sheep of the Friesland region of Holland were developed for milk
and cheese production.
in dairying practice this century caused them to decline, until
they were adopted by the Dutch Rare Breed Survival Trust in the
mid-1970s. In 1985 a Flock Book was formed, and numbers have steadily
In 1995, a Zwartbles Sheep Association was formed in Great Britain
after some of these attractive sheep were imported from Holland.
of sheep, perhaps more than any other type of domesticated animal,
closely reflect the specialised requirements of their native, historical
homelands. The sheep the Middle East, in biblical times and now,
were almost certainly a variety of the lop-eared, fat-tailed sheep
so prevalent in Africa and Mediterranean regions to this day. In
Britain we think of sheep as producers of wool and meat. All over
the Middle East and Europe, however, sheep have been bred with the
primary purpose of producing milk for distinctive cheeses.