Leicester Longwool sheep, also known as the English Leicester (pronounced lester) are known for their long, lustrous, curly wool. They are also used for meat. Robert Bakewell developed the breed in England in the mid-1700s. Bakewell was the first breeder to use modern selection techniques to improve livestock breeds. George Washington learned of Bakewell’s sheep and purchased several rams to add to his own flock. The breed became very popular throughout Europe and America. However, faced with increasing competition from the Merino and other breeds, by the early 20th century the Leicester Longwool no longer existed in the U. S. In 1990 the Colonial Williamsburg foundation imported Leicester Longwools from Australia. Once again Leicester Longwool flocks can be found in the U S. The American Livestock Conservancy status for the breed is critical as their numbers remain rare worldwide. Our adult Leicester Longwool sheep were acquired from Hill Farm in Maryland and Old Gjerpen Farm in Virginia. Our first Leicester Longwool lambs were born in April 2015.
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