Romney's??

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Sarah J, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Jun 28, 2003
    Location:
    Southeast Iowa
    Hi all! I have Suffolk and Suffolk cross sheep here in NW Iowa. This will be my second year with sheep and I currently have one ram lamb who has started doing his job and four ewes of varying ages, but only one more than two years old.

    My question is that I am also a hand spinner. While I am enjoying spinning these fleeces, they are a bit rough. Very pretty, but not something that I'd want to make clothing for next to the skin with. More like an outer sweater or even just a rug. I was looking at Romney sheep recently and was thinking of possibly getting a couple of ewes for their wool. I would go ahead and breed them to my ram for meat lambs, but spin the ewe's wool for clothing.

    Does this sound like a feasible idea? I have heard that they can be a dual purpose sheep and have pretty good meaty lambs. Would they do well in Iowa? I only found four breeders here, naturally across on the other side of the state from me. How much should I expect to pay for a couple of Romney ewe lambs? Anyone with any to sell coming up this spring? I can take them at only a few days old, as long as they've had their first colostrum - I bottle fed three lambs last spring with goat's milk and they're doing beautifully!

    Just looking for ideas and opinions. I don't have room for more than about 10 sheep and their lambs, total, so not a huge flock, just enough to keep my hands busy on the spinning wheel and meat in the freezer! :)

    Thanks,

    Sarah
     
  2. tonyaleacht

    tonyaleacht tonyaleacht

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    NEBRASKA
    Sarah, were in NW IA are you? I'm in omaha NE. A lady named Jaqualyn over here raises columbias wich are great for spinning and next to the skin wear. She gets an avg of 16 lbs(raw) from them. She raises them as 4 -h and show sheep, so their pretty docile.
     

  3. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi Sarah,
    I can't help you with how Romney's would do in Iowa as I have no idea or how much you could expect to pay for them as I don't live in the States but I see no reason as to why they shouldn't do well. They are still the most popular sheep in NZ and are bred in the South Island, where temperatures drop to well below freezing, through to the top of the North Island where a cold day is 9C.

    You are right in that they are a good dual purpose sheep which is why, when wool was in big demand, they were farmed so extensively here. They produce a good fleece and a nice lamb. It's a good middle of the road wool to spin and I've seen some fabulous garments made from Romney fleece. I learnt to spin with Romney fleece. If you can get a couple of even older sheep, and for what you would consider a fair price, I would say go for it. Pity your so far away as I've got some nice Romney lambs as well as a black ewe hogget :) Will be interested to know what you end up doing.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    639
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Location:
    Southeast Iowa
    I'm in rural West Bend - about four hours from Omaha. :( I am really looking into the possibilities of a couple of ewes...if it doesn't work out, I can always sell them later, but I'd love to see how they do!

    I brought home a four month old alpaca cria yesterday - newly weaned, registered and his fiber is LUSCIOUS! Yes, I'm hooked on the wool stuff, aren't I? I spend more on my cool hobbies and animals than I could possibly earn in a year of business. Good thing I have a husband! :haha:

    Tell me mroe about the Columbias!

    -Sarah