Cormos are a placid, midsize breed, with ewes weighing 120-160 pounds and rams weighing from 160-200 pounds. The wool micron count is between 17 and 23 which is USDA wool grade 46s-56s. with a yield of 50-65% after scouring. The staple length is most often 3-5″ of dense, bright, white wool. With a good diet, and assisted lambing situation, 150-180% lambs is not uncommon. They have a high muscle to bone ratio and are hardy animals who thrive in most areas of the United States. They should not have horns and preferably no scurs.
The Cormo breed was developed in the earlier part of the 1960s in Tasmania, Australia. Rams of the Corriedale breed were crossed with Superfine Saxon Merinos. The name Cormo is from the names of two of the parent breeds, Corriedale and Merino. The object was an “easy keeper” with a very fine commercial grade of white wool and a good sheen. Though they were developed for their wool and meat and not for the show circuit, they are being seen more and more at shows. Initially, we were told they wouldn’t do well in our wet climate, but we have not experienced feet problems. They are been a hardy sheep.
There are more handspinners requesting this wool in colors. There are a few natural colored offspring, but since the breeders were looking for a brilliant bright white line, the colored sheep are not registered. We are working to obtain both the bright whites and the colors.
Shetlands are considered a”primitive breed”, a “heritage breed” or “unimproved breed” with ewes weighing 75-100 pounds and rams weighing from 90-125 pounds.. They are a small, wool-producing breed originating in the Shetland Isles and part of a short-tailed sheep group of Northern Europe. They are hardy, thrifty, easy lambers, good mothers, adaptable, and long-lived. They are used on the small homestead for weed control, wool and meat. They produce numerous shades of wool colors and wool from various parts of their body can be used for different purposes. The fine wool is noted for the traditional knitted lace shawls which are so fine, they can pass through a wedding ring. Fleeces are usually between 2 and 6 pounds with a staple length of 2-7″. It is considered a “down” wool, with a micron count of 23-30, high crimp, and low luster. Shetlands must be handled often as lambs to be calm.