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11 Gorgeous Black and White Sheep Breeds [With Pictures!]

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.

Ready?

Let us begin!

1. Dorper Sheep

three lovely dorper black headed sheep on rural farm
Check out these adorable Dorper sheep! You may have seen these black and white sheep before. They’re tremendously popular – the second-most popular sheep breed in South Africa. They stretch beyond Africa, too – ranchers worldwide raise them for delicious mutton. Many Dorpers have lovely black faces. But – some of them have white faces. You’ll also notice that all Dorpers lack horns.

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

two jacob sheep with lovely horns from oregon usa
The first thing you’ll notice about Jacob sheep is that they have the coolest-looking horns of all black and white sheep breeds. By far! They’re also an old-school sheep breed. Jacob sheep have been around in England for centuries! We also read on the Jacob Breeder Association website that Jacobs may date back thousands of years – originating from around Syria.

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?!

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09/27/2022 10:54 am GMT

3. Romanov Sheep

three black and white romanov sheep on country farm
Romanovs are one of the most famous black and white sheep breeds! But – did you know purebred Romanovs get born with 100% black wool? A mixture of white and black wool then changes its appearance over time! No matter their color classification, Romanovs are famous for their fertility and for producing many baby lambs.

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.

4. Finnsheep

baby finnsheep lamb foraging and chewing grass
Look at this charming Finnsheep lamb! Please excuse their manners for posing with a mouth full of forage. It was too hungry to stop munching! These majestic creatures get called Finnish Landrace in their native Finland homeland. We’ve noticed most of the American Finnsheep are white. However, they also come in different colors, and we’ve seen a handful of black and white sheep breeds of a Finnsheep influence. No doubt!

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

flock of scottish blackface sheep on mull island scotland
Look at this precious black-faced-flock! Scottish black-face sheep are one of our favorite black and white sheep breeds. We’ve conducted a ton of research on them – and it turns out there are three Scottish black-face varieties. We also read that their lineage dates back to twelfth-century monks!

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

lovely suffolk ram on green pasture
Here’s another classic black and white sheep breed. The Suffolk sheep! The United Suffolk Sheep Association website cites how Suffolks came about by crossing Norfolk Horned ewes and Southdown rams. Suffolks famously have black faces, legs, and feet. However, their bodies are almost always white to gray.

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

shaggy black and white valais sheep from zermatt switzerland
We can’t help but laugh when we see this underrated black and white sheep breed. The Valais sheep! But – we’re not making fun of how they look. We think they look cute. And we adore their woolly coats! The official Valais Black-Nose Society standards cite that they should get shorn twice yearly. Valais sheep are also surprisingly popular meat animals. However, we could never slaughter them. They’re too adorable!

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

welsh balwen mountain sheep black and white blaze tywi valley wales
Balwen sheep are a tremendously rare black and white sheep breed. They come from Tywi Valley, Wales. Balwens have striking appearances. They usually have black or brown bodies. You’ll also catch a memorable white streak across most of their faces. (Balwen means white blaze in Welsh – which describes their countenance.) Many of the Balwen sheep we’ve seen also have white feet. We’re surprised they don’t get dirty when foraging for snacks!

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

lovely blackhead persian sheep with baby persian lamb
Blackhead Persian sheep are one of our favorite sheep with black faces. They have reputations as ancient sheep breeds. However, we couldn’t find reliable information pinning an exact date as to how old this black and white sheep breed is. Nevertheless – we also found remarkable proof that Blackhead Persian sheep are tremendously old! Here’s an epic (and rare) piece of artwork from Joris Hoefnagel (1542 – 1601) depicting an adorable Blackhead Persian sheep and a cactus.

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

baby zwartbles lamb with spindly legs exploring green pasture
We had to include an adorable lamb in our list containing black and white sheep breeds! This Zwartbles lamb fits the bill quite nicely. But this Zwartbles lamb won’t stay small for long! Mature Zwartbles should have a wither height of 75 to 85 centimeters for ewes and rams, respectively. (About 25 to 33 inches.)

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

west african dwarf sheep grazing in paddock
Here’s the tremendously rare West African Dwarf sheep. They’re rugged animals hailing from central and west Africa. We’ve seen West African Dwarf sheep with coats ranging from piebald to white. We tried finding a black and white specimen to share with you. But – we could only find this brown (tan) variation. We thought it was cool enough to share! 🙂

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.

american pygmy goat west african dwarf group
When researching West African Dwarf sheep, we also encountered this adorable black and white creature. But – it’s not a sheep. Instead, it’s an American Pygmy goat! They’re an adorable goat breed from the West African Dwarf group – like Nigerian Dwarfs. They’re one of the cutest goats on any farm. Without question! (We know it’s not a black and white sheep! But we thought it was too cute not to share!)

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!

Please share!

Conclusion

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!

Author

  • Kate moved to Portugal last year and lives with her husband, two cats, six hens, and a glorious Brahma rooster called Mary. Earlier this year they purchased a half-hectare ‘quinta’ – traditional terraced land with olive trees, grapevines, and a house to renovate. They are currently living in a small campervan which is a challenging but fun experience! Kate has over 15 years of experience in the UK veterinary industry and is also a passionate gardener – turning a grassy field into a productive vegetable patch in just three months. Future plans include more animals, particularly sheep and goats for milk production to make cheese, butter, and yogurt! Kate and her husband are aiming to create a self-sufficient off-grid life on their quinta, fulfilling a life-long dream.