Breed Directory

The Awassi is the fat-tailed sheep of the Middle East originally raised by the nomadic Bedouin shepherds. They are the major breed of sheep in many countries of the region and are known for their hardiness and adaptability to hot, arid environments with limited feed of poor quality. They have a low prolificacy of approximately 1.1 lambs per ewe, a very coarse and colored fleece, and a very large fat tail. The Awassi has been highly selected for milk production in Israel, and the Israeli Awassi is known as the Improved Awassi. The first Awassi embryos and semen in the United States were imported from Australia in 2011 and were of Israeli Improved Awassi origin.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 160-180 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 4-7 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 30-45 μm
Staple Length 6-8"

The Southdown originated in England, is one of the oldest sheep breeds, and was imported into the United States in 1803. For several years, there has been selection for increased body size in the Southdown breed in North America. Some breeders preferred the smaller animals of previous years and formed the North American Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association and Registry in 2001 to promote and maintain pedigree records on this smaller-framed Southdown.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 90-120 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 3-5 lbs
Yield 55-65%
Fiber Diameter 22-31 μm
Staple Length 2.5-4"

Barbados Blackbelly sheep, of predominantly West African origin, were imported into the United States in the early 1900s. In Barbados they are generally free of wool, polled, and of a distinctive red-brown color with black belly and badger face pattern. In the United States they have been crossed with Mouflon, Rambouillet, and possibly other breeds, resulting in a type with horned rams, a range of color patterns, with more wool, and a more flighty disposition. The breed is small in size, hardy, prolific, and has an extended breeding season.



MATURE EWE

Body Weight 75-120 lbs

Related to the Welsh Mountain, the Black Welsh Mountain is the product of approximately 100 years of selective breeding. Introduced into the U.S. in 1972, they are a small breed standing only 20" to 24" tall. They are a hardy, self-reliant breed with a long, wool-covered tail and blue skin. Their black wool is short, dense and without kempy fibers.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight70-110 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight3-4 lbs
Fiber Diameter29-36 μm
Staple Length3-4"

Bluefaced Leicesters, or Hexham Leicesters as they were originally known, were developed in northern England at the beginning of the century from crossing white-faced Leicesters with Border Cheviots. They were bred for the primary purpose of producing highly-productive, crossbred ewes and quality slaughter lambs. They are early maturing, prolific, and possess good mothering and milking abilities. Bluefaced Leicesters are medium- to large-sized with dark blue skin on their heads which shows through their white hair. They produce a dense, coarse-fibered fleece.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 150-210 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 2.5-4.5 lbs
Yield 75-80%
Fiber Diameter 24-28 μm
Staple Length 3-6"

The Booroola Merino was developed in Australia from a commercial Merino flock selected for reproduction. A single major allele (called FecBB) was identified in this flock that has a major influence on prolificacy. In Australia and New Zealand, the homozygous state (FecBBB) results in ovulation rates of five or more, with a heterozygote (FecBB+) producing ovulation rates of three or four. The breed is small-sized and slow-growing with a white face and wool extension down the legs. They produce a dense, fine-wool fleece.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 90-130 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 9-15 lbs
Yield 55-70%
Fiber Diameter 18-23 μm
Staple Length 3-4"

The Border Leicester originated in England from Leicester x Cheviot crosses and is found in the northern United States and Canada in high-rainfall, good-pasture areas. The breed has been used throughout the world as a sire to produce crossbred females. They are a medium to large breed with white face and bare head and legs, and are moderately prolific, good milkers, and good mothers. They yield a long, coarse wool that spins well.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 140-195 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 8-12 lbs
Yield 60-80%
Fiber Diameter 30-38 μm
Staple Length 5-10"
Developed during the 1970’s in Wiltshire and Northumberland, England, the British Milk Sheep is the result of crossbreeding the East Friesian, Bluefaced Leicester, Dorset Horn, Texel, and LLeyn breeds. It is a dual purpose breed with very high prolificacy for intensive lamb production and good milk production for dairy production. When crossed with other breeds, the British Milk Sheep will improve prolificacy and milking ability. Both rams and ewes are clean-headed, white-faced, and polled.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 155-195 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 9-11 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 27-32 μm
Staple Length 4-7"

