The Romeldale sheep is a breed of domestic sheep which was originated from United States in 1915.
Name of the breed refers to the Romney rams and Rambouillet ewes which were crossed for creating the breed. A.T. Spencer crossed Romney rams which had been exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition with his flock of Rambouillet ewes.
Main aim of the breed was to produce soft, fine wool and good fleece weight. And also to produce medium to large lambs for meat production.
Development of the breed continued later, throughout the 1940s and 1950s. But a breed association for the original Romeldale sheep alone was never formed and it is largely confined to it’s home state of California.
The California Variegated Mutant or CVM is a rare sub-type of the Romeldale sheep breed which is known for it’s unusual color, and is considered a derivative of the Romeldale.
Majority or the breed association and sources refers to these two together as Romeldale or CVM.
Today both Romeldale and CVM are unique to the United States and are endangered. Both are listed as ‘critical‘ by The Livestock Conservancy. Read some more information about this sheep breed below.
Romeldale Sheep Characteristics
The CVM and Romeldale sheep are usually considered two types of the same breed.
They share most of the same physical and temperamental traits other than color. They are generally medium to large sized animals.
Original Romeldale sheep are mostly white in color, but any sheep not conforming to the CVM standard may be registered as Romeldale.
While the CVMs are of a badger face pattern and are all natural-colored sheep. The fleece tends to be darken with age rather than grow lighter (unusually for natural colored sheep).
Both CVMs and Romeldale sheep are generally polled. And their average live body weight generally vary from 72 to 125 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Romeldale sheep are strong and hardy animals. They are well adapted to their native climates. The rams are very active breeders. And the ewes are highly prolific and are excellent mothers.
They are generally long-lived animals. The ewes are noted for their easy lambing features, and twinning is common.
Today total population of these animals are less, and they are quite rare.
Romeldale sheep are dual-purpose animals, and they are good for both wool and meat production. Fleece of these animals is of good quality.
The wool is soft and the usual colors of the CVM are especially prized by the handspinners. They are also very good for meat production.
They are docile in terms of temperament, and even novice can raise them. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.
Romeldale Sheep | Breed Profile
|Breed Purpose||Meat and milk|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and strong animals, well adapted to their native climates, rams are active breeders, ewes are highly prolific and excellent mothers, long-lived animals, the ewes are noted for their easy lambing features, twinning is common, dual-purpose animals, good for both meat and milk production, docile temperament|
|Breed Size||Medium to large|
|Weight||Vary from 72 to 125 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||United States|