At Whitefish Bay Farm, our
sheep are all purebred Corriedales. Our flock usually numbers around
100 adults, two thirds of whom are a variety of natural colors and the
balance are white.
The Corriedale breed is one of the most numerous world wide. The vast
majority of these flocks are all white. White is the dominant gene in
Corriedales (as it is in most modern sheep). Any color in Corriedales
(black, gray, brown, in solid shades or varigated patterns) is
recessive and therefore rarer. Most large commercial Corriedale flocks
produce only white fleeces as that is the only "color" that the
commercial market will buy. Because of these characteristics, the
number of flocks worldwide which maintain purebred colored Corriedales
is quite small.
Over the years we have purposefully tried to
breed for what could be referred to as an "old fashioned" Corriedale.
Originally the Corriedale breed was created in New Zealand and later in
Australia in an attempt to produce a fleece that approched the fineness
and volume of the Merino breed but with a body which had more substance
for meat purposes. The original Corriedale tended to be stockier than
the current characteristic of the breed. The modern Corriedale is
tending toward a taller, large framed sheep. In that process the finess
of the fleece has been, to a degree, sacrificed. We concentrate our
efforts to produce Corriedales that provide high quality fleeces, of
uniform consistency, especially suited for the handspinning market. We
emphasize fineness in our fleeces. All of our fleeces have been
tested by Yocom-McColl. We test
fleeces after the sheep produce their first adult fleece. Our adult
ram fleeces currently test from 25.2 to 29.0 microns.
Our adult ewe fleeces range from 19.9 to 29.7 microns (with the
majority at or below 25.0).
While most of our bloodlines originated from
a few selected American flocks, we have also introduced some Australian
Corriedale genetics through the use of artificial insemination.
All of our flock are
pasture spring, summer and fall. The pastures are a mix of grasses and
various legumes (clovers, trefoil and alfalfa). These pastures, in
additon to hay made from these pastures, are their major source of
nutrition for the flock throughout the year. They are well adapted to a