Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Program Participation

Have you heard of the Livestock Conservancy? They are a nonprofit membership organization that works “to protect endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction”. The farm animals they track run the gamut from chickens to horses, rabbits to… you guessed it, sheep!

The breeds of sheep the Conservancy tracks are unusual and rare heritage breeds that are well-worth your time to explore. If you are a fiber artist, using the fleece of these breeds can help conserve them. The Conservancy lists about 20 sheep breeds that are suitable for fleece production. In southeast Ohio, so far, we’ve come across three breeds of sheep that are on the list: Jacob, Tunis, and Shetland.

If you are a farmer who raises any of the following breeds, and you are in the southeast Ohio Fibershed, first, please fill out our Wool Inventory Project form. Then, we encourage you to get in touch with the Conservancy to get started selling your fleece as part of the SE2SE program. There, you have a couple options. You can sell it yourself as a listed farm or have a retailer, like Southeast Ohio Fiberworks, sell it for you.

If you are a crafter or fiber artist and you want to try out some of these breeds, you can go here for southeast Ohio Jacob roving or head to the Livestock Conservancy’s producer directory for other fiber delights. They offer a fun way to keep track of the breeds you work with by issuing a passport to you to collect information and official SE2SE stickers for your passport.

Sheep Breeds on the Conservation Priority List

All of the breeds listed here grow fiber good enough for at least outerwear, if not core-spun rug wool. You may recognize some of these as meat breeds, though their wool is also quite useful and should not be discarded.

  • Barbados Blackbelly
  • Black Welsh Mountain
  • Clun Forest
  • Cotswold
  • Dorset Horn
  • Florida Cracker
  • Gulf Coast, Gulf Coast Native
  • Hog Island
  • Jacob – American
  • Karakul
  • Leicester Longwool
  • Lincoln
  • Navajo Churro
  • Oxford
  • Romeldale/CVM
  • St. Croix
  • Santa Cruz
  • Shetland
  • Shropshire
  • Southdown (Standard)
  • Teeswater
  • Tunis
  • Wiltshire Horn

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