And since variety is, as they say, the spice of life, isn't a monosyllabic flock of sheep with their matching colors, identical heights and weights, and utterly predictable offspring just kind of boring? If you're trying to decide which type of sheep best suits your small or hobby farm, the information can get a little overwhelming! For the small farmer, Polypays are an excellent choice of sheep. They descend from crosses of African hair sheep and European wool sheep, dating back as far as the 17th century. The wool comes in a rainbow of natural colors (there are 11 official colors many with their original Gaelic names). Currently the breed is mainly found in West Africa, and it’s range extending from Senegal to Chand, Gabon, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. Within this wide geographical zone are variation in type. Miniature Cattle Breeds ~ Size of Miniature Cows. Rachel Koski Nielsen (author) from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on August 01, 2014: Bill, you'll get there. It’s more prevalent in some breeds than others but it’s always there. However, the demand for larger cuts of meat almost forced the breed into extinction. Do you want to raise lambs for market or home-use? It also felts well. Here is an animal that has not been selectively bred by man to exhibit certain qualities, such as excellent wool, fast growth rate, multiple births, increased lactation, or heavy finished weight. The West African Dwarf sheep is a breed of domestic sheep. The Merino is famous around the world for producing soft, fine, high-grade wool. Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 20, 2014: Fascinating, Rachel! Commercial dairy sheep operations generally use a 50% cross of the Friesian, because they are not a very hardy breed and adapt poorly to environments that differ from that which they evolved in. How did I come by such a rare find? You should answer all of these questions, and then begin your research into sheep breeds. Cool stuff, wouldn't you say? It's actually a four-way cross between Finnsheep/Rambouillet and Dorset/Targhee. Although the lambs won't reach standard market rate as quickly as those of other breeds, small-scale operations can certainly afford to forgive this tidbit. The ears are upright. Miniature sheep are bred to be small, typically as pets. They are almost always polled, and mature ewes can weigh up to 250 pounds. Each sheep weighs 80 to 100 kilos and produces about 4 kilos of wool a year. Another consideration is that, while adult Suffolks generally do very well on pasture and forage, the lambs may need supplemental grain in order to reach ideal market weight quickly. Merino sheep are also a popular breed to use in competition sheep showing, and a specific breed standard can be located through a simple Google search. Meat Productive Sheep Breeds: Dorset, Suffolk, Cheviot etc. We are very proud of our foundation bloodlines. Suffolks are easily distinguishable from other breeds of sheep by their white wool, black faces, and long, black legs. We are very proud of the daily handling and care given to our miniatures here at Tanglewood Farm. I am a spinner. Male sheep are called rams. The baby lambs are usually weaned between eight to twelve weeks old. Miniature Sheep. Miniature Sheep mate from August to December. Sheep breeds are of three types according to their production which are described below. They have been around for many years and originated in Britain and have been well known for … ABOUT OUR SHEEP. Researchers find that most sheep are continually stressed unless kept in a flock of at least three sheep, so keeping a single pet sheep is rarely an option. Just be aware that in order to produce all that extra milk, this breed of sheep requires extra nutrition during lactation. Rachel Koski Nielsen (author) from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on July 19, 2014: Hi DrMark! BUT, on the other hand, if someone is dedicated to doing a sheep dairy I'm sure all the extra trouble would be worth it. Appreciate your comment, as always :) We breed our sheep and sell the lambs. They are a dwarf meat breed, and are classified as being one of the savannah-type of West African sheep. And probably like me, you'll find it's all so much less than perfect. Mini Lop rabbit. The MAS is highly intelligent and biddable. They are small enough not to damage the fruit and do not eat the bark off trees. Miniature Sheep mate from August to December. Lambs will produce about 4 pounds of wool at shearing, while a yearling will produce closer to 7 pounds of wool. They aren't easy keepers, but that's okay for us small farmers and homesteaders because we have the time and energy to give individual care to our animals. The Friesian doesn't do well in climates that are different from Northern Germany where they evolved. Our livestock is current on vaccinations, dental checkups, hoof care, and worming. Hybrid vigor occurs when different, specialized breeds with different, specialized traits are bred with one another. Rams usually have beautiful spiral horns, whereas the ewes are typically polled. If you need transportation, we can arrange ground transport within the US and Canada. Voted up! If you've ever purchased athletic clothing or any high-end wool clothing, it's likely woven from Merino wool. bravewarrior - Nice to hear from you! They are fine-boned and agile and their naturally short, fluke-shaped tails do not require docking. So, if you're not willing to learn to shear or to spend the money to have someone do it for you, then a breed of hair sheep will be your obvious choice! • And most