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. Having retained many of their primitive survival instincts, they are easier to care for than many of today’s commercial breeds. 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. They are fine-boned and agile and their naturally short, fluke-shaped tails do not require docking. It’s more prevalent in some breeds than others but it’s always there. They descend from crosses of African hair sheep and European wool sheep, dating back as far as the 17th century. Rachel Koski Nielsen (author) from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on July 19, 2014: Hi DrMark! Female sheep are called ewes. 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. I love hybrid vigor! And the Germans were particularly interested in the black bellied animals of this breed because they are more of a wild color such as an antelope. Liz Davis from Hudson, FL on July 20, 2014: I would love to have sheep, simply because they are so beautiful and have such a calming nature about them. West African Dwarf Sheep: The breed is found in the whole area south of Latitude 14°N. They have been around for many years and originated in Britain and have been well known for … 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. It has curved horns and a scurfy mane. Considering that the Hog Island is one of the most critically endangered sheep in the world, and with only a few thousand specimens in the United States, I can only hope that my efforts will pay off and help to preserve this genetic cache... before it's lost forever. When you say they're not hardy, do you mean they're susceptible to illness, or you need to work hard to keep them comfortable in different climates, or all of the above? This breed is certainly useful to the small farmer or homesteader as an easy-keeper and meat producer, and their unique genetics make them valuable both for cross-breeding and breed preservation purposes. bravewarrior - Nice to hear from you! They can be found in farms across the Midwest and along the East Coast into New England. Do you want to raise lambs that will be grown into ewes for breeding purposes? Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 20, 2014: Fascinating, Rachel! 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. These offspring were again bred to a Hog Island ram, and the next generation exhibited similar improvements in growth rate and general hardiness. Size: Very large. In comparison, other breeds of sheep tend to grow between 250 and 300 pounds. Hahah Anyway, I do love sheep feta cheese, so I'm drawn toward the East Friesian (note to Billybuc: write that one down :) . I live on just over a quarter arce. American Blackbelly. Thus, giving the goat its robust and compact features with added benefits or rich creamier milk with a higher butterfat and protein content. Miniature Babydolls were imported to the United States in 1803. Looking like tiny Holsteins, these genetically small sheep are naturally polled. • They are less intimidating than the larger breeds of sheep. That seems kind of confusing, but basically the story behind the Polypay is that some producers got together in the 1970s and decided they wanted to create a new type of sheep that would meet specific demands. The Mini Lop, sometimes known as the dwarf lop rabbit, is one of the most popular … The West African Dwarf is the predominant breed of the humid tropics … There are an estimated 50 breeds of sheep in the United States alone and more than 1,000 worldwide. It is the dominant breed of West and Central Africa. 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. All miniatures come with Tanglewood Farm health records showing up to date vaccinations, deworming schedule, and hoof trimming schedule. Although some people believe these sheep originated in Africa, others think they are from Barbados. 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. If you're trying to decide which type of sheep best suits your small or hobby farm, the information can get a little overwhelming! Looks to me like there are a couple Friesian crosses in this photo as well. Miniature Sheep help farmers clean ground in vineyards, high bush fruit fields, and small orchards. In breeds such as the Chinese Banna miniature pig, dwarfism arises due to deliberate selection of dwarf animals for breeding (Deng et al., 2011). For the small farmer or homesteader, Merino sheep would be a good choice for home meat production because they are easy keepers. They are considered a rare breed known not only for their small size (under 24") but also for their whimsical spotted coats and blue eyes – a rarity in sheep. The wool comes in a rainbow of natural colors (there are 11 official colors many with their original Gaelic names). Do you want dairy sheep for the purpose of producing milk, or cheeses such as Feta or Romano? Neither males nor females have horns. The Miniature Saanen goat was developed by the crossing of the Standard sized Saanen goat breed with that of the Nigerian Dwarf goat. Once an animal is sold, it may not be returned or refunded. Purpose: Meat, breeding stock, show competition. Rachel worked as a farm manager for 3 years in Pennsylvania. Whether for home-use lamb or mutton or for producing lambs to sell to customers or to market, the Suffolk sheep would be a good addition to a small farmer's or homesteader's flock. We are very proud of our foundation bloodlines. They are a primitive breed of sheep, very hardy and tough little animals. Within this wide geographical zone are variation in type. The baby lambs are usually weaned between eight to twelve weeks old. The Miniature Saanen goat was developed by the crossing of the Standard sized Saanen goat breed with that of the Nigerian Dwarf goat. By Jacquie Wingate from Recovery, usa (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by. What breeds do you reccomend. 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. How did I come by such a rare find? Cool stuff, wouldn't you say? 