Why have a Shetland/ Merino cross ram?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by AndreaR, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    I just saw an ad for a Shetland/Merino cross ram for sale that apparently has a nice fleece. Why would one cross such 2 different sheep? Does anyone do this and does it actually improve the fleece? Your opinions please...should I stay away from such a cross for handspinning purposes?

    Andrea
     
  2. SilverVista

    SilverVista Well-Known Member

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    Not only the fleeces, but the body types of these two breeds are radically different. I don't think you could make any generalization about the expected fleece traits, as there is too much variability of outcome in such a cross. If you can inspect this animal and test a bit of fleece before purchasing, and if you feel it has merit as an individual, then by all means buy and enjoy it! Personally, I would never breed this ram -- in fact, I would probably whether him. Less strong odor to scour from the wool, and no chance that he would create even wilder combinations of mutt sheep. And thinking of it from the shearer's point of view, if he inherited the loose, folded skin of the Merino but also the spindly bone structure of the Shetland, it would definitely be a test of shearing skill to get a handspinners fleece off of him! You've certainly got me curious about what he looks like!

    Susan
     

  3. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

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    I am curious as to what he looks like too! I felt like it was a weird cross to create because of the vast differences in physical and fibre structure. They were asking $200 for it!! Like Susan said, what offspring would one get if this ram was bred with another shetland? I would not want to find out as I prefer to stay clean with the rare breeds.