Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some other neat sheep breeds .
Here are a few other sheep that I admired at Michigan Fiber Fest. There are a lot of really neat sheep out there besides the Shetlands. Some of these breeds are uncommon, and it is good to see people love them, propagate and promote them, and protect them from extinction.
Sometimes, I wish I had more land just so I could help preserve some of these breeds.

This is a high percentage Wensleydale with his attractive dreadlocks.

A lovely, purebred Merino lamb with soft fleece, droopy ears, and pink nose.

Letty Klein brought a few of her Karakuls. This rare breed is known for durable fleece suitable for rugs, and the fatty tail that is a staple in the diet of some ethnic groups. When the sheep are in full fleece, they are rather majestic looking, like something out of "Arabian knights". I can picture these proud sheep adorned with bright colored tapestry, tassels, and bells in a costume class.
I had read that the fatty tail can be used in soup. Letty told me that it is also spread on bread as a replacement for butter!

Letty's ram were sold to a person near Detroit who is going to try to breed the fat tail into a sheep flock for the local ethnic market. Brilliant marketing!

(Did I ever tell you that I love cooking with lard?)

Another shot of the fatty tail.

Gail Former always bring some attractive Wensleydale/ Border Leicester crosses for show and sale.

Now this is the boy that made me grab my camera. The Lincoln Longwool is one of the largest sheep breed there is. This boy reminded me of my husband's Bouvier, Angus. Right down to the whiskers, coarse "fleece", and droopy eyes.

This pony-sized ram is only 16 months old! I spoke to his owner who relayed that he has another year of growing to do and will top out at around 350 lbs. They are a slow growing breed that is so laid back and quiet that any halter breaking is done when he leads them into the show ring.
His owner also said that some scientific breakthroughs are creating a crossbred sheep that is larger sheep than his Lincolns, but he doesn't want to change what the Lincoln is. He likes them the way they are. God bless him, his sheep are awesome!

The Lincoln had two equally huge companions in his pen, who were taken away to be shorn. The gentle giant threw a fit and began rearing up like a horse, very near clearing his pen! Quite a few people stopped to photograph and videotape his capers.

That's it for now. Later this week, I'll share some photos of the sheep I bought from Stephen Rouse and Carol Bator. I also have some photos of some of my ewe lambs that I'll probably retain as brood ewes, and some gardening stuff I'll share.


Nancy K. said...

How fun!

Ya know, with all the sheep shows and fiber festivals I've attended, I've never really checked out the other breeds of sheep. I wouldn't know a Coreadale (sp?) from a Tunis! Thanks for the mini lesson. Perhaps I'll find the time at Jefferson to go do some investigating. Maybe you can show me around!

Sharrie said...

When I started with sheep, I had a Corriedale and a Ramboulet (sp). They were dear but tooooo big. The Lincoln's fascinate me. Their wool is awesome. BUT......the Shetlands are just right. Just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Anonymous said...

I have met Gail Former when we were selling out of the Shetlands back in 2001 and she picked up the rest of our Shetland flock!

kristi said...

Great pics!! Very refreshing! I totally agree about having more land to raise the sheep. I am not sure about the tail thing, but I do like to cook w/bacon grease! I had looked at the Lincoln's but settled on the black cotswolds, I'll have to do a post on them...they have the most gentle personalities & some beautiful fleece!

Deborah said...

Thanks for this post! I had no idea the Lincolns were so large!

Carol Bator said...

Those are wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing them. Great reminders of the fun at MFF. That Wensleydale/Border Leicester ewe is the one that was so tempting for me to buy. I was saved from making a decision when someone else bought her.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wonderful post, and I look forward to the promised ones coming up. I have to admit that every time I see a Wensleydale, I think "warthog." There's just something about that face that reminds me of warthogs!

Juliann said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.
Michelle, lol!
I'm not much interested in the boring big whites and blackface sheep, but I've always been drawn to the rare/ uncommon breeds of livestock.
Nancy, we'll definetely hook up at Jefferson, you and I have a lot of catching up to do.

Kara said...

Great photos. Glad you had a good time at MFF. Maybe some year I will have to come out there for that, it sounds like a blast.

Kathy said...

I always love to see all the different breeds - and some of them weren't even around when I was at SUNY! Of course, that was back in the Dark Ages. :)
What a neat post, Juli---