One of Canada’s most popular breeds, the Polled Dorset is descended from the Horned Dorset, which has been one of the most widely kept breeds in Southern England and Wales since the 16th century. Polled Dorsets originated from a mutation at the North Carolina State College in the United States and were accepted into the U.S. registry in 1956. Since that time they have spread into Canada and become a major contributor to the light lamb market in this country.
The ewes are prolific, good milkers, breed out of season and adapt well to confined, accelerated crossbreeding programs. The lambs are not heavy feeders and gain quickly to 27 kg, after which they gain more slowly. Because the breed is easily kept and responds well to confinement, either for lamb feedlots or ewe flocks, they appeal to anyone with a small acreage interested in intensive production.