Featured Breed: Border Leicester

In partnership with the American Border Leicester Association, we are pleased to present Border Leicester as our 2022 Featured Breed. Learn about them in the Breed Display Barn (Barn 7-8 on the map). The Border Leicester is a dual purpose breed of sheep, producing both meat and wool. Border Leicester wool falls in long, shining locks that are popular with hand spinners. The Border Leicester also has a longer loin and leaner meat than many sheep of its size. The Border Leicester is a natural when it comes to direct marketing. Lean, tender lamb and premium fleece that tops the hand spinning market keeps customers coming back for more.

Breed Characteristics

The Border Leicester has a regal, alert appearance. Its head and legs are free of wool, and its arched Roman nose and long, erect ears give the Border Leicester a stylish, distinctive look.

Border Leicester wool is long and lustrous with a spinning count from 40s to 50s (38-30 microns). The ideal fleece falls in well defined “pencil” locks with purled tips ending in a small curl, usually measures 6-10 inches after a year’s growth. Border Leicester wool is long enough that they can be sheared once a year or twice a year. The clean head and legs makes them an easy-to-shear breed. Ewes average 8-12 pounds of grease wool annually. And it’s not all grease! Border Leicester fleece often yields 70% wool after scouring, one of the highest of all.

Border Leicesters are hardy and well muscled. Ewes are prolific, excellent mothers and heavy milkers. They are also good foragers and get along on less feed than many other breeds. Border Leicester lambs are active and vigorous at birth. They grow rapidly for the first four months and continue to grow for several years. Border Leicester lambs fed for maximum gains often reach a trim 110 pounds by 4-1/2 months of age. Those who prefer to grow out lambs more slowly can shear 2-3 pounds of skirted handspinning wool.
Border Leicesters are generally calm and easy to handle, even though they are very aware of their surroundings. A pleasant surprise for many is the gentlemanly disposition of Border Leicester rams.

With their stylish heads and curly fleeces, Border Leicesters quickly catch the attention of the general public. Border Leicesters are typically shown with 3-5 months wool growth, so that the judge can accurately evaluate the fleece, one of the most important characteristics of the breed. They are relatively easy to fit for exhibition. They should appear clean and neat but are never shampooed, as this would remove the natural oil from the wool. A light spritzing with lukewarm water can emphasize the natural curl of the fleece, but it needs to be done well before the show so that the dampened locks have time to dry thoroughly. Stray locks may be trimmed, but Border Leicesters should not be combed, carded, or blocked, which would disturb the natural lock formation and detract from the character of the fleece.

American Border Leicester Association

The American Border Leicester Association (ABLA) was founded in 1973 to promote and register Border Leicester sheep in the United States and Canada. Any resident of the U.S. or Canada who owns or is interested in Border Leicesters may become a member of the American Border Leicester Association by application and payment of an annual membership fee.

Find more infomation about both the breed and the association at http://www.ablasheep.org.

2022 Catalog Cover Artist

Susan Due Pearcy has lived in the Agricultural Reserve in Barnesville, Maryland for 27 years and enjoys having sheep grazing next door and fibre artist friends nearby. She is continually inspired in her art and life by the natural beauty of her surroundings and works plein air in oil and pastel and creates her printmaking in Sugarloaf Studio behind her home...

Schedule of Events

Search schedule by:

Event Type

Day

Reminder - The deadline to submit teaching proposals for the 2023 Festival is July 15.The Fiber Arts Seminar Committee invites instructors from every heritage, culture, belief system, and lifestyle to submit a teaching proposal. If you are interested in offering a seminar, class, or lecture at the 2023 Festival, please use the Online Proposal Form at sheepandwool.wufoo.com/forms/request-for-proposals-2023-fiber-arts-seminars/.#MDsheepwoolfest #mdsheepandwool #mdsheepandwoolfestival #mdsw2023 #fiberartseminars ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
It's only been a little over a month since the 2022 festival, but we are already making plans for our 50th anniversary festival in 2023. If you are interested in applying for a vendor booth at the 2023 festival, we are now accepting new vendor applications online at sheepandwool.wufoo.com/forms/2023-application-for-booth-space-new-vendor/. The deadline for applications is October 1. Photo Credit @philgrout #MDsheepwoolfest #mdsheepandwool #mdsheepandwoolfestival #50th #mdsw2023 ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
If you didn't get a 2022 catalog and are interested in having one, we still have about 50 of them left. There is a $5.00 fee to cover shipping costs. You can order one using the form at sheepandwool.org/purchase-a-catalog/ (be sure to indicate "2022” where it asks for the catalog year), or via PayPal at paypal.me/MdSheepandWool (include “2022 catalog” in the “add a note” field). #mdsw2022 #catalog #lastchancetobuy ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpFtt0J2tmsmUmt3Jzr5t3uz6wg3H4DV_