Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So Many Sheep Breeds....

How will I ever choose... how!!??? There are so many sheep breeds in the U.S.... most dual purpose..  Triple purpose and then some.
 I freely admit... I'm on the band wagon for sheep... I'm crazy about the 4 sheep I have... they are SO easy compared to goats! 
And now that I've been bit with the spinning bug they are much more useful with all that fleece they have to offer. Sure goats give mohair & cashmere,,, and I'm actually crossing my 2 only dairy goat girls left with a cashmere buck... but sheep give up SO much fiber... I know Angora goats do too.. but they don't have enough milk for dairy uses and they are to bony for a good meat source... maybe someone has a good cross out there?? As a fiber animal... sheep get the vote!

A few weeks ago we had a ram processed... the dress out was incredible! So much more than a goat his  size/age...and all he needed to stay in shape was grass!!! Way more economical than raising a goat for meat. We were really shocked at how much we got!
So as a meat animal, sheep have my vote... 

I've stated before in posts that for cheese, sheep milk has my vote over goat also.
 Still like my goats milk...great for soap! and drinking (as long as its a goat that has sweet milk, not goaty! which my rock star goat herd queen doesn't! but  goatiness does happen to alot of goats... which is another plus for sheep milk... its never 'off' tasting ) and I do like goat/sheep milk blended for cheeses.

So I have 3 Ewes,,, and 1 ram.... do I really need more sheep??? 
I honestly do not know if I want to breed more than 3 or 4 sheep a year... because I only want to milk 2 or 3... I would like to have a couple of different breeds of sheep just for fiber variety. Which is why I'm thinking I may just get a couple of wethers... I don't know... but it sure is fun looking at all the different sheep!

Huge Ram Lamb!!!
These are just a few breeds represented at the sheep show in TN... there are 100's!

Sweet sheep in their coats

The Bald Man petting the attention hog Hampshire ewe!

This is a baby... not sure about the breed but shes cute!

The attention hog Hampshire ewe again in her pre-show wear!

Southdown Babydoll sheep (pasture poodle)

A Tunis Ewe
Yarn I spun last week... already spun twice as much this week! Maybe I really do need more sheep... :-)
I am considering adding a Tunis ewe... the Hampshires are almost to big!!! But were so sweet! I also really like Leicesters... all breeds of them! Corridales and Cotswold....
Also considering a Romeldale CVM... maybe as a cross.... and maybe a couple of Shetland Sheep wethers...I don't know!

I know I need to get lots of fleece and try spinning all kinds of different breeds.. that will probably help me decide!

But what if I like spinning them all.....

Have a happy Blessed week everyone!

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