Wool Sheep

Sheep are unique among animals reared by humans because of their ability to produce wool. Wool is the most used animal fiber capable of effectively trapping heat during colder seasons. However, acquiring that wool through shearing can take a lot of time, and not all sheep produce enough wool to make them worth rearing.

Wool Sheep

List of Sheep Reared for Their Wool

Here is a list of wool sheep arranged according to the amount of wool they generally yield. However, as some of these breeds are rare or have a limited range, their exact wool yield is yet to be identified.

Sheep BreedType of WoolWool Yield PercentageSpin Count
KarakulCoarse80-8520s-30s
Bluefaced LeicesterCoarse75-8056sā€“60s
Border LeicesterCoarse60-7036s-48s
LincolnCoarse55-7036s-46s
RomneyCoarse55-7036s-48s
FinnsheepMedium50-7048s-60s
DorsetMedium50-6546s-58s
BondFine50-6056s-62s
BorderdaleMedium50-6040s-50s
CheviotMedium50-6046s-56s
CorriedaleMedium50-6050s-58s
HampshireMedium50-6046s-58s
MontadaleMedium50-6056s-58s
SuffolkMedium50-6046s-58s
ShropshireMedium50-6046s-58s
OxfordMedium50-6046s-54s
CormoFine50-6064s-58s
MerinoFine45-5564s-80s
ColumbiaMedium45-5550s-62s
DebouilletFine45-5564s-80s
RambouilletFine45-5560s-80s
TargheeMedium-Fine45-5558s-64s
PolypayMedium40-5548s-70s
SouthdownMedium40-5550s-58s
CotswoldCoarse36s-44s
GotlandCoarse48s-52s
IcelandicCoarse50s-54s
JacobMedium48s-56s
Leicester LongwoolMedium46s-50s
Navajo ChurroCoarse36s-62s
Scottish BlackfaceCoarse40s-50s
ShetlandMedium50s-60s
WensleydaleMedium44s-50s

Advantages and Disadvantages of Rearing Sheep for Wool

There are several things to keep in mind before deciding to raise wool sheep.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive Housing – Unlike pigs or cattle, they do not require extensive enclosures to house them.
  • Needs Less Space – They also require much less space – the space required to house a single cow is enough for about 6 sheep.
  • Efficient Feeders – Sheep can consume noxious weeds without harming themselves, making them efficient foragers that do not require specific feed. This also helps keep feeding costs down.

Cons:

  • Usually Not Profitable – The demand for wool fell due to the rise in cheap synthetic textiles. In addition, shearing wool for their sheep is not a mechanizable process, leading to the labor costs often needing to be offset by wool sales.

FAQs

1. What is the best sheep wool for spinning?

Some of the best wool for spinning comes from the Merino, the Corriedale, and the Targhee.

2. What sheep produces the best wool?

The Merino sheep produces some of the finest and softest wool on the planet.

3. Are wool sheep used for meat?

Some sheep breeds are dual-purpose and slaughtered after a certain age, like the Columbia, the Corriedale, and the Targhee sheep.

4. What are the best wool sheep for beginners?

The Dorset sheep (polled and horned versions) are relatively easy to handle for beginners.

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