California Reds originated in California, with the original cross between Tunis and Barbados breeds made by G.M. Spurlock. Subsequent selection has developed a breed with a beige/oatmeal colored fleece that is desired by hand spinners and weavers. Lambs are a deep rust color at birth but become lighter as they mature. Rams are polled but usually have manes. The breed has an extended breeding season. Ewes lamb easily and are good mothers.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 110-140 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 4-7 lbs
Yield 50-55%
Fiber Diameter 26-31 μm
Staple Length 3-6"

The California Variegated Mutant (CVM) originated from the all-white Romeldale breed, which was developed by selective breeding from a cross between the Romney and the Rambouillet breeds. The CVM carries a recessive color-pattern allele. Patterns can vary, but the typical pattern is the badger face with body wool colored cream, dark gray, or silver and the belly, britch, and neck a darker color. Ewes lamb easily, are good mothers, and frequently produce twins. CVMs grow a soft, high-yielding, long-stapled, uniform fleece.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-165 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 6-12 lbs
Yield 60-65%
Fiber Diameter 22-25 μm
Staple Length 3-6"
Charollais sheep were developed in the Burgundy region of east-central France by crossing British Leicester Longwool sheep with native sheep of the region. The breed has been intensively selected for muscle conformation and growth rate and is a prominent terminal sire of market lambs in Western Europe. A myostatin gene mutation responsible for increased muscularity is found at a high frequency in the breed. They have clean grey/pinkish heads, clean light-colored legs, and are polled in both sexes.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 175-220 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 4-6 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 23-27 μm
Staple Length 2-3"

The Cheviot originated in the Border Country of Scotland, and was imported into the United States in 1838. The Cheviot is small-sized with a white face and bare head and legs. They are hardy, moderately prolific, easy lambers, good milkers, and produce a desirable carcass at light weights. They are best adapted to northern climates, and produce a high-yielding medium wool.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 115-155 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-8 lbs
Yield 50-65%
Fiber Diameter 26-33 μm
Staple Length 4-5"

The Clun Forest originated in England and is a medium-sized, generalpurpose breed. They are brown/black faced with no wool on the head and legs. They are quite prolific and good milkers and mothers under good feed conditions. They are noted for longevity.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight150-165 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight5-8 lbs
Yield50-60%
Fiber Diameter25-28 μm
Staple Length3-4"

Columbia, the first breed of U.S. origin, was developed beginning in 1912 from Lincoln x Rambouillet crosses. Columbias are relatively hardy and gregarious. They are one of the larger-sized breeds in the United States, and have white faces and wool on the legs. They yield heavy, medium-wool fleeces with good staple length. They are used as a dam breed in range flocks, as a general-purpose, farmflock breed, and also to sire crossbred market lambs.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 150-210 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 10-16 lbs
Yield 45-55%
Fiber Diameter 23-30 μm
Staple Length 3-6"

The Coopworth breed originated in New Zealand in the 1960s from Border Leicester x Romney crosses and was first imported into the United States in the late 1970s. During the brief period since its development, it has become one of the dominant breeds in New Zealand. The breed is medium-sized with a very open white face and little or no wool on the legs. They have been intensively selected for easy-care lambing, prolificacy, and good mothering ability. The wool is relatively coarse and has a long, staple length.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 125-085 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 8-15 lbs
Yield 55-65%
Fiber Diameter 30-39 μm
Staple Length 5-8"
The Cormo originated in Tasmania, Australia, from 1/4 Lincoln x 1/4 Australian Merino x 1/2 Superfine Saxon Merino and was introduced into the United States in 1976. They have open faces and are a hardy breed adaptable to harsh climatic conditions. They produce a white, long-stapled, high-yielding, fine-wool fleece with a high degree of fiber uniformity.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 125-165 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-12 lbs
Yield 50-65%
Fiber Diameter 17-23 μm
Staple Length 3.5-5"

The Corriedale breed originated in New Zealand from Lincoln and Leicester x Merino crosses and was imported into the United States in 1914. Corriedales are medium-sized, white-faced with wool on the legs, and generally located in the farm-flock states. They are moderately prolific and yield heavy, medium-wool fleeces with good, staple length.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 135-180 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 10-15 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 25-31 μm
Staple Length 3.5-6"

