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11 Delightful Sheep With Black Faces [The Cutest Sheep Contest!]

Sheep with black faces are so adorable! If you’ve ever thought about adding some black-faced sheep to your new flock, we’ve got all the top breeds of sheep with black faces right here for you.

But why do some of us prefer sheep with black faces? Well, it is not just for aesthetic reasons! Some of the most famous sheep breeds with black faces are popular because they are productive breeding stock.

On the other hand, some black-faced sheep are not ideal for breeding meat lambs, but they make adorable pets, perfect if you want something to keep the grass trimmed on a small homestead.

Top Breeds of Sheep With Black Faces

Whether you’re looking for new breeding stock, a pair of self-driven grass cutters, or just a pet sheep, here are some of the most famous sheep breeds with black faces to browse.

  1. Valais Blacknose Sheep
  2. Dorper Sheep
  3. Suffolk Sheep
  4. Hampshire Sheep
  5. Shropshire Sheep
  6. Black Welsh Mountain Sheep
  7. Karakul Sheep
  8. Romanov Sheep
  9. Scottish Blackface Sheep
  10. Clun Forest Sheep
  11. Zwartbles Sheep

Let’s also discuss the cutest sheep with black faces in more detail.

(We also have endless black face sheep photos and videos to share!)

1. Valais Blacknose Sheep

amazing walliser schwarznase sheep in field
These are some of the most adorable sheep with black faces. The legendary Walliser Schwarznase! Also called Valais Blacknose, these sheep have lovely black noses and are so cute! They’re also old-school! Their lineage goes back hundreds of years in Valais, Switzerland. (It also looks like they wear funny black shoes!)

The Valais Blacknose sheep is quite possibly one of the cutest sheep breeds I have ever seen.

These distinctive little sheep have black covering the nose, ears, and eyes. Above this, the top of the head is white, giving the appearance of a sheep wearing a fluffy beanie hat! Originating from the Valais region of Switzerland, this is an ancient breed that is hardy and good for grazing rocky, rough ground.

Key Features of Valais Blacknose Sheep
PurposeDual purpose, reared for both meat and wool
TemperamentCalm and docile, easy to tame and handle
Lambing capabilitiesAn easy-lambing breed that can lamb twice in one year
Preferred climateHardy, ideal for grazing on rough, rocky ground in cooler climates
Breed societyValais Blacknose Society
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2. Dorper Sheep

black faced dorper sheep herd on rural farm
We fell asleep trying to count all of these Dorper sheep. There were too many to track! We also noticed that there are different Dorper sheep. Not all Dorpers are sheep with black faces! After researching, we discovered two black-headed Dorper sheep varieties. There’s a black-headed variety. They also have all-white Dorper cousins.

The Dorper sheep doesn’t win any marks for cuteness, but it is a majestic and regal black-faced sheep with many advantages that make it attractive to homesteaders!

Developed by mating Dorset horn and Blackhead Persian sheep, these muscular ovines have a high output level for minimal input. They can survive on poor-quality grazing. And unlike many other sheep breeds, they will eat bushes and weeds. And grass!

Key Features of Dorper Sheep
PurposePrized for good-quality lean meat production
TemperamentCalm but not particularly sociable towards humans
Lambing capabilitiesHighly fertile and can lamb three times in two years
Preferred climateAble to thrive in warm and cool climates on arid, sparse grazing
Breed societyAmerican Dorper Sheep Breeders Society
katahdin and barbados blackbelly lamb mix
We tried to find the most adorable sheep with black faces. We think these two baby Katahdin sheep won the prize! Katahdin sheep are popular hair breeds that originate in Maine. We also noticed that Katahdin sheep have different colors. Some have white, black, brown, and beige coats. But all of them are neat looking!

Read More – Best Animals for Small Farms and Homesteads!

3. Suffolk Sheep

black faced suffolk sheep with thick gray wool
These iconic hornless sheep with black faces hail from Suffolk, England. They developed between 1800 and 1850. They’re famous for their ample and delicious mutton. You can recognize Suffolk sheep by their black faces and black legs. Suffolk sheep may appear lazy and unmotivated at first. But you’ll be surprised – they’re energetic. And fecund! In other words – Suffolk sheep have reputations for being productive – and creating lots of lambs!)

The Suffolk sheep breed originates from England and is now one of the most well-known sheep breeds in the western world. These sheep are famous for their distinctive black head and legs. They also sport a noble appearance. They are muscular and strong, and the fast-growing lambs get commonly bred for meat.

