BREEDING STOCK / FIBER FLOCKS

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Wensleydale

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Teeswater

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Valais Blacknose

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We are proud members of: 

 

· Shave 'Em to Save 'Em - The Livestock Conservancy

· North American Wensleydale Sheep Association - NAWSA

· Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders’ Association - WLSBA (UK division) 

· American Teeswater Sheep Association - ATSA and

· Valais Blacknose Sheep Society - VBSS   

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Note:  As of May 2020 the Teeswater sheep was added to the Livestock Convervancy’s list of rare and endangered animals in the US.

Shave 'Em to Save 'Em

A Livestock Conservancy Initiative

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Our Breeding Stock

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Our breeding stock consists of registered Wensleydale, registered Teeswater and registered Valais Blacknose Sheep.  We strive to bring as much genetic diversity as we can to these rare breeds.  We breed for strong conformation and uniform and lustrous fleeces.  

 

Since 2008 we have been upbreeding ewes with genetics brought in from the UK so as to produce 90+% Wensleydales and 80 - 90+% Teeswaters.  We are just getting started with the Valais Blacknose using Teeswater ewes as the foundation. The white Teeswater ewes with their black muzzles and their luxurious wool are  the perfect complement to the Valais with their black points.  Our first Valais F1 lambs were born in 2019.  They are beautiful with winning personalities.  

We generally lamb during the months of February, March, and
April with lambs becoming available by June or July.

All of our rams are screened for Scrapie resistance (Codon 171).

 

Wensleydale

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— History & Characteristics —

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The WENSLEYDALE sheep is a breed of domestic sheep that originated in the Wensleydale region of North Yorkshire, England.  Possessing a blue-grey face, the breed was developed in the 19th century by crossing English Leicester and Teeswater sheep.  One of the largest and heaviest of all sheep breeds, the Wensleydale has long, ringlet-like locks of wool.  It is categorized as “at risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust of the U.K. as it has fewer than 1500 registered breeding females.

Wool from this breed is acknowledged as the finest lustre wool in the world. Wensleydale may be the only breed that can be traced to a single ancestor. In 1839 a ram lamb was born in North Yorkshire to a mug ewe (an old type Teeswater ewe that didn’t show much of the New Leicester influence). The parental ram was a New Leicester.  The offspring had the blue head and ears that show up as a recessive trait in Leicesters from time to time and was named Bluecap by its owner. Blue cap grew up to be a potent ram and was leased by shepherds through a fairly wide area for a number of years.  He was primarily used for breedingTeeswater ewes.  His blue headed trait passed to his progen, and by the 1870’s these unique sheep (although closely related to the Teeswater) were recognised as a separate breed and called Wensleydlaes. Like the Teeswaters, there was never a population of Wensleydales in North America.  However, breeders today are upgrading to produce them, using imported semen.  

CHARACTERISTICS

The Wensleydale is a large long wool sheep with a distinctive grey black face, ears and legs. The ears are slightly elongated and stand upright.  They are naturally polled and have a tuft of long wool on top of the head which is not typically sheared (for aesthetic purposes).  Wool from this breed is acknowledged as the finest lustre long wool in the world.  The fleece from a purebred sheep is considered kemp free and curled or purled on out to the end.  Rams weigh about 300 pounds and ewes about 250 pounds.

 

Average prolificacy: Yearling ewe - 200% Mature ewes - 250%.

Twin lambs will average 13 pounds each at birth with a growth rate that enables lambs to reach 160 lbs. at 21 weeks.

 

Average lamb weight at 8 weeks: Singles - 57 lbs.  Twins - 48 lbs.  Micron count 33 - 35.  Staple length 8 - 12 inches.  Yearling fleece weight  - 13 - 20 lbs.

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HISTORY

The mating of a Leicester ram with a Teeswater ewe in 1838 made the famous ‘BLUE CAP’ who was the first sire of the Wensleydale breed.

 

Today this breed is established throughout the United Kingdom and extends into mainland Europe, this breed is also being established in the USA.

 
 

Teeswater

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— History & Characteristics —

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The WENSLEYDALE sheep is a breed of domestic sheep that originated in the Wensleydale region of North Yorkshire, England.  Possessing a blue-grey face, the breed was developed in the 19th century by crossing English Leicester and Teeswater sheep.  One of the largest and heaviest of all sheep breeds, the Wensleydale has long, ringlet-like locks of wool.  It is categorized as “at risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust of the U.K. as it has fewer than 1500 registered breeding females.

