Our Karakuls are unique indeed! They most primitive of all breeds of sheep and said by some to be descendents of the first domesticated sheep. Their fleeces are a hair and down combination and the males may or may not have beautiful curled horns. Of all the breeds they tend to stick together in a group – like they have Velcro holding them all together. Each animal always seems to know where the other karakuls are at. When one moves they all do, their noses on the ground in the characteristic ground sniffing movement. This makes them a joy to move as you never have a single animal breaking away from the others. They too are always watching us and I am convinced they are the most intelligent of all my sheep!
The Karakuls can easily be identified by their characteristic fat tail, a fat deposit similar to the hump on a camel. When docking a lamb’s tail, one needs to be careful that one leaves at least one joint on the female’s tail. This allows her control of the tail so she can lift her tail for the male during breeding. And always keep a double fence around your Karakul rams as they will breed a ewe through the fence! This last year one of my ewes had a CVM lamb (as she should have had) and a Karakul-CVM cross! Little hussy!
For more infomation visit: https://karakulshepherds.org/
Of all the breeds that we have, I have to admit, this breed has the softest spot in my heart. Their wool would not be the fiber used for a soft sweater or garment that you would wear next to your skin. Lincoln fiber is more appropriate for outer garments, tapestries and rugs. The bold and sharp lustrous locks are incredible! I find a Lincoln fleece irresistible for character and iridescence!! Lincoln lamb fleeces are like chameleons with the fleece ever changing. What you get at birth is not what they will grow up to be. Most of my Lincolns are born white or black or black with “frosting”. This is due to varying amounts of white fiber on predominantly black fleeces looks like a delicate icing when the lambs are born. As the black lamb ages the color generally turns grey or silver or platinum colored while an occasionally rare animal will stay black. Lincolns grow a six inch lock every eight to nine months, thus the longwool name. On occasion when I have not been able to get my rams sheared I have harvested a ten inch staple.
Part of the genetic program at ANIROONZ involves a line of Lincoln Longwool’s from Dobrey Adam’s flock out of Kentucky. Her breeding resulted in a moorit-colored (red-brown) Lincoln which before that time had not ever been recorded. Having acquired several animals from this genetic line, I have spent several years outbreeding four different lines for greater genetic diversity. This year I will start crossing back in an attempt to have the homozygous recessive trait expressed. In simple terms, acquire a moorit-colored Lincoln! Stay tuned! And check out the genetic section of this site for more information.
Characteristically the Lincoln is a bossy sheep. The Lincolns and my Wensleydales will always be my flock leaders. But there the similarity of the two breed personalities ends. The Wensleydales tend to be the reserved, refined and sophisticated leader while the Lincoln is just down right bossy! Not only will they tell what they want, but they will tell you about it – over and over again! They are very pushy, vocal and have to have their noses in everyone’s business. They are one of the first to check out what is going on in the neighborhood – and then start talking about it. Pure personality!
For more infomation visit: http://www.lincolnsheep.org
Of the five breeds at ANIROONZ, the CVM’s are the only fine wool breed. If you had to compare the CVM fleece to another breed, it would have to be the merino. This past June, one of my CVM ewes, Suzette produced the grand champion colored fleece at Black Sheep Gathering! CVM fleeces are soft and fine with a beautiful crimp. The fiber makes incredible sweaters, socks, hats and other works of art. Our animals have many different colors from soft greys to black to moorit (red brown)– some solid and some patterned fleeces.
Our CVM’s are more timid than the other breeds but do not miss anything. They are incredibly observant always watching. When “the bucket” with grain is carried out of the barn, I have several ewes that will move like greased lightening around the bossy Lincolns to get the grain first!
Of all the breeds I have the fewest Teeswaters but am slowly increasing my numbers. I find their personalities a bit more timid than the other breeds and they seem to be more standoffish. And yet when they are hurting they do know where to go. This past year, one of my young ewes was in labor…though she did not know what it was all about. She just knew that she was hurting and followed me around vocalizing and touching my hand. I kept encouraging her and went about my feeding. She eventually found ‘her corner’ and as the moon eclipse went full she delivered my first colored Teeswater lamb – MoonE for moon eclipse. MoonE is a beautiful steel gray and whose fleece will take your breathe away!
The Teeswater fleece is similar to the Wensleydale fleece which is appropriate as they have similar breeding in their backgrounds. My Teeswater’s tend to have smaller locks than the Wensleydales though it varies with animal. Like the Lincoln and Wensleydales they are long wool and are sheared every eight to nine months with a six inch lock. They are gorgeous. Other than MoonE all of my Teeswaters are white. We are artificial insemination with out Teeswaters too and it is in hopes that within another year we will have full-bloods.
For more infomation visit: http://www.americanteeswatersheep.com
As indicated above the Wensleydales also tend to be flock leaders, but are reserved, refined and sophisticated. They are almost royal with their blue noses and high profiles! Now and then you will find one that attaches themselves to you. I have one ewe who has taken a liking to my husband Steve and when ever he is in the paddocks, she will find him and gently touch his hand. She listens very intently as he tells her she is beautiful – if she had two legs I might be jealous!! As a breed they are very intelligent. My first set of triplets figured out during weaning that “Mom” was on the other side of the fence and all they had to do was jump… I had to double the height of the fence to keep those three in! I have not had an issue sense, but I also watch them very carefully!
These amazing animals create the most beautiful fleeces! A good friend of mine describes them best by saying its like the fiber has a light inside of it! The fleeces seem to sparkle and you need to be careful or you will find they jump into your hands before you know it! Most of our breeding has come from artificial insemination from semen brought in from England. This year we bred several of our ewes with semen from an Irish ram, River Dance. Each year we have slowly been increasing the percentage of our Wensleydales within our flock, If all goes well we will have full-bloods (96%) this year. You will find both white and colored animals in our flock and they too will produce a six inch lock every eight to nine months.
For more infomation visit: http://www.wensleydalesheep.org/