Key Features of Suffolk Sheep
PurposeFast-growing meat lambs
TemperamentCalm and sensible, although not particularly friendly
Lambing capabilitiesAn easy-lambing breed that often has twins or triplets
Preferred climateAble to thrive in a variety of climates but do best on good quality grazing
Breed societySuffolk Sheep Society

4. Hampshire Sheep

rural hampshire sheep with thick gray wool coat
Hampshire sheep are thick and boxy-looking sheep with black faces! They’re tremendously large among other sheep – and also great for meat. They have thick coats of white or dark gray wool. Hampshire sheep hail from Hampshire, England. But – they’re also popular in other parts of the world. Especially the USA! Check out the American Hampshire Sheep Association to learn more. (Operating since 1889!)

The Hampshire sheep, or Hampshire Down, is another English sheep breed. They have black wool on the nose, ears, and around the eyes, and the rest of the face is white.

The lambs of the Hampshire sheep are utterly adorable! They look just like a stuffed toy lamb!

Key Features of Hampshire Sheep
PurposeReared for both lamb meat and prime-quality mutton
TemperamentDocile and good-natured
Lambing capabilitiesEasy to lamb, normally produces a single lamb
Preferred climateHardy and tough, able to adapt to many climates
Breed societyHampshire Down Sheep Breeders Association

5. Shropshire Sheep

shropshire clun forest sheep with black face
Shropshire sheep are marvelous and elegant creatures! Some homesteaders and farmers include Clun Forest sheep as Shropshire sheep – named after Shropshire, England. But they’re not only from England and Wales. They also have their official association in America – called the North American Clun Forest Association. They’re popular in the US, too! And elsewhere.

Shropshire sheep are similar to the Hampshire Down in appearance but are smaller and more refined. The black wool on the nose extends to just below the eyes, and the ears are also black. Shropshire sheep get commonly reared for meat.

Key Features of Shropshire Sheep
PurposeDual-purpose, reared for both wool and meat
TemperamentCalm and gentle
Lambing capabilitiesEasy to lamb, most commonly giving birth to twins
Preferred climateIdeal for grazing woodland pasture
Breed societyShropshire Sheep Breeders Association

Read More – Raising Sheep Vs. Goats. What’s the Difference?!

6. Black Welsh Mountain Sheep

black faced black welsh sheep in meadow
There’s no mistaking these black beauties. They’re some of the most striking sheep with black faces. And black fleeces all! Their black wool is unique from most other sheep on this list. You’ll also notice that the rams have beautiful horns. And in case you’re wondering – we wrote an epic guide about the difference between rams vs. goats. Are they the same? Or not?!

Black Welsh Mountain sheep are an ancient breed of sheep. They date back to the middle ages. This distinctive sheep has a dense wooly brown coat but is bald on the legs and face. The face is jet black and very elegant.

The wool of the Black Welsh Mountain sheep is highly sought after, as it is uniform in color and very durable. Their wool’s lush and uniform appearance makes it very versatile. The Black Welsh wool gets used by hand spinners to make hardwearing woolen clothing.

Key Features of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep
PurposeHigh-quality wool, sought after by hand spinners
TemperamentHardy and self-reliant, may struggle to bond with humans
Lambing capabilitiesWill normally lamb outdoors without any assistance
Preferred climateA tough hillside sheep that will thrive in harsh climates
Breed societyBlack Welsh Mountain Sheep Breeders Association

7. Karakul Sheep

Check out this video from Checkmate Farm! It shows their adorable Karakul sheep farm! Karakuls are famous for having luxurious and soft wool. Some of the Karakul sheep have black faces. But – we’ve noticed that some Karakuls have other colors – like black, white, pink, beige, and brown. They’ve been in the USA since 1909. They also have a reputation in the US for being classic and old-fashioned sheep. (In a good way!)

Karakul sheep are used primarily for wool production, thanks to their thick double coat. They are a rare breed, and their history can be dated back to around 1400 B.C.

Fun fact! Karakul sheep are a desert breed. They can store nourishment in their thick tails – like how a camel uses its hump!

Key Features of Karakul Sheep
PurposeWool and lambskin production
TemperamentIndependent and low-maintenance
Lambing capabilitiesExcellent mothers with a high survival rate of offspring
Preferred climateCan cope with extreme heat or cold but not excessive rain
Breed societyKarakul Shepherds Alliance

8. Romanov Sheep

We found an epic video from Poe Craft and Provisions showing off their Romanovs! Romanov sheep are easily some of the cutest sheep with black faces. We also read that they’re tremendously productive. We also read from a reliable source that Romanov sheep have three or more lambs at a time. Wow. And yikes! We hope you have one heck of a farm! With plenty of space – and yummy sheep food!

Romanov sheep are born with entirely black coats. But over time, they shed their hair and become lighter. As an adult, this Russian breed of sheep has a characteristic steel grey coat and black face.

