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Saturday, June 1: Franklin Park Zoo will be closed for our annual gala, Zootopia. We hope to see you on another day!

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Southdown Sheep

Ovis aries

About the Southdown Sheep

conservation status: least concern

Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Ovis
Species: aries

The Southdown sheep is a heritage breed that originated in the southeastern coast of England. They are a medium-sized breed, known for their compact, stocky build and distinctive grey-brown wool. They were traditionally raised for both meat and wool, and were a popular breed in the United States in the early 1900s. These sheep are popular for their gentle temperament, making them a favorite among farmers. While they were once one of the most common breeds of sheep in England, their numbers have declined in recent years, and they are now considered a rare breed. However, efforts are being made to preserve and promote the Southdown sheep, and they remain an important part of British agricultural heritage.

Here at Franklin Farm, we often choose uncommon heritage breeds to care for, participating with societies that work to protect rare breeds of domestic animals.

How you can help

Support heritage breeding by supporting Zoo New England and societies and organizations dedicated to maintaining rare breeds of animals and plants. If you are a farmer or gardener, consider seeking out rare breeds that are well-suited to your region.