Download a copy of the Livestock Conservancy’s new brochure on heritage sheep breeds from their website.
The brochure explains the benefits of raising heritage sheep and lists the sheep that are currently on the Livestock Conservancy’s endangered list.
Their website also provides a number of other useful tools for selecting the right breed for you.
2019 Status Changes
Highland Cattle Graduation and Other Conservation Updates
By C.R. Couch, D. P. Sponenberg, T. Coucher, A. Martin and J. Beranger
Critical … Threatened… Watch… Recovering… Graduation!
The Livestock Conservancy determines its conservation priorities based upon a breed’s annual number of registrations in the United States and its estimated global population size. This Conservation Priority List helps the Conservancy to target conservation efforts for more than 150 endangered livestock breeds.
A breed is no longer in need of continuous monitoring if annual registrations exceed 5,000, or if global numbers are greater than 25,000. Having a breed hit these benchmarks is always an occasion for celebration, because it means that the dedication and hard work of breeders have paid huge dividends.
St. Croix sheep moved up from the Threatened category to Watch. To make the move to the Watch category, the breed must have more 1,000 annual registrations in the United States and an estimated global population of more than 5,000. This breed of Caribbean sheep grows a hairy coat that they can shed each year, rather than a wooly one that needs to be shorn. They are also fairly small in stature. These traits make them quite heat tolerant, although they can thrive in many climates.
Horses: Highland Pony
Cattle: Florida Cracker
Sheep: St. Croix
Cattle: Belted Galloway
Updated 2019 Full CPL : https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/conservation-priority-list
The Livestock Conservancy is hoping to preserve endangered sheep with its Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em program that encourages fiber artists to work with wool from rare sheep breeds.
Genetic diversity is just one reason to preserve heritage sheep. Heritage breeds have survived through the ages because they are naturally hardy. Of particular interest to fiber artists are the different types of wool that each breed produces. Some have a softer wool that’s excellent for garments, while others have wool that’s more suited to making rugs. Some have white wool that takes well to dyes, while others come in a wide variety of natural colors and patterns.
The goal of Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em is to put fiber artists in contact with shepherds who produce wool from sheep on The Livestock Conservancy’s list of endangered livestock. When fiber artists register, they will receive a passport that includes a page of information for each breed. Each page will also include space to put a stamp after they purchase wool from a particular breed. There will be a Facebook group and a Ravelry group where members can share pictures of their projects. As fiber artists work their way through the breeds, they will receive prizes for completing projects and reaching various landmarks.
In addition to encouraging fiber artists to try rare wools, the program will also educate shepherds about how to prepare their wool for sale to fiber artists. By helping shepherds market their wool, they will become more financially stable, which helps ensure the future of the sheep.
When shepherds sell raw fleece from rare breeds directly to consumers, they can earn an average of $16 per pound on Etsy. Fiber can also be sold to fiber artists at fiber festivals that are held around the country. By turning wool into roving, it can be sold to hand spinners or felters for an average of $44 per pound on Etsy, and if they take the extra step of having it spun into yarn, it averages $80 per pound.
More information about the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Challenge or about sheep breeds on the Conservation Priority List are available on the Livestock Conservancy website.
Source: ASI Weekly September 7, 2018