Breed originates in an area of France, centred around the town of Charolles in the Saone Loire region of France where is grazes alongside the famous Charolais Cattle. They were developed in the 19th century from a number of local breeds and crossed with the British Dishley Leicester .Imported for the first time from France in 1976... the Charollais have been imported into many countries and most recently Canada.Since that time it has grown in popularity and is currently probably the 2nd most numerous terminal sire breed for the UK.





  • More Profitable 
  • Top Quality Butcher Lambs
  • Demonstrate High lean meat/fat ratio
  • Provide superior healthy meat for tenderness & flavour
  • More valuable due to high cutability
  • Increased dressing percentage
  • Increased saleable yield
  • Reduced fat deposits
  • For the Advanced Sheep producer
  • For the Modern Processor
  • For the discerning consumer ~ THE FINEST QUALITY OF LAMB ON THE TABLE



Charollais Ewe.jpg

Active and fertile rams – Charollais rams are renowned for being hard-working. They reach sexually maturity from 7 months of age and will work for most of the year. They certainly are keen and ready for work for early lambing flocks.

Most Charollais rams will work for 6 or 7 seasons and many have been known to live for 10 years or more. Farms and research projects have found that Charollais rams sire more lambs than other terminal sires working at the same time.

Easy lambing – Charollais rams will without question give shepherds (and ewes) easier lambing. The skeletal structure of the breed; without heavy bone, broad shoulders or big heads makes lambing a joy. First time users of the breed cannot believe how easy birth is with the breed.

Robust vigorous lambs - Lambs are straight up on their feet, bleating and ready to suckle. The trouble-free birth ensures they are not stressed and the nature of the breed means they ‘get up and go’.

Fast growth – growth rates for Charollais cross lambs are excellent. Their length, wide loin and good hind quarter confirmation mean heavy, well-fleshed lambs. Single lambs can achieve weights of 40kg in just 8 weeks .

Prolificacy – The breed has very strong maternal traits. Mature ewes lambing in December will average 180%; this will rise to 210 – 220% in February.  Eight out of ten ewe lambs will take the ram from 7 months of age and will lamb at 130% +.  The ewes have an extended breeding season.


This breed standard should be used by breeders to make their selection of breeding stock. Judges also will apply this standard in their assessment of animals at shows. Changes have been made in the description of head colour to allow for regional variations and breeder preference.



The Charollais breed is a terminal sire breed so emphasis on selection should be placed on its excellent fleshing qualities and growth. The purpose of the breed is to breed rams for crossing with commercial ewes to produce quality meat lambs for slaughter. Easy lambing is an important trait associated with the breed; so skeletal structure to ensure this is essential. The fineness of bone of the breed also contributes to the higher killing out % of their progeny. Selection and assessment of the breed falls into two categories; structural correctness and breed characteristics.



Teeth should ideally be short, straight and directly onto the pad. Deviations away from this optimum either back, forward or splayed are undesirable.

Feet and Pasterns

Feet should be neat and balanced, cleats should not be open nor misshapen. Pasterns should be short, straight and upright.

Shoulders and Topline

Shoulders should be well fleshed and level. They should not be narrow and pointed nor too heavy and coarse. The breed should not carry excessive fat over the shoulder. Topline should be strong and level with good length.

Front Legs

Straight, balanced legs are most desirable; neither too close nor too wide apart. They should be a good colour. Bone should neither be too fine or heavy. Soundness of movement is important.

Back Legs

Legs should be set well apart but not extreme. There should be good definition of hock; not over bent or too straight. Again bone should neither be too fine or heavy. Good balanced mobility is important.


Rams must have two adequately sized testicles of approximately the same size and normal consistency.


Ewes should have no hardness, lumps or malformation in the udder.



This should be long, wide and deep. The eye muscle should be full. Animals should not be over fat across the loin.


The gigot should be thick, deep and full. The rump should be thick and wide. Narrow, sloping rumps are undesirable.


Growth is important in the breed, therefore well grown sheep are of merit. However sheep that are just tall and without good fleshing qualities are not of merit. Big is only beautiful if accompanied with good loin and gigot.


A good Charollais head is full of character, alert without wool. The skin colour is pink with a varying amount of creamy, sandy or white coloured hair. The varying amount of hair gives animals within the breed a difference in appearance. A distinctive feature of the breed is a white flash above each eye. Regional / breeder preferences as to amount and colour of head hair are acceptable. Heads should not be too small in the muzzle and should be broad between the eyes. Females should have a kind head and rams a stronger masculine head. (Please note that heads should not be too wide – Charollais rams are renowned for their easy lambing, a feature which we must retain)


The breed should have a good quality fleece; dense but not too long nor open. It should be complete over the body without breaks but not extending down the legs or over the head.

Please check out our herd pedigree on the PEDIGREE tab for more information on our purebred CHAROLLAIS flock.