Dorsets are an all white sheep of medium size having good body length and muscle conformation to produce a desirable carcass. The fleece is very white, strong, close and free from dark fiber. Dorset fleeces average five to nine pounds (2.25-4 kg) in the ewes with a yield of between 50% and 70%. The staple length ranges from 2.5 to 4 inches (6-10 cm) with a numeric count of 46?s-58?s. The fiber diameter will range from 33.0 to 27.0 microns.
Dorsets are best known for their ability to produce a lamb crop any time during the year. History tells us that centuries ago when Spain wished to conquer England, Merino sheep were brought into southwest England and crossed with the Horned Sheep of Wales. The result was a desirable, all-purpose sheep that spread over Dorset, Somerset, Devon and most of Wales.
The first Horned Dorsets were brought to the United States in 1885. In 1948, a dominant gene for polledness occurred resulting in Polled Dorsets which are now popular in the farm flock states. Dorset ewes are prolific, heavy milkers that produce lambs with moderate growth and maturity that yield heavy muscled carcasses.