Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tunis Sheep Lesson

Picture Taken By Delaney


The Tunis seem to be fitting in really well. So far so good. They have calmed down a lot and the girls love that they follow them around. Something the Border Leicesters have no interest in doing.

So, why did we add the Tunis to the farm? Well, it is not because they are so darn cute...(they are adorable), but along with that cuteness they have a lot of the attributes that we look for in sheep.
A lot of people raise sheep, but not all sheep farms are alike.

We have friends and acquaintances that raise sheep as pets, some for club lambs (4-H),others for meat, and a few for wool.
We fall into the category of meat and wool. That is why we look for dual purpose breeds.

There are also different ways to raise sheep. Not any of them right or wrong, just different.
We have chosen the pasture based or grass-fed system.
Not all sheep like that system or do well with it so we have to fit the sheep to the farm.
We bought the Tunis from a neighboring farm that raise their sheep a lot like we do.
That makes for a good fit!

Some of the interesting facts about Tunis (well, I think they are interesting) is that they are one of the oldest breed of sheep, they originated from Tunisia in North Africa. They were imported into the United States in 1799.  They are growing in numbers but are still listed on the "watch" list at the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

The reasons we feel they are a good fit for us:
They are a medium sized sheep, hardy, excellent mothers, medium(54-58 spinning count) wool, cream in color. They are a sweet tempered sheep with good mothering instincts. They are known to be good grazers and easy keepers which allows them to thrive in forage based systems.

I am excited to have them on the farm. I have high hopes that they are going to fit right in.

I hope I didn't bore you with my "sheep lesson". I just love spreading the word about them.
I feel that sheep get a bad rap sometimes. I know there are all kinds of sayings about sheep waiting around for a reason to die...blah, blah, blah ...but that has not been our experience raising sheep.
They have a lot of offer a homestead/farm.

And just in case you didn't get your fill of information, you could always visit these sites to learn more about the Tunis breed.
http://www.countrylovin.com/NTSRI/index.html
http://albc-usa.org/cpl/tunis.html


Oh, and if you haven't yet, visit Delaney's Lambing Contest and join the fun. She is very excited to be hosting it.
http://www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com/2013/03/delaneys-lamb-contest.html



6 comments:

  1. Have fun with your sheep Sandra! I love hearing about them. Now for some pictures of the Oberhasli goats. I would love to here about them too!

    SandyC

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  2. I'm so glad the sheep are fitting in so well there. They are beautiful for sure. I know you just got these sheep, but wondered if you had used the wool yet. Is so, how do you like it? I love the color. Thanks for a great sheep lesson! I am always wanting to learn more about sheep.

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    1. Kris, We haven't worked with their wool yet. I do know that it is suppose to be very nice. That is what we are hoping for. We wanted some variety. The BL's have lovely wool but a longer course wool, we wanted to add some finer wool. Will let you know about the fleeces once we shear and get a chance to work with it.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Sandy,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Will have to work on a goat post. We are expecting kids in a few weeks as well. I am sure their will be plenty of pictures celebrating the event :)

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  4. I think they are gorgeous... but there are very few people who shear around us, and it is very, very hard to get small flocks sheared, so sheep were never a possiblity for us!

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    Replies
    1. It is hard to find a sheep shearer, especially one that doesn't mind taking a few extra minutes with a fiber flock. We have had several over the years. Ours always seem to move away. Thank you for stopping by :)

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