Dual Purpose Breed

Herdwick

Posted: April 21, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Breed Association Website: https://www.facebook.com/HSBANAInc/

Herdwick sheep are the native breed of the central and western Lake District, U.K., and live on the highest of England’s mountains. They are extremely hardy and are managed in the traditional way on the Lake District fells that have been their home for generations.

The word “Herdvyck”, meaning sheep pasture, is recorded in documents going back to the 12th century. Herdwick sheep are the most hardy of all Britain’s breeds of hill sheep, grazing the central and western dales of the Lake District with fells running to over 3000 feet.

Beatrix Potter, of Peter Rabbit stories, raised and showed Herdwick Sheep. She served as the first woman president of the U.K. Breed Association. During her life, she acquired many farms, which upon her death, she bequeathed to the National Trust to preserve the Herdwick Breed.

Herdwick are a multi-coated, primitive, original type dual purpose breed. Born black, the lambs’ faces and legs turn white over their first summer, and the fleece turns a brown. Over the following years, the fleeces fade to a striking blue/grey. Adult ewes are about 100lbs, and rams 165lbs. The fleece is …

Tunis

Posted: April 18, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: Tunisia

The Tunis sheep breed is classified as a large breed of sheep, but it is not as big as most other meat sheep breeds. The Tunis is one of the oldest livestock breeds in America and their influx into America dates back to the 1700’s. They Tunis lambs are born with a double undercoat of fur to help them cope with the elements when they are born. They are wonderful mothers with a friendly disposition. They are a heritage breed and have fleece that is enjoyed by spinners. There meat is succulent and tasty.


This breed presented by

Foxdale Springs Farm
Ken Farrell
2119 Renner Rd
Keymar, MD 21757
(301) 304-0272

foxdalespringsfarm.com

Dorset – Horned

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: dorsets.homestead.com

The Dorset is an ancient breed likely developed from white faced, horned, short wooled sheep that thrived in the sheltered valleys and lush hill pastures of southwestern England. Today, the Dorset is globally distributed and found in two varieties, Horned and Polled. The Dorset Horn (or Horned Dorset) is of conservation interest.

Dorsets are white sheep with open faces and long bodies. Ewes weigh 150–200 pounds, and rams weigh 225–275 pounds. The sheep are avid grazers and use feed well. Ewes are heavy milkers, easily able to raise their own lambs. They have also been used in dairying. Dorset sheep produce between five and nine pounds of medium grade wool per year. In the Horn variety, both ewes and rams carry horns. Ewes’ horns are light, curving forward neatly; rams’ horns are heavy and spiral out as well as curving forward.

The single most important attribute of the Dorset is its extended breeding season, also called nonseasonal or aseasonal breeding. This characteristic, not found in any other British breed, is an important performance trait. Sheep of most breeds are seasonal breeders, mating in the fall and producing lambs …

Shropshire

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: shropshires.org

Shropshires are a medium sized sheep that originated in the Shropshire Hills of England. They have a black face and are shown slick sheared. This breed is known for their meaty carcasses, great mothering abilities, and high growth rate.


This breed presented by

Mellow Meadow Farm
Lizzy Miller
12815A Woodsboro Pike
Keymar, MD 21757
(301) 788-5575

Leicester Longwool

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: leicesterlongwool.org

The fleece of the Leicester Longwool is prized by hand spinners and crafters for its curl, soft handle, and lustrous beauty. The fleece generally weighs from 11-18 pounds, although heavier fleeces have been recorded. The wool has an evenness of length with a spiral tipped staple length of up to 14 inches in twelve months growth. The wool dyes exceptionally well, maintaining the purity of color; the natural luster still shines through. This premium wool is very versatile, working well for combing for worsted products, carding for woolen products, and felting projects. The Leicester can be shorn twice per year. The Leicester Longwool is a medium to large polled breed with a high quality carcass, whose poll is well covered with locks of wool. Mature rams weigh 200-300 pounds and ewes weigh 150-200 pounds. The breed is white and natural in color.


This breed presented by

Clark Family Farms
Mary EllenClark
7902 Rocky Acre Drive
Thurmont, MD 21788
(301) 271-1020

Dorset – Polled

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: United states
Breed Association Website: dorsets.homestead.com

Horned Dorsets were imported into this country in 1860 to the West Coast. Horned Dorsets were the dominate type of Dorset sheep in America until the development of the Polled Dorsets in the 1950’s. Polled Dorsets were developed from a gene mutation. The polled strain has helped Dorsets become one of the most popular sheep breeds in the country today, where it has the largest white face breed registry in the country and second overall.

