WHAT CAN WENSLEYDALES DO FOR YOU?
Purebred yearling ewes.
MULTIPLY LAMBING PERCENTAGE
INCREASE CARCASS QUALITY
IMPROVE CARCASS SIZE
vigor enhances growth
IMPART MILDER MEAT FLAVOR
preference of many
GIVE WOOL MORE LUSTER
by wool customers
BOOST WOOL YIELDS & QUALITY
A BARN FULL OF PUREBREDS!
In 1999, my goal was to have a flock of American Wensleydales. The conversion from purebred Lincoln sheep took five generations of upgrading with purebred imported UK semen. Each generation was essentially two years and the question was always how many quality females would be born each year to advance the program another level. My first purebreds were born in 2008.
Many people believe that as the generations progress, the fleece must certainly become more “Wensleydale-like”. This is not necessarily the case. On paper, although you can document a particular percentage of Wensleydale blood, Mother Nature doesn’t read and genes are not inherited in an absolute or predictable manner. Some sheep of a lower generation (75% or 87%) look amazingly like the U.K. purebred animal. But it is also the case that you may have a high percentage animal whose fleece seems to have digressed in its movement toward purebred.
I have always exhibited my animals at fairs and festivals, not only to show this unusual breed to the public, but also to compare my stock to other similar animals to determine if I was progressing in the right direction. It has been my practice to choose animals for their size, structure and muscling as well as a heavy, consistent, high luster fleece.
The mere fact that a sheep carries Wensleydale blood does not mean that it is a superior animal and should be kept as breeding stock. The best path to a great flock is via culling, In my opinion, animals with conformation and/or fleece faults should never be registered. If they have minor faults such as a colored spot in a white fleece, find them homes in spinners flocks where paperwork is not important.
If you anticipate buying registered Wensleydales, do your homework. Familiarize yourself with the breed standards and upgrading guidelines. See the animals or their photos, verify that they have registration papers, and ask questions! An honest, experienced, Wensleydale breeder will always be able to help you. If you are in doubt about any animal or registration, contact one of the Wensleydale Association’s directors listed on the website www.wensleydalesheep.org