California Red : Tender meat and Silky beige wool

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California Red are primarily raised for their tender meat and silky beige wool. A dual-purpose breed is developed by Dr. Glenn Spurlock of California in 1970. He crossed Tunis sheep and Barbados Blackbelly sheep to get the best of both qualities.

The resultant California Red became a dual-purpose breed with qualities like the out of the season breeding and silky fleece-like Tunis and the best quality carcass and the heat tolerance from the Barbados Blackbelly.

California Red sheep breed information

The California Red is a medium-sized body with Oatmeal or beige color wool.

Have a pendulous ear and a strong body.

The legs and faces are free of wool.

The mature ram weighs around 82 kg (180 lbs) and ewe weighs around 60 kg (130 lbs).

Both males and females are polled(no horns).

Lambs born with reddish-brown wool, but slowly fades as they grow.

The wool is silky in texture has a Bradford count of  50 to 60 with a staple length of 3 to 6 inches.

Sometime Rams produce mane of red hair.

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Things to know

Dr. Glenn Spurlock actually wanted to create a new hair sheep but he failed in doing so. But their other qualities like out of season lambing and well to do in hot climate outshined his failed experiment, so he and other breeders went on with breeding.

The tender and tasty meat along with the best quality silky wool make this breed stand out.

The breed’s wool is liked by many hand spinners and weavers.

Brief characteristics of California Red Sheep

Breed NameCalifornia Red sheep
Other Name
Country/Place of OriginUnited States
Breed Purpose Meat and wool
Breed Sizemedium
Weight
Ram(Male)
82 kg (180 lbs)
Ewe(Female) 60 kg (130 lbs)
Kiddingtwins
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing /confinement
Climate Tolerancelocal conditions

References:

Pamphlet, California Red Sheep Registry, Inc., Janice Altomare, Registrar, 1850 Reilly Road, Merced, California 95340. Phone: (209) 725-0340. Email: [email protected]
Mason, I.L. 1988. World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds. Third Edition. C.A.B International. 348 pp.

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