Key Features of Romanov Sheep
PurposePrimarily raised for meat, although the wool is becoming more popular
TemperamentAlert and flighty, not ideal as a family pet
Lambing capabilitiesEasy to lamb and can produce up to six lambs at a time!
Preferred climateAdapted to cooler inland climates
Breed societyNorth American Romanov Sheep Association

9. Scottish Blackface Sheep

mighty scottish blackface highlander sheep
Here are some of the toughest sheep with black faces. The Scottish Blackface sheep! They’re natural Highlanders and are famous for surviving harsh conditions. You’ll also notice that they have beautiful horns. Most Scottish black faces we’ve seen have partially black faces. But some have dashes and swirls of white.

Blackies have an iconic black and white patterned face and are one of the most beloved black-faced sheep breeds. Anywhere! These sheep originate from the harsh Scottish Highlands, and their long, dense wooly coat can withstand even the most inclement weather!

Key Features of Scottish Blackface Sheep
PurposeProduces coarse wool which is ideal for making tweed and carpets
TemperamentDocile and easy to handle
Lambing capabilitiesEasy to lamb with minimal assistance required
Preferred climateCan tolerate most climates, including rugged hillsides and rocky ground
Breed societyThe Blackface Sheep Breeders Association

10. Clun Forest Sheep

adorable clun forest sheep with black face
Clun Forest sheep are some of our favorite sheep with black faces. They have thick black noses and black feet. Clun Forest sheep are also famous for being hardy foragers. We also read that they’re not popular as commercial sheep breeds. But – they’re a favorite among small homesteaders, ranchers, and farmers in the USA and abroad.

Clun Forest sheep have a white body with a dense, short wooly coat. You’ll also notice their black, wool-free face. Although once very rare, this breed is increasing in popularity! Their newfound popularity is thanks to their versatility as a milk ewe and breeding stock.

Key Features of Clun Forest Sheep
PurposeMulti-purpose – kept for meat, wool, and milk
TemperamentAlert and active, but good-natured and easy to handle
Lambing capabilitiesEasy to lamb, consistently produce twins
Preferred climateUpland or sparse grazing
Breed societyNorth American Clun Forest Association

11. Zwartbles Sheep

thirsty zwartbles black faced sheep drinking
We saved the cutest sheep for last. We’re talking about Zwartbles! It looks like this one got too thirsty and didn’t want to pose for a photograph. But no worries! If you want to learn more about these adorable creatures, check out the official Zwartbles sheep association. You’ll notice that not all Zwartbles are sheep with black faces. But – most of them have a speckle of black, gray, or dark brown. They look nifty either way!

The Zwartbles sheep breed has a face like no other! They’re one of the only black-faced sheep breeds to have a characteristic white stripe, or blaze, down the center of the face. They also commonly have white on the lower legs, called socks, and a white tail tip.

Key Features of Zwartbles Sheep
PurposeProduction of milk as well as lamb meat and mutton
TemperamentDocile and friendly
Lambing capabilitiesCan raise triplets with ease
Preferred climateSuited to cold, wet climates
Breed societyZwartbles Sheep Association

Read More – 7 Reasons for Raising Oberhasli Goats!

Conclusion

As you can see, if you are looking for black-faced sheep breeds, you are spoilt for choice! Some of these sheep breeds are widely available worldwide, while others are rarer.

When selecting a breed of sheep, it is vital to double-check that it will thrive in your climate! Otherwise, you’ll be landing yourself with a whole lot of extra work and potential trouble.

(Nobody wants an anxious trouble-making sheep herd!)

What about you?

Let us know what your favorite black-faced sheep breed is! We’d love to hear all about them! (Bonus points if you have photos of black-face sheep you can share with us!)

Thanks again for reading.

Have a beautiful 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.

Carol l

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

This is a very nice article. A few points that would have made it a GREAT article: Most people don't buy sheep just 'cause they're cute:

1: What are each breed good for? (wool, meat, milk)? You mention in a few breeds, but not all.

2:Temperament? Are they very active and hard to work? Are they docile? Do they try to escape all the time (like goats), or are they content? PS: What is fecund?

3: How well do they lamb? In other words, do they often have difficulty in birth, or do they give birth easily?

And as you mention in closing: 4: Which type of climate do they require: cold, warm, a mix? Largely forest? largely pasture?

If these questions aren't to be answered in your post, links to further education would be nice for ALL BREEDS listed.

Thank you for bringing these interesting breeds to light.

Elle

Sunday 24th of July 2022

Thank you Carol! We are going to update the article with all the information within the next two weeks! Elle