The Cotswold breed originated in the hills of Gloucestershire, England from indigenous stock and is one of the oldest breeds known. It has contributed to the ancestry of other breeds in the United Kingdom and Europe. It is large with a white face, wool on the legs, and a characteristic tuft or lock of wool on the forehead. Cotswold sheep are noted for their long, stoutfibered, lustrous fleece of natural wavy curls.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 165-200 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 12-15 lbs
Yield 55-65%
Fiber Diameter 33-42 μm
Staple Length 8-12"

The Debouillet was developed in New Mexico beginning in 1920 from Delaine-Merino and Rambouillet crosses. Well adapted for southwest range sheep production, the Debouillet is medium-sized, white-faced with wool on the legs, hardy, and adaptable to unassisted pasture lambing. They have an extended breeding season, a well-developed flocking instinct, and produce a high-quality, long-stapled, fine-wool fleece.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-165 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 9-14 lbs
Yield 40-55%
Fiber Diameter 18-23 μm
Staple Length 3-5"

The Delaine-Merino was developed from the Spanish Merino, having an unbroken line of breeding of more than 1,200 years. Modern Delaine-Merinos are relatively smooth-bodied, intermediate in size, white-faced with wool on the legs, hardy, long-lived, with a well-developed flocking instinct, and adapted to unassisted lambing. They are predominantly located in the marginal, hill-country areas of Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states. They have an extended breeding season, and produce very high-quality, fine-wool fleeces.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-160 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 9-14 lbs
Yield 45-55%
Fiber Diameter 17-22 μm
Staple Length 2.5-4"

The Dorper breed was developed in the early 1940s in South Africa from crossing Blackhead Persian and Dorset Horn breeds. Their color is solid white (White Dorper) or white with a black head (Dorper). Dorpers are highly fertile and have an extended breeding season. Ewes are docile with good mothering ability. They are hardy and adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Dorpers have a mixture of hair and wool, but do not require shearing. They are non-selective grazers and perform well under both extensive and intensive production systems. Dorper lambs have rapid growth, early maturity and yield muscular, high-quality carcasses.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 170-200 lbs

Originating in Southern England, the Dorset Horn was imported into the United States in 1885. In 1948, a mutation occurred resulting in Polled Dorsets, which are now a popular commercial breed in the farm-flock states. Dorsets are also used as a cross with fine-wool ewes to produce crossbred females that tend to breed out-of-season. Dorsets are medium-sized, whitefaced with wool on the legs, heavy milking, and yield medium-wool fleeces free of black fibers.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 130-180 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-8 lbs
Yield 50-65%
Fiber Diameter 27-33 μm
Staple Length 2.5-5"

Originating in East Friesland in northern Germany and the Province of Friesland in the Netherlands, East Friesian crosses were first imported into the United States from Canada in 1993, and the first purebreds came from Canada in 1994. They have the highest milk production of all the improved dairy breeds with lactation milk yields of 1,100 to 1,700 pounds for mature ewes. A high percentage of ewes will lamb at 12 months of age, and mature ewes will produce lamb crops of 200 to 230 percent. East Friesians are large-sized, white-faced with a bare head, yield medium-wool fleeces free of black fibers, and have a distinctive “rat” tail which is long and sparsely covered with very short wool.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 140-185 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 8-12 lbs
Yield 50-65%
Fiber Diameter 28-33 μm
Staple Length 4-6"

The Finnsheep originated in Finland, and was imported into Canada in 1966 and the United States in 1968. The breed is one of the world’s most prolific, and is noted also for early puberty, easy lambing, good lamb vigor at birth, and excellent maternal instincts. The breed is white-faced with bare head and legs, and is used primarily in the United States to produce crossbred ewes; 1/2-Finn ewes produce in excess of 200 percent lamb crops with good management, and 1/4-Finn ewes are adapted to more extensive management while retaining a high twinning rate. Purebred Finnsheep are small and lack desired carcass conformation. They produce medium wool with good, staple length. They have a late onset of the breeding season (August, September), but continue to cycle into March or even April and May. Finnsheep crosses with long season breeds have very good out-of-season breeding performance.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 110-150 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 4-8 lbs
Yield 50-70%
Fiber Diameter 24-31 μm
Staple Length 3-6"
The breed was first established on the Swedish island of Gotland by the Vikings centuries ago with Karakul and Romanov sheep brought back from expeditions deep into Russia and crossed with the native Gute sheep. It is one of the Northern European Short-Tailed breeds and is especially noted for their “furskins” or pelts. The breed is also known as the Gotland Peltsheep. They are fine-boned, medium-sized, and polled in both sexes. They have black heads free from wool; sometimes with white markings. The fleece is dense, long, lustrous, and grey to black in color and valued by handspinners and felters. Gotland semen was first used in the United States in 2004 on domestic breed ewes as the start of a grading-up program.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 125-155 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-10 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 27-36 μm
Staple Length 4-8"

