White Faced Sheep

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by donsgal, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

    May 2, 2005
    SW Missouri near Branson (Cape Fair)
    I was speaking to a nice lady on the telephone today about her sheep and I asked her what kind they were and she said "White faced sheep". I assumed this was a breed and didn't ask her for more information.

    After looking on the internet, I can't seem to find a breed called "white faced sheep" and I am thinking this is a generic term like "red apples" and does not designate a specific breed per se.

    Is this correct or is white faced sheep indeed a breed and I am missing something.

  2. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    NW OR
    To me, white face would be a mixed commercial type, probably dorset cross. A "brockle face" would be spotted faced, mix of white face and black face breed. Black face would be primarily hamp or suffolk crosses. I wouldn't refer to a wool mix or a sheep used for wool as white, brockle, or black - in a woolie's case I would refer to its actual parentage, such as leiceister mix or merlino mix, either of which could be white faced.

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

    Jul 12, 2006
    Eastern North Carolina
  4. MTDeb

    MTDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Around here, those are terms used from a commercial standpoint too. Like DocM said, they are crosses with white face being targhee and columbia crosses *both sides of the cross have white faces), producing a completely white face. Then there's speckled face or "smut" face where a white face is crossed with a black face and then there's the black face, being a suffolk or hampshire who have black faces and can be a cross or not but ends up with the black face.

    From a commercial standpoint, in some cases black faces are more desireable because they're considered better meat sheep.

    But if they're going to sell the wool to the wool mill, the wool mill won't take black face wool at all because it's undesireable because it doesn't dye well. So, white faces are the most desireable as far as the wool mill goes except you don't get hardly anything for the wool anyways, about 50 cents a pound.

    BUT, from a spinner's standpoint, don't disregad any of them. Any cross of any type can still have wondeful wool. The "black faces" that I have have really nice wool. It's soft, with a nice staple length, 4 to 5 inches, and a nice crimp. Also, Hampshire and Suffolk is a down breed of wool so it won't felt and is wondeful for socks. I've also been crocheting rugs out of my black face wool and you can throw it in the washing machine and dryer and it doesn't shrink but is oh so soft on your feet.