Booroola Merino Sheep breed

Booroola Merino Sheep Breed: Information, Behavior, and Care

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The Booroola merino sheep breed is an Australian native known for its impressive wool production and high fertility rate.

A mature Booroola ewe can produce up to six lambs in a single birth, thanks to the predominant allele in their genes. In addition, they breed at any time of the year, which means a longer breeding period potential.

The Booroola grows long, fine wool fiber with an average diameter of 18-23 microns. Despite their tiny size and slow development of lambs, their prolific nature and high wool production make Booroola sheep a desirable breed among many commercial farmers.

Booroola Merino Sheep

Quick Facts About The Booroola Merino Sheep Breed

Country of Origin Australia
Breed name Booroola Merino
Breed Purpose Research, wool
Mature body weight 90-130 lbs
Average fiber diameter 18-23 microns
Grease fleece weight 9-15 lbs
Fleece staple length 3-4 inches
Care level Moderate
Temperature Almost all climates
Temperament Meek

History of The Booroola Merino Sheep

The Booroola merino sheep has a sketch history drawn back from the Seears family from Booloora, Cooma, New South Wales, Australia.

During the 1930s, Bert Seears, an ardent sheep farmer and originator of Booroolas, was keen on selecting and segregating sheep on multiple births. So Bert singled out ewes that gave birth to triplets and quads regularly.

In 1945, Bert gave two high-fertility ewes to his nephews—Jack and Dick, who were also passionate about sheep rearing.

The two varied the mating with their Egelabra rams, which fortunately didn’t wash away the multiple Booroola births started by Bert.

During this period, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) at Deniliquin was already researching sheep twinning. So CSIRO bought a few rams and ewes from Seears in 1960 for studies.

Through CSIRO, Dr. Helen Newton Turner, and other New Zealand researchers, it was discovered that the Seears’ high fertility flock wasn’t a result of genetic mutation.

Rather, the high fecund genes originated from the Bengal sheep brought to Australia during colonial times.

Bengal sheep from Calcutta, India, had high levels of multiple births. These sheep came to Australia between 1800-1820 through Gamboola, a rural locality in Australia.

The sheep later found it easy in Booloora, Cooma where it became more popular and drew attention for further studies and analysis by scientists.

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Characteristics of Booroola Merinos

The Booroola merino is a small sheep breed with huge characteristics.

These sheep are strong and hardy and can survive in almost every climate. Many people keep Booroolas for their impressive wool production and high ovulation rates.

The sheep produces thick, fine fleece weighing between 9-15 lbs. In addition, their ability to breed throughout the year and high wool production make Booroolas the perfect choice for farmers looking to rear sheep for commerce.

Booroolas grow a dense fleece covering the entire body from the white face, free from any dark fiber. Both rams and ewes develop horns that give them an imposing appearance.

Typical Behavior of Booroola Merino Sheep

The Booroola bear typical behaviors common in other merino sheep. It’s a herding breed that requires the close company of other sheep from the same breed to thrive.

They are gentle and caring and tend to get along with almost any farm animal and human being.

Aim to keep a least five Booroolas on your farm for maximum emotional support. To enhance their company, you may add other animals like goats and alpacas to the flock.

Advantages of Booroola Merino Sheep Breed

The Booroola merino sheep rearing has more commercial advantages than most merino breeds.

The ewes boast a high ovulation rate and can give birth to up to six lambs at once. The average lambing in Booroola is 2-4 lambs.

Besides their prolific nature, Booroolas produce fine fleece suitable for manufacturing warm clothing and bedding.

These sheep are very friendly, even to small children, making them easy to maintain and care for.

Thick fine fleece makes Booroola merino a highly sought-after breeding sheep by many farmers for its wool production.

Although many people don’t keep them as pets, Booroolas have a striking appearance, thanks to the beautiful horns and dense fleece that covers most body parts apart from the face.

Booroola Merino Sheep breed

Disadvantages of Booroola Merino Sheep

Despite the high lambing rate in Booroola merino ewes, lambs grow slowly.

This sheep breed is hard to shear, especially for novices. In addition, their hooves are more susceptible to rot and thus require close attention to keep them healthy.

Additionally, the Booroolas are thin and don’t make a good carcass compared to most breeds.

READ ALSO: How To Shear A Sheep With Hand Shears? (Practical Guide!)

Taking Care of the Booroola Merino Sheep

There are multiple ways to keep Booroola merino sheep healthy. First, ensure they have a good diet and access to clean drinking water.

Like other merino breeds, Booroolas feed primarily on grass and other similar plants. Therefore, consider supplementary feeding if you reside in an area with poor grazing pasture.

These sheep also grow thick wool, requiring close attention to keep them healthy. Shear them regularly to prevent dags and flystrike and make feeding easier for the lambs.  Clean their hooves regularly to prevent foot rot.

People Also Ask Questions

Many people confuse the normal merino breed characteristics with the Booroolas. Here are common questions people ask about the Booroola merino sheep.

1.     What are Booroola Merino Sheep known for?

Unlike many merino breeds known for their impressive wool production, the Booroola merino sheep are popular for excellent wool quality and high ovulation rates.

2.     Are Booroola merino used for meat?

The Booroola merino is renowned for its multiple births and wool production. Still, the sheep produce a lot of meat, although their carcass is of a lesser quality than other sheep breeds.

3.     Are Booroola merino sheep heat tolerant?

The Booroolas are hardy and strong and can survive in almost every climate. That’s different from other merino breeds that succumb easily to weather.  You may need to shave them more frequently during hot weather and let the fleece grow during the cold season.

4.     How many lambs does a Booroola merino produce?

The Booroola merino sheep breed is popular for its multiple births. A Booroola ewe can give birth to up to six lambs at once. The average lambing of a Booroola ewe is 2-4 lambs.


Although the Booroolas borrow a lot of characteristics from the normal merino, they stand out in two things—their high fertility rate and the ability to breed during any season.

These, combined with the outstanding ultra-fine wool production of more than five kilograms per year make Booroolas one of the best merino breeds to keep for commercial purposes.

They are friendly and with moderate maintenance requirements. For maximum yield, aim for at least one acre for every two Booroolas.


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