The Gulf Coast Native is one of the oldest types of sheep in the United States and has existed in the southern regions for several centuries. They have developed largely through natural selection under semi-tropical range conditions. They are open-faced with white to brown color, small in size with refined skeletal structure, without wool on the legs and underline, and produce lightweight, medium-grade fleeces. They are very hardy and highly adapted to extensive management conditions in the humid subtropical climates that exist in the southeastern United States. They also have a unique, innate tolerance to gastrointestinal parasites and will breed during the summer months.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 75-115 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 4-6 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 26-32 μm
Staple Length 2.5-4"

The Hampshire originated in England from Southdown x Wiltshire Horn and Berkshire Knot crosses and was imported into the United States in the 1800s. The Hampshire is a large breed, quite similar to the Suffolk, and the chief competitor to the Suffolk as a terminal sire in market lamb production. Hampshires have black faces and wool on the legs, have good growth and carcass cutability, and produce medium-wool fleeces.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 160-220 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-8 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 25-29 μm
Staple Length 2.5-4"
The Herdwick is a very hardy breed native to the rough hills and mountains of the Lake District of Cumbria in Northwest England. They produce a very coarse, colored wool well-suited to blankets, rugs and carpets. They have white faces, but the lambs are born with black fleeces that lighten to a grey as the animal ages. Most rams are horned, and ewes are polled. Semen was imported into the United States in 2007, and a grading-up program is underway in a few flocks.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 75-120 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 3-4.5 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 36-40 μm
Staple Length 4-8"

This breed originated in Iceland and is hardy and adapted to harsh, changeable climate and marginal pasture and browse conditions. Ewes are prolific, good milkers, and possess exceptional longevity. The Icelandic has historically been a meat breed but is also a noted source of wool for lopi yarn. Fleece colors can be white, tan, brown, gray, or black. The breed is both polled and horned with both sexes capable of horn growth.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-160 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 4-7 lbs
Yield 50-90%
Fiber Diameter 19-22 μm (undercoat)
27-30 μm (outercoat)
Staple Length 2-4" (undercoat)
4-18" (outercoat)
The Ile-de-France was developed in northern France in a region near Paris by crossing the English Leicester and a French Merino strain. Later the Mauchamp Merino was also used in the breed’s development. The breed was originally known as the Dishley Merino. The breed is widespread in France and has been exported to many other countries. The breed is large, thick set, and muscular. The face and lower legs are free from wool. The face is white, and both sexes are polled. The ewes have high prolificacy and tend to breed out-of-season.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 175-210 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 6.5-10 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 23-28 μm
Staple Length 3-4"

The Jacob, although of unknown origin, has been raised for over 350 years in England. The Jacob is small and multihorned with black spots randomly distributed on the body and distinctive black facial markings over each eye and on the nose. They produce a medium-grade wool with some kempy fibers that create a hair effect characteristic of tweed clothing.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 90-130 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 3-6 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 27-35 μm
Staple Length 4-6"