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. I am also in wa. 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? We are very proud of the daily handling and care given to our miniatures here at Tanglewood Farm. They're bred for wool production and don't reach market weight as quickly as sheep that are bred for meat. Question, how much room does a small breed sheep need? This breed is primarily raised for meat. Different types of Sheep Breeds. Fleece tests at 19-20 microns which puts it in the class of cashmere. Babydolls are a rare breed that are protected by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. This is a result of less dominant traits that may have been "hidden" in the DNA beginning to show through as more dominant traits are bred out. There are about 200 sheep breeds around the world. If I were, I would want a Friesian. Male sheep are called rams. These included two lamb crops per year, one good wool crop per year, hardiness, good mothering skills, and a heavy carcass weight. 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. Ouessant sheep breed information. They are a calm, docile and easy-to-manage breed. Thus, giving the goat its robust and compact features with added benefits or rich creamier milk with a higher butterfat and protein content. 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. The west African dwarf sheep is widely distributed in the southern Nigeria, the breed is small compact hardy breed with a wide range of coat-colour which may be all white, black or brown or spotted black or brown on a white coat. These miniature cows can be classified in categories that depend on their height at the hip. Shetland Sheep are a British breed brought to the Shetland Islands of Scotland by Vikings over a thousand years ago. Most sheep… But the flock of mutt sheep has less to worry about. It is great for making garments to be worn next to your skin, and the color range encourages using creative and exciting knitting patterns. Nubian goats produce more than other commonly raised breeds but the Nigerian Dwarf is a solid performer in milk production. Their earliest mention dates back to 1400 A.D., but they were first recognized as a separate breed in 1962. Maybe an Icelandic, maybe a Brown Mountain. Large and hearty, good mothers, and prolific to boot, it's no wonder the Suffolk is many a farmer's breed of choice for meat sheep. Voted up! May I ask what you do with your sheep? This divergence from the original breed standards was the beginning of what would later become two distinct lines: The Southdown and the miniature (or original) Southdown. It's actually a four-way cross between Finnsheep/Rambouillet and Dorset/Targhee. Non-seasonal breeding can allow for more than one lamb crop per year, and the ewes are prolific, usually producing twins or even triplets. 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. I'm going to breed her with my Polypay-mutt ram and see what kind of wild lambs I can get out of her. The Hog Island Sheep takes its name from a small island off the coast of Virginia. The West African Dwarf sheep is a breed of domestic sheep. My experience with Hog Island Sheep involved crossing a ram with Dorset ewes (a heavy meat breed). The Barbados Blackbelly sheep evolved on the island of Barbados, as the name suggests. So that we do not unintentionally introduce disease into our herds, we do not bring our animals to shows, and we do not borrow or lend animals for breeding. ): Very. Babydolls get their name from their attractive teddy bear faces. Miniature sheep are bred to be small, typically as pets. Very good job for people who are interested. People are drawn to these little cuties because of the small size, gentle nature and famous “smiling fuzzy faces”. The Polypay isn't so much a "breed" of sheep as it is a hybrid type. Thanks, Rachel! 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. When I rate hardiness I'm considering multiples factors, such an ability to maintain/gain weight on forage (pasture), adaptability to different climates, and susceptibility to illness. Personal consumption, breeding, etc.? The recent arrival in Australia of the Nigerian Dwarf and American Pygmy goat breeds offers even more potential for new breed development in this country. This breed of sheep is rather large, but very docile. 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. Most respond well to attention and ours all even wag their tails when petted! They are primarily a wool breed but … This also enables Tanglewood Farm time to deworm the weanlings and give them their first vaccinations. I am a spinner. A very important characteristic of Shetland Sheep is their beautiful wool, upon which the world-renowned Shetland wool industry was built. Even her previous owner wasn't sure! EwigLernender at the German language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY. 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. The small farmer or homesteader interested in raising dairy sheep would be wise to look into purchasing a Friesian or two, even if the plan is to cross the sheep with another breed. Babydolls are a rare breed that are protected by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. We're also trying to build up our flock so we'll be keeping probably about half of our ewe lambs next year. Even I don't know! Cheviot Sheep are one of our smallest breeds, and are known for their clean faces, small build, and hardiness. Harlequin sheep are a registered breed of miniature sheep. By the year 1990, only 350 miniature sheep were all that could be traced to still exist. 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. This author happens to think they have one of the cutest faces of any sheep, but that's beside the point. Sheep breeds are of three types according to their production which are described below. Are you interested in breeding a rare breed of sheep for preservation purposes? It's conformation is similar to that of the larger dairy goat breeds. They have been around for many years and originated in Britain and have been well known for … The Merino is famous around the world for producing soft, fine, high-grade wool. The breeds are Balami, Uda, west African Dwarf sheep and Yankasa. Nigerian Dwarf Breed Facts The Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature goat of West African Origin. Miniature Cattle Breeds ~ Size of Miniature Cows. :). 