Merino

Merino Ram

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: Spain
Breed Association Website: countrylovin.com/ADMRA

The Merino sheep is a very important and popular breed of domestic sheep. It was originated in Spain and it is highly prized for it’s wool.

The modern Merino sheep were domesticated in Australia and New Zealand. Sheep were introduced by the Phoenicians from Asia Minor into North Africa.

And the foundation stocks of the Merino might have been introduced by the Marinids, a tribe of Berbers in Spain as late as the twelve century.

Although there were reports of the breed in the Iberian peninsula before the arrival of the Marinids; perhaps these came from the Merinos or tax collectors of the Kingdom of León, who charged the tenth in wool, beef jerky and cheese.

The Spanish breeders introduced English sheep breeds, which they used and bred with the local sheep breeds for developing the Merino sheep in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

This influence was openly documented by the Spanish writers at the time. Most of the flocks of these animals were owned by nobility or the church. And the flock grazed the southern plains of Spain in winter and the northern highlands in summer. The Merino sheep is the foundation stock of many well known and modern sheep breeds. And today, they are available in many countries, almost throughout the world.

Warm up for the Festival with Winterfest 2023!

Two days of virtual spinning, knitting, and felting classes on January 28 and 29.

Registration opens November 19.

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A preview of our in-person classes for 2023 has been posted at sheepandwool.org/2022-festival/fiber-arts-workshops/. Full class information will be posted once we work out a few more details. Registration will open on February 12. #mdsw #mdsw2023 #celebrating50years #fiberartseminars #yarnlove #dyeing #felting #fiberprep #colortheory #spinning #handspinning #knitting ... See MoreSee Less
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Thank you to our wonderful instructors - Maggie Casey. Jillian Moreno, Esther Rodgers, Kira Dulaney, Alasdair Post-Quinn, and Kristen Walsh - for teaching virtually for our second annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival Winterfest. Thank you, too, Angela Muller, for your fabulous and informative lecture. And a resounding thank you to all the participants (and class assistants) that made Winterfest a success!See you at the live 50th annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on May 6 & 7. The class listings for that should be posted in the next week or so. Registration will open on February 12. ... See MoreSee Less
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Be sure to visit the Maryland Make it with Wool booth in the Main Exhibition Annex at the Festival this year...I hear that in honor of the 50th annual festival, they are planning a display of 50 outfits from past competitions!We are cheering on Jessica - our Maryland Make it with Wool Junior Champion - as she competes in the National Make It With Wool Contest in Fort Worth, Texas! #marylandmakeitwithwool #nationalmakeitwithwool ... See MoreSee Less
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