Native to deserts of Central Asia (particularly Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan), the Karakul is one of the world’s oldest breeds. They are fine-boned and open-faced with long pendulous ears and a fat tail. They are hardy, adaptable, easy lambers with strong maternal instincts, have an extended breeding season with low prolificacy, and are noted for their longevity. Fleece colors include black, silver, blue, gray, tan, reddish brown, and white. Lambs are born with a lustrous “Persian lamb fur” fleece coat. Karakuls produce a long-stapled, light-weight, often double-coated fleece with excellent felting qualities.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 100-150 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-10 lbs
Yield 80-85%
Fiber Diameter 25-36 μm
Staple Length 6-12"
The Katahdin hair sheep breed originated in Maine from crosses of imported Caribbean hair sheep and a variety of wooled breeds. The Katahdin has been selected for a shedding hair coat which does not require shearing, low-maintenance lambing, multiple births, and improved muscling. The hair coat can be any color or color pattern. Katahdins are medium-sized and exhibit out-of-season breeding ability, as well as parasite tolerance. The breeds used in developing Katahdins have conferred adaptability to a wide range of climatic conditions; their hair-sheep ancestry makes them better adapted to hot, humid climates than most U.S. breeds.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 110-160 lbs
Kerry Hill sheep originated around the town of Kerry in Wales near the Welsh/English border. The breed has very distinctive black ears and black markings around the eyes, on the muzzle, and on the knees on an otherwise bright white face and legs. It is a minor or rare breed in the U.K. Domestic U.S. ewes were inseminated with imported Kerry Hill semen in 2006, and the first Kerry Hill crossbred lambs were born in 2007. A few flocks in the United States are involved in a grading-up program.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-145 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-6.5 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 26-29 μm
Staple Length 3-5"
The dairy Lacaune is the most numerous breed of sheep in France and found primarily in the south central part of the country around the city of Roquefort where their milk is processed into the famous Roquefort blue cheese. Their neck, belly, and sides generally are free of wool with only a “cape” of wool over their back. The breed has slightly lower milk yield and lower prolificacy but much greater percentage of milk fat and milk protein and better udder conformation than the East Friesian, the other dairy breed in the United States Most ewes in dairy sheep flocks in North America are crossbreds with various percentages of Lacaune and East Friesian breeding.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 150-180 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 1-4 lbs
Yield 55-70%
Fiber Diameter 27-31 μm
Staple Length 3-5"

The Lincoln originated in England from Leicester x Old Lincoln crosses and was imported into the United States in 1825. It is a large breed with a white face and wool on the legs. They produce a heavy fleece that is very long, coarse, and ideal for spinning. The most important contribution of the Lincoln to U.S. sheep has been their use in crossing in the development of two important breeds, the Columbia and Targhee.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 145-215 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 11-16 lbs
Yield 55-80%
Fiber Diameter 34-41 μm
Staple Length 8-15"

The Montadale was developed in the United States from Cheviot x Columbia crosses, and is used primarily in the farm-flock states. The breed is medium-sized with a white face and bare head and legs. They are fairly prolific, good milkers with good maternal instincts, and produce desirable carcasses. They produce medium wool with good staple length.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 140-190 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 7-12 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 25-30 μm
Staple Length 3-5"

The Navajo-Churro sheep was developed in the United States by the Navajo Indians in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Originating from the Spanish Churro, the first type of domestic sheep in North America, the Navajo-Churro is known for its adaptability and hardiness under harsh desert conditions. Some rams have four, fully developed horns and some ewes have small horns. The ewes cycle naturally out of season, lamb easily, often have multiple births, and are protective mothers. The Navajo-Churro has a long, hairy, outer coat and a fine-wool inner fleece, which may be white, black, gray, or brown. Their wool is excellent for use in hand-spinning, specialty garments, and carpets, and this wool is the basis of the famous Navajo Indian blankets.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight80-120 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight3-7 lbs
Yield60-65%
Fiber Diameter22-24 μm (undercoat)
37-47 μm (outercoat)
Staple Length3-5" (undercoat)
6-12" (outercoat)

Originating in northern Scotland, North Country Cheviots were first imported into North America in 1944. The North Country Cheviot is a resourceful hill sheep adapted to rough terrain and adverse conditions of northern hill climates. They are polled, medium to large-sized with a white face and bare head and legs, and produce a medium-wool fleece with good staple length. Ewes are good milkers, easy lambers, and are fairly prolific. Their medium-grade fleeces are free from hair and kemp and are used in the Scottish tweed trade. In common with most breeds developed in northern latitudes, they have a relatively short breeding season.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 125-185 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-10 lbs
Yield 50-65%
Fiber Diameter 27-33 μm
Staple Length 4-6"

