Anne Field was here and she was delightful and full of things to teach us.  But I didn’t bring the camera home and so I am distracting you with photos of sheep.  
I went to pick up some Southdown fleeces and while I was there I went to look at the new babies.

 This little Jacob girl is gorgeous.   A lot of white but nice black on her eyes and nose.  She’s got a very fine fleece and will be so pretty as an adult.

Jacob sheep are a very old breed.  Their origins are not known but it is thought that they came from the area of Syria over 3000 years ago.  They were moved over time across North Africa and Sicily and Spain to England and to the US in the early 1900s.

They are different than other primitive breeds as they do not have multiple coats.

American Jacobs have not undergone “improvement” to make them more commercially suitable and so they still have that small boned, primitive body type.

 Also, they are adorable.  This little lilac ram isn’t as fine fleeced but he’s going to have 4 horns and look at those nice black toes.  He’s got a good amount of colored fleece with his black so I think he may stay at the farm for a while.

 These boys are gorgeous!  An adult Jacob ram and an adult Tunis Ram.  I love Tunis because of their gorgeous red faces.

American Tunis is one of the oldest US sheep breeds.  The first importation was from the ruler of Tunisia to Pennsylvania in 1799.  After that there were more importations of fat tailed sheep to the US which were crossed with the original sheep.  The breed was quite popular as in 1892, Ezra Carmen in a chapter of A Report of the Sheep Industry of the U.S. wrote, ” But for the introduction of the fine-wooled Merino, these Tunisian sheep would probably have become disseminated throughout the U.S., and in some of them have become the prevailing flocks.”

Here he is close up.  I hope they get a couple of ewes so I can have a flock of Tunis nearby and pretend they are mine.  They are the pinkiest reddest sheep breed I know.
OK Back to the Jacobs.  These are almost all of the Ewes who had babies this spring.  They get a bell around their necks when they lamb because along with the dogs they scare away the coyotes.

 Maggie finally got her wish to hold a lamb! 

 These are the Wensleydale boys.  No way to show in a photo how big these rams are.  They are just gorgeous and never afraid of me.  They come up to sniff me but rarely let me touch them.

This little ram lamb was born out in the rain yesterday morning.  He’s a fantastic jet black with huge ears and legs.  i think he’s going to be some ram when he grows up.  It’s undecided yet whether he’s going to Wisconsin or staying in Michigan.  His mom is 25% BFL and 75% Wensleydale.  You can see the BFL in her nose.  Her fleece has a gorgeous purl to it as well as high luster.

We never did get over to see those Scottish Balckface today.  Bummer!  Guess I’ll just have to make another trip.
In the mean time, if any of you want to try either of these breeds you can check them out right here.

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