Wool from this breed is acknowledged as the finest lustre wool in the world. Wensleydale may be the only breed that can be traced to a single ancestor. In 1839 a ram lamb was born in North Yorkshire to a mug ewe (an old type Teeswater ewe that didn’t show much of the New Leicester influence). The parental ram was a New Leicester.  The offspring had the blue head and ears that show up as a recessive trait in Leicesters from time to time and was named Bluecap by its owner. Blue cap grew up to be a potent ram and was leased by shepherds through a fairly wide area for a number of years.  He was primarily used for breedingTeeswater ewes.  His blue headed trait passed to his progen, and by the 1870’s these unique sheep (although closely related to the Teeswater) were recognised as a separate breed and called Wensleydlaes. Like the Teeswaters, there was never a population of Wensleydales in North America.  However, breeders today are upgrading to produce them, using imported semen.  

CHARACTERISTICS

The Wensleydale is a large long wool sheep with a distinctive grey black face, ears and legs. The ears are slightly elongated and stand upright.  They are naturally polled and have a tuft of long wool on top of the head which is not typically sheared (for aesthetic purposes).  Wool from this breed is acknowledged as the finest lustre long wool in the world.  The fleece from a purebred sheep is considered kemp free and curled or purled on out to the end.  Rams weigh about 300 pounds and ewes about 250 pounds.

 

Average prolificacy: Yearling ewe - 200% Mature ewes - 250%.

Twin lambs will average 13 pounds each at birth with a growth rate that enables lambs to reach 160 lbs. at 21 weeks.

 

Average lamb weight at 8 weeks: Singles - 57 lbs.  Twins - 48 lbs.  Micron count 33 - 35.  Staple length 8 - 12 inches.  Yearling fleece weight  - 13 - 20 lbs.

2013_WRF_April Lambing-216.jpg

HISTORY

The mating of a Leicester ram with a Teeswater ewe in 1838 made the famous ‘BLUE CAP’ who was the first sire of the Wensleydale breed.

 

Today this breed is established throughout the United Kingdom and extends into mainland Europe, this breed is also being established in the USA.

Valais Blacknose

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— History & Characteristics —

F132F88D-B8A4-4295-8CF5-C9073AFA7D9B.jpeg
F132F88D-B8A4-4295-8CF5-C9073AFA7D9B.jpeg

The WENSLEYDALE sheep is a breed of domestic sheep that originated in the Wensleydale region of North Yorkshire, England.  Possessing a blue-grey face, the breed was developed in the 19th century by crossing English Leicester and Teeswater sheep.  One of the largest and heaviest of all sheep breeds, the Wensleydale has long, ringlet-like locks of wool.  It is categorized as “at risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust of the U.K. as it has fewer than 1500 registered breeding females.

Wool from this breed is acknowledged as the finest lustre wool in the world. Wensleydale may be the only breed that can be traced to a single ancestor. In 1839 a ram lamb was born in North Yorkshire to a mug ewe (an old type Teeswater ewe that didn’t show much of the New Leicester influence). The parental ram was a New Leicester.  The offspring had the blue head and ears that show up as a recessive trait in Leicesters from time to time and was named Bluecap by its owner. Blue cap grew up to be a potent ram and was leased by shepherds through a fairly wide area for a number of years.  He was primarily used for breedingTeeswater ewes.  His blue headed trait passed to his progen, and by the 1870’s these unique sheep (although closely related to the Teeswater) were recognised as a separate breed and called Wensleydlaes. Like the Teeswaters, there was never a population of Wensleydales in North America.  However, breeders today are upgrading to produce them, using imported semen.  

CHARACTERISTICS

The Wensleydale is a large long wool sheep with a distinctive grey black face, ears and legs. The ears are slightly elongated and stand upright.  They are naturally polled and have a tuft of long wool on top of the head which is not typically sheared (for aesthetic purposes).  Wool from this breed is acknowledged as the finest lustre long wool in the world.  The fleece from a purebred sheep is considered kemp free and curled or purled on out to the end.  Rams weigh about 300 pounds and ewes about 250 pounds.

 

Average prolificacy: Yearling ewe - 200% Mature ewes - 250%.

Twin lambs will average 13 pounds each at birth with a growth rate that enables lambs to reach 160 lbs. at 21 weeks.

 

Average lamb weight at 8 weeks: Singles - 57 lbs.  Twins - 48 lbs.  Micron count 33 - 35.  Staple length 8 - 12 inches.  Yearling fleece weight  - 13 - 20 lbs.

F132F88D-B8A4-4295-8CF5-C9073AFA7D9B.jpeg

HISTORY

The mating of a Leicester ram with a Teeswater ewe in 1838 made the famous ‘BLUE CAP’ who was the first sire of the Wensleydale breed.

 

Today this breed is established throughout the United Kingdom and extends into mainland Europe, this breed is also being established in the USA.