importantly....Miniature sheep are just plain CUTE! Having retained many of their primitive survival instincts, they are easier to care for than many of today’s commercial breeds. White, musket (light greyish brown), fawn, mioget (light moorit, yellowish-brown), moorit (shades between fawn and dark reddish brown), dark brown, light grey, grey, emsket (dusky bluish grey), sheala (dark steely grey, resembling black frost), and black. I am also in wa. But the flock of mutt sheep has less to worry about. The coat is soft with short to medium hair. What breeds do you reccomend. Once an animal is sold, it may not be returned or refunded. Does that even make sense? It is small and short-legged. Katahdin. Hopefully, this guide will help shed some light on the topic, as I introduce to you my top five picks of sheep breeds for various uses on the small farm. Breeds like the Cheviot, Babydoll and Southdown typically weigh 130 to 200 pounds, and produce quality meat and wool. Some breeds of wool sheep will shed their own wool, while others will absolutely require a helping hand. Rebekah Pierce. Her mother is a Polypay (which as you know, is a composite of 4 distinct breeds), her sire...? Ouessant sheep breed information. May I ask what you do with your sheep? A mature ram can weigh up to 390 pounds and a ewe can weigh up to 260 pounds. You can see the remnants of it hanging from her withers. Like I said, I've never kept this particular breed of sheep, so this info is based on research and on talking to the one guy I know who has had them in the past - he said they weren't worth the money for him, that milk goats were much more reasonable. We're also trying to build up our flock so we'll be keeping probably about half of our ewe lambs next year. With so many animals, the producer doesn't have time to closely monitor each individual of the flock. Do you want to raise lambs that will be grown into ewes for breeding purposes? The registry breed standards are a height of 24 inches or less at the shoulder without wool when fully mature at age two. Miniature Cattle Breeds ~ Size of Miniature Cows. Fat lambs, that is - which means they're born in the spring and we sell in the fall, when they're heavier and their dams have weaned them. I'd like to close this article with a shout out to the "mutt sheep," which is a catch-all term I'm going to use to describe any nondescript, non-distinct type of sheep that might be grazing the pastures of small farms across the world. Miniature Sheep. ... As hair sheep breeds have become more popular, you will likely be able to find top breeders for sale in your area, too. Ouessant sheep are the smallest recognized breed of sheep in the world, measuring only 18 to 19 inches at the shoulder. Their earliest mention dates back to 1400 A.D., but they were first recognized as a separate breed in 1962. The West African Dwarf or Djallonké is an African breed or group of breeds of domestic sheep. The thin-faced ewe staring at the camera is Friesian. Here at Tanglewood, because the mama sheep are so tiny, we supplement feeding the lambs with milk bottles along with the babies naturally drinking from their mamas. In fact, the Friesians didn't come to the U.S. until as late as the 1990s, but have been gaining in popularity and production ever since. They don't tolerate a worm load very well either, so a consistent worming routine is needed, which can get costly. The lamb in the foreground and ewe in the background are both Hog Islands. Size: Very large. Midsize miniature cows measure from 42 to 48 inches at the hip.. Standard miniature cows range from 36 to 42 inches.. Micro-miniature cows are all less than 36 inches in height at the hip.. The Mini Lop, sometimes known as the dwarf lop rabbit, is one of the most popular … Babydolls are a rare breed that are protected by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. These hair sheep are not seasonal breeders, unlike most types of sheep, meaning that the ewes will have heat cycles throughout the year. West African Dwarf is the sheep breed found in the South and South-Western part of Nigeria. It is great for making garments to be worn next to your skin, and the color range encourages using creative and exciting knitting patterns. Regardless, the sheep first arrived in the US in the early part of the 20th century. My little experiment isn't enough to convince large sheep producers to consider the hog island, but as a farm-owner and sheep producer, you can bet I'll be going to great lengths (and probably costs) to procure a couple of Hog Island Sheep to increase and strengthen the genetic diversity of my flock. Most respond well to attention and ours all even wag their tails when petted! They can breed year-round, throw two lamb crops per year, their wool is good enough to sell, and yearling ewes are able to breed and successfully produce twins or more. Highly variable, the Shetland fiber can range very from an incredibly fine 15 microns fiber found around the neck to a coarser wool as great as 36 microns to make rugged, warm fabrics like woven tweeds. The nose is straight. EwigLernender at the German language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY. The Polypay isn't so much a "breed" of sheep as it is a hybrid type. To other countries, we can arrange air transportation on major airlines. It takes a female sheep five months to have a baby lamb. Cheviot Sheep come in black and white, but most of our babies are solid white. Miniature Babydoll Southdown Sheep For Sale Miniature Shetland Sheep for Sale. This problem can be sidestepped by lambing earlier in the season, or can simply be ignored. Fiber