This breed of sheep is a very precocious breed of meat sheep, with distinctive meat shapes (legs, back, breast). The head and legs are woolless and jet black. In contrast to the black-headed meat sheep, the head is unwooled up to the ears.
The white wool has a diameter of 32-34 microns (C-CD fineness). The Suffolk is a fertile sheep with very good carcass quality. High performance is possible in good locations with good husbandry.
Suffolk rams are used - like other meat sheep - for crossing with less well-muscled breeds in order to produce marketable slaughter lambs.
The breed has been known since the late 18th century. In North America, the sheep are bred on a larger scale than the British parent.