When we opened the fiber mill, we wanted to diversify our fiber animals by adding sheep. After having hands on with several breeds of wool, I found qualities I liked and began searching for fine wool breeds near me. I was after white primarily because at that time I wanted to experiment with dyeing white wool. However, I have since been drawn to all natural and neutral colors. I happened to purchase my first loom from a woman who told me her daughter raised Cormo sheep. I connected with her and purchased my first 2 ewes in March of 2013. A purebred Cormo ram was added in May 2013 and our first lambs were born early Spring 2014. Cormos are a cross derived from Corriedale rams and super fine Saxon Merino ewes. They have a fine micron count for wool worn next to the skin and they have a medium frame for meat purpose. The ewes are mature around 150 lbs and the rams around 300 lbs. A size I can handle if working them myself. Lambs are born around 7-9 lbs. Twins are common. Occasionally, we have a few ewes breed twice a year, giving us lambs early Spring and again in the Fall.
I had not grown up with sheep and there was a slight learning curve compared to my llama experience and Brandan's beef cow experience. Our flock has grown to include CVM sheep (CVM stands for California Variegated Mutant). CVM are very similar to Cormo in that they are fine wool and similar in size. They are derived from colored mutants of the Romeldale sheep breed, any white wheep from this particular breed would be considered Romeldales. I really love the neutral and natural colors of the CVM and the fleeces are very similar to the Cormo. I strive for the staple length of the Cormo breed, usually 4-5 inches and I'm looking to bring in the colors of the CVM. Our flock, as of Spring 2021, is made up of half Cormos and half CVM. This year is the first time I've bred with a CVM ram "Toby" (Toby Keith...all our rams have had country male roles to fulfill...we started with "Willie" then "Waylon" whom we still have as out Cormo ram). We keep two separate flocks at breeding time, one CVM flock and one Cormo flock.
As time passes, I'm taking note on certain differences of each breed that I like or dislike. Its only been 3 months and I can't decide if I like one breed over the other. The wool on the Cormos is too die for soft. It can be worn next to the skin and the staple length (length of fiber) usually ranges from 4-6 inches which is perfect for knitted and woven garments. However, the CVM are a very healthy and fit been proving to have a very healthy rate of gain (which is great when selling feeders to market) and I'm watching how the fleece is coming in, in case I keep a few back to replace older ewes. Prime fleece comes off yearling lambs. I would absolutely love to at some point be able to fatten all lambs and harvest the fleece from them (at that particular age its called a hogget because it has not yet been bred, and all its extra nutrients has been put forth to the fleece) Hogget fleeces, if you ever get your hands on a healthy one, are to die for. I have hopes of one day, in a future phase of life, I have many breeds of sheep for all the purposes; from next to skin soft garments, woven rugs, woven chair pads, woven table runners, knit sweaters for cold winter days, gorgeous draping shawls for the days a breeze blows by, and perhaps a blanket for the cozy fireside nights.
Dryer balls are a perfect fit for any wool that has felting capabilities (not all breeds of sheep are capable of producing wool with this quality, ie
Please inquire regarding lambs and current sheep for sale. Prices range based on market prices but generally wethers start at $100 and ewes start at $250. Time of year and fleece on or off plays a big role in the price tag. I coat the sheep with Rocky Sheep Coats to keep the wool as clean as possible, of course, while still being a sheep on pasture and hay fed. Wool is the renewable resource sheep give us year after year and in order to keep the value at it's highest, coats are the best way to keep it clean. In return for the coated fleece, raw wool that has been coated and heavily skirted sells for around $30 per pound. It is common for a fleece to weight 5-8 lbs and rams will produce twice that. For available fleeces and fleece by the pound, visit our store.
Our routine care of the flock: Daily fresh water supply, plenty of pasture, shelter from the rain and snow, shade from the summer heat, annual spring shearing, regular hands on health checks and deworming when necessary. An annual immunization of CD/T at shearing time. a copper free mineral at free choice is ideal. Our favorite deworming products to use are Ivomec Drench, Ivomec Injectable, and Prohibit.