000 copies sold. Impressive!
The book covers all the sheep-raising details that small homesteaders and ranchers need in 288 pages. The book details breeding, pregnancy management, medications, vaccines, and lamb handling. It also includes a chapter about guard dogs. Perfect if you have pesky pests lurking near your forage areas. Or barn!
3. Romanov Sheep
The Romanov sheep breed is more subtle in its black and white markings. But no less beautiful than the other breeds on our list.
Romanov sheep are born entirely black. But as they grow older, the dark hair gets shed – and lighter hair grows in its place. They retain their black face coloring, giving them a distinctive silver and black appearance.
The Finnsheep is a highly unusual and fascinating breed of sheep! Native to Finland, this breed of sheep is notorious for its high fertility rates, with most ewes giving birth to at least three lambs at once. Unlike the vast majority of other sheep breeds, it is not uncommon for a Finnsheep to give birth twice a year.
Finnsheep in Australia and the US are nearly always white. But in Finland, this breed has a high incidence of piebald coloring. Piebald coloring manifests as black and white spotting, often with a distinctive panda-eyed face.
5. Scottish Blackface Sheep
Scottish Blackface sheep have an iconic black and white patterned face and are easily recognizable as one of the most famous British sheep breeds. Scottish Blackface sheep are a hardy and rugged breed, able to survive on the bleak and wintery hills of the Scottish Highlands.
Read More – Sheep vs. Goats! Which Is More Profitable to Raise?
6. Suffolk Sheep
Suffolk sheep are famous around the world! As they are one of the most commonly bred sheep for meat lambs. They have a distinctive white body with jet-black coloring on the legs and head.
If you decide to keep Suffolk sheep, don’t be surprised if the lambs are born black! The body will turn white as the lamb grows older.
7. Valais Blacknose Sheep
If you were to draw a sheep for a children’s storybook, it would (probably) look like a Valais Blacknose sheep! This small but hardy sheep has an entirely black face apart from a white crown, making it look like it is wearing a beanie hat!
8. Balwen Sheep
Balwen sheep are becoming popular with small farmers and homesteaders. They have excellent hardiness and quality of meat. They also look markedly attractive, with a distinctive white blaze on the face, legs, and a white tail.
Are Balwen Sheep Rare?
Yes! Balwen sheep get listed as vulnerable on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s watch list of endangered species. Without the efforts of sheep breeders, these beautifully colored sheep are at risk of going extinct.
9. Blackheaded Persian Sheep
While there are several breeds of sheep with a white face and black body, or vice versa, the Blackheaded Persian sheep is quite unlike any other! This African sheep breed has a jet-black head and neck and a white body, giving it the appearance that it is wearing a hood.
10. Zwartbles Sheep
With its bright white blaze on a black face, you could spot a Zwartbles sheep from a mile away! This black and white sheep breed has a white body with white on the legs and tail tip.
11. West African Dwarf Sheep
The West African Dwarf sheep has rare piebald coloring, with black splashes of wool on a white base coat. This breed is suited to warm, humid climates, although it is not the most productive in terms of meat.
Black and White Sheep Breeds – FAQs
Now we’ve got the top black and white sheep breeds covered – let’s look at some other colored sheep-related questions!
Read More – 10 Best Goats for Beginners – for Meat, Dairy, and Pets!
It is clear that if you search for the perfect black and white sheep breeds, you get spoilt for choice! Many of these breeds are commonplace around the world, while others are sadly now considered to be rare breeds.
It may be tempting to start your flock with an unusual breed of sheep, but remember to check that it is suitable for your local climate first.
We’d love to hear about your favorite black and white sheep breeds!
Did we miss any black and white sheep, colored sheep, or sheep with black faces?
We would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks again for reading.
And – have a great day!