type: Medium wool. In fact, this is one of the few (if not the only) breed of sheep that prefers to browse rather than graze, much like a goat. The coat colour varies from all white, all black or brown to spotted black or brown on a white … Very good job for people who are interested. Neat, huh? Lesa Wilke, in her book, “Nigerian Goats 101” has a chart showing the different breeds of goats and the milk yield. It has a dewlap-like fold of skin with white mane. Friesians produce upwards of three times as much milk per lactation as other breeds of sheep, a trait for which they have been bred. Rachel Koski Nielsen (author) from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on July 21, 2014: Radcliff - Thanks for reading and commenting! Native to the tropical forests of central Africa, this sheep breed is often confused for a mountain goat. Harlequin sheep are a registered breed of miniature sheep. I live on just over a quarter arce. Breeds like the Cheviot, Babydoll and Southdown typically weigh 130 to 200 pounds, and produce quality meat and wool. Babydoll sheep are a registered breed of miniature sheep. Shetland sheep are considered to be a “primitive” breed (I prefer the term heritage) because they retain characteristics that have not been changed since they were first considered a breed, hundreds of years ago. Cheviot Sheep are one of our smallest breeds, and are known for their clean faces, small build, and hardiness. This author happens to think they have one of the cutest faces of any sheep, but that's beside the point. The Suffolk is easily one of the most popular breeds of sheep for meat production. These sheep don't belong to any particular breed, and while some of their characteristics might be recognizable as originating from (or being the originators of) popular, commercial breeds, they are successfully helping small farmers like me to make a living. Cheviot Sheep are one of our smallest breeds, and are known for their clean faces, small build, and hardiness. And if you can find a vendor to sell the wool to, or process the wool yourself into marketable products, I'd wager you can produce enough income from wool alone to at least have the Merinos paying their own keep. For the small farmer or homesteader, Merino sheep would be a good choice for home meat production because they are easy keepers. There are about 200 sheep breeds around the world. The offspring exhibited increased growth rate without supplemental grain, and not one lamb of this cross suffered from scours, pinkeye, or any other debilitation. In comparison, other breeds of sheep tend to grow between 250 and 300 pounds. Babydolls are a rare breed that are protected by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Maybe an Icelandic, maybe a Brown Mountain. This is a list of breeds of domestic sheep.Domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are partially derived … The interesting thing is that it's often the case that when breeding hybrids to hybrids, they don't "breed true"—that is, the traits that were present in the parents stop showing up in the offspring, or show up to a lesser degree, at a certain point. They are cud-chewing animals. Animal Actors Traveling Barnyard Traveling Ponies Live Nativity. Their milk is excellent for producing many types of cheeses, and as raw and organic milk gains popularity in the U.S., so will sheep's milk. The thousands of sheep went "feral," and were later removed from the island in the mid-twentieth century when conservation groups deemed that their presence on the island was destructive to the native habitat. Sheep also have a strong flocking instinct. My one and only Barbados Blackbelly ewe. The breed is often trained for dog sports such as herding, agility, obedience, canine freestyle, flyball, and others.The Miniature American Shepherd was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2015 and is the club's 186th breed. To preserve the dairy quality of the Friesian while side-stepping the animal's lack of hardiness, I would probably cross it with a hardier breed such as the Lacaune or Cheviot. Are you interested in breeding a rare breed of sheep for preservation purposes? Katahdin sheep were developed in Maine, named after the state’s tallest peak. The Miniature American Shepherd, frequently abbreviated MAS, is a small herding dog breed. Luckily, the small farmer has few enough animals to be able to keep an eye on things, and make sure that less-than-desirable animals aren't kept as breeding stock. In comparison, other breeds of sheep tend to grow between 250 and 300 pounds. And I can't wait to see what kind of interesting crosses and genetic throw-backs I get out of my girls. While all of these modern traits may seem superior, the fact of the matter is that other aspects of the animal suffer when only one is emphasized in breeding practices. One of the smallest breeds of sheep in the world also called Breton Dwarf. Personal consumption, breeding, etc.? Though I have no personal experience with East Friesian sheep, I wanted to include them on this list because they are the choice for dairy sheep. A mature ram can weigh up to 390 pounds and a ewe can weigh up to 260 pounds. Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 01, 2014: Yep, in two years...and goats...must not forget goats. The Hog Island Sheep is a veritable treasure trove of untapped genetic diversity, which, if bred into our more popular, commercial sheep breeds, would create advanced hybrid vigor and simultaneously help to "breed out" some of the health issues we have unintentionally created. 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