The Oxford originated in England from Hampshire x Cotswold crosses and was imported into the United States in 1846. The Oxford is medium- to large-sized with a dark brown face and wool on the legs. It is used primarily as a terminal sire breed in the farm-flock states. The breed is fairly prolific, possesses good mothering ability, and produces desirable carcasses and medium-grade wool.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 150-210 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 8-10 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 28-34 μm
Staple Length 3-7"
The Painted Desert Sheep is a spotted, multi-colored hair sheep developed in Texas from crosses of wild Mouflon sheep with domestic Merino and Rambouillet sheep. Jacob and Navajo-Churro were also used to introduce the multi-horn trait exhibited by some individuals. They have been raised on game ranches and the rams hunted for their large horns and flashy looks. The Painted Desert Sheep is now popular among exotic and alternative livestock fanciers. Ewes tend to have a long breeding season, a high prolificacy, and are usually polled.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-150 lbs

Originating in Idaho in the early 1900s, the Panama began as a cross between Rambouillet rams and Lincoln ewes. Following approximately five years of crossbreeding, rams and ewes were inter se mated to establish the breed. The Panama is a hardy breed that is highly adapted to range areas with ample feed conditions. They are polled, resemble the Columbia breed (developed from the reciprocal Lincoln x Rambouillet cross) but are more intermediate in size and produce a heavy, dense, medium-grade fleece with a long staple length.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 140-195 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 9-15 lbs
Yield 45-55%
Fiber Diameter 24-30 μm
Staple Length 3-5"

The Perendale originated in New Zealand from crossing the Border Cheviot with the Romney breed. They are an open-faced, medium-framed breed that produces bright, lofty, long-stapled, medium-wool fleeces. Developed as an easy-care sheep, they are hardy and highly adapted to marginal forage-producing areas.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 110-160 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 7-10 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 30-38 μm
Staple Length 4-6"

The Polypay is a breed developed in the 1970s by the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station at Dubois, Idaho, and Nicholas Farms at Sonoma, California. Targhee x Dorset and Rambouillet x Finnsheep crosses were mated to form a four-breed cross. The breed is medium-sized, white-faced, and prolific. They are good mothers and milkers, and produce lambs with good growth and carcass quality. They are most appropriate for high potential feed producing areas.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 130-180 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 7-11 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 22-29 μm
Staple Length 3-5"
The Racka is native to the plains of Hungary. They have a double- coated fleece with a very long and coarse outer coat. The fleece can vary from white to brown to black. They have very distinctive long, screw-shaped horns in both sexes that rise from the top of the head. The first Racka semen was imported into the United States in 2005, and a few flocks are involved in a grading-up program.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 90-140 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-11 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 16-30 μm (undercoat)
40-60 μm (outercoat)
Staple Length 3-4" (undercoat)
8-12" (outercoat)

Developed from the Spanish Merino in France and Germany and imported into the United States in the 1800s, the Rambouillet is the foundation of most western United States range flocks. White-faced with wool on the legs, the Rambouillet is large, rugged, of medium growth, long-lived, with a well-developed flocking instinct, and especially adapted to a wide variety of arid range conditions. The breed has an extended breeding season and produces a high-quality, fine-wool fleece.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 140-190 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 9-11 lbs
Yield 35-60%
Fiber Diameter 18-24 μm
Staple Length 2.5-4"
The Rideau Arcott was developed by Agriculture Canada at the Animal Research Centre in Ottawa from 1968 to 1986 and is of approximately 40- percent Finnsheep, 20-percent Suffolk, 14-percent East Friesian, 9-percent Shropshire, 8-percent Dorset, and 9-percent other (North Country Cheviot, Leicester, Romnelet, and Corriedale) breeding. The breed was released to selected Canadian breeders in 1988 and 1989 and was first imported into the United States in the early 1990s. Rideau Arcotts reach puberty at an early age, are prolific (2.0 to 2.4 lambs per ewe), have an extended breeding season, and are heavy milk producers. They are medium- to large-sized, white- or mottle-faced, open-faced, polled, and produce a medium-wool fleece.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 150-190 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 8-10 lbs
Yield 55-65%
Fiber Diameter 25-31 μm
Staple Length 4-6"

