The East Friesian is a breed of dairy sheep originating from East Frisia in northern Germany. It is one of the best sheep breeds in terms of milk yield per ewe. The breed originated from the Friesland area in northern Germany and Holland. In Europe the breed’s main purpose is to produce milk. However, the breed is also used as a cross for other breeds to improve milk production in non-dairy breeds of sheep.
East Friesians have pink noses and their heads and legs are clear of wool. Their heads are naturally polled. They generally have pale hooves. The most distinctive feature of an East Friesian is its tail, which is described as a “rat-tail” because it is thin and free of wool. Elsewhere on their bodies they have white wool which is about 35-37 microns, with a staple length of 120–160 mm and their fleece ranges from 4–5 kg (8.8–11.0 lb). There also exists a dark brown variation of East Frisians.