Finnsheep

Finnsheep

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 to “count” their lambs when nursing multiples. Triplets and quads are routine for Finnsheep, and deliveries of quintuplets, sextuplets and even septuplets are not unknown.

Finnsheep appeal to many fiber enthusiasts. The softness, luster and crimp of the Finn fleece, as well as the variety of natural colors attracts spinners, knitters and felters.

Finnsheep are ideal for small farms seeking to produce food and/or fiber. They are also ideal for large commercial enterprises as their prolificacy will increase lambing percentages. Whether your goal is to raise sheep for fantastic fiber or delicious meat, or to enhance your breeding program, Finnsheep have a place on your farm.

For an excellent overview of Finnsheep see American Finnsheep by Naomi Leith Smith http://www.finnsheep.org/docs/AmericanFinnsheep.pdf.


This breed presented by

Honeysuckle Farm
Mary O’Malley
1600 Ednor Road
Silver Spring, MD 20905
(301) 421-9520

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...

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Don't forget - 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
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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
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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
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