The Romanov originated in Russia, and along with the Finnsheep, represents the Northern European Short-Tailed type of sheep. They are similar to the Finnsheep in many respects: exceptionally prolific, very early puberty, small birth weights but exceptional newborn lamb vigor, and strong maternal instincts. Romanov lambs are born with much black color but lighten as they mature; the wool color is usually lost in the first cross with white wool breeds. Like the Finnsheep, their primary role is in crossing to increase prolificacy and obtain earlier onset of puberty.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 115-155 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 3-8 lbs
Yield 65-80%
Fiber Diameter 35-55 μm
Staple Length 4-5"

The Romney was developed in England’s Romney Marsh region to withstand cold, wet conditions, and was imported into the United States in 1904. More recently, breeding stock has been imported from New Zealand. The Romney is primarily located in the northwestern coastal areas of the United States. They are medium-sized, white-faced with wool on the legs, and are good mothers with average prolificacy and milking ability. They produce a coarse fleece with good staple length, well-suited for spinning.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 130-180 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 8-14 lbs
Yield 65-75%
Fiber Diameter 29-36 μm
Staple Length 5-8"

Royal White sheep are a hair breed developed in the United States from crosses of St. Croix, Dorper, and White Dorper. Royal White sheep are completely white and polled in both sexes. It is the most recent new breed developed in the United States since the Polypay and has the “easy-care” characteristics of the other hair breeds



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 140-170 lbs

The St. Croix was developed in the Virgin Islands and is also known as the Virgin Island White. They are derived from West African hair sheep with some crossing with European breeds including the Wiltshire Horn. Most are free of wool and do not normally require shearing. Most individuals are white, but tan and spotted animals occur. Rams are polled and have a mane. They are fairly prolific, have an extended breeding season, and lamb unassisted. Crosses with wool breeds have shown superior reproduction to wool breeds in warm, humid areas of the United States.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 100-140 lbs

The Scottish Blackface is an exceptionally hardy hill breed, adapted to cool, damp conditions with sparse forage. Blackface lamb birthcoats have excellent water shedding properties, and the ewes are excellent mothers. The breed has low prolificacy under hill conditions, but quite high prolificacy with good feed. They are extensively crossed in the United Kingdom with rams, such as Border or Bluefaced Leicester to produce very productive crossbred ewes for lowland fat lamb production.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 105-155 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 3-6.5 lbs
Yield 60-80%
Fiber Diameter 28-40 μm
Staple Length 6-14"

Originated over a thousand years ago, the Shetland breed is of Northern European Short-Tail descent. Shetlands are a primitive breed noted for their natural hardiness, lambing ease, longevity, and ability to survive under harsh conditions. They are a small breed with naturally short tails. Shetlands are primarily known for their production of colorful wool upon which the Shetland woolen industry is based.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 70-100 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 2-4 lbs
Yield 65-80%
Fiber Diameter 19-29 μm
Staple Length 4-6"

The Shropshire originated in England from native stock and Southdown, Leicester, and Cotswold crosses and was imported into the United States in 1855. Shropshires are medium to large with a dark face, prolific, good milkers, and produce good carcasses. They are located in farm flocks and are used as a terminal sire breed in market lamb production. They produce medium wool.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight150-195 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight5-10 lbs
Yield50-75%
Fiber Diameter25-33 μm
Staple Length3-4"
The Soay is an extremely small, primitive breed descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250-acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds and believed to be a survivor of the earliest type of domesticated sheep kept in northern Europe. Soays may be solid black or brown, or more often blonde or dark brown with a buffish-white underbelly and rump; a few have white markings on the face. They naturally shed their wool in the Spring. Rams are horned or scurred. Ewes can be horned, scurred, or polled, but horns are common.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 45-90 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 3-5 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 20-25 μm
Staple Length 2-4"
The South African Mutton Merino was developed from a small nucleus of German Mutton Merino sheep in South Africa and is considered a dual-purpose breed. Both rams and ewes are polled. They were bred specifically to produce a light-weight slaughter lamb at an early age with good muscling, while still being able to produce good volumes of fine to medium grade wool. Lambing percentages in excess of 150% are common.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 160-185 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 7-11 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 21-23 μm
Staple Length 4-5"