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. If I get a ram lamb out of my Barbados I will keep him for a herd sire, because he'll be a six-way crossbreed and his genetics will be superior (in my opinion) and better suited to the kind of farming I do. Because of the nearly-two centuries of isolation, the Hog Island Sheep is genetically unique, especially among American sheep breeds. If clean, their wool will command a premium price. Just luck, I guess. This problem can be sidestepped by lambing earlier in the season, or can simply be ignored. Like the Merino, the Suffolk is also a popular sheep for showing in competition. Created prior to the 19th century by crossing the meaty and muscular Southdown with the hardy and semi-wild Norfolk Horned sheep, the Suffolk developed qualities taken from both its parent breeds and combined them well. Docile in nature, most Merino are polled (no horns), make good mothers, and are fairly hardy and adaptable animals. Also Know By: Cameroons Dwarf, Djallonké, Forest-type, Fouta Djallon, Futa Jallon, Guinean, Kirdi, Kirdimi, Lakka, Nigerian Dwarf, Pagan, Savannah-type, Southern, West African Maned. The Balami is a predominantly white and hairy breed with a pronounced convex heat and a dull depression. Producers of Suffolk must remember to use a de-wormer for their sheep on a regular schedule, as these animals don't perform well with a high worm load. 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. Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 19, 2014: Here in the tropics we have hair sheep, as those handsome Merino types would never survive here. It is adapted for life in humid forested area, sub-humid areas and savannahs. They keep down weeds, insects, and leave behind all that fertilizer! Prolific (? Miniature Babydoll Southdown Sheep were popular because of their extreme hardiness and they produced a carcass with tenderness and good flavored meat unmatched by any other breed. Breeds like the Cheviot, Babydoll and Southdown typically weigh 130 to 200 pounds, and produce quality meat and wool. With so many animals, the producer doesn't have time to closely monitor each individual of the flock. They are almost always polled, and mature ewes can weigh up to 250 pounds. This will be my first winter with her though, so I'll get to see for myself how she does. A mature ram can weigh up to 390 pounds and a ewe can weigh up to 260 pounds. One of the Northern European short-tailed sheep breeds. One of the smallest breeds of sheep in the world also called Breton Dwarf. I'll take my chances with the crossbreeds and mutts, and be sure to let you all know how it goes. Miniature Cattle Breeds ~ Size of Miniature Cows. This breed referred to as dwarf because it is small and has short legs. The ears are upright. 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. The mutt sheep are less likely to have damaging traits bred into their flock, such as blindness, lameness, a propensity for cancers or cysts, deafness, or a low tolerance for disease or worms. Shetland wool is very soft and is produced in a wide range of colors. One of my new mixed-up crossbreed mutt ewe lambs. West African Dwarf is the sheep breed found in the South and South-Western part of Nigeria. :). A mature ram can weigh up to 390 pounds and a ewe can weigh up to 260 pounds. Poor thing! Female sheep are called ewes. 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. ABOUT OUR SHEEP. If you need transportation, we can arrange ground transport within the US and Canada. People are drawn to these little cuties because of the small size, gentle nature and famous “smiling fuzzy faces”. 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. She owned and operated a small farm in Minnesota for 5 years, until 2019. With greater genetic diversity comes greater potential for desirable traits, as well as undesirable ones. However, the demand for larger cuts of meat almost forced the breed into extinction. Neat, huh? Miniature sheep are bred to be small, typically as pets. Do you want to sell (or spin your own) wool? Mini Lop rabbit. So commercial operations consist of a limited gene pool, and must be careful not to breed too closely over too many generations. They're easy to obtain, easy to keep healthy, easy to breed, and easy to sell. During the colonial era, German and French rulers exported sheep to France and Germany. We prefer weanlings do not leave Tanglewood Farm before they are 2 months of age. It also felts well. Personally, I wouldn't keep East Friesian sheep on my farm due to there general lack of hardiness; then again, I'm not interested in milk production. They love weeds, honeysuckle and kudzu. Although Shetlands are small and relatively slow growing, they maintain natural hardiness, thriftiness, easy lambing, adaptability and longevity. Her mother is a Polypay (which as you know, is a composite of 4 distinct breeds), her sire...? They are small enough not to damage the fruit and do not eat the bark off trees. The Friesian doesn't do well in climates that are different from Northern Germany where they evolved. These miniature cows can be classified in categories that depend on their height at the hip. Miniature Shetland Sheep are one of the smallest of the British sheep. Miniature Sheep are ruminants and have four-chambered stomachs. It takes a female sheep five months to have a baby lamb. By Original: User:Fir0002 Derivative work: Charles Esson at en.wikipedia (Edit of Image:Sheep eating. Aside from needing to be shorn (as almost all wool sheep do, no matter the grade), they don't require much special care or considerations. 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