The American Cormo sheep is a popular sheep breed known for their small size, easy temperament and fine fleece. They are a popular choice for first-time farmers as they are less expensive than many other breeds, require less food, and are relatively low-maintenance.
American Cormo sheep thrive in different climates, and may be the perfect choice for those seeking sheep that are easy to raise and handle, and produces a superior fleece that is highly sought after.
In this article, we will cover the history of the American Cormo sheep, their characteristics and temperament, and examine the quality of their wool in detail. We will also list the positive attributes and benefits of owning American Cormo sheep.
Table of Contents
Where do American Cormo Sheep Come From?
American Cormo Sheep are originally from Tasmania – an island region of Australia that is a few hundred kilometers south of mainland Australia.
They were first introduced by breeders in the early 1960s and their lineage is owed to several breeds of sheep including Lincoln, Australian Merino, Corriedale rams, and Superfine Saxon Merino ewes. The name Cormo derives from a mix of Corriedale and Merino.
They were first brought to the United States in 1976 and the American Cormo Sheep Association was founded the same year. To be registered with the ACSA, purebred sheep must conform to all breed standards, and purebred American Cormo sheep are individually registered by name.
What are the Characteristics of the American Cormo Sheep?
According to the Downie Standard and including the breed standards put forth by the American Cormo Sheep Association, the following selection criteria must be met for the American Cormo Breed:
|Ram size||160 to 200 pounds|
|Ram appearance||Masculine appearance with uniform and well-formed testicles|
|Ewe size||120 to 160 pounds|
|Ewe appearance||Feminine appearance with a wide pelvis and her udders should be well-formed|
Both rams and ewes must have good conformation, a face free from wool, and be white in color. The only spots should be small and confined to the face.
The breed is polled (without horns) and their bodies should be free of wrinkles though a few neck wrinkles are acceptable.
What Kind of Fleece Does the American Cormo Sheep Produce?
The American Cormo sheep produces high-quality, soft and dense fine white wool.
|Yield||70% to 73%|
|Staple length||2.5″ to 4″|
|Count||46s to 56s|
|Thickness||17 to 23 microns|
Their fleece is a spinner’s dream. Their wool is used for fine craftwork and felting, and it often fetches a high price at market.
Why Should You Raise American Cormo Sheep?
There are many reasons why you should consider raising American Cormo Sheep on your sheep farm:
- They can survive in harsh conditions and climates.
- They need less food (up to 40% less) than other breeds.
- Cormo ewes make wonderful mothers and have high fertility.
- It’s not uncommon for a ewe to have multiple births.
- They lamb with relative ease.
- The produce excellent fleece with a low micron count that is profitable to sell.
- Body growth rate is fast and reliable.
- They require less maintenance than other breeds due to their open face.
- They have a lot of muscle relative to bone.