The Southdown originated in England, is one of the oldest sheep breeds, and was imported into the United States in 1803. The Southdown is medium- to small-sized with a light brown to grey face and wool on the legs, and is best suited to farm flock production of hot-house lambs or meaty carcasses at light weight. The Southdown is fairly prolific, with average milking ability, and produces a medium-wool fleece. For several years, there has been selection for increased body size in the Southdown breed in North America. Some breeders preferred the smaller animals of previous years and formed the North American Babydoll Southdown Sheep Association and Registry to promote and maintain pedigree records on this smaller-framed Southdown.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-160 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-8 lbs
Yield 45-55%
Fiber Diameter 24-29 μm
Staple Length 2-3"

The Suffolk originated in England from Southdown x Norfolk crosses and was imported into the United States in 1888. The Suffolk is the largest-sized breed in the United States, and is widely used as a terminal sire in market lamb production. The Suffolk has a black head and legs which are free of wool, excellent growth rate, and the ewes are prolific and good milkers. Suffolks produce superior, high-cutability carcasses, but medium-wool fleeces are frequently contaminated with black fibers. Longevity is less than in many other breeds, especially in harsh environments. Suffolk x fine-wool cross ewes (“terminal cross” ewe lambs) are frequently kept as ewes for market lamb production. They are large, prolific, and good milkers, but have a shorter breeding season and lighter and lower-quality fleeces than their fine-wool mothers.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 170-250 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 3-7 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 26-33 μm
Staple Length 2.5-3.5"

Developed beginning in 1926 by the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, Dubois, Idaho, the Targhee has 3/4 fine-wool and 1/4 long-wool breeding from Rambouillet x Columbia and Rambouillet x Corriedale crosses. The Targhee is relatively large-sized, white-faced with wool on the legs, and adaptable to varied climate and forage conditions. They are predominantly located in the intermountain and northern states. They are hardy, fairly prolific, herd well, produce good quality market lambs, and yield a heavy, medium- to fine-wool fleece with good staple length.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 135-190 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 10-12 lbs
Yield 50-60%
Fiber Diameter 21-25 μm
Staple Length 3-5"
The breed originated in northern England in County Durham. They are a large-bodied breed with good prolificacy and are a popular sire breed used over hill-breed ewes in the U.K. for producing “Masham mules”; productive crossbred ewes. Today, they are raised primarily for their long, lustrous wool. Both sexes are polled. At the time of this writing, there were no pure Teeswater sheep in the United States, but the American Teeswater Sheep Association is overseeing an upgrading program using imported Teeswater semen.



MATURE EWE
Body Weight 155-185 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 10-12 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 30-36 μm
Staple Length 8-12"

Texel sheep have been bred in the Netherlands for over 160 years and were first available to U.S. sheep producers in 1990. Texels are hardy, adaptable, medium-sized sheep selected under forage conditions for high muscle:bone and lean:fat ratios. They have a white face with no wool on the head and legs and produce a medium-wool fleece. The breed has extreme muscling and produces high-cutability carcasses. A myostatin-gene mutation responsible for increased muscularity is found in the vast majority of Texel animals.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 130-190 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 7-12 lbs
Yield 60-70%
Fiber Diameter 28-33 μm
Staple Length 3-6"

The Tunis originated in North Africa and was imported into the United States in 1799. The breed was popular in the South until it was almost eliminated during the Civil War. The Tunis is medium-sized with a red or tan face and legs, pendulous ears, no wool on the head and legs, polled, and a medium fat tail. They are fairly prolific, good milkers and mothers, tend to breed outof- season, and produce a medium-wool fleece.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 120-160 lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 5-10 lbs
Yield 50-70%
Fiber Diameter 24-31 μm
Staple Length 3-6"

The Wensleydale breed from the United Kingdom has recently been established in the United States, with its development to date based on imported semen. It is a very large, prolific longwool sheep which has been used in Britain as a ewe-sire breed, mated to hill-breed ewes to produce prolific crossbred females.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 200+ lbs
Grease Fleece Weight 10-15 lbs
Yield 70-80%
Fiber Diameter 30-36 μm
Staple Length 7-12"

The Wiltshire Horn originated in southern England where it has been raised for several centuries. Sometimes mistakenly classified as a hair sheep, it is a wool breed that sheds its wool. Both sexes are horned. The breed has good meat conformation and good growth rate.


MATURE EWE
Body Weight 130-160 lbs