Finnsheep are one of the most prolific breeds in the world and an ewe can have up to nine lambs in a litter. (Hatton) This tendency, as well as the animal’s adaptability to rugged climates, has made the sheep a very desirable addition to other bloodlines to increase numbers in herds by multiple births.
The wool can come in many colors (blacks, grays, browns, fawns, spotted), but is most commonly white. These sheep typically have a single coat, but double coated individuals still occur on occasion. (Ekarius and Robson, 159) The coat is usually fine and can have a soft curl and works well with combing.
- Staple length: 3-6 inches
- Fiber description: 24-32 microns in single coated sheep.
- Lanolin: 50-70%, but I found the samples I had to be quite unctuous.
- Fleece size: 4-8lbs
- Animal size: Rams are 150-200lbs with ewes weighing 120-190lbs.
- Notes: This wool has a nice crimp, combs and spins easily.
- Fleece type: Ryder has classified this fleece as ranging from Fine to Generalized Medium.
Dýrmundsson, Ólafur and Niznikowski, Roman. “North European short-tailed breeds of sheep : a review,” 59th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production. 2008
Ekarius, Carol and Robson, Deborah. The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn (Storey Publishing, LLC), 2011.
Hatton, Grace. "FIBER BASICS: FINNSHEEP", Spin-Off Magazine, Summer 2005.
Oklahoma State University. “Breeds of Livestock Project”. www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/
Ryder, M. L. Sheep & Man (Gerald Duckworth & Co.), 1983.
Ryder, M. L. "A Survey of European Primitive Breeds of Sheep," Annales de Génétique et de Sélection Animale. 13, no. 4: 381−418, 1981.