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

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Registration will open on Saturday, February 17, 2024. Registration for Spinning Classes ONLY will open at 12 noon ET. Registration for all other classes will open at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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Online entries are now being accepted for our 2024 Sheep Shows at sheepandwool.fairwire.com/. The featured breed this year is Cotswold.Entry forms and rules and regulations are also available for download from our website:Rules and Regulations - sheepandwool.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/MSWF-2024-Exhibitor-Letter.pdfEntry Form - sheepandwool.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/MSWF-2024-Sheep-Show-Entry-Form.pdfOnline entry will be available through April 1st, 2024. Mailed entries must be postmarked no later than April 1st, 2024. A $25.00 late fee will be assessed to all entries postmarked after April 1st (if space is available). NO entries will be accepted after April 10th.Photo courtesy of American Cotswold Record Association.#mdsw #mdsw2024 #sheepshows #featuredbreed #cotswoldsheep ... See MoreSee Less
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Reminder -- Registration will open tomorrow, Saturday, February 17, at www.lessonface.com/sheepandwool. Registration for Spinning Classes ONLY will open at 12 noon ET. Registration for all other classes will open at 2:00 p.m. ET.These are in-person classes. They are held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland, and several nearby locations. We are offering 55 classes in all; subjects include crochet, dyeing, felting, fiber preparation, knitting, spinning, and weaving. Complete details of the classes can be downloaded from sheepandwool.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/MSWF-2024-Fiber-Arts-Seminars-Corrected.pdf (this link is also available on our website).Many classes fill quickly, so don't miss out!#mdsw #mdsw2024 #fiberartseminars #yarnlove #dyeing #felting #fiberprep #colortheory #spinning #handspinning #knitting #crochet #weaving ... See MoreSee Less
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