While wool production was historically the primary force in sheep breed development around the world, selection for meat has been of greatest importance in the United States. It also meant that sheep had to be shorn. Sheep dairying has been largely ignored in this country in the past, though interest is increasing. It’s prized for its meat and its wool is considered better quality than that of most hill breeds. Probably the heftiest of Brtain’s ‘Rastafarian’ sheep, bred for their lustrous fleeces, the Wensleydale, named in 1876 to provide a classification at the Yorkshire Show, is described by aficionados as having great presence. Endangered Sheep Breeds SOAY RAM “Soay” is an Old Norse word meaning, simply, “sheep”. 99. Today, only the most primitive and unimproved breeds still shed their fleeces. A clash between two four-horned rams can be violent, the animals lifting their rear ends off the ground for extra impact. Its name is mysterious, given that lonk is a Lancashire word for lanky. The Llyn Peninsula AONB: Spectacular views, tragic tales and the rarest apple in the world. The Cotswold Lion, so called for the leonine, rippling action of its corkscrew curls, was pivotal to the area’s prosperity—it was wool money that paid for all those famously mellow buildings. This diversity has allowed the species to meet a variety of environmental challenges and cultural needs. And those 33 million woolly blobs, scudding like four-legged clouds across meadow and moorland, represent the highest number of breeds or cross-breeds (about 90) than in any other country. In North America, however, most medium wool breeds have been selected for meat production rather than wool quality, so that relatively few of them produce anything other than generic, white wool that is blended in large lots for processing. Filter Vulnerable (500 to 900) Sheep At Risk (900 to 1500) Sheep Minority (1500 to 3000) Counting sheep need not be as monotonous an activity as the old adage about it curing insomnia would suggest. Spanish explorers and colonists brought the first sheep to the Americas, beginning about 500 years ago. The top four breeds (Suffolk, Dorset, Hampshire, and Rambouillet) account for about 75%. Their large horns and spotted black and white coats are quite striking, and unlike other primitive breeds, they do not have a dual fleece. Exmoor farmers are proud of the animals that have shaped the romantic landscape there. Shetlands are known primarily for their production of colorful wool upon which the Shetland woolen industry is based. The remaining 25% of sheep registered each year come from 42 other breeds. Two remnant populations of these Spanish stocks survive in the United States: the Gulf Coast Native of the Southeast and the Navajo-Churro of the Southwest. Texels. The lamb has EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. He mixed Manx Loaghtan, Mouflon and Moorit (lowland Scots for cappuccino-coloured) Shetland blood to produce this pretty, pale-bellied sheep. Centuries of selection for wool qualities are reflected in today's extraordinary range of fleece types, textures, and colors. Today, only the most primitive and unimproved breeds still shed their fleeces. Carpet wool breeds are generally adapted to extreme environments, and the characteristics of the wool are part of that adaptation. Ewes are usually polled, while rams have widely set black horns. The Exmoor Horn’s renaissance has coincided with that of mutton as a fashionable meat. Curious Questions: Why does Scotland have 30,000 lochs, but only one lake? It is one of the smallest breeds of 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. This ancient Welsh mountain breed is the most well represented native sheep at the Royal Welsh Show, where about 200 make for a striking checkerboard display. The Spanish Merino, Saxon Merino, and French Rambouillet (a French Merino) were imported beginning in the early 1800s, along with the Cotswold, Cheviot, and several other English breeds. The insularity of life on this barren island off the Dorset coast helped preserve the characteristics of this small, hardy, primitive downland sheep, its golden tan face, creamy, latte-coloured wool and venerable expression framed (on the rams) by magnificent spiral horns. Rounding up is known as ‘punding’. National Trust founder Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley was instrumental in formalising the breed and inspired Potter to keep them; she died before she could take up her role as president of the breed society, but her will stipulated that Herdwicks should remain on her land. The small black sheep with the uncompromising stare and, when it grows four horns, rather bonkers appearance, was saved from extinction by landowners who were seeking ornamental parkland animals. Curious Questions: How far can you see on a clear day? This is the Isle of Man’s sheep, related to the Soay and Hebridean, and its lamb also has PDO status. All Wensleydales are descended from Bluecap, a fine Dishley Leicester ram born in 1839 in the North Yorkshire hamlet of East Appleton, which was crossed with longwool ewes from the Tees Valley. After sheep were domesticated, they were selected to produce larger quantities of wool that did not shed. These wools are prized for the manufacture of soft, delicate garments. Blossom Bucket Sheep Figurines Bundle of 2 Items-Set of 3 Small Sheep & Set of 4 Mini Sheep. They are primarily a wool breed but are said to have very good eating (I have yet to try one). was started. Breed categories: primitive, rare, short-tailed, fur The sheep, probably brought by the Romans, were in such demand with foreign merchants, who paid handsomely for the ‘golden fleeces’, that Henry VI licensed their export. It hails from the Tywi valley in Carmarthenshire and was nearly wiped out by 1947 when there was only one ram left, but smallholder interest boomed and it’s had a breed society since 1985. They are closely related to feral mouflon, in turn derived from wild sheep of Western Asia near the Black Sea.

This text contains a comprehensive exposition of the various breeds of sheep and their crosses that were on exhibition at the Royal Agricultural Society's show in Bristol, June 1913.

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