Dorset wool is also amazing to spin. It is a nice spongy soft fiber for mittens, socks and outer clothing.


This breed presented by

Stunkel Dorsets
Glenn Stunkel
PO Box 10
Tuscarora, MD 21790
(301) 639-7257

facebook.com/StunkelDorsets

Montadale

Posted: April 15, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: United States
Breed Association Website: montadales.com

The history of the Montadale breed of sheep dates back to over half a century and is one of the most amazing success stories in modern sheep-breeding history. While other breeds have been developed in the United States, Montadales are the only breed to have been developed by private enterprise.

Much of the credit for the development of the breed goes to E.H. Mattingly, a well- known commercial lamb buyer who was obsessed with the idea of producing the ideal sheep. Early in his youth, Mattingly had been advised that if he could bring together the qualities of the big western white-faced sheep and the popular mutton characteristics of the Midwestern sheep, he would have the perfect breed.

Many breed combinations were crossed throughout the years, but it wasn’t until 1932 when he purchased the first Columbia ram to go east of the Mississippi River to cross on his Purebred Cheviot ewes that provided Mattingly proof that his mission was on target.

In order to find the most profitable combination, the sire and dam of the two parent breeds were eventually reversed, with testing being conducted for …

Finnsheep

Posted: April 11, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: Finland
Breed Association Website: finnsheep.org

Finnsheep are a dual-purpose breed, producing not only meat and fiber, but milk and hides. Considered to be a “primitive” or unimproved breed, Finnsheep descend from the Nordic short-tailed breeds. They are medium size, with mature ewes ranging from 130-180 lbs and mature rams from 170 – 240 lbs. The gentle disposition of the Finn makes them easy to handle, an attractive feature for many shepherds.

Finnsheep were originally imported into the United States in the 1960s with the intention of increasing prolificacy in the flocks of commercial breeders. The Finn ewe’s ability to birth and raise multiple lambs attracted the interest of shepherds of breeds whose ewes typically delivered only one lamb per year. The prospect of crossbreeding with a Finnsheep to increase the number of lambs born per ewe made economic sense. University studies found that first generation cross Finn ewes tended to be more prolific than purebred breeds and their weaning weights were higher than those of the purebred Finns.

Finnsheep are natural mothers and their devotion to their own little flock is a source of joy and amusement for their shepherds. Finnsheep ewes appear …

Gotland

Posted: April 11, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: Sweden
Breed Association Websites:
gsbana.org
americangotlandsheep.org

Gotland sheep are a dual purpose breed that is renowned worldwide for their clear grey, lusciously soft, curly pelts.   Arising from the “Gute” landrace breed on Gotland Island, their ancestors were carried on Viking ships for food and the wool to make clothing and sails. Although some historians believe that the modern Gotland was created by crossing the Gute with imported Romanov and/or British longwool breeds, others, including long term breeders on Gotland island believe that the modern Gotland was created strictly by selection of the best sheep on the island.  This controversy will likely only be resolved once we have the genetic ability to discriminate the genetics of different breeds. 

Gotland sheep are beautiful, friendly, medium sized sheep.  They have no horns (though occasionally small scurs appear), have clean heads and legs and, like many of the northern breeds, have short, clean pointy tails.  They are fine boned, with slender legs and necks, alert faces and ears, and well defined belly for rumen space.  They do well on grass and are perfect sheep for small holdings and grass-fed lamb.

Their crowning feature, however, is their wool, …

Perendale

Posted: April 8, 2021

Breed Type: Dual Purpose
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Breed Association Website: perendale.org

Rare in the US, but common in NZ, where they originated, Perendales are perfect “starter sheep”. A dual-purpose breed, they provide both meat and abundant high-quality wool that appeals to handspinners. They share the better attributes of both parent breeds (Cheviots and Romney’s): easy lambers, excellent mothers, good parasite resistance, feet that rarely need trimming, and intelligent, sensible dispositions. They are “thrifty” sheep thriving on marginal forage.


This breed presented by

Lucky Lane Farm
Lynn Roberts
19636 Graystone Rd
White Hall, MD 21161
(410) 299-0486

LuckyLane.farm

Proposals for 2022 Fiber Arts Seminars now being accepted

We are now accepting proposals for fiber arts seminars to be held in conjunction with the 49th Annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, which will take place in person on May 7 & 8, 2022 in West Friendship, Maryland. Many seminars will be held Wednesday-Friday of the week leading up to the festival; all seminars will be held in person. The Fiber Arts Seminar Committee invites instructors from every heritage, culture, belief system, and lifestyle to submit a proposal.

Submit your proposal(s) here.

The deadline to submit a proposal is July 15.…

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