South Suffolk

South Suffolk logo

Origin & History

The South Suffolk first appeared in New Zealand during the 1930s in response to an overseas demand for leaner meat.

It is a New Zealand breed developed in Canterbury by a Southdown stud breeder, Mr George Gould, who was also responsible for the introduction of Suffolks to the country. Gould wanted a specialist breed to meet the requirements of a price schedule for prime lamb cuts which carried penalties for too much fat. The quick maturity and carcase shape of the Southdown and high flesh-to-fat ratio of the Suffolk were incorporated.

The South Suffolk became a registered breed in 1955 and is increasingly being used as a terminal sire for prime lamb production. Its high yielding carcase makes it ideal for further processing. The Down wool is used for fine apparels and hand knitting yarns.

South Suffolk
South Suffolk carcases
These lamb carcasses all by South Suffolk Rams
Average weight of 22.35kg

Breed Description

By using South Suffolk rams you can …

  • Produce early maturing lambs
  • Produce lambs that have the ability to grow into heavier weights within the grading requirements
  • Produce a higher yielding animal ideally suited to the cutting trade
  • Produce South Suffolk cross lambs that are easily identified as terminal progeny
  • Produce lambs which are adaptable and perform in all climatic conditions
South Suffolk breed description

Breed Classification

A large, comparatively heavy meat breed. Rams are used as terminal sires for cross-breeding for early prime lamb production.

Location: On all types of country throughout NZ in stud and commercial flocks.

Bodyweight Wool

Ewes: 65-90 kg (143-176 lb)

Rams: 90-120 kg (187-231 lb)

Short, fine, Down type.

Fibre diameter: 27-33 microns.

Staple length: 75-100 mm

Fleece weight: Range 3-4 kg; Average 3.5 kg

Uses: apparel and knitting yarns.


High yielding carcase, ideal for further processing


130-160 percent


South Suffolk banner and logo
Alan Evans judging the South Suffolk Ram Hogget Class 2016 Royal Show
Simon & Fiona Prouting receiving All Breeds Ram over 18 Months Trophy 2016 Royal Show
Simon Prouting, Doug Croy and Alan Evans at the South Suffolk Area 2016 Royal Show
The Line Up of All Breeds Meat Ram Hoggets Waikato Show 2016
The Other Half of the Sheep Show Facility at Waikato Show 2016
Ian Lawrence with the winning All Breeds Meat South Suffolk Ram Hogget Waikato Show 2016
The South Suffolk area